Roy's Postcards

It's 1981. Roy Richardson is a manager at a Los Angeles computer company. A devout Mormon, he has a two-year-old son, with two daughters yet to be born. He has a little over ten years to live.

I was that two-year-old and Roy was my father. I grew up without him, knowing the outlines of his life but not the details. In 2006, at my mother's house, I found three boxes of details.

My father never kept a consistent diary, but he bought over a thousand postcards between 1981 and 1991. On most of them he wrote notes to himself, reminders of what he'd done that day. Others he mailed to us from his business trips. A few he left blank—he just liked the pictures. This site is my attempt to build a picture of my father's life, one piece at a time.

Every day I add one of Roy's postcards to this archive, often with commentary. If you're interested in everyday life in the past, I hope you'll find this project interesting. You're welcome to follow along by subscribing to the RSS feed. If you only want to see a few postcards, try the best-of.

The postcards

"Recognizing that my writings in this journal in recent years have been sparse, I must comment that my life has not been entirely undocumented. I have accumulated several hundred postcards — together with Frances, Leonard, Susanna, and Rachel — from our outings around town, our long-distance trips and my business trips. Many evenings in the hotel have found me writing postcards to my family and friends and also recording my own experiences on postcards. There are some I hope who will find them of some historical and biographical value — as well as lovely to look at." (From Roy's journal, 1985)

Recent additions:

Visited this fabulous place heading to Roswell,...

Dear Susanna,
Here I am in Hawaii, land of...

I went to Disneyland today and I saw...

To my Dear Leonard -
From the National Air &...

I went to Denvery's Zoo today and saw lots of...

Dear Rachel,
You are a sweet little girl. I...

...

You know I wanted this postcard. I'd just...

Dear Susanna,
This is the Flamingo. It is...

Photo © Louis M....

Dear Susanna,
I hope you like this postcard....

Dear Susanna,
I am in my room which I...

I took Leonard, Susanna and Rachel to the Air &...

Dear Leonard, I'm having a wonderful time at...

Dear Susanna,
Thanks for this pretty heart....

I was very impressed by the huge size and height...

Susanna,
I saw this beautiful postcard and...

Leonard, Yamil Abea and I went to the Dodgers...

I went to the Zoo. Mommy and me and Daddy and...

Dear Susanna,
I found this beautiful card...

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Miscellaneous notes

To keep things interesting, each day's postcard is selected randomly. On rare occasions my father would write 10-30 postcards in a single day, and I for one don't want to see those postcards one after another for a whole month.

I estimate this project will be completed in September 2012. I plan to put up every postcard from those three boxes, except for blank duplicates and postcards sent to us by people I don't know. I've blurred out a few personal details.

If you like this project, you might also like to see Roy's computer buttons.


This document (source) is part of Crummy, the webspace of Leonard Richardson (contact information). It was last modified on Friday, August 28 2009, 02:40:20 Nowhere Standard Time and last built on Wednesday, October 01 2014, 16:00:02 Nowhere Standard Time.

Crummy is © 1996-2014 Leonard Richardson. Unless otherwise noted, all text licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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