Author Archives: kihm

Places I’ve Been

Sorting through a gift of 700 postcards, I was delighted to find places I’d been. The Brock Monument in Canada. While my brother and cousins played in the park, my mother tied me to a tree, with about ten feet of slack, so I wouldn’t get lost. And then, before the picnic lunch, she washed […]

From the Beer Book

Mr. Clete and a cold one, art by Jo Buffalo In the 1960s and ’70s, I kept a notebook of beer articles, clippings, ephemera, but I hadn’t opened it in 30 or 40 years, until this week. I found things I had long forgotten. A keg label from Utica Club’s dark ale, a staple at […]

Strong Leaders

Since June 2020, the Trump-appointed Postmaster General has made strenuous efforts to undermine the USPS and slow deliveries. This will 1) make the USPS more vulnerable to privatization, 2) strike a blow at Amazon.com and its owner Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, 3) erode confidence in voting-by-mail, reducing the voter turnout, and […]

Postcards from Abbie

Postcards sent by my grandmother, Abbie Slocum Winship, to her brother, Homer Slocum, and his wife, in Niagara Falls, N.Y. On the back of this one, mailed in October of 1909, Abbie wrote, “Papa got the jars yesterday. Thank you very much for what it contained but we are puzzled to know what that fruit […]

6 1/2 Fish

In the late 1970s, I had an idea for a little book of quotes illustrated with rubber stamp images of fish. I had the fish stamps; I gathered the quotes. Then I got married, became a father, earned a living, and the project was kind of back-burnered for 40 or so years. But two years […]

The Spanish Influenza, 1918

Two stories about the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic from my family: My mother’s mother, Cora Braun, was 30 years old in September of 1918 when the Spanish Flu appeared in Buffalo, New York. Her most vivid memory was of a day when she watched from her front window as the funeral processions began at dawn […]

Mail Art & Faux Postage

“It was recognized even in the eighteen-sixties that collectors had to contend with not only forgeries of government-issued postage stamps but also stamps whose validity existed only in the imagination of their producers.”– Cinderella Stamps (1970) by L.N. and M. Williams I love mail, mail art, the post office, postage stamps, rubber stamps. All of […]

Daisy Lamb

Daisy Lamb with daughter Sallie Sarah Ann Chaffee, who went by “Daisy,” was the wife of Col. William Lamb, CSA, commander of Fort Fisher, which guarded the approaches to Wilmington, North Carolina, during the Civil War. The war had moved her around. In 1862, while Daisy was living in Wilmington with her husband and three […]

America Naked

For a while now I’ve been hearing a lot about making America great again, although I would happily settle for America being good again. And America First, that’s part of the plan, too. But this morning, while getting ready for church, I noticed one of my clothing labels, and started looking at the others, checking […]

The Can of Worms

I believe it was the summer of 1968. I was driving over to Rochester, N.Y., to visit a friend. Knowing my fear of the unknown, he agreed to meet me at the Thruway exit so I could follow him to his home. But he wasn’t at the exit, and when I called on the payphone, […]