Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Old Postcard Wednesday--Cordial Greetings (Yeahhh, that's the ticket!)

Hjärtliga Häisningar

Allt kärt och gott
O, ma det falla pä din lott,
Och varje tuva vid din stig,
Med tusen blommor smycka sig,
Ja vinterdagen, tung och grä,
Bli värdag, hög och blä.

Swedish to English translation from 

Cordial Greetings! This is a rather international vintage card, as it was saved by my Finnish grandmother, with a verse in Swedish, and "Made in Germany" by a publisher situated in Malden Branch, Boston, Massachusetts.

I wish the card had a date printed on the back, but it is definitely quite old; my guess would be pre-1920s. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me that a publisher in the U.S. was making cards in Germany. That sounds more like today's manufacturing and trade practices. But that is not the only puzzlement.

I searched, I really did, for any information specifically on "Malden Branch," but could not find anything. In fact, the only hit I got on "Malden Branch, Massachusetts" that did not have something to do with branch offices of numerous current businesses was an historical note concerning the Boston & Maine Railroad, Malden Branch, Malden, Massachusetts-Records, 1857-1865. There was no such piece of information about a German publisher doing business in Malden Branch, Malden, Massachusetts -- or who had a branch of its business in Malden.

Malden, Massachusetts is a suburban city that is "Five miles northwest of Boston bordered by Melrose/Stoneham to the North, Medford to the West, Everett on the South, Revere to the East. Convenient to Logan Airport and Routes 1, 16, 93, 99 and 128" according to the city website here. However, not at the city's website nor at the extremely interesting Wikipedia page about Malden, did I find anything about the city ever having been called Malden Branch.

The publisher, Fredrick Peterson, is likewise mysterious. His name is not listed in any sources I could find that list vintage postcard publishers in the U.S.  Also, he is not listed at The Postcard Album, Germany, where there is an extensive listing of major German postcard printers both pre- and post-1900.

I cannot close this without admitting to you that when I read the translation of the message on the card, with the peculiarly funny (to me, anyway) line: Oh, may it fall on the ticket, I immediately thought of the famous line spoken by a character developed by Jon Lovitz on Saturday Night Live from 1985-1990:
The Pathological Liar is a character created and portrayed by Jon Lovitz, often appearing on Weekend Update segments to share his farcical views. The character's name was Tommy Flanagan (pronounced /fləˈneɪɡən/, US dict: flə·nā′·gən, not to be confused with the jazz pianist), and he would tell outrageous whoppers in an effort to make himself seem important (such as his claim that he invented Rock and Roll). One recurring lie was claiming he was married to Morgan Fairchild, and thus had seen her naked, "more than once." His devious look, hand rubbing and nervous speech made it clear he was making up lies, one after the other, on the spot. After a particularly outrageous lie he would often add the catchphrase: "Yeahhh! That's the ticket!"[Source: Wikipedia]

To my dismay, in this world where we can now find videos of just about anything, I could not find a clip of Lovitz on SNL in one of those routines. The closest I could get was a video when he appeared some years later on Conan O'Brien, but as another character and not as The Pathological Liar. He does say "Yeahhh! That's the ticket!" toward the beginning of the routine but not in the crazy way he did when playing The Pathological Liar on SNL. In any case, if you care to view the clip (it's pretty hilarious) you can see it here.

I was able to locate an SNL Transcript of one of The Pathological Liar routines, though.
With it, let's call my Cordial Greetings for this Wednesday a wrap.

Saturday Night Live Transcripts

Season 11: Episode 2
        85b: Chevy Chase / Sheila E.

Pathological Liars Anonymous

Tommy Flanagan.....Jon Lovitz

Announcer: And now, a message from Pathological Liars Anonymous.

Tommy Flanagan: Hello, my name is Tommy Flanagan, and I'm a member of Pathological Liars Anonymous. In fact.. I'm the president of the organization!

I didn't always lie. No, when I was a kid, I told the truth. But then one day, I got caught stealing money out of my mother's purse. I lied. I told her it was homework - that my teacher told me to do it. And she got fired! Yeah, that's what happened!

After that, lying was easy for me. I lied about my age and joined the army. I was thirteen at the time. Yeah.. I went to Vietnam, and I was injured catching a mortar shell in my teeth. And they made me a three-star general! And then I got a job in journalism, writing for the National Enquire.. er, Geographic! Yeah.. I was making twenty thousand a ye.. month! In fact, I won the Pulitzer Prize that year! Yeah, that's the ticket.

And then my cousin died - Joe Louis - and I took it hard. Maybe too hard - I tried to kill myself. Yeahh.. I did kill myself! Sure! I was medically dead for a week and a half! It was a woman that brought me out of it - Indira Gandhi! Yeah, right.. And she told me about Pathological Liars Anonymous.

Oh, you'd be surprised how many famous people belong. In fact.. at one of the meetings I met my wife - Morgan Fairchild! Yes, I'm a change man now, and all because of Pathological Liars Anonymous. Why, I - I even have my picture on the cover of Newsweek magazine. Yeah. Every day! Yeah.. that's the ticket! Yeah, you betcha!

[ fade ]

[Source: SNL Transcripts]



Muhammad Israr said...

hmm...its kind of sad that we dont have exact date of this postcard as well as the mystery that why the US published cards in Germany? and also nothing about the publishers...

and the Pathological Liars...terrific stuff this is... its like once cannot differentiate that what he is saying now is true or lie as he is a liar ...hahaha... thanks for sharing as always by you a nice peice :)

Lydia said...

Muhammad Israr~ It really is a mystery. Usually I can find something that will shed light on a question I have about one of the old postcards. But not for this one.
I did not link to this great clip of Jon Lovitz on The Johnny Carson show in 1985, because it was obviously early in his creation of the character and he had not yet added the line that would become so famous! But I think you will enjoy it so here is the link. (This one is actually better and funnier than the video I linked in my post because he is "in character" and it is good clean fun.)

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Funny that you should link to Chevvy Chase as the first thing that went through my head when i saw the foreign postcard and mention of Finland was the old Monty Python song: "Finland, Finland, Finland, the country where i quite like to be, your mountains so lofty, your tree tops so tall. Finland, Finland, Finland - Finland has it all"

Of course - if someone did tell you they were a member of a Pathological Liars association - how would you know it wasn't a lie?

Lydia said...

Pixies~ That sounds like a song hungry pixies would sing to bring attention upon themselves! Actually, I have never heard of it, so once again your comment will have me clicking over to youtube to (hopefully) be able to hear it. I want to visit Finland some day. It might not have "it all," but I have a feeling it has a lot that I would love.
Your question is befuddling. Too clever for me to come up with a clever response!

Kathe W. said...

would that we all could have cordial greetings! Where did that noion disappear to? As for liars ?
Look at their pants-are they on fire?

Brian Miller said...

nice...pretty cool postcard...and love me some older KatheW

mythopolis said...

Yes...a card of mysterious origin for sure. Maybe whoever made it was a pathological liar. I have always loved Lovitz's routines. Genius!!

mythopolis said...

Here's Lovitz on the Johnny Carson show...

Hattie said...

I love that card. It is just so pretty and makes me wonder a lot about who created it.

Lydia said...

Kathe W~ If we figured out where it disappeared to would that be the ticket to bringing it back? nah, probably not!

Brian~ Yup, isn't the old SNL good to see once in awhile. I do love the current group, however. :)

mythopolis~ I think you got the ticket! It must have been made by a pathological liar!
I'll follow the link, but wonder if it is the one I left in my comments to Muhammad Israr above. Great, crazy fun.

Hattie~ It is pretty, but looks summery for a card referring to winter. Just another one of its peculiarities!

Ricardo Miñana said...

Hoy en día aun utilizo saludos cordiales en mis escritos.
encantador blog el tuyo.
feliz semana.

Lydia said...

Ricardo~ It is impressive and wonderful that you use Cordial Greetings in your writing even now. You are a fine human being to maintain that civility in these times.
Thank you and best regards to you too. :)



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