As always, victory finds a hundred fathers.
— Count Galeazzo Ciano
We have concluded another successful vacation season by collecting a postcard from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.
The last state to complete our list was Michigan, when 10 cards came in a rush the final week of August.
However, that did not make it our most popular destination during the summer of 2017. That honor goes to one state — Florida, and one country — Canada. Both inspired 17 postcards between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Trailing slightly were Tennessee and North Carolina, which each contributed 14 cards. Then came Alaska with 11, and South Carolina and Michigan with 10. Georgia had nine. Every state had at least two postcards, including Kansas, Virginia, Louisiana and Wisconsin.
Now who won our annual contests.
THE LARGEST: The biggest card came from Washington, D.C., as Betty Meehan, of Evans, sent in an 11-by-6-inch card of the Capitol building. A local history connection? The federal Capitol was wonderfully engineered by Augusta native Montgomery Meigs in the mid-1800s.
BEACH OR MOUNTAINS? Each year we have a contest to see which destinations are most favored — those showing a mountain or ones featuring a beach. Usually beaches win, but not this year. We had 54 going to the shore, topped by 56 who headed for the hills. Among them were regular travelers Sandra and Shirley Johnson, of Augusta, who spent a “birthday trip” in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains.
ANIMAL CRACKERS: Postcards often feature animals and this year bears led the parade. A funny one came from Bill and Kellie Jacobs, of North Augusta, showing two bruins treeing three frantic tourists.
Alligators were second with seven cards, while horses, cows and eagles counted three each.
BEST SEARCH: Vickie and Ralph Herron sent a postcard made out of copper. Apparently there is a lot of copper in Michigan.
BASEBALL TRIPS: I love baseball and William and Anita McKie must like the sport, too, because they sent several cards featuring ballparks from Chicago to Minneapolis.
FARTHEST CARD: Luke Leightner sent one from New Zealand, which is more than 8,000 miles from here. It showed one of those Maori warriors with a startled expression, so it was almost our funniest card … but not quite.
FUNNIEST CARD: Paul and Cherry Perdue, of Evans, sent a postcard from Alaska showing “Bear Hunting and Fishing.” Only the couple featured appeared to be “Bare” hunting and fishing. It made me laugh.
Thank you all for sending so many beautiful postcards. When I spread them all out on our conference table you get a great look at America.
As Dorothea Daly, of McCormick, wrote on her card, “WHAT A COUNTRY!”
Reach Bill Kirby at firstname.lastname@example.org.