For 20 summers, the readers of The Augusta Chronicle have reported their June-July-August trips through vacation postcards. For 20 summers we have made a game of it, trying to get a postcard from all 50 states, and for the past 19 you have succeeded admirably.
This year, we celebrate your efforts over the past two decades with a special presentation.
Here is our wrap-up report on your 2012 summer vacation postcard reports.
Georgia was on your mind.
Our summer travelers liked the Peach State’s coast, they liked Atlanta, they liked the north Georgia mountains and we even got a card featuring Eatonton’s Brer Rabbit museum from Hartwell and Melvis Powell, of Martinez.
Second place, however, was a surprise, with Wyoming being the source of 12 cards.
Massachusetts and South Carolina tied for third place with nine cards each.
Pennsylvania provided eight. Florida, Tennessee and Michigan had seven.
North Carolina, California and Utah inspired six cards each.
As for foreign travels, England and Ireland brought us four cards each.
So what animal do you think would be the most common featured on our summer postcards?
Would you believe moose?
Four showed up, including one from Mary Bordeaux, who sent a card from Maine.
Second place? Buffalo, bears and horses (3 each)
After that were rabbits, goats, cows, bobcats, eagles, elephants, ducks, deer, sheep, wolf, pig, Rabbits, condors, beavers and a pheasant.
Our biggest card from the United States was sent by Christina and Emily Byrd. The card from Rehoboth Beach, Del., measured 6 inches by 9 inches.
Sam Booher found that people in West Virginia apparently like to make fun of their outdoor facilities.
Many travelers know me as a devoted baseball fan and graciously sent back postcards featuring ballparks.
Because this is the 100th year of Boston’s Fenway Park, it’s no surprise that four postcards featured the home of the Red Sox. Thanks to Brian and Mary Ellen; Allen and Glenda Hardin, of Thomson; Lyn and Kathy Smith, of Appling; and Ernest and Martha Odom, of Evans.
Other ballpark postcards featured Turner Field in Atlanta, Wrigley Field in Chicago, Yankee Stadium in New York, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and others in Kansas City, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and even Austin, Texas.
MOUNTAINS VS. BEACH
Speaking of beaches, every year the two great American destinations compete, and every year beach wins. This year it was close.
A pre-Labor Day surge of surf-seekers took the title again: Mountains 38 – Beach 39.
Helping put them over the top by sending a card from Hilton Head, or as she called it, “My island getaway,” was Jean Hamilton, of North Augusta, who reported the sea, surf and sand were beautiful.
There was a sweet little theme running through this summer’s postcards – romance.
Many of this summer’s postcard correspondents celebrated their anniversaries with a vacation or special trip. Among them were:
Walt and Dana Johnson, of Grovetown, spent their fifth anniversary on Bora Bora. Doris and Marty Charnock spent their 25th at both Virginia Beach and north Georgia’s Barnsley Gardens.
Dan and Lisa Armstrong, of Evans, spent their 30th anniversary in Alaska. Allen and Glenda Hardin, of Thomson, spent their 40th anniversary in Maine. And George and Paula Stickle, of Bartow, Ga., spent their 50th wedding anniversary in Alaska. They had “a great time.”
I should also mention that Moses Toliver and Christina Rawls sent a postcard from Myrtle Beach to report they got engaged on the beach.
On behalf of the U.S. Postal Service, I would like to thank these summer travelers for their prolific and thoughtful postcard reports.
Dick McCoppin, of Augusta, traveled 6,082 miles, visited 23 states and sent 23 cards.
Several of his efforts provided the only card from a certain state – Minnesota, for example.
He wins a T-shirt from my Chronicle collection that reads: I’m up, I’m awake, what more do you want?
Joe and Lorinda Fournier, of Evans, sent 18 postcards depicting the amazing diversity of America, everything from baseball parks to national parks.
They win a “I’m 29, but this is an old shirt” T-shirt.
And Russell and Sheryl Pate, of Wadley, Ga., sent 14 cards from their summer travels.
If they let me know their address, I will send them a celebrity apron that reads: What’s on the menu? “Take it, or leave it.”