Kamloops News

Long-lost French postcard finally reaches its to Salmon Arm destination

A postcard from Nice, France, dated Aug. 2, 2001, didn't arrive at its destination, Judy Glaicar's home near Salmon Arm, until more than 20 years later.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Judy Glaicar

When Judy Glaicar checked her mail one day in June, she couldn't imagine who would be sending her a postcard from France, nor why it took more than twenty years to get there.

It was almost never sent at all until Kimberley Steadman began scouring thrift stores for postcards and picked it up.

Steadman, who lives in Kamloops, writes to pen pals across the world with postcards she finds at thrift stores.

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The cards are often from different cities, may be decades old and, ideally, haven't been used.

Her normal routine includes a weekend drive with her elderly father. They'll drive for a few hours, but without a destination in mind. She can't be sure exactly which Interior thrift store she was in when she picked up Glaicar's card, but it was likely in Salmon Arm.

"If there's a thrift shop, we'll stop in and I'll check for some postcards," Kimberley Steadman said. "Usually, I take a stack home. Then I found one that was already made out."

It was addressed to Glaicar from Nice, France, dated Aug. 2, 2001.

Steadman was disappointed at first when she found this postcard was already filled out after paying for it.
Steadman was disappointed at first when she found this postcard was already filled out after paying for it.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Kimberley Steadman

She was, at first, disappointed that one of the postcards was already filled out. Then she noticed it had an entire message detailing a day's excursion in Nice, complete with Glaicar's Salmon Arm address.

She mailed it in June, adding a post-it note with her own email address for its final destination, hoping it would reach the correct person.

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"I got quite a kick out of it," Glaicar said.

She's lived at the same house for 52 years, so the more than 20-year-late postcard still made its way to the right person.

But it took her some studying to figure out who actually wrote the message in the first place. She recognized the handwriting belonged to her sister-in-law, who took a vacation to Nice in 2001 and planned to send Glaicar a postcard from there.

"She didn't mail it. Mailing things over there was a lot of hassle," Glaicar said. "Of course, I knew nothing about the card."

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The card simply found its way to a thrift store after her sister-in-law donated a pile of old things.

Once she got the letter, it gave a snapshot in time to a moment on a hot summer day in France, where a mother and daughter were enjoying one piece of their European vacation.

"Hello from Nice. It's 11 a.m. and we have a glorious courtyard hotel all to ourselves. Yesterday, we spent the day walking around Nice visiting all the highlights," the letter read. "It's a huge city that comes to life after dark."

It continued to lament the 40 Celsius heat and detail some of their plans to travel onward to Monte Carlo and other cities in the Mediterranean region.

Glaicar said her sister-in-law had forgotten about the letter before she asked about it.

"I teased her and said she was too cheap to put a stamp on it," Glaicar said.

Glaicar and Steadman wrote to each other a few times via email, mostly to figure out where the card had been for more than 20 years.

Steadman sends and receives postcards from people across the world through a project call Post Crossing, which is why she collects postcards. The website connects people from anywhere, keeping the tradition of postcards alive in a new light.

Glaicar's letter, however, had nothing to do with Post Crossing, but Steadman said she briefly met a new pen pal because of it.

"It felt like a bit of time-travely fun," Steadman said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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