In most situations, rummaging through other people’s mail and trying to make a profit from it would be considered offensive—both personally and federally. But at this weekend’s Antique Paper Post Card Show, a popular semiannual affair in Sacramento since 1989, it is encouraged. Collectors from many cities, several states and possibly a few different countries will descend on the Scottish Rite Center, at 6151 H Street, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, to exchange correspondence of historical, sentimental and (not unimportantly) financial significance. The show’s organizers anticipate that more than a million postcards will be available for poking through—which, for people who can never get enough quaintly iconic Americana, is, of course, still not enough.
That means you should bring your own. Free appraisals will be available from the collectors, to whom your shoebox loads of attic ephemera actually might be worth something. If, for example, you’ve been wondering what to do with the great-grandparents’ dispatches from the front lines of the California gold rush or the Civil War battlefield, or whether anybody might be interested in that series of rivalrous epistles between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson that turned up under the refrigerator, your chances are pretty good of at least making back this event’s $5 admission fee. No promises, but it’s worth a try.
Besides, in an age when we’ve actually begun printing out e-mails in order to be sure to read them, the immediacy and abundance of correspondence, not to mention its service as a chronicle of civilization’s advance, deserves reflection. For more information, call event manager Rudy Schafer at (916) 971-1953.