Art, History, Mail Art, Nostalgia, Scotland, Weekly Writing Challenge

Hand-drawn envelopes; works of art that probably wouldn’t be delivered today

My maternal grandmother’s brother, which I believe makes him my Great Uncle, Earnest Deegan, was a well traveled man. During the early part of the last century he was what was then known as a “Gentleman’s Gentleman” – a butler or valet. This profession took him to places far and wide, exotic and remote. His brother Matthew Deegan was a skilled artist and draughtsman. The two brothers kept in contact by mail (email and texting were still about a century off). Matthew was fond of using his skills when addressing envelopes. Below are several examples.


This one was delivered in Cairo c/o  H. Gutmann for whom Earnest was working.

According to Wikipedia, Herbert Gutmann was the son of the Dresdner Bank Chairman Eugen Gutmann and studied economics, then also worked at the Dresdner Bank . He was a co-founder, director and later president of the German Orient Bank and played a role in the economic activities of the German empire in the Orient in the period before the First World War . As part of this business longer trips led him in the years 1905-1910 under others to Morocco , Egypt , Syria , Asia Minor and Persia . In 1910 he was elected to the board of Dresdner Bank.

The address, 26 rue Sherif Pasha should have been Cherif Pacha and may have looked like this in 1903


This one was sent to him when he was working in New York.

Back when I was young, History, Humor, Montreal, Weekly Writing Challenge

Back when I was young: Bartenders were artists

This week the Weekly Writing Challenge encouraged the use of pagination for longer posts. I thought it a good opportunity to publish one of my longer posts that falls into the “Back When I was Young” category.

They say that one of the signs you’re getting old is that you find yourself, more and more often, using phrases such as: When I was a boy/girl, Back when I was young, In my day, When I was a kid. Well, you get the idea. Rather than fight this tendency I’ve decided to embrace it by posting, on occasion, blog entries the title of which will begin with “Back when I was Young”.

I welcome others to post similar pieces and let me know so I can link to them here.

BottleGuardianWith the Grand Prix in town last weekend I thought I’d go downtown and take in a little of the ambiance.  While there I stopped in for a beer at a longstanding Crescent Street pub.  It’s  been some years since I was last in this particular bar, so you may understand I  was bowled over when I found out the standard bottle of beer I had been enjoying was going to cost me $8.00. The waitress told me they didn’t up the price for the weekend Grand Prix events but I’m still not sure about that.

I was going to point out that he’s a bartender and at one time drinking was part of the job but thought better of it.

Repairing to a much nicer spot one street over I was pleased to pay a significantly more reasonable price for a pint of draft. As I was sipping away I was watching the bartender going full-out to keep up with demands when I noticed that every time he prepared a drink he had to slip the bottle into a black collar thing that issued a measured amount. After a little while I asked him about it and he explained that all drinks had to be monitored in this way both for inventory and to keep track of things in general. No more free pouring I asked.  He looked at me like I had just asked if the war was over and said that was a thing of the past. Before leaving I thanked him for the information and offered to by him a drink. No thanks, he said, I don’t drink while I’m working. I was going to point out that he’s a bartender and at one time drinking was part of the job but thought better of it.