Bucks County Bonanza

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 - 23:38 (UTC -5)

Hello, Everyone:

Newsflash: Local tourism board downsizes, “lucky” Postcrosser hits the jackpot!


Many people through the ages have made some variation of this statement: Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. I first heard it as a kid from legendary American Football Coach Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers. Another variation is found in the United States Coast Guard Motto: Semper Paratus (Latin for “Always Ready”).

Being ready helped me to bring this story to you now.


The “Where to Get Postcards” Category (“WTGP”) in the Postcrossing Forum is a venerable one and of interest to all Postcrossers everywhere as “in Real Life” availability of postcards has dwindled while online sales have increased. If you review the many Topics and Posts that inform WTGP, this Topic (“Bucks County Bonanza”) really stands out. I’m sharing it with you to allow you perhaps to “free your mind instead” (thank you, Beatles, for the song “Revolution”) and be on the lookout for an opportunity such as the one that presented itself to me between this past Christmas and New Year’s Eve.


I live in the scenic Delaware River Valley in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the USA. The Delaware River is the border between New Jersey (where I live) and Pennsylvania (where I spend so much time I might as well live there). Hunterdon County (my county) is across the Delaware River from Bucks County in Pennsylvania. For our friends around the world, the political geography of the United States could generally be divided into these four levels: Federal, State, County, Municipalities. There are approximately 3,200 counties and equivalents across the USA and they matter a lot to their residents in many ways.

Bucks County is one of the most famous counties in the USA for many reasons.

https://www.buckscounty.gov/

So much so that it has its own tourism board called “Visit Bucks County”.

You may have seen my references to Visit Bucks County in several Topics elsewhere in the Postcrossing Forum.

https://community.postcrossing.com/t/completed-lottery-one-for-you-one-for-the-world-bucks-county-arts-postcards-1/162358


I have been to the lovely visitor center of Visit Bucks County in the town of Bensalem a number of times over the last couple of years to buy postcards from their Gift Shop and to collect sets of the Bucks County:Wish You Were Here postcards from back in the second quarter of 2021. They usually sell many different kinds of classic, single-view, glossy color photo postcards of places and events in Bucks County for $0.50 USD. In April of 2021, I bought slightly over 100 postcards at a 50% off sale price of $0.25 USD. I have sent out a number of these cards (officially and personally) as you can see on my Sent Wall:

US-8960951
US-8971950
US-8963543
US-8955400
US-8938974
US-8922202
US-8833528
US-7004303
US-6988957


So I really sat up and noticed when I saw this article in our local regional newspaper, The Bucks County Herald:

Visit Bucks County launching mobile visitor center, closing brick and mortar center

When I called the good folks at Visit Bucks County and asked them what would become of their postcard inventory in their Gift Shop, they said they didn’t really know and wouldn’t be surprised if they (the postcards) might end up being “recycled” somehow. I told them I would buy every postcard they had just before they closed permanently at the end of December and they told me we’ll see you then.

Fast forward to Wednesday, December 28th, 2022, at lunchtime when I visited the center to say goodbye and pick up the remaining inventory.

There were 715 assorted cards in a nice carrying bag and they asked for $0.12 USD per card, among the best retail prices I have ever paid for postcards “live”. In any language, this is the definition of “BONANZA”! It was bittersweet to be there just before the closing, but we’ll meet again elsewhere across Bucks County as Visit Bucks County goes mobile.


When I got home, I unpacked the cards across my ironing board (it’s not just for shirts, you know). There were 38 different cards by two photographers, the majority by a John Sikora. (I’ve called him and left a message but haven’t heard back yet. It might be nice to learn about his process and history as a Bucks County observer.) It took quite a while to develop a spreadsheet of the collection and to scan each type of card front and back twice (JPEG and PDF) but those tasks are complete as you can see here:

I counted a total of 711 cards. That’s pretty close, barely a rounding error. No worries. I’ve already started sending these cards out (officially and personally).

Here is a link to the slideshow of the 38 postcards.

To view the Slideshow, click on the link immediately above (“Shutterfly”) and double left-click on the first photo on the upper left of the resulting set. When that photo displays, you can start the slideshow by one left-click on the “Slideshow” button at the bottom center of the page. You can pause the slideshow at any time by one left-click on the " || " button at the bottom of the pages.


I hope you get as lucky as I was in this case. Please keep an eye out for any kind of business/organization that may be downsizing or converting away from brick and mortar to mobile/digital. Hopefully, you’ll be able to scoop up a nice collection of postcards and share your good luck with all of us here on the Forum.

Happy New Year 2023 and Happy Postcrossing!

Michael






































12 Likes

Incredible story! Thank you for sharing.
Such a beautiful pictorial history of Buck’s County.

1 Like

Well that is just awesome! Thanks for sharing

1 Like