Springtime postcard shows continue throughout the country!

“In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” –Mark Twain.

I love that quote, not just because it’s witty and attributed to beloved American writer, Mark Twain, but because it’s so true!

As I’m writing this week’s column, in the greater Chicago area, we’re expecting a high of 38 degrees and parts of the area are expecting 1 to 3 inches of sleet, rain and snow ---On April 18! That is just wrong. I don’t remember a colder April (thus far) but hopefully one of these days we’ll have some actual spring weather to enjoy. I’ve got robins running around my yard with vests on…They are not happy about this cold weather and probably will make a mental note to postpone their future migrations to a later date. Well I guess it’s also true that there’s not much to do about the weather but complain...So I’m finished complaining for now.

Moving along to other subjects, also as I’m writing this column it is National Columnists Day (April 18). Over the years I have written hundreds of feature stories and many, many columns. The following is information I received about National Columnists Day, which recognizes the importance and value of newspaper columnists. The National Society of Newspaper Columnists, which was founded in 1977, sponsors and promotes this day in support of columnists and journalists around the world. This day is dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance and contributions made by columnists and journalists. Do you want to participate in this day? Read a newspaper column. Or, show some appreciation to these writers.

I have my favorite columnists (both dead and alive) who I have enjoyed reading over the years. My family has always gotten a daily newspaper and I started reading it at a young age. One of my favorite columnists was Sydney J. Harris, who wrote for the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times, and was syndicated in several other newspapers throughout the country. Harris died in 1986, but I still remember how his columns piqued my interest in a variety of subjects, while in grammar and high school and beyond. Sometimes his column would be titled, “Things I learned while looking for something else” (or something like that). I liked that because I have done that myself. It gave me the impression that all knowledge is good –you may have begun searching for information on one subject only to be drawn into a complementary area –or even a completely different line of information. Harris wrote several books in addition to his newspaper work. The following information I found on the Internet: Harris was also a drama critic, teacher, and lecturer, and he received numerous honorary doctorates during his career, including from Villa Maria College, Shimer College, and Lenoir Rhyne College. In 1980–1982 he was the visiting scholar at Lenoir-Rhyne College in North Carolina. For many years he was a member of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary. He was recognized with awards from organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In later years, he divided his time between Chicago and Door County, Wisconsin. Here’s a few of Sydney J. Harris’s quotes:

“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.”

“The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.”

“When I hear somebody sigh, 'Life is hard,' I am always tempted to ask, 'Compared to what?'”

Our next issue of Barr’s comes out just in time for National Postcard Week, and we’re already receiving plenty of cards to feature in that issue. Until that time, enjoy this issue and have a great couple of weeks adding to your postcard or ephemera collections. Please contact us with club news as well as postcard and ephemera-related matters at editor@barrspcn.com or at (319) 472-4763.