By Will Ripple
Here with the speech Will Ripple gave in the year 2000 on the founding of TPCC.
Fellow Club Members and Guests -
I was asked to speak today about the founding of our club on November 29, 1979.
Lets flash back 25 years to 1974. I had been a postcard collector for 10 years thanks to my Michigan aunt who introduced me to the hobby. What did South Florida have to offer anybody interested in collecting postcards? There were the usual antique shows full of glass and old furniture and mall shows full of arts and crafts, glass, old furniture and a few postcards usually in a shoebox. Stamp clubs were no help either. I suffered "withering glares" from dealers who scolded me for looking at the wrong side of the card. "Don't you know the stamp is on the front, you idiot?" and "You won't find that in Scotts, you dummy!" Let me tell you it was a wasteland for a postcard collector back then.
It was around this time that I first met Mickey and Bernie Klenet at a show in the Lakeland Mall. What a marvelous postcard display they had. Everything was neatly arranged by topics with box after box available for hours of viewing enjoyment. A few inquiries about my collecting interests quickly produced a box for me to go through. After watching me pull a number of "common cards" from her stock, Mickey discreetly asked if I would like to look at some of her "better" cards. From a rack behind the table came an album filled with page after page of wonderful cards designed to enhance my collection and to empty my wallet!
Bernie suggest I join the Sunshine Postcard Club and over the next couple of years I would receive an occasional club newsletter detailing meetings and events that were always held in central Florida.
Mickey and Bernie were also instrumental in encouraging my wife and I to become "part-time" postcard dealers. What fun! Our initial inventory was purchased from our generous Michigan aunt whose house was bursting at the seams with old postcards and paper items. She was a lady way ahead of her time!
Soon we were doing the Thieves Outdoor Flea Market on the weekend in Delray Beach and some Sunday coin and stamp shows in Miami and Cutler Ridge.
Now the whole picture started to change. Enter Charles Lowry and Marek Smith whom we met at Delray Beach and who became good friends and loyal supporters. Soon we got to know other dealers and collectors as they began to find us at different shows. One topic of discussion that always came up was, why don't we have a postcard club in South Florida?
After several unsuccessful discussions with the officers of Sunshine, it was decided to hold a meeting in interested collectors to see if we could form a South Florida chapter of the Sunshine Postcard Club. The first meeting was held at the Meadowbrook clubhouse in Tamarac, Florida on November 29, 1979. My wife and I hosted the event and it was soon evident that the collectors in attendance were in a revolutionary state of mind! "We don't want to be a step-child! We want our own club!" was the clarion call that rand out on that fateful day. After a fire and brimstone oration from Mark Smith, the rebels were sufficiently aroused to vote on the formation of new club and I had the honor of being elected president.
John and Betty Henel, dealers from Snyder, NY, were helpful in telling the national dealers of our founding. Soon John McClintock was in touch and we were holding our own postcard show with dealers from all over the country in attendance. We were on the map and making news. Over the years our club has grown steadily in numbers and has gained national stature.
There is a rare loyalty and dedication associated with our group. We have a core - nucleus - of long time members who have contributed countless hours of their time for the club's benefit. The previous success of your shows stand as a tribute to their dedication and our January 2000 show promises to carry on this tradition.
To those un-named, and under appreciated members, I offer my humble "Thank You" and sincere gratitude for a job well done.
My we all look forward to the new Millennium with renewed vigor and inspiration. Will Ripple
Here with links to other details in this section of the website
National Postcard Week
Plus Your Hobby
Capture the Image
TPCC Membership Form