Category Mail Art

W. Reginald Bray

I was browsing in an ultra cool book store in Brooklyn and came across a title I could not pass up. John Tingey’s “The Englishman Who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects,” tells the story of how accountant and postal regulation enthusiast W. Reginald Bray became “The Human Letter” and “The Autograph King.” From the 2010 review in the New Yorker:

Bray (1879-1939) was an avid collector who amassed stamps, postmarks, train tickets, and girlfriends, and who, after reading the entire British Post Office Guide, impishly determined to take the rules as challenges. He tried posting an unimaginable array of things, to see whether the post office would deliver them. At one point or another, he mailed a bowler hat, a rabbit skull (the address spelled out on the nasal bone, and the stamps pasted to the back), a purse, a slipper, a clothes brush, seaweed, shirt collars, a penny, a turnip (address and message carved into the durable tuber), an Irish Terrier, and a pipe, among other curios.

Needless to say I loved it and it inspired me to send a few return address experiments of my own today. Will my letter to PJ reach all the way to the fictional address in Saipan before it reaches him in California? Who knows, but it’s worth 45 cents to find out.

More on Bray on the author’s website.

Subject: remember this?

From the I get weird stuff emailed to me department.

Mail Call!

Getting mail is a great feeling.
I picked these gems out of my new post box up in Capitol Hill. One cool envelope from Archie and a cool card from my Mom. Thanks to ya both.

Senders Receive

Wanna postcard? Here’s my Saipan address, borrowed from PJ’s family:

Kevin Casey
c/o Auntie Tina
PO Box 5347CHRB
Saipan, MP 96950

As far as I’ve seen there are no street addresses in Saipan. PJ said that for some government forms where a resident’s location is required, a little box is provided for drawing a map to your house.
No consistent street addresses means no mailboxes or mail slots, no curbside delivery or pickup. None of the R2-D2 blue boxes for dropping mail off either. Post office box numbers are very limited and the wait-list to have one assigned is years long. That’s why I’m happy to be able to share this box with PJ, the Christastamo’s (that’s auntie Tina’s family) and a few other family members.
If you feel like it (especially you non-commenting readers) drop a note my way. Remember, Saipan is a part of the USA so a postcard is $0.28 and a letter stamp is $0.44 until the end of the year.

I Get Weird Stuff Emailed to Me

I nearly pawned a Polaroid SX-70 for a Gmail Beta account in 2004. I was determined to ditch my old account for the sleek and professional email address: Careful what you wish for.

A few times a week I get an email intended for Kelly Casey, or Kim Casey, or Kathy Casey or who knows who. Weird photos of random things get sent to me from cell phones and blackberries. Sometimes they’re grotesque, sometimes they’re funny and sometimes they are Lay-Z-boy.