10 Country: Bill’s Cheap History - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

10 Country: Bill’s Cheap History

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November 19, 2002

Tifton-- A small piece of heavy paper with picture can remind us of what we were a long time ago, but those small pieces aren’t as popular as they once were.

People would send thousands of them back home especially during vacation, but we’re gotten away from that tradition.

We are in such a hurry to use snail mail, a computer-era term for traditional mail service, that post offices installed drive-up collection boxes.

Years ago, the boxes had lots of picture postcards inside. “I don’t notice many of them coming through the mail each day,” says Postal Worker Kayla McBrayer.

Not a one was found when checking five-drop boxes, and it’s easy to see why.  People seem to have forgotten the once popular picture postcards that were sent through the mail by the thousands.

Except for Post Card Collector Bill Wells. “I’ve always saved them for as long as I can remember,” said Wells. Bill Wells saw more value in a postcard than meets the eye, seeing them as snap shots of our past permanently suspended in time. At only a dime each, you could say postcards make cheap history.

”I’ve never heard it called cheap history before, but you could call it that.” Wells said some of his cards trigger old memories, such as religious competition. “Sunday, everybody from the Baptist church went to eat at the Lankford Manor, and they always tried to get out a little early to beat the Methodists,” Wells said.

 The old landmark restaurant faces destruction, with Bill Wells having postcards showing it back in its former glory. He got a surprise with one post card in particular. “I was shocked. I had no idea,” said Wells.

A post card of his late mother and her high school graduating class appeared. Bill advanced in the post card world, along with his wife, Ginny, becoming models in 1958. “There I am in the water, and you can see my face, but you can’t see her face,” Wells says.

Bill Wells has always liked post cards, making notebooks of them that later became a history book showing us the way we were. He hesitated about publishing his own picture post card book of Tifton until a friend urged him to do it. His Post Cards of Tifton book is in its second printing.

posted at 4:00PM by dave.miller@walb.com