Guest Post: Lindsey D

Today I am very pleased to feature a new follower, American blogger and writer, Lindsey.
She has submitted a two-part non-fiction article that I am publishing in full.

Here is her bio.

My name is Lindsey DeBorde-Kent though it used to be Lindsey DeBord (no E) but that’s a story for another day. I am a Texas girl, living in Louisiana. I worked overseas for the U.S. Government for many years but returned to the States in 2018 after some really terrible experiences. I am happily (re) married today to a fantastic former Navy Seal. We have a little dachshund who terrorizes us on the regular and a daughter (his) who is just about to turn 14 (also terrifying). I have been writing for a long time but just getting back into blogging. In general, I am keen to help people – to keep them from having to suffer through some of the things that I’ve gone through but occasionally, my wit gets the better of me and I end up writing about the non-sensical. Both are worthy pursuits in my opinion. 😉

What’s Fair?

Moving forward when it seems like the bad guy won.

To throw a pity party or march forward into this world of opportunity? Sometimes it feels almost gluttonous to ruminate over days gone by, circumstances out of your current control, situations and actions you can’t undo, people you can’t (and never could) control. Other times, it feels downright necessary to wallow, to grieve, and to hopefully learn something.

I’ve been thinking a lot about fairness lately. And since I’m the one writing this, it’s my right to consider what has been fair and unfair in my life. Deserved and undeserved. How long is a person supposed to sit in that uncomfortable space where they feel like they’ve been dealt a cruddy hand? I don’t think there’s a statute of limitations on recalling past hurts. And anyway, recollection of those events is largely out of our control. Things pop into our mind and we can either drive them out with force or sit with them. What’s the better tactic? Sadly, I’m here to say, I don’t really know. I suppose the best answer I can give is that it depends. It depends on how you cope with those recollections; it depends on your ability to healthily consider events that have scarred you. Are you wallowing? Reflecting? Healing? Using what you learned to help others?

I’m going to share something and I don’t know where to start. This particular something has affected my life in more ways than I can adequately express here…or anywhere else, even if I was given a lifetime to help you understand.

I’m already dancing around this because it’s just.so.big.

Here it is. Well, here it is summarized and watered down (not out of shame but because I really do have to protect myself still), with pseudonyms to conceal the less-than-innocent.

There’s a person out there, we’ll call him “Avalanche” for obvious reasons (to me, anyway). Avalanche entered my life and brought sweet little snowflakes (see what I did there?) of friendship. Avalanche was in a position of great power and while I yielded power of my own, I was drawn to Avalanche’s strength and the uniqueness of being considered a friend and confidant – something Avalanche did not distribute widely. Like any abusive “relationship”, things soured slowly, over time, and before I knew it what had seemed like deep affection had turned into a snowball running downhill. Are you as done with these analogies as I am?

It feels a little trite but I don’t know how better to describe this dynamic. Think about it. You’re on a hike in the mountains. It’s early spring so there is still a bit of snow on the trail and the mountains around you are covered with that beautiful blinding white powder. The sun is shining brightly and everything seems perfect. But you can’t hear the snow melting and the ground shifting slightly under the weight of it all. The first big chunk of snow that falls is so far away that you only see the birds suddenly popping out of the sky and flying into the distance. They are getting out of dodge but you think maybe they’re just going off to run their little birdy errands? You feel safe but, at the same time, something pricks at the back of your neck. Those birds didn’t seem right but you ignore the warning signs. Why do we always ignore the warning signs?

And then you hear it. The unmistakable rumble of a wall of snow on a mission. It must be a mile away, you think, but you’re in a vulnerable position now regardless. You trusted the day too much. You went a bit further than you normally would, trekked a bit further afield because you felt strong…confident. And now you’re in this valley. And the rumble is getting louder. You can feel it now. Your heartbeat quickens. You start to see slight movement on the largest peak in front of you. And then the unmistakable landslide. Layers of the snow are tumbling together now – headed right for you. You’ve put yourself in this position and only a miracle will grant an escape. The avalanche has you now. You’ll be buried beneath the power of it all and no one will really know how you came to be in that place and why you didn’t use all the experience and intelligence that you had built up over the years to prepare yourself for this moment.

And that’s just it, isn’t it? Emotional and physical abuse is like an avalanche but it’s also like dying of a thousand paper cuts. In either case, you just don’t really know until your buried or bleeding out. You can’t SEE clearly.

So, that’s how it was and that’s as succinctly as I can put two years of misery. Avalanche took everything that I had worked so hard to build but right now, today? Today what bothers me is the fairness of it all. As I consider my future and lately, that has involved trying to find my “twilight career” (yes, that’s a thing), I am irritated that I had to leave everything to protect myself. I dropped an atom bomb on my life and career for the safety of my soul. And even after I was healed enough to be able to talk about it and share the story with the people that should have done something, I am convinced Avalanche was relatively unscathed. I have no idea what Avalanche is up to and I don’t really care but the part that nags at me is that I feel sure that Avalanche’s world did not come crashing down around when I escaped. Avalanche likely remains in power and has probably even risen in the ranks. So, while I sit here, considering jobs that are far below my talents and fiscal value, Avalanche is churning along, as ever.

There are so many things missing from this story. And I’m sorry for that. It’s unique in its subtext and you’ll just have to trust that if I could share more, I would.

Part of me wants to give you a little Susie Sunshine. What good is it to you, or anyone who might benefit from this, if I don’t throw in some sort of life lesson that’s valuable and less dreary than an avalanche and dying of paper cuts? Another part of me just wants to allow myself to be angry for a minute. I think I deserve that. I handled myself imperfectly in those two years. I hurt people who weren’t responsible for how I was being hurt. But that’s what they say, “hurt people, hurt people”. So it goes. Whatever the case, I didn’t deserve what I got.

The truth is, I HAVE learned a lot and life IS good. My heart is happy and safe. But I want to give something to the people out there who think they’re alone in feeling angry or feeling like they’ve been given the shaft. You’re not alone. There are times, and they are usually late at night or early in the morning, when moments pop into my head. Memories of the horrible things that happened to me. Guilt too, raises it’s hand, as does shame. I don’t call on them but they’re still there – like that teacher’s pet who just won’t stop until they get called on. I get through them now but they can still be jarring. Memories are a treasure but they can also be shockingly painful. You can’t erase them. You can’t get over them, not really. You can’t re-watch Grey’s Anatomy for the 15th time and hope that the distraction will make it all go away forever. It’s a Band-Aid on bullet wound. But sometimes, that is survival and survival is paramount to recovery. You can’t get over something if you’re stuck in a corner, rocking back and forth and sucking your thumb – waiting for someone to save you.

So, my conclusion? It isn’t fair. IT IS NOT FAIR.

But what to do? For me, well, I have to change my calculus a bit. For years, I worked 70-hour weeks, lived thousands of miles from family and friends and my only priority was whatever mission was presented to me at work. I have this opportunity now – to live the life that only I can design. It’s going to look a little different than my former life and that is ok. It’s more than ok – it’s great. It’s what I wanted and what my battered heart needed. There is nothing in the way of my living a happy and fulfilled life. I have the support network that Avalanche tried to isolate me from. It’s akin to the best shelter you can find on a dangerous trail. No manner of huffing and puffing can’t break it down. Whew – is anyone counting the analogies? Do I get extra credit if I exceed 10? I am the teacher’s pet of analogies!

I don’t have to push those memories out anymore. I can talk about them now. And if you are safe in the company you keep, you should try to talk about them too. It’s really the only thing that makes them less scary. If you’re still in the Grey’s Anatomy phase, that’s ok too. You’ll get there. I promise.

And sweet reader, if you happen to be in the midst of your own personal Avalanche, please do not make the mistake of thinking you have to do it all alone. There are so many resources out there. Use them. I know I am a hypocrite. I didn’t. Not for a long time. Part of that was situational. I couldn’t use many of them. But I could certainly have done something to help myself, long before I did. If you need a friend, someone outside of your immediate circle, and you’re not ready to call a hotline, go to a therapist or press charges, find me. I’ll listen, without judgment or pressure.

There are also some more professional organizations that offer a variety of services for those seeking help:

Home

Home

Home

Death and Exotic Dancing

He told me he wished I had died.

In a fury of text messages after telling him there was no possible way he could actually be in love with me – that it was a crazy and impossible notion – he ended with, “I wish the cancer had killed you.” He meant it. He was angry and hurt and blinded by the passionate rage that he had somehow talked himself into. He was also pure evil. Previously, I referred to him as Avalanche. Now you are starting to understand why. Even knowing that he was in a frantic state of emotions, I could feel the honesty in what he said. He really wanted me dead. The old adage was never more true – “If I can’t have you, no one can.”

So, there’s that.

Fast forward to a few months later. I’m sitting across the table at a patio restaurant in the middle of Las Vegas with the person I had known as my best friend for twelve years. I confessed all of my missteps, the lies, the broken promises and he looked at me and said, “It’d be easier if I were married to an exotic dancer.” I didn’t laugh. It wasn’t a joke. He meant it. Side bar, I hate Vegas now…

Two moments in time. Two truths that were articulated in such a brutally candid way. Two statements that are now a matter of emotional record and will stay with me forever.

It’s amazing to look back over those snapshots in our lives that become burned on our souls like some sort of brand. You can color over them with better experiences but they’re never truly gone. So, I am stuck with this – did I deserve it? Did I deserve to be forced to carry those memories around with me like a backpack full of rocks in an otherwise happy existence? I don’t know. It depends on who you ask, I suppose.

As I reflect, I can see the helplessness in both of their statements. Two men with broken hearts who didn’t know what to do with the pain. One girl who didn’t mean to break them and who was broken herself.

What is the point of this?

I guess it needs to be said. There’s something about sharing that lessens the pain of bad memories. When they’re trapped in our heads, they grow roots and just live there. If we put them out there and talk about them, I don’t know, they just seem to have less power. And maybe, I think, it will help someone else deal with hurtful things that have been said to them that they just can’t seem to shake.

I don’t have an agenda for this one, friends. It just is what it is. Two people who I cared about wished that I was gone or that I was someone else entirely. Just like that. Poof! No more me and their lives would be better. I don’t care who you are or what you’ve done but when someone says they’d rather you not exist, that’s a tough pill to swallow. And so I didn’t. I just shelved it. Honestly, at the time that both of these things happened, it was such a small part of what I was going through, it didn’t occur to me that it would be something that I later remembered regularly. Who knew eh?! Funny how the noggin works.

But here’s the thing. I didn’t die and I am surrounded by people who know my worth and tell me all the time. At the end of the day, what they said – they’re just words aren’t they? Yes, words are powerful and can be destructive but you know what we have to combat them? More damn words!! So, here I am, trying to minimize the power of some ugly words with some that are a bit more hopeful and inspired.

I didn’t and don’t live and die by names I’ve been called or threats that have been levied. Sticks and stones and all. There were some sticks, though, but I managed to dodge those as well. Point is, as always, our wounds are not our worth and other people’s pain and heartbreak? That’s not who we are either. So, if you’ve been told you’re worthless just know this – That person..whoever it was…took the time and energy to tell you that. They decided it was something that needed to be said to make them feel better. They were looking to make you feel small. They thought they needed to break you down. Which, dear reader, means you were already above them. So step back up on the stool, get the upper hand and get that chin up so high you can sniff the clouds.

P.S. I have absolutely nothing against exotic dancers. You do you girl!

If you would like to connect with Lindsey, watch her You Tube channel, or read more from her, here are the relevant links.

Blog: https://littlegirlfound.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lindsey_D_Kent

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1biGWzhzdgux-71dQBODwQ

Guest Post: Don Ostertag

Don spent his working life in Theatres, and has many wonderful tales to tell of the people he met, and some of the quirky characters on the stage and behind the scenes of showbusiness. His writing style is like an enjoyable cosy chat, and his blog is a joy. So I am delighted to feature a guest post from him today.

https://donostertag.wordpress.com/

OLD JAZZ VOICES

Louis Armstrong had a sold-out gig at Northrop Auditorium at the U of Mn.. The band drifted in from the bus for the sound check, but no Louis. The road manager told me that Mr. Armstrong didn’t take the bus and would be along shortly. I relayed this to Eddie Drake, the Comptroller of Concerts and Lectures. Eddie checked at the end of sound check and did not like it that Armstrong had not made it yet.

Come half-hour and still no Louis. Eddie Drake was getting nervous. The road manager told him no sweat, Louis would along.

The opening act went on and still no Louis. By now Eddie was beyond nervous. The last thing he wanted was to have to call off the show and return the money for the full house. The manager assured Eddie that Mr. Armstrong would show up soon.

The opening act was were playing their encore and Drake was standing in the wings signaling them to stretch it out when I got a call from the Head Usher.

She told me Mr. Armstrong was in the front lobby and asked if I could come up and bring him backstage. If he was still there when the audience broke for intermission they would mob him for autographs.

I told Eddie and he signaled the act to keep stretching.

Drake was waiting when I escorted Louis backstage. He was livid. Normally, after he has a glass of water and vodka, his nose takes on a red glow. The glow was redder than usual and even his cheeks were looked like they were on fire.

He glared at Armstrong and asked why he was so late. But he didn’t wait for an answer. He made a crack about professionals arrive on time.

The manager walked over and reminded Drake that he told him Louis would be coming. And nobody calls Mr. Armstrong unprofessional.

‘Well, Eddie said, looking up at the manager who stood a good half a foot taller than Eddie, ‘Maybe unprofessional is too strong. I should have said it was inconsiderate. He should have been here for sound check.’

Louis, who until then, answered laughingly, ‘Oh, I know how those boys sound. And those boys know how is sound. Sound does right for them, it’ll be right for me.’

‘Mr. Armstrong doesn’t need to be at sound check,’ the manager said,.‘Besides I told you he had things to do and would come when he was finished.’

Drake said that an act should be in the theater at half-hour.

Louis laughed again and said the first half-hour call was for the opening act. He showed up at the half-hour before he had to go on.

I tried not to laugh. Eddie was so angry, even his high forehead was red.

The manager took Louis by the elbow to walk him away; but Eddie wasn’t through. He continued his rant. Louis stopped and turned back to him.

It was evident that Louis Armstrong was having fun. He had that familiar smile on his face and a glint in his eyes.

Eddie threw out what he considered his biggest reason why Armstrong should have been in the Hall with the rest of his band. “What if your instrument didn’t arrive? When you come this late it would be impossible to get you another one in time for the show. Did you ever think of that? Huh? Huh?’

‘Well then I’d just blow one of the boys’ extra horn,’ Louis replied, reaching into his shirt pocket and pulling out his mouthpiece.

‘It’s not the horn, man.’ He held up his mouthpiece. ‘It’s the mouthpiece. Fits my lips good. Always carry with with me so I don’t lose it. Had it since I was jamming on the street for nickles. This is the instrument that counts. Put it in any horn and old Satchmo is ready to blow.’

‘Tell you what,’ Louis continued, ‘Get me an empty peach can. I’ll cut a hole in the bottom, stick my mouthpiece in the hole, and I’ll go deep, seriously deep.’

Eddie shrugged his shoulders, threw up his hands, and went back to his office. He needed another glass of his special water.

Louis turned to the road manager and laughingly asked, ‘Something I said, you think?

‘Yeah, I wonder if you’ll be laughing if he comes back with an empty peach can,’ the manager said. ‘I know I will be.’

PS: The audience got what they came for that night. What a concert! Mr. Louis Armstrong gave us what we wanted to hear… even if he was fashionably late to the theater.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

If James Lombard, the founder and ‘Impresario’ of the Concerts and Lectures at the U of MN, had his way the season would be nothing but classical and operatic soloists, artists he looked up to; but the Regents decreed that there be one jazz concert each season. The season after Louis Armstrong, had, in my opinion, two main acts in one concert, Wes Montgomery, great jazz guitarist, opened the concert, followed by Cannonball Adderley on alto sax. Eddie Drake told me it was a package deal. Only nine musicians total in the two groups. He said they alternated as to who opened and who followed.

Wes Montgomery opened. He had broken into mainstream jazz a few years before. He was backed up for this concert by his two brothers, Buddy and Monk and an organist. They didn’t disappoint. Instead of the usual 30 to 45 minutes for the front act, they played a full set, with encores, almost an hour and a half. No jealousy from the ‘main’ act. Most of them were in the wings enjoying the Montgomery boys.

The sad thing was that a few weeks after this concert, Wes Montgomery died of a heart attack.

(Six years later I worked a Duke Ellington concert at the Guthrie, and the Duke died shortly after.)

Cannonball Adderley had also been adopted into mainstream jazz a few years before. He had his brother, Nat, on coronet. Nat was the one constant in any of Cannonball’s quintet. The other three positions fluctuated musicians over the years.

At intermission I was surprised when I saw James Lombard stride in backstage. He never came for concerts he considered beneath him. Later, Eddie Drake told me that Lombard showed up because he was curious to see any one who was named Cannonball.

Lombard always looked the part of an impresario, the man in charge. Tall, broad shouldered, distinguished gray hair. Suits that cried they were too expensive for most men.

He always walked as if all eyes were on him and with his height advantaged he looked down on most everyone he talked to. If you looked up the word pompous in the dictionary, you would probably see a picture of James Lombard.

I was waiting for Lombard to come up to me when Cannonball Adderley tapped me on the shoulder.

‘Hey, man,’ he said, ‘Who do I see about the bread? Never play a gig without the bread upfront.’

I brought him over to where Lombard had stopped. Then since it was a money talk, I walked away, but I didn’t get far before Lombard called me back.

‘Don,’ he said in his low bass voice, ‘Would you send one of your crew to Dinky Town and bring back a loaf of bread? Mr. Cannonball says he has to eat before he goes on.’

Cannonball looked at me and slapped his forehead.

I explained to Lombard that Adderley didn’t want bread bread. Bread was jazz talk for money. He meant he wanted the money upfront before they played.

Lombard stiffened up and said, briskly, ‘He should have said spoken in English. Bread! Bring him down to see Drake. I don’t have time for this nonsense.’ He gave a loud haroomph and walked off stage. He got what he came for. He met the man named Cannonball.

‘Hey, man, is that cat for real,’ Cannonball asked me, ‘Or is he jiving with me?’

I told Cannonball there wasn’t a jive bone in that man’s body. He was born with the stick up his…

‘Cat needs to loosen up,’ Cannonball said. ‘I got some gooooood stuff…bet that would mellow him out.’

PS: Another great concert even if Lombard didn’t hang around to listen.

In these days of darkness, I suppose the method of mellowing out prescribed by Cannonball is a favorite among many people. As for me, I found that my day goes better if I start it out by listening to Louis singing…

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

I see trees of green

red roses too

I see them bloom for me and you

and I say to myself

What a Wonderful World

And that is a wrap for today. Please, please, listen to the medical experts and Stay Safe.

Oh, if you want to read a tale of a famous musician that didn’t make it to the theater on time, here’s one you might get a kick out of: https://donostertag.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/screamed-james-brown/

Visit Don’s blog for more great stories like this one.

Guests Posts: Another Try

The last time I offered to host guest posts on this blog, the response was rather lukewarm.

Not downhearted, I have decided to make that offer once again, whether to new bloggers, experienced bloggers, and anyone who has previously had a guest post on here. It is not time-limited, so if you want to write something specifically for the guest post, you can send it at leisure.

I will advise you of the ‘rules’ once again.

1) You must be an existing follower of my blog, or follow me on Twitter. @beetleypete
2) Feel free to promote one of your books. But NO SELLING of products please.
3) Post to be under 3,000 words, preferably less than 2,000.
4) Any images or photos to be small files only.
5) No bad language or blatant racist and sexual references. This is a family blog.
6) No religion please.

*If you do not want your real name used on the post, please make this clear to me*

Your post will not be edited or corrected by me, so please check it before sending.

All posts will be left on my blog permanently, and shared on Twitter the day of publication.

Please add a short bio, and a photo of yourself if you want one shown.
(Up to you)

The post can be about anything you choose. There is no ‘theme’.

Please send the text AS AN EMAIL (not a Word Document) to petejohnson50@yahoo.com
Please send any images separately, to the same email address.
If you are promoting a book, please add full buying links, as well as a photo of the cover.

When the post has been accepted, I will send you a link to it, and would expect you to engage with any comments received. If for any reason I do not accept the post, I will email you with my reasons why.

Over to you!

Affiliate Bloggers: A Tip

Hello to all you affiliate bloggers. Those of you hoping to make some money by writing blog posts with buying links to products. Yes, you are honest about that, and I thank you for that honesty. Why not use the Internet to create a business that pays you money without having to actually buy-in any products? That sounds like a good idea.

But here’s my tip.

Research your target market before following a blogger that you hope may be someone who would use your links to purchase products.

Take me, as an example. I am a man, and I am 69 years old.

I don’t wear lipstick.
I do not have a ‘skincare regime’.
I do not have extensions in my hair.
I do not have enough hair left to bother about using special shampoos.
I am white skinned. (Photo on my About page, if you want to check)
That means I do not need special products designed for darker skin types.
I don’t use foundation make-up, or eye shadow.
I do not use nail polish, or wear false fingernails.
(Some 69 year old men might, and I don’t judge them for that)
I do not have any need for a ‘natural’ make-up remover.
I might be considered to be ‘plus size’, but I do not wear ‘shaping garments’ to hide that.

I wish you well with your ventures, and I am just trying to save you the time and trouble of directing your marketing at the wrong bloggers.

A WordPress Exchange On Twitter

I saw an advertisement on Twitter. WordPress want to recruit more ‘Happiness Engineers’, for Customer Service.

We are growing! Check out our open, fully distributed roles across engineering, design, Happiness (customer service), marketing (and more!). Get all of the details on how to apply here: bit.ly/38guhDF

So I replied.

“Happiness? Give us back the Classic Editor, and I will be happy! Listen to your customers and bloggers!”
Then they replied.

WordPress.com
@wordpressdotcom

Replying to

If you really want to use something like the classic editor, we recommend sticking with the classic block: wordpress.com/support/wordpr We also have some extensive documentation available at

I answered.

“It’s not the Classic Editor though, is it? Just let us have have the option. What’s the problem? You know it’s possible. So many users absolutely hate Block Editor, and cannot work it out. Look after your users and paying customers. (like me) Do the right thing for once.”

Nothing since then. Not surprised.

WordPress Strikes Early!

Well it seems that WordPress understands ‘Late 2021’ to be the last week in March. With no warning, the ‘Classic’ option was removed from my blog today.

I am now stuck with ‘their way or the highway’. In other words, the hated and detested Block Editor. Not-so-fondly referred to by me as ‘Mister Blocky’.

Fortunately, I had already completed the final episode of my serial, and I am using the cheekily-named ‘Classic Block’ to produce this post.

I know many of you have come to love Mister Blocky, so there’s no need to rush to its defence in the comments. But I HATE it, and will continue to do so, whatever you say.

I am hoping to receive a ‘work-around’ that will enable me to use the Old Editor again soon. But in the meantime, if I am not around on my blog, you will know why.

New Bloggers: A Helping Hand

It seems that a lot of the new bloggers who have arrived on WordPress this year are keen to read about some tips and advice to help them get a start in blogging.

My three recent posts on the subject have received well over 2,300 views in a very short time.

Now we all have different ideas about what makes for good blogging, and also different views on blogging ‘etiquette’. For the new people to become part of any community will take some time of course. Meanwhile, we can all help them along the way with any useful tips and advice that might spring to mind.

I won’t be asking everyone to put up a post on the subject, don’t worry. You are all busy with your own blogs and lives, so another suggestion from me is the last thing you need.

That said, adding a comment to this post won’t take you long. It might help a new blogger, encourage them to continue to blog, and eventually grow this wonderful community that we all enjoy being a part of.

So all I am asking is that if you have any blogging rules you swear by, or some valuable tips that you have yet to share, just add them as a comment below.

The post will stay up, and hopefully be found by many of those new bloggers.

Thanks in advance, and best wishes to everyone. Pete.

The ‘Clearwater’ Anomaly

Last December, I posted about the short sci-fi film, ‘Clearwater’.

‘Clearwater’: A Short Science Fiction Film

At the time, it had 50 ‘likes’, and around 18 comments.

But in the past week, it has been receiving almost 100 views a day, every day. Not one of these viewers has left either a ‘Like’, or a comment.

So I am beginning to think this is some kind of automatic system, supposedly viewing this blog post.

However, if you are genuine, please let me know.

Site Title: New Bloggers Please Note

I get a comment on a blog post. It says “Please follow my blog”.

Nothing relevant to my post. Just that one short line.

The same blogger also appears as a ‘New Follower’.

I check out the origin of their blog. Who knows? I may like it, and want to follow.

But it is just called ‘Site Title’.

There are no published posts.

So why would I follow a blog that has no title, and no posts to read?

Answers on a postcard, to the usual address.