I'm not sure where this fascination comes from but I absolutely love these postcards. Back in the day, many of the well-traveled touristy areas that were populated by bears completely encouraged tourists to go up to the bears and to attract them to their cars. Of course, the bears got used to getting food and would approach cars easily. Not safe for the bears or the tourists, if you ask me.
It's definitely a little sketchy but still, I love the nostalgia factor of these cards. Tourists going to the mountains always hoped and expected to see bears. I have to admit that in all of my mountain trips, I've never seen a bear out roaming around on the road. However, there are many ghastly roadside attractions around here where you can see these poor, beautiful creatures chained up and living on concrete. We're hoping to get those places outlawed one of these days. Maybe that's one of the reasons that I love this genre of postcards. The bears were at least roaming free, making choices whether to accept pimento cheese sandwich scraps or to forage for berries. Whether to whack a tourist or not. Nature as it should be.
Here is the back of the above card:
I love the inclusion of the line No Trouble Yet. I'm not sure if those boys are referring to the lack of bears or if they're anxiously crossing the state line for another reason. I mean who among us hasn't had a reason to rejoice making it over a state line or two? Either/or - I love the idea of putting No Trouble Yet on all of my future postcards.
Here are some of my other favorites from my collection:
I especially love the one above. It says on the back: This bear wandered out of the woods on to the highway. Although they seem friendly and harmless, one should not feed or get too close to wild bears.
Ya think?? Don't you just love how the mothers of these kids are standing safely in the background, encouraging the kids to get some nature action? Why, it's not a vacation if someone doesn't get facial reconstruction surgery!
This card veers a little away from the bears and cars collection but is equally as touristy:
Greetings from Tennessee. Feeding Bruin is very dangerous but makes for a pleasant picture in this Dextone Beauty Scene.
Trust me when I say that if that bear weren't taxidermied within an inch of his life, Carol would be drawing back a nub for her game of hide-and-go-seek with Bruin there.
Thanks for touring one of my favorite collections with me. I'm sure it will continue to grow. Since these cards also appeal to vintage car image collectors, the competition means that I don't find them that often - but that makes the hunt even more fun!
Until next time,
x's and o's,