CHICAGO – Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow can prevent the post office from delivering the mail…but it just may take 55 years to get there.
At least that’s the case for a postcard that was sent to Scott McMurry when he was a teenager back in 1957, by his parents who were visiting Chicago. McMurry, who is now 71 years old, came to the windy city Thursday to show off the card, and see the place where his parents originally bought the now famous postcard, the John G Shedd Aquarium.
FoxNews.com first reported the story of the lost-then-found postcard carrying a loving message from McMurry’s parents, which they’d sent while attending a conference over five decades ago. The card, which surprisingly only looks slightly worn, given its age, shows a picture from the Shedd and is affixed with a 2-cent stamp.
“I recognized my mother’s handwriting right away,” McMurry said. “I was surprised to see it, but I didn’t sink into waves of nostalgia or anything.”
McMurry’s mother died just over twenty years ago, so he calls the card “a nice reminder of her.”
Since it was the Shedd Aquarium that originally provided the postcard to his parents, it was also the Shedd Aquarium who brought McMurry back to the place his parents visited oh so long ago. He seemed amused by all the attention as he stood before the fishtanks and talked to the scrum of media.
McMurry who has become somewhat of a celebrity, thanks to the long lost letter, seemed to take it all in stride. Yet despite the half century delay, he holds no grudge against the U.S. mail service. “They process so much mail this was bound to happen at some point” he said.
Its still a mystery why the card wasn’t properly delivered.
“The address on the postcard is correct and clearly written, but there is no zip code, which wasn’t necessary back in 1957, so I don’t know” he said. “How it wound up in Daytona, Florida is something I will never understand” McMurry said, shaking his head.
The postal service doesn’t even get the credit for eventually getting the card to its rightful owner. That credit goes to a Florida woman named Elizabeth Fulcher, who found it in her mailbox, She was determined to do what the letter carriers hadn’t; get the card into McMurry’s hands.
Fulcher posted it on none other than Facebook, and got some help tracking him down, and thanks to the internet, and help from a friend, she did.
McMurray, who onetime worked as a historian for the Justice Department is now getting a history lesson of his own, mostly about the Shedd Aquarium, and how it grew to three times the size during the time since his parents first visited and picked up the card.
Shedd employees were eager to point out an 80 year old Australian lungfish that was in the tank when his parents visited and is still in the tank today.
The postcard, which is much younger than the lungfish, apparently logged a lot of miles around the country before it reached its final destination. It was tracked from Chicago to Michigan to Florida, and then it made its way to rural Viriginia.
The Postmaster in Vienna, Virgina then personally hand delivered the card to McMurry. “I guess they wanted to make sure it got to the right place this time” McMurray quipped.
“Its like a voice from the grave!” said one observer, in an eerie voice. “Oh I don’t think so” laughed McMurry.