Man visits Shedd after getting late mom's 1957 postcard

May 3, 2012 3:38:02 PM PDT
Fifty years ago, Scott McMurry's parents visited Shedd Aquarium. They sent him a postcard from Chicago-- that just recently arrived.

The decades-old postcard prompted the Shedd to invite to invite McMurry to visit the aquarium for free.

"This is the first time I've ever been here, but it's certainly an interesting place. To know what this card is about. I'm quite pleased to be here," McMurry said.

The 71-year-old retired government historian got a special tour of the aquarium from Shedd officials. His parents visited the aquarium in 1957 while they were in town for a convention. That card got lost in the mail, and arrived last month at his Virginia home.

How much has changed? Well, Granddad, an Australian lung-fish, has been at the Shedd since 1933.

"We did not have the Oceanarium, Wild Reef Exhibit and the Big Caribbean Reef Exhibit. That was just a sunken pond with turtles and small fish in there, so a lot of changes," Jim Robinett, Shedd Aquarium, said.

The postcard, which has a 2-cent postage, surfaced on April 18, 2012, after a Florida woman found it in her mailbox. It was addressed to 608 Clairmont Avenue in Decatur, Georgia, but ended up at 608 Clairmont in South Daytona Beach, Florida -- nearly 55 years later.

McMurry's mother died in 1991.

"Every time I read it, I can still hear her voice, how she would have read it," McMurry said. "I think I will frame it. In another hundred years, maybe it will be worth something at auction!"

McMurry said without the internet, it's unlikely he ever would have gotten his mother's postcard. Officials with the US postal service say they still don't know why it took so long for the postcard to arrive, but that long lost mail does "pop up" occasionally.

The card also has an April 2012 Michigan postmark, which suggests it was recently mailed a second time.

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