On the Town: Sunshine Postcard Club looks to share art, memories

By Virginia Johnson, Entertainment Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, January 12, 2018, 11:02 PM EST

World travelers and weekend warriors take note! The Sunshine Postcard Club is in search of new members.

  • Group hosting "Post Card & Ephemera Show and Sale"
  • Located at Tampa Stadium Hotel, 4750 N. Dale Mabry Highway
  • Hours: Saturday, Jan. 13, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is $3

The first postcard Sunshine Postcard Club member Mel Rustom ever sent was from boarding school to his parents. Then, as he traveled the world, he would always drop a postcard to friends and loved ones.

“I mean, that’s what we did in the 60s and the 70s. This is before computers,” Rustom said.

It was in the 1970s he walked in the Metropolitan Postcard Club of NYC for a show, and postcards went from a vacation item to an everyday hobby.

After retiring to Florida, Rustom became a member of the club, and this weekend he's the host of the groups "Post Card & Ephemera Show and Sale."

Rustom’s postcard collection reflects his love of art, his love of place and the love of his life. He started out in as a commercial artist, and worked his way up to an art direction in the New York City advertising world.

During that time, he fell in love with two very important things. One was large letter-style postcards—there are cities, states and even National Parks represented in this style.

“Every one was done by hand not computerized not digitized,” Rustom said, explaining his admiration. “This was how you used to do it.”

Rustom left his mother and father in London because he wanted to live and work in 'The Big Apple.'  His collection focuses on the places that make that city special to him.

“Radio City Music Hall, places where we worked the corner of 5th Avenue and 42nd Street," Rustom explained.

On that corner sits the building Rustom met Mary Ann, the aforementioned love of his life.

"And of course the fun part is coming across cards that really hit home," said Rustom.

For example, Rustom has a postcard picture of the restaurant where their romance stared. She had hot chocolate and a cheese Danish.

“That was our first date. This is a great memory," he said, looking down at the card.

Continuing down memory lane, Rustom holds up a postcard from the hotel where, as New Yorkers, they honeymooned on Miami Beach in 1962.

"So we decided to go check it out,” said Rustom, “and we drive to Miami Beach. Of course, it’s not there anymore -- it’s all high-rises -- but I had a postcard and the memories."

Memories and love collected on a postcard. The original old-school tweet.

The Sunshine Postcard Club's "Post Card & Ephemera Show and Sale" runs Saturday, Jan. 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Tampa Stadium Hotel.