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WWII postcard finally arrives at N.Y. home

Nov. 23, 2012 - 01:01PM   |   Last Updated: Nov. 23, 2012 - 01:01PM  |  
A postcard sent to two Elmira sisters nearly seven decades ago arrived last week at the intended address, but it ended up in the hands of two different sisters.
A postcard sent to two Elmira sisters nearly seven decades ago arrived last week at the intended address, but it ended up in the hands of two different sisters. (Jennifer Kingsley / The Star-Gazette)
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ELMIRA, N.Y. — A postcard sent to two Elmira sisters nearly seven decades ago arrived last week at the intended address, but it ended up in the hands of two different sisters.

The postcard, sent July 4, 1943, from Rockford, Ill., was intended for Pauline and Theresa Leisenring, who once lived in the home along Bridgman Street in Elmira.

It was sent by their parents, who were visiting their brother at the Medical Center Barracks at Camp Grant.

The card reads: "Dear Pauline and Theresa, We arrived safe, had a good trip, but we were good and tired. Geo. looks good, we all went out to dinner today [Sunday]. Now we are in the park. Geo has to go back to Grant at 12 o'clock tonight. Do not see much of him. We are going to make pancakes for Geo for supper tonight. See you soon. Love Mother, Dad."

Last week, the postcard arrived at the home of Adam and Laura Rundell.

"It was delivered in mint condition. We were so shocked," Laura said. "It's a treasure that just showed up in the mailbox with our address on it."

"We hear about things like this happening every once in a while," said Karen Mazurkiewicz, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service in Buffalo. "Generally, if old mail pieces are uncovered in a postal facility, they are put in the mail with information about where the items are found."

Sometimes, letters or postcards are found in an old mailbag or behind machinery.

"Since we didn't have much big machinery in 1943, my guess is a non-postal individual found it and put it in the mail," Karen said. "As long as there is a deliverable address, the postal service will deliver it."

Theresa and Pauline may never have known about the postcard.

Theresa died in 1954, Pauline in 1962, according to records at nearby Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira.

Adam bought the two-story, Craftsman-style Bridgman Street home in 2008. The only time he'd seen the Leisenring name was on an old deed.

The couple find it interesting that once again, two young girls occupy the home. This time, it's their daughters, Hannah and Madie Podgorny.

Hannah, a seventh-grader at Ernie Davis Middle School, plans to make the postcard the centerpiece of one of her history projects.

The family did a little research and were able to locate cousins of the Leisenring family.

"We offered the postcard to them," Adam said. "They seemed interested but so far haven't picked it up."

If the Leisenring family doesn't want the postcard, that's OK with the Rundells, Laura said.

"It finally made it to this house," Laura said of the postcard. "We'll find a place for it in our home."

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