Since Granddaddy worked for the railway Henry was able to hop on a train and travel. So our first post card from Henry was written when he was six years old:
Beautiful Biscayne Bay, Miami, Florida,
July 17, 1940 Postcard from HWPJr to Mrs Everett Witherspoon
Having a nice time in the water
Henry Ward Pickett
Having a nice time in the water becomes a theme… who doesn’t love to swim in the ocean? A precious gift later becomes a legal right, a record played over and over in all the different chapters of his life.
Washington Monument and Hotel Richmond, Richmond, Va.
to Mrs. H.W. Pickett, 1304 glendale, Durham, N.C.
Dear Mama, From our window we can see the capital and Hotel Richmond.
with love, Henry
Henry is traveling with his father or a friend here in 1944. He addresses his mother formally for the address but Dear Mama in the letter. His handwriting is very neat and he is off to Richmond, VA, seeing museums and staying in nice hotels. Not bad for a ten year old from Durham, N.C.
S.S. Pocahontas, Automoble and passenger transport between Cape Charles and (Little Creek) Norfolk, Virginia
to Master Henry Pickett Jr., 1304 Glendale Ave, Durham, NC
Greeting from Virginia Beach! We are having a wonderful vacation. Leaving Friday for Washington for a few days and going through the “Skyland Drive” Joan and Sue are here and I am having a big time. There is a place called the “casino” it is a sort of fair. Joan, Sue and I went there last night. I have a good sun tan, I am as black as a “Negro”. Wish you were here!
Your friend, Johnny
ps. Having a good time!
1946 Radio City Music Hall, New York City
to Mrs. H.W. Pickett, 1304 Glendale Ave., Durham, N.C.
Dear Mama, Thurs.
Plan to visit Radio City tomorrow, See Ice Show tonight. Broadcast following. We are staying at Hotel Chesterfield.
Henry & Henry Jr.
First Baptist Church, Statesville, North Carolina
Mrs. Henry Pickett, 1304 Glendale Ave., Durham, N.C.
Dear Mama, Wed Night
The weather here is really unpredictable. It rains one moment and shines the next. Make daddy be sure to meet me. He will call up and find out the time. I am going to a dance Friday night.
Iredell County Court House, Statesville, North Carolina
to Mr. H.W. Pickett, 1304 Glendale, Ave. Durham, N.C.
Having a swell time here. We go swimming everyday rain or shine. I am leaving Statesville at 3:12 pm Sunday afternoon and Southern No. 22 straight through to Durham. No changes! So long, Henry
Camp Durant, Had a swell time here will be home soon.
Dear Mama, am having a fine time. Miss your good cooking. My address ix Box 2946 Camp Durant, Raleigh, N.C. Write soon. Tell Daddy hello. Henry
Dear Mama, Arrived here this afternoon and tomorrow we are having a minor hurricane. How is that for luck? Had breakfast on train ($3.00) Love Henry
Dear Henry, I’m keeping an eye open for a good place for you to bring your girl some week-end. Your Uncle, Thurman
Miami Beach, FL August 24, 1949
Dear Mama, Having a big time. Ate at Howard Johnson’s place. Got some sea food, ice cream. Pretty good. See you Sunday Morning. Henry Jr.
July 27, 1951
Dear Henry, I suppose this roof tip is cooler than the one you are probaby on. I’m looking for Birdie and will let you know if I find her. Thurman
The name Jimmy is written on the card… Jimmy was one of Henry’s best friends. The way the name is etched repeatedly give an indication of Henry’s devotion to Jimmy… a very telling doodle.
Not sure who Anna is, perhaps Henry Sr.’s sister, but the message in the note is all about the trip!