Good thing it wasn't perishable

Without question, the past four decades have been extremely eventful. That goes both for Zygmunt Kubiczak and for his homeland, Poland. As he put it to inquiring journalists, "I've managed to get married, bring up two children, sail around the world , survive a serious ... operation, and to retire." And the country of his birth? Since 1966, he noted, Poland "has gone through martial law, thrown off the communist system, Jan Pawel [John Paul] II has been elected pope, served his term, and passed away." All true. Also old news at this point, right? Well, yes. But it illustrates just how much has happened since Kubiczak was away at college and sat down to write a postcard to his parents and sister back home in Legnica, a city near the southwestern corner of the country. A few days ago, the card finally arrived. Alas, the parents long since had died. But helpful neighbors who remembered them tracked down Kubiczak's sister, who still makes her home there at a separate address , and saw that she got it. Once the novelty wears off, however, it may well end up back in her brother's hands. For a hobby, he happens to collect – yep – postcards.

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