FDR, A Rendezvous With Destiny


Divided back, used, linen, artist-signed postcard. Postmarked from New York, July 29, 1943. Artist:  Onorio Ruotolo. Copyright Jos. Zegarelli, 1942. Publisher:  Genuine Curteich-Chicago “C.T. Art-Colortone” Post Card (Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.) Number or series:  2B-H1291.

Price:  To be determined.

A timely one for this presidential election year 2016, and a great one for any FDR or Onorio Ruotolo collector. Onorio Ruotolo (1888 – 1966) was known as the  “Rodin of Little Italy” and was the founder of the Leonardo da Vinci Art School which ran from 1923 – 1942.  As of the date of this posting, no other cards were found of its kind.

Faith, Hope and Love

Ruotolo’s design shows President Franklin D. Roosevelt, having just released a dove carrying an olive branch. Underneath a cloud bank, fighter planes and ships carry out their destiny in WWII. Surrounding the scene are the words, “We fight for the restoration and perpetuation of faith and hope and peace throughout the world.”  Underneath the circle appear the triangular ends of a pyramid with the words, Faith, Hope and Love. Per Wikiquote, the “rendezvous with destiny” caption originated from a speech given by FDR, on June 27, 1936, to the Democratic National Convention. Below is the portion of the speech that contains the reference:

“There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.” 

Stargate Detroit

As we’ve said a number of times on this website, you never know where an old postcard, photo, trade card, etc. will take you. We’re time travelers via these old pieces of ephemera, and find ourselves synching up not just with the people, places and ideas of the past, but also with those of the present and future. (All happening at the same time anyway.) As I’m writing this I’m seeing beams of light connecting instantly around the world, the universe, and across “space and time.” What took me here was the mention of Isamu Noguchi (1904 – 1988) in the Wiki article about the Leonardo da Vinci Art School:  Noguchi being the school’s most famous student. Was that the same guy that designed the “DNA sculpture” (Pylon) in Hart Plaza, Detroit? (The one I did a high school paper about? Hee hee, hearkening back to high school.) Yes, the very one. From there I found the most fascinating web article by Chad Stuemke, entitled Stargate Detroit. (I’m blown away, and thinking of this find as my extra reward for scrubbing the kitchen tile grout yesterday 😉 )

Last, but never least

The Joseph Zegarelli that would have belonged to the  “copyright 1942” on the postcard was not located. Likewise, the addressee and sender weren’t found in online records either, but even so, the writing there shows a nice, though short, glimpse of typical family life:  Someone traveled somewhere and forgot to do something before they left, and now they have to ask the person back home to handle it. We’re guessing, along with you I’m sure, that Grover’s middle name was Cleveland. (A nice tie-in with a presidential postcard.) Addressed to:   “Mr. Grover C. Wood, Greene, N.Y., Box 176.”  The sender wrote:

“Dear Grover:  we arrived here in Utica 8 o’clock. it is now 12:15 Delores is sleeping & I am thinking of some one ( [?] ) You know. Say Dear would you please take care of the suit case as I left all my insurance papers & etc in it. Will try to write more later. Hope every thing is o.k.   Love Tine[?] & Delores.”

Sources:  Onorio Ruotolo. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onorio_Ruotolo. (accessed November 6, 2016).

Franklin D. Roosevelt. n.d. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Franklin_D._Roosevelt. (accessed November 6, 2016).

Isamu Naguchi. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isamu_Noguchi. (accessed November 6, 2016).

Leonardo da Vinci Art School. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_da_Vinci_Art_School. (accessed November 6, 2016).

Stuemke, Chad. “Stargate Detroit.” chadstuemke.com. (accessed November 6, 2016).