I still do that just because it is so enjoyable but again the Internet has made finding these postcards much easier to find. Ebay is a favorite site. Go to the postcard section and type in the town where you grew up or where your ancestors settled. Amazing pictures will come up.
I have found photos of the city library where I spent so many hours reading Nancy Drew mysteries. The city building where my mother worked as dispatcher for the fire and police. Even the main street with the old Woolworth's store. I know my children and grandchildren will appreciate seeing these places when they read the stories I leave behind.
The police and fire departments in Great Bend. My mother's office was in that little part that juts out the front. I remember going to visit her and sitting in the hallway on a wooden bench and watching the officers going in and out. For most of my years growing up I wanted to be a police officer.
Some local historical societies publish postcards on their web sites. They might jog a memory or give you a hint for further research on your family or even spark an idea for a short story or poem.
There are postcards of churches, courthouses, monuments, local hotels and tourist attractions. When I was young we often visited Boothill and Front Street in Dodge City, Kansas. I have found quite a few postcards from that time. Since it has changed so much over the years those are even more precious. I loved going there and having a sarsaparilla in the Long Branch Saloon. So many memories.
Postcard from Boot Hill, Dodge City, Kansas as I remember it from the '50s.
See how one memory leads to another and another. A picture here. A postcard there. I've learned to never pass up a potential memory starter.