In 1964, I found myself employed in the scenic postcard business at 1445 W. 8th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. The company, known as Coast Publishing was located in the basement of an aging Elks Lodge building. I was absolutely hooked by the job because the premises literally reeked of postcard history! My responsibilities mainly consisted of servicing postcard racks in the city, selling orders and, once in a while, shooting a few images with a speed graphic that accepted a roll of film and produced eight perfect postcard format images per roll of 120 film.
As a kid of twenty, I had been making postcards of my home town (a very scenic village called Gibsons, located on a peninsula and only accessible to Vancouver by ferry, private boat or seaplane) years back while still struggling with math and literature in high school. Sometimes known as "Darkroom Dan" (plus a few other names less complimentary) much time was spent 'living' in the fumes of Kodak developer stop bath and acid fixer in the school's darkroom. Now the same wonderful aromas drifted in from the back of this Vancouver postcard company known as Coast Publishing. The front office had an equally impressive smell of printer's ink, probably from the thousands of postcards that were stacked from floor to ceiling.
Born in Bolivia to German Jewish parents, Dan Propp has been a postcard photographer since high school and worked for the Richmond Review and the Surrey Leader before becoming a school teacher. An accordion player, singer and performer, he lives in historic Steveston, British Columbia, with his wife.