http://http://www.newstimes.com/latestnews/ci_7987718 Mysterious Stratford postcard arrives a little late RICHARD WEIZEL firstname.lastname@example.org Article Last Updated: 01/16/2008 02:14:46 PM EST This post card, post marked Aug. 14th, 1957 in East Sumner, Maine and addressed to Mr. Harry B. Flood, just arrived last week at Stratford Town Hall. The message reads "Hi, Enjoying this rather fallish weather. It was 44 yesterday. See you next week. Alice." (Ned Gerard/Connecticut Post )STRATFORD — When it arrived at Town Hall two weeks ago, the summer postcard from Maine was tightly sealed in clear cellophane and addressed to former Town Manager Harry Flood. Flood has been dead nearly 40 years, so the arrival of any mail sent to him was more than a little surprising. Flood, who served from 1945-63, was a gregarious man born in Bridgeport in 1894 who grew up in Stratford, according to historical accounts. He never married and has no known living relatives. But it is the date of the postmark — along with its origin — that has postal and town officials even more baffled. Bearing a 2-cent stamp, the postcard from East Sumner, Maine, is postmarked Aug. 14, 1957. The post office in East Sumner is no longer there, postal officials said. The postcard is signed by a woman named Alice, but since she apparently was a friend of Flood's, she didn't sign her last name. "Hi, Enjoying this rather fallish weather. It was 44 degrees yesterday. See you next week. Alice." That's all the handwritten postcard says, yet it has enveloped Town Hall in mystery. Staff members at the Stratford Library and Flood Middle School, which opened in 1972 and is named for the former town manager, are trying to search for clues. How and why the postcard was delivered to Town Hall a half-century after it was mailed is a mystery that intrigues the town's first mayor, James R. Miron. "It's a history mystery and it's fun to speculate," Miron said. "Being 44 degrees in August shows it was before global warming," he quipped. "Other than that, all we know is that a woman named Alice sent the postcard and only signed her first name. How it wound up in Town Hall on Jan. 4, 2008, is an intriguing question." It's a question postal officials find intriguing, too. "This is very, very rare and a true mystery," said Maureen Marion, public affairs specialist for the U.S. Postal Service serving Albany, upstate New York and Connecticut. "Between the stamp being old and the postmark being from 1957, it's very difficult to determine who sent it and why," Marion said. "We'll probably never know, but it's fun to see if we will." She said one clue is that being wrapped in cellophane means the postcard had likely been mailed a second time when it arrived recently in Town Hall. "The likelihood that this postcard has been sitting in a building for 50 years is very slim," she said. "My guess is that some collector decided to send it to the town, or someone just found it in an old attic among a pile of letters or other documents and didn't know what else to do with it." Marion said at first the Stratford postal worker who delivered the postcard to Town Hall didn't know what to do with it either, and consulted with a supervisor before dropping it at Town Hall. "They did the right thing," Marion said. "Even if it was first delivered back in 1957, the fact that it was placed in the mail means we have to deliver it, even if it means the postcard had taken a previous journey." Gina Connor, Miron's executive assistant who first discovered the postcard, said she was amazed when she first found it among the daily mail. "I thought it was pretty cool that it got here after all this time," she said. "With a 2-cent stamp, I knew it was something pretty unusual." That's why library staff has offered to comb through old records and make an attempt to unravel the mystery of Alice's identity. "We just started searching [Tuesday] for clues," said Jerry Gillespie, head of adult services and reference at the Stratford Library. "We're trying to track down a first name without any last name by going through old census records to determine who was living with Mr. Flood at the time, things like that," Gillespie said. "We're also checking old directories and trying to find any living relatives, but it's a long shot and we haven't come up with anything yet." Anyone with information about the postcard is asked to call the Stratford Library reference desk at 385-4164.