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This postal card was issued by the U.S. Postal Service before 1952.

QUESTION: On the first day at Longview High School, while dropping off my child, I saw the guard station was gone and there was no one at the entrance. Another parent found out that the station is being replaced. If safety is a concern, shouldn’t the guard station have been replaced during the summer and be ready with a guard in it when school began? Two weeks have passed and nothing has been done.

ANSWER: I spoke to Longview High School Principal James Brewer on Tuesday, when he expected that the guard shack would be installed on Wednesday. So, hopefully, it’s up as you’re reading this.

He said the district purchased the new guard shack at the beginning of August, but there was a misunderstanding about the window of time in which the contractor would install the structure. The district understood it would be installed in three days after it was paid for, but the contractor actually had a window of four to five weeks.

“We’ve been fortunate nothing has happened,” Brewer said Tuesday, expressing thanks it was to be installed Wednesday. “That was the reason why it wasn’t up when it was supposed to be in the summer.”

He said the new guard shack serves a couple of purposes.

“My biggest problem is kids getting off campus for lunch without permission,” Brewer said, but the design of the previous guard shack meant that the gate arm that dropped down stopped cars before they reached the guard shack. The previous structure also had room for one person inside.

“I need one big enough for two people so we could stop people coming in,” and leaving, Brewer said.

Guards are supposed to stop people they don’t recognize as they’re entering the campus driveway, but Brewer said there are ways for people to get on campus without passing through the guard shack.

“We’re one of very few campuses that are open,” he said, adding that most campuses are fenced. The high school has four police officers on campus because the campus is so open.

Q: While recently looking through my mother’s old Bible (if alive today she would be 109), I found an unused 1 cent U. S. postcard in excellent shape. Does it have any value other than a post card that needs a lot more postage to mail today?

A: Well, it’s “Hey, that’s cool” value measures fairly high in my opinion. Based on the information I found, it’s worth more than 1 cent, but not so much that I’d get super excited about it. That’s just based on what I saw similar cards selling for online, where I saw prices ranging from a few bucks to about 20 bucks for several similar cards. (Answer Line can’t pretend to be an expert on this, though, and I won’t be offended if you consult one.)

You appear to have what actually would have been called a “postal card” at the time it was printed by the U.S. Postal Service. The postal service has a history section on its website that told about the card’s development:

“Stamped cards, called postal cards prior to 1999, refer to mailing cards issued by the Postal Service with postage stamps imprinted on them,” the website says. “Postcards refer to privately printed and sold cards that require a stamp for mailing. In popular usage, the terms postal card and postcard (also spelled post card) were often used interchangeably.”

With authorization from Congress, the postal cards were first issued in 1873. They measured 3-by-5-inches and went on sale first in Springfield, Massachusetts, on May 12, 1873. They had a “a one-cent stamp impression (‘indicium’) in the upper right corner.

The cards turned out to be quite popular, and billions have been sold since that time.

Since your card still has a 1 cent stamp imprinted on it, we know that it was issued before 1952. That’s when the price of purchasing and mailing postal cards increased to 2 pennies.

”On January 10, 1999, the Postal Service changed the term for postal cards to “stamped cards” and increased their price to one cent more than the postage rate in order to pay for the paper and printing of the card. The additional charge increased to two cents on January 7, 2001, and later rose higher,” postal service’s website says.

— Answer Line appears Thursday and Saturday. Email questions to answerline@news-journal.com, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.