Among the “ephemera” through which I looked in writing the China book was a map of Guangzhou that had been a placemat. It’s definitely my favorite bit of paper from all that “self-archeology.”

Here it is.

Placemat map of Guangzhou, 1982

What makes it so wonderful to me is that I sent it to my mom and had the thought of marking it up so she could see all the places we went. On the bottom right facing you’ll see I’ve written “Coors did not provide this placemat.”

In many of the restaurants in Colorado back in the day (for decades of the day) paper placemats were sponsored by Coors.

Common placemat in cafes and diners in Colorado back in the day… This one (found on eBay) is from the 1950s. There is no I-25 (Interstate 25). Instead old 85/87 runs from Denver to New Mexico. ❤

I have no idea if my mom found this half as funny as I did…


4 thoughts on “Ephemera

  1. This is so cool (and she must have loved it to keep it!)

    It’d be cool to compare it to a current map of Guangzhou. I wonder how much it has changed!?

    • The current map of Guangzhou compared to this is similar but now there are subways. The area between the city and my school is now developed. The villages around my school are now connected and have become Pearl River New Town — a very fancy part of the city. But the inner city itself is not much changed on a map — but in real life, it’s almost completely different.

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