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Small Town Post Offices…

SMALL TOWN POST OFFICES. Small town post offices provide a window to the community and the people who reside there. Little towns where there aren’t clubhouses, playhouses, libraries or other gathering places are populated by folks who need a sense of community and a place to “talk over the backyard fence.” But they often live too geographically distant to share a backyard fence. What to do? Casual meet-ups at the local post office provide a place for this interaction to occur. Folks exchange information about their kids, anticipate the local 4th of July Parade and just gossip about “what’s goin’ on.” Once when I mailed a letter at one of these little offices, I was of course immediately recognized as a stranger but greeted warmly, and quickly engaged in conversation. The folks now know a bit about San Diego and I learned some things about Moyie Springs, Idaho. It was cool. I plan to do it more often, since as you know one of my reasons for exploring America is to meet the people…”the interesting Americans.”


Rain or shine, Archie always got our mail to us.

BACK HOME IN DEERHORN VALLEY.  Now that I think about it, I should have anticipated all of this. Having lived in Deerhorn Valley, past Jamul in San Diego’s back country  for so long, the kind of a “meet-up” I’m describing happened all the time. And I remember well our rural mail carrier, Archie. He was an independent contractor with the Postal Service, as the carriers always are in rural areas. He drove his own truck. It looked like a Willy’s Jeep left over from the Second World War! He told me once that his truck had almost 300,000 miles on it.  We’d always exchange “waves” when we’d pass each other driving those little mountain roads. And when he had a piece of mail that required hand-delivery, he’d often hang out chatting and gossiping for 20 minutes before heading down the road again to deliver someone else’s mail. I get a little nostalgic just writing about it here. It was really nice living in San Diego’s outback. When our Great American Adventure is over, I doubt we’ll settle in a big city.

GIVE IT A TRY. In this gallery, I’ve included some of the  small rural Post Offices I’ve found during our journey across America. Each one offers a little bit of Americana you don’t find in a big city. Give this a try: The next time you’re at a small Post Office, strike up a conversation with one of the locals. You might just learn about the upcoming 4th of July Parade or the Bake Sale in the parking lot at the little church down the street!


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