Notebook Scraps: Reactions to the Post Office Canceling Saturday Mail Delivery
When photographer Jennifer Hauck and I were out reporting the story yesterday, we spent some time talking to Betty Abbott, an 89-year-old Rogers House resident who adamantly opposes any cut to postal services. She gave a nice description of the morning scene at Rogers House in Lebanon, when the local mail carrier arrives and residents eagerly gather in the lobby to see what they’ve received:
“It’s a big event when the mailman comes. When (Paul), our mailman, comes in here in the morning, the lobby will be full of people waiting for him, can’t wait to get their hands on the mail, cuss a little bit because they’ve got a lot of junk mail — and that’s what keeps the post office rolling, so I love it when I get junk mail.
“Just to see Paul come in with his wide smile and call us by name — I’m Betty, I’m not Mrs. Abbott to Paul, and that’s just like all of us, he knows all of us by first name — and it’s not uncommon if we’re having coffee hour for us to shove a cup of coffee in his hand, and he just works his way around everything, and,come Christmastime, we have a coffee hour, and Paul just takes a minute and grabs a donut and coffee with us and wishes us Merry Christmas. He’s like our son.
“So, they look forward to that visit from that mailman every day, like they do meals on wheels. Anything from the outside coming in here — a kitten, a dog, a baby — anything like that, these old people are sitting in their four corners of the world in their apartment. ... If they have a tiny, dinky little one-room apartment like many of them do, can you imagine how important it is to know that Monday through Saturday Paul’s going to come in with a smile on his face, to pick up mail, bring them stamps, do whatever they need? It’s just wonderful.”
Click here to read more about polling numbers on Americans’ views toward the Postal Service at The Caucus, a New York Times blog.