Mail’s Not What It Used To Be

Slice Of Life
Typography

Over the past few years, I have noticed a decline in the delivery of the mail. However, when we were kids on Beach 117th Street, someone could probably address a postcard with just my first name and possibly an incorrect address and it would arrive at 212D Beach 117th Street because Marty the mailman would know it was for me.

Even the Broad Channel mailman understood the humor of his locals when Uncle Joe from California sent a Christmas card to my in-laws with the name addressed as “George and Mary Bailey the Richest Family in Town.” We were so friendly with Marty the mailman, I remember him sitting down and my mother offering him water on a hot summer day. I was young and running around but my parents occasionally sat and spoke with Marty. He always knew our names and said hello as he walked by with his mail cart.

Many of us have a fond memory of a mailman who was a staple for many years. Some young children in our town have even dressed up as their mailman because he was such a staple and a part of the young child’s day. When I first moved to Newport Avenue, I had the same mail carrier for many years. He informed me he was leaving for a smaller route and since then, I have not had a steady mail carrier that I know of. 

Since then, I have become an amateur mail carrier. I have delivered small parcels to the building on Memorial Circle and delivered mail to many of my neighbors. My favorite is the many deliveries I have brought to the house on Beach Channel Drive, which does have the same house number, but we are on different streets. About a month ago, I received a package that I knew had checks from the bank. I knew I did not order checks so I checked the address immediately. Yup, it was for my friends with the same house number on Beach Channel Drive. I wished I had placed a post-it on it with a note because I never tell them I am substituting for the mailman and delivering their package and that their checks could have been lost forever!

I have received many credits from Amazon in the last few months and it makes me wonder, did my Beach Channel Drive friends receive my package and just either threw it away or maybe it went to another random address?

So imagine my surprise when last week’s leading news story as I got ready for work was about absentee ballots being delivered to the wrong people. The woman interviewed was “shocked” that the ballots were going to the wrong houses. Allegedly, there have been many stories like this but I just could not believe that only one borough away from me people could not believe that the mail carriers could make mistakes! Wow, these people are lucky that they have never had trouble with their mail! 

For those of you who think mail-in ballots are okay, tell me: Would you mail in a million-dollar lottery ticket or would you drive to the lotto offices? 

(I know servicemen and students have used absentee ballots and that is different from mass mail-in ballots.) 

 By Beth Hanning 

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