Book Trailer The Noble Train

Monday, September 5, 2011

Back to the Pony Express

Did you hear the Post Office could close this winter without funding from Congress? Five billion is due to fund retired health care costs and they don't have it. The volume of mail has dropped almost thirty percent and the layoffs will start commencing. They already have with 124000 on the chopping block, but the Union intends to fight it all the way. Saturday deliveries will be done away with in the new austerity program and even more heads will roll ,but lets face it, technology is kicking the postal service back to the days of the Pony Express. That is how low tech it has become.

And it is sad. The postman walking from door to door with our mail. It gives us a sense of community, something America is losing and desperately needs. What is in that mailbox? As a kid I walked down a long driveway to wait for my latest issue of Boys Life or the gadgets I sent away for with the order form from the back of comic books or cereal boxes. I remember vividly the time a crystal radio set came in the mail I had bought for two dollars. And then as an adult with all those rejection letters coming back in after bombing New York with hundreds of partial manuscripts. That one letter always was amazing, the one saying, sure send on the rest of the manuscript.

And not a lot has changed. My kids are the same way. They sent off for live turtles and checked the mailbox everyday. Did our turtles come? Did our turtles come? Not yet I said bringing up our diminishing mail since most of our bills come directly into our online banking account. Mail is certainly becoming as derivative and nonessential as a land line. We still have a land line, but I rarely use it and when it rings nobody answers it. Much like the mail. Yeah, there are things that still come as a surprise, but it is the assumption that whoever really wants to get hold of me will email is really the nail in the coffin of the perambulating postman.

Still, I hope the postal service can hang on. It still processes billions of pieces of mail and is vital, but technology has a nasty habit of making what is vital one day obsolete the next. But a real country should have a real postal service. We lose this one and you really have to wonder about the United States. Although, now that it is the hands of Congress to save the Post Office, maybe we better just start over and  post those signs: WANTED YOUNG MEN TO RIDE LONG HOURS OVER DESOLATE COUNTRY TO DELIVER THE MAIL. MUST HAVE OWN HORSE.
Rocket Man ...The story of one mans search to find the new American Dream James Frey

Books by William Hazelgrove