Category: Post Office

Snapshots: The Odd, West Virginia Post Office

Snapshots: The Odd, West Virginia Post Office

Maybe I should just go ahead and have all my mail forwarded here 😉

I think that the first time I ever saw the name Odd, West Virginia was in a photo from David over at Less Beaten Paths blog. He always features great Americana from his travels on his site. And he’s working on a book, Less Beaten Paths of America: Unique Town Names. I’d say that Odd fits that bill.

Just Passing Through – Small Town, West Virginia

Just Passing Through – Small Town, West Virginia

Rhodell, West Virginia – a place I’d never heard of prior to standing in front of the alternating colors of the post office’s awning. Why would I have? It isn’t a pass-through on a way to a bigger town. It isn’t famous for anything. No, it’s just a little tucked away place where normal people live their lives.

Normal people, doing normal things.

While I was taking a photo, a young woman came out of the house to receive a little boy getting off of the school bus. When the bus pulled up, a young man also came out of the house to see that same little boy off the bus.

Instantaneously, I’d made a judgment as to why two young adults were home in the middle of the afternoon based on the realities of my own existence.

But – maybe one was a stay at home parent and maybe the other had time off work. Or maybe one was on vacation, on sick leave, worked nights, cared for a sick relative, or it was their regular day off. Maybe one of them hadn’t started their shift yet. After all, I myself was there in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon. The reasons two parents were home in the middle of the day, during what you’d call 9-5 work hours were myriad.

And yet… based on what I’d passed on my way through that burned out and vacant town, I assumed something else. At least one of them might be out of work.

Out of work. That was a real possibility. Where would they work, anyway? Where are the jobs in that little pocket of the world? Of course, I have no idea what the truth of their lives is. I was just some opinionated asshole passing through town, making assumptions.

Later that evening I wrote some notes in my travel journal about what I’d seen throughout the day. “Poverty isn’t a tourist attraction, and yet I feel as if I cannot tear my eyes away.” I feel this so strongly.

Seeing poverty firsthand leaves me with a sense of helplessness. There is a chaos that stirs inside of me and it’s like I just want to “fix” everything, help everyone, give them a place to work… and I can’t.

I look at my life and my surroundings and become desensitized to them. This place where I live becomes reality. Everyone, everywhere lives in this comfort, right? Wrong. And in the wide arc of my own life from childhood to now, I should know this. But, how quickly we forget when lulled by our own good fortune.

Rhodell, West Virginia
2000 census
The median income for a household in the town was $17,143, and the median income for a family was $19,167. Males had a median income of $17,750 versus $18,750 for females. The per capita income for the town was $7,582.
– Source: Wikipedia

The Tiny Old Rockfish, Virginia Post Office

The Tiny Old Rockfish, Virginia Post Office

One for the tiny post office files. This little gem has been starred on my Google map of stuff to do for quite a while now. In September, I stopped by for a look:

US Post Office
Rockfish, Virginia 22966
Est. 1914 Closed 1974

Each photo that I’ve seen of the little post office has a different saying on the chalkboard outside. During my visit, it said, “If you fear something enough, yer askin’ fer it. – Grandma Walton”

Seemed fitting to me.

The Old Rockfish Post Office
Rockfish River Rd
Shipman, VA 22971
Google Maps

Boothbay Harbor: Gimbel and Sons Country Store Post Office Call Boxes

Boothbay Harbor: Gimbel and Sons Country Store Post Office Call Boxes

While in Boothbay Harbor, Maine last week, I was drawn to a lovely olde tyme gas pump standing outside Gimbel & Son’s Country Store.

I’m not much of a shopper. If I venture in at all, I usually breeze in and out of store fairly quickly. With vacation-centric places it usually same useless crap, different store. But, to my surprise, the inside of this store featured something far more interesting than the usual touristy junk.

Just think of all the love letters, postcards and well wishes that passed through those boxes. Memories and life’s little (and big!) moments have seeped into the wood grain.

Reads:

Greetings

This section of the Naples, Maine post office with its call boxes as well as a few lock boxes served its patrons for many years. Coming in as a brand new piece of equipment shortly after the Civil War, it was a talk-about with its carved oak leaf trimming. Few offices sported such a fine front. It served in two old country stores, was set up in the building that is now Naples public library, then moved up to a new home where it phased out about 1960.  Once in the change of Postmasters, it was moved out in the night from its Republican environment. It’s rather small letter drop brought some big moments into the lives of little people when Eleanor Roosevelt’s secretary mailed letters for the First Lady. Ethel Barrymore, playing “school for Scandal” at a nearby summer theater slid in some scintillating nodes, (probably good reading but the law forbid). By Harry!Edward Everett Horton danced a jig when he mailed his letters. If you can tune in on the proper wavelength, you might hear a juicy tidbit about some local would-be or has-been. It absorbed plenty.

-Best Wishes-

Loton Rogers Pitts, Postmaster 1934-57

 

 

Scenes from a Pennsylvania Rideabout

Scenes from a Pennsylvania Rideabout

In the beginning of June, we spent a long weekend based out of Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. My hubs Kenny was doing the Durty Dabbers Dual Sport. I wasn’t into it so I opted out this year. Instead, I spent my time bumming around and taking in scenes of America. These were some of the things that I saw:

Taking in a view of the bridge from Lock Haven on 664.

Spotted this delightful little place in Jersey Shore, Pa. Phil-It Up Drive In. Sadly for me, there’s not too much ice cream being sold at 8 am.

The town of Jersey Shore’s Veterans Park.

The bridge along 44 in Jersey Shore that crosses the West Branch of the Susquehanna.

Just ’round the corner from the Phil-It Up Drive In is a lovely war memorial. It stands across from the VFW hall. It’s sad that they are needed but memorials such as these feel like an important anchor in a community.

The well-worn patina of this old flour mill was outstanding – Milton, Pa.

Sunday morning and nothin’ doin’ in Mill Hall, Pa. I’d stopped here to snap a picture of a Mail Pouch ad.

This is said Mail Pouch ad – Mill Hall, Pa.

One for the tiny post office files – East Smethport, Pa. along Route 6.

Seeing this nice caboose (not a euphemism), I decided to pull over and have a drink. As I stood around munching on my Barnana snacks, a car with two young girls pulled up across the way. I watched as the two of them went through curious contortions in the front seat. They adjusted out of place hairs and tilted their heads just so, to snap the perfect selfies. They clearly knew their best angles. It is an art form that I still cannot buy into with any gusto. It is an interesting phenomenon to see unfold.

I bet the “Welcome to Weedville” sign gets stolen a lot.

You know there were actual events that prompted the shirt AND pants sign to be put up on the post office. Sounds like a fun town 🙂

Nirvana.

You can bet this sign has seen some things. Including better days.

 

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