Mostly postal but art and other things of interest too.
Come and visit.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Day with Dave and Other Postal Stories.....US Post

A Random US Post Office...
I picked up this snapshot at a thrift shop yesterday and it got me wondering...
Who took this photo? Why?
In my experience, only mail artists run around taking photos of post offices and
mail boxes.
I am curious about the story behind this shot but I guess I'll never know.
I can make something up!

Hand Canceling With Dave

One of my happiest postal memories is an afternoon I spent at the Valley Ford, CA
Post Office with
Postmaster Dave Bordessa.
He let me cancel all my own letters and a few others too...
I was in heaven.

Canceling in Action
Dave is keeping a strict eye on me as you can see.

This was in the 80's and you will have to excuse the bad perm..

Dave's daughter EB

One of my best pals was -- and is -- Dave's daughter Elvera.
Here she gets to cancel a few stamps too but you can just tell she wasn't as
over-excited as I was.
She has put up with a lot from me over the years...

(Happy Birthday today EB!) you think Dave is counting his stamps and making sure I didn't sneak off with any?

Dave was a lovely man and well liked by everyone in the small town of Valley Ford. His wife Edith was a fabulous cook who would make great Italian feasts and host wonderful dinners, including a number for the artist CHRISTO and his wife while they were in the area working on the Running Fence. I was invited to some of the feasts too.
Sadly the tiny Valley Ford Post office is just exactly the type of the USPS is trying to close today.
A wonderful part of US history that is changing and in my opinion, not for the better.

and Valley Ford just won't be the same.
Dave and Edith are gone now but I know their memories live on  in many people who knew them
and enjoyed their warmth and hospitality.

Irish-American Pen Pals Meet

Oh yes...something else from my postal past....I have had many pen pals over the years
and this one, Louise Maxwell came over from Ireland to spend a summer with me and my family.
We had a blast. I visited her years later in Ireland too.
Another pen pal I had (who knew Louise) was Sue Brent. She casually wrote "My father George Brent is an actor"
and I was not in the least impressed...if she knew the Rolling Stones yes...
I mentioned this to my mom who who was VERY impressed. I guess George Brent was well known to her generation.

And yes, my hair was blond back in the day. The perm...the blond...The less said the better.

I have always -- always -- loved mail. I don't really know why but my mom also loved to write and receive letters so maybe it runs in the family?

And my there is another postal story waiting to be told...

What are your stories?

Send Good Mail -- Get Good Mail


  1. How nice to read about that little post office and the very nice post master. I wish I got to hand cancel some of my own letters. So sad that those little PO's are going away.

    1. Thanks, d.c. -- we mail artists are helping keep the PO's in business!

  2. Great POST! Fun to read with my breakfast. And what I would give to hand cancel a bunch of letters- COOL! Your last letter to me got the BIG UGLY sharpie pen cancellation- not ok.

    1. I know -- I get the big ugly Sharpie pen on my stamps too and I hate it.

    2. Nooo! they do that? I've yet to have tat happen to me

    3. Well, Allison--you might get lucky one day at the PO!

  3. Great Postal story, Pamela. And if I were you I would not hide from that hair. Looks great to me.
    One of my favorite postal memories is when I would visit my grandmother in Seattle she would let me "go get the mail," which meant a little walk up a long, long driveway, crossing the street (looking both ways) and reaching up to the metal mailbox. Sometimes there would be a magazine along with letters and bills. I carried them oh so carefully back to my grandma's waiting hands and always felt proud and fulfilled. I learned that Mail is important and mail is valuable and even worth a little reverence. Fun to have someone who understands, with whom I can share these memories. Thanks for sharing yours.

    1. CJ-- thanks! And that is a great story. I can just picture a little tiny CJ heading out towards the mailbox....

  4. What groovy record was that? What a fun article. I'm so glad you saved it and that you posted it. It reminded me of all the pen pals I had over the years too. How I looked forward to those letters. I never met any of them in person though.
    This post makes me very sentimental about mail and post offices. Your hand canceling with Dave looks like great fun. What a guy.

    1. Christine - ha! I know, what a silly comment the writer made...but it would have to have been the Stones, Zeppelin or Hendrix...

  5. Great post Pamela! My small Callao, VA post office only hand cancels mail going to Callao residents. All the other pieces go to the big city of Richmond, VA to be machine canceled. Our Callao postmistress, Peggy, gave my 10 yr old granddaughter and me a personal "tour" last,fun,fun!

    1. You got a tour last summer -- how fun! Any photos?

  6. Sweet post Pamela. Love all the versions of your hair. How nice to be able to be a part of the mail, not just make gorgeous mail too! Great stories. Keep them coming. xox

  7. what fabulous postal memories! that pen pal newspaper article and photo is just amazing. (and how cool that she came and stayed with you. that just doesn't seem like something that would happen today)

    1. Karen--we had a fabulous summer together and I visited her in Ireland later too. I think it could happen least i hope so.

  8. Great story and photos, missy. And you as a blond & with a perm -- that was the icing! (Someday I'll show you my 'fro photos.) And George Brent! Of course I wouldn't have know him at the time either.. but now I do. And a question: have you noticed that cancellation marks on your mail have gotten better lately? Mine seem to be arriving with actual round cancellations --like they used to. Wondered if you noticed that too or maybe it's just a fluke. I would be great if the P.O. started getting hip to some of the reasons people love mail.

    1. sallyw Sadly I am not really getting better postmarks. I get everything from pristine stamps with no postmark at all to big black Sharpie marks slashed through beautiful stamps to lovely hand cancelled rounds postmarks...
      and yOU should be getting a (cool) envelope from me today in the mail. I got it hand stamped yesterday!

  9. Ah! Jealous of your hand canceling experience!

    1. You can come on over and play with my stamps, Mary.

  10. Pamela, I love that your admiration for all-things-postal is not some new fad for you, but something that runs deep and occupies your history. Thanks for sharing! (Love the 80s you!)

    1. Thanks, Andria -- yup, I'm not a flash-in-the-pan postal lover -- been at it for years. I'm glad someone appreciates the 80's me....



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...