The post office that played a key role in my upbringing is on the list of buildings that may be sold by the cash-starved U.S. Postal Service. The memories of the brick building on the Morristown, New Jersey square remain rich, even after 50 years. I’ve read there is a movement to protect this architectural treasure.
Here is where I stood on a marble floor and gazed at the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List, where Christmas cards tumbled to the floor from the box that was nearly out of my reach, where I clutched my acceptance letter from Rutgers and where I got my draft notice.
But the most famous letter by far was from a girl from Rhode Island. She was attending a private college in New Jersey and I was to be a senior at Rutgers. We met at a wild apartment party a week before summer break . One date later we sensed we were something special–this is probably not accurate but with the passage of time, emotions get smoothed or roughed and I choose the more posiitive memory. I said I would visit her over the summer and she said she’d write me a letter. I somehow (really) lost her phone number, but waited for the letter that never came.After a month passed I cursed on the marble floor each time the box failed to produce the letter I had already written for her. Three months later, at summer’s end, the letter arrived. It was postmarked in May but it had been put in the wrong box, so said the clerk, where it aged beyond the point of a reasonable explanation of why I didn’t call her.
I don’t remember her name but I can still see the envelope neatly addressed to me and the enclosed promise of fun we would have when I visited her.
Some things can’t be sold.