I was a kid when the post office was our country’s “home page.” There was no internet, no malls and no Black Friday, but mail boxes were stuffed with Christmas cards all through December. I wanted to be a mail man when I grew up.

Yesterday at 4:30 p.m. I walked into the Sacramento “Broadway” Post Office expecting to find a long line of people with boxes to mail to points way beyond; instead, I instantly became number “5” under a sickly pale neon light. Where was the hustle and bustle of the holidays?

A few weeks ago I visited the post office of my youth in Morristown, New Jersey, some 3,000 miles from where I now live. This once grand building was run down. The granite steps that had once been a challenge for me as a child, were cracked and dirty. Like most revisited memories, the space was smaller than I recalled. Where were the ten most wanted posters? On the internet, I suppose.


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