An aspect of my life in Fulton that I thoroughly enjoyed was my daily trips to the post office to check The Fulton Patriot’s mailbox and pick up the mail. I think that during that time I got to see and speak to everyone in Fulton — at least the ones who had post office boxes.
A small town post office definitely serves as an important social center. It is convenient for many people to have their daily mail put in a post office box where they can retrieve it early in the day. The morning trip to the post office has become an anticipated social event.
It is not unusual to see a group of several local businessmen gathered on the sidewalks and post office steps engaged in lively conversation.
I was talking the other day to a Fulton resident I hadn’t seen in several years. “I still remember meeting up with you at the post office,” she said.
I had forgotten that she was also one of the morning mail picker-uppers at the post office back then. I remember many almost daily post office-based conversations with Al Squitieri, Wally Auser, Jr., Fred Somers, Ed Frawley and others.
I remember thinking that the very sociable and talkative Ed must have spent a big chunk of every morning in front of the post office.
The local post office is certainly an important part of small-town life. I wonder how long I would have to hang around the post office I go to here in Syracuse before I met up with someone I know.
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Here it is — it is, according to a popular Christmas song that I am hearing often on the radio — “…the most wonderful time of the year, with the kids jingle-belling, and everyone telling you to be of good cheer — it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
And, if Andy Williams says so it must be true.
Being a true lover of this season since childhood, I have shared my feelings in almost every Christmas-time column since I started writing in 1979. That first year, in the weeks before and after Christmas, I wrote about annual Christmas lists, a shopping trip to the ladies department of a downtown Syracuse store, holiday concerts, letters to Santa, and the week after Christmas.
I ended the column about children’s letters to Santa, which was published in The Patriot on Christmas Day, with this: “Santa’s letters reminded me of one I was given to mail several years ago by my son, Jeff. On the outside of the envelope was the following P.S.: “Dear Santa (or Dad), Please send a copy of this letter to Grandma.”