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Words for Thought

The revered U.S. Postal Service is in trouble. So is the not-so-revered NYS Thruway. Both are caught in a downward spiral of raising their fees and eliminating services, and then wonder why the volume of users keeps diminishing. If they do not wake up, both are going to price themselves into obsolescence.

Is there a country in the world without a postal service? It is ludicrous. To me, the postal service especially is suffering from a lack of imagination, as well as spirit. I do not think its leaders have either commitment or vision as to who they are, or where they are going.

It has gotten to the point where the cost of postage outweighs the convenience of attaching a stamp and dropping an envelope in the mail. A greeting card costs $3.00 to $5.00, and adding almost fifty cents, for a card that is going to be opened and promptly thrown away, approaches wastefulness. No wonder people are turning to email, texting and tweeting to communicate. Sometimes I deliver my own correspondence by hopping in the car and dropping it off myself. Whether or not this is cost effective, given the cost of gas and the insult to the environment, I cannot say, but it sure is less painful than chasing down a stamp, forking over 45 cents, and finding a mail drop.

What is lacking here is romance, pure and simple. The postal service has no mystique or sex appeal anymore. Think of the pony express, with its dash and drama. Then there was commitment, verve and style. In times long past, I remember for three cents, we had the morning mail and the afternoon mail. There were perfumed letters, X's and O's, pink writing paper, and exotic postage stamps. Why every day was like Valentine's Day, filled with anticipation, and, yes, romance.

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