Notes from the Past

Tribulations of the Carrier

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds," so quoth Herodotus, and his quotation is carved in a lofty space across the face of the big G.P.O., in New York City.  Old Herodotus, however, probably wasn't speaking from personal experience and, never having had to lug a bag of mail about a big city, could not have foreseen some of the complications, hazards, and dangers that the later uniformed carriers would encounter in their daily trots around the circuit.  Henry Wing has shown me a cover, with a 2 1890 attached, addressed to a house in Minneapolis.  Delivery of this missive was evidently delayed until the situation improved, for the carrier brought this letter back to the office, and wrote in the corner of it, "Cross dog in yard. Thurs. A.M."  That carrier, very likely hadn't heard about Herodotus, and probably there was nothing in the manual about how to approach an unreasonable dog.
- George B. Sloane
Sloane's Column
July 15, 1951

Posted September 19, 1999

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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