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United States/Covers & Postmarks : The good old days of mail service

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philb
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24 Jan 2020
05:32:43pm

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If this dealer was still in Chatham N.Y. i would pay him a visit..He mailed his letter September 13,1898 and according to backstamp it was received 7:30 A.M in Holyoke .Image Not Found

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24 Jan 2020
07:35:17pm
re: The good old days of mail service

I have seen many postcards sent in the morning advising someone a few towns away that they would be stopping by to see them later in the day... mass transit used to work.

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Bobstamp
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24 Jan 2020
08:23:05pm
re: The good old days of mail service

Perhaps mail services will eventually mimic the best of business practices in shipping products. I used to live in Prince George, BC, 500 miles (800 kilometres) north of Vancouver. I owned a small photo studio, and needed a light stand for a shoot the next day. I called my favourite photo-equipment salesman in Toronto, and spoke to him moments before the end of business day. He had the light stand in stock and said he would ship it right away. The next morning, at 9:30, I answered the doorbell. It was a Loomis driver with my light stand in hand. Not bad for a distance of some 2400 miles (3860 km) and two flights, plus travel to and from airports.

Of course, in the late 1800s, housewives could send a postcard to their butcher or or baker in the morning and receive their order in time for supper; large cities had as many as a dozen mail deliveries a day. Recently here in Vancouver, companies are promising to deliver groceries ordered on line in no more than an hour.

Bob


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michael78651
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25 Jan 2020
12:37:32am
re: The good old days of mail service

The letter was probably dropped off at the train station , and was put on the evening mail train. When the mail was moved by rail, it got there faster than how it goes today.

Now, do you dare daydream as to what stamps might have been sent in that envelope? 1898, and the prices of the stamps?

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
25 Jan 2020
07:34:33pm
re: The good old days of mail service

American postal services are still, for the most part, utterly incredible. Hardly anything lost or stolen. Delivery in 2-3 days pretty much anywhere (it would be faster if a trip to the BMF weren't required).

Renewed talk of privatization should send chills to your spines, foretelling the end of cheap mail.

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BrightonPete
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Kindergarten 1960
26 Jan 2020
11:49:08am
re: The good old days of mail service

Quote:

"American postal services are still, for the most part, utterly incredible."



Especially the Informed Delivery option you have. Amazing, I wish Canada had something like that. It is a surprise every time I got to the post office to check my box!
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StampWrangler
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26 Jan 2020
03:59:10pm
re: The good old days of mail service

Informed Delivery serves another purpose for me - it lets me know what our mail carrier erroneously delivered to the wrong address, and not to me. I don't know anyone who doesn't complain of the same situation. Hardly a week goes by that I don't get someone else's mail. I always re-deliver to them, but for some reason, my missing mail rarely gets re-delivered to me by anyone. Scary when it's financial or medical sensitive information. I get everything electronically that I can, but there are some things that still have to come by mail.

Last month I had 3 packages go missing - one that I sent to another city, and 3 weeks later found it was erroneously delivered to the wrong address - and 2 that I was receiving, and were delivered to wrong address. In all cases, the "Delivery Confirmation" was completed by the post office, stating that they had, in fact, delivered the package. Which they had. Just not to the right address.

Yes, I know they deliver billions and billions of pieces correctly. But that doesn't relieve my weekly frustration. I think it is also complicated by the new system of using the NBU's (Cluster Neighborhood Box Units).

So sorry to bend everyone's ears eyes. Rant completed! That was cathartic!

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ikeyPikey
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26 Jan 2020
04:24:00pm
re: The good old days of mail service

'
Someday, someone will tell me why Informed Delivery is only available for my residential street address and not for my post office box; the latter, of course, is the one I pay for, adding insult to injury.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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ikeyPikey
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26 Jan 2020
04:34:11pm
re: The good old days of mail service

'
Apropos CJ's remarks about speed, ASD&C #137 (Nov-Dec 2019) includes a short tale (by Rodney Juell) of a postcard that skipped its way down a railway line in April of 1908, having been mailed in one town on that line, arrived in the next town down the line, had its address corrected for forwarding, got back on a train, and arrived in yet the next town down the line ... all in under 6 hours!

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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angore
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Collector, Moderator
26 Jan 2020
06:43:53pm
re: The good old days of mail service

My wife has a PO box and gets informed delivery.

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ikeyPikey
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26 Jan 2020
10:45:17pm
re: The good old days of mail service

Growl.

Sign-Up For Informed Delivery®

Still not eligible.

Time for Chuck to earn his paycheck.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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angore
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Collector, Moderator
27 Jan 2020
07:39:21am
re: The good old days of mail service

I wonder why the difference? It is great since the PO box does not get regular mail so now we just go when Informed Delivery sends a notice.

As an aside, our mail is routed through Greensboro, NC (away 1 hr away) so assume this is where they do the scanning. This means they do not have control of the local PO to actually deliver it. We have seen gaps (delivery delayed) but process works very well. We usually get mail after 5pm.

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FrequentFlyer
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27 Jan 2020
08:53:57am
re: The good old days of mail service

I second StampWrangler's complaint about mis-delivered mail. We frequently get a neighbor's mail. I used to walk it out to the neighbor's mailbox, but no more. Now I take each mis-delivered piece down to the local post office and ask to see a carrier supervisor, to whom I hand the mail piece and voice my complaint. While tiresome to do so, I believe it has helped some. We are not getting mail mis-delivered to us as frequently as before.

When we don't get a piece of mail that is shown in Informed Delivery, I usually wait for it to show up the next delivery day, which it usually does. After one day, I file a missing mail complaint with Informed Delivery which has produced mixed results.

FF

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mestephil
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APS Member 80855
28 Jan 2020
02:33:13am
re: The good old days of mail service

Generally, I get good mail service, but last year I did have one weird non-delivery. Informed Delivery said an APS tracked package from the Stampstore was being delivered that day. Then for the next 10 days it was "out for delivery" but never showed up and no notice was left, even though I was home the entire time. I emailed APS to let them know, and it was they that suggested I wait for at least a week before making a claim.

Instead, after the ten days I went to the post office to ask them look for it. It was then I learned my local post office was not my post office, but was the one a couple of miles further across the city. So I trudged over to that one and had them look for it - twice. Finally it was found and given to me. I was lucky as they scheduled to return it the next day as "undeliverable".

Now with the package in hand I returned home to find a notice - the first and only one - on my front door saying that they had tried to deliver the package while I was out - the one I had in my hand. It was highly irritating but fortunately, I have not had a repeat since then.

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philb
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28 Jan 2020
01:38:27pm

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re: The good old days of mail service

One of my neighbors asked me to tell the mailman to stop delivering my mail to his place..does he think i want the mail person to misdeliver my mail. We have temps making $17.00 an hour delivering our mail...its not like the post office was just a few years ago.Sad

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jwwoodjr
29 Jan 2020
07:43:09pm
re: The good old days of mail service

A month after moving into a house I had built my insurance information was returned due to no mail box. I had been receiving mail there for almost a year during construction. As you can imagine, my insurance company was rather worried since they insured the house.

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philatelia
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APS #156650
29 Jan 2020
08:10:58pm
re: The good old days of mail service

My mailman, Jay, told me that they actually photograph every piece of mail. Incredible. And consider that we pay less for our national rate than most European countries and our Country is HUGE! We don’t have to pay any more if it goes across town or 3,000 miles to Alaska. Canada, Australia and a few others deserve credit for all the long distance hauling they also must do.

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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
29 Jan 2020
08:31:03pm
re: The good old days of mail service

The current generation of the postal system, email, works almost instantly. It is also global. It is also virtually free. And while it has a carbon footprint, it is not near as ‘carbon costly’ as hard copy mail and this millions of miles being put in daily by mail vehicles.
Don

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ikeyPikey
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29 Jan 2020
11:20:12pm
re: The good old days of mail service

'
Way back in mid-December, I made my monthlyish trip to the post office to empty my post office box and, lo & behold, there was a notice for an oversize item.

The notice was a standard form with no details filled-in, so that they could use it again & again.

I gave the window clerk my box number, and they disappeared for a time, and came back and told me that there was nothing there for me.

Okay, mistakes happen and, though I worried a bit that something of mine had been sent back to somebody, I was not too worried, as I could not imagine what it might be.

Along comes mid-January, and I am making my next monthlyish trip to the post office to empty my post office box and, lo & behold, there was a notice for an oversize item.

This time, they disappear & come back with a long (24" x 8" x 5") white box that I quickly surmise is way too heavy for long-stem roses.

The ship date on the label was 16/Nov. The auction house has been utterly reliable almost a dozen times over the past few years, so I'm certain that they shipped when they said that they shipped.

But I had bought an auction lot that I was not particularly invested in - one of those directionless accumulations you buy on spec, more curious about whether the math will work out than in the contents - so I had not really noticed when it went missing.

So why did it go missing ?

I've come to focus on the fact that the auction house had a label on one end of the box with a three-digit lot number.

- The 1st (mid-Nov) notice went into the post office box that matched the lot number.

- The 2nd (mid-Dec) notice went into my post office box, but when the clerk checked the rack, they were looking for my post office box number and, instead, saw the large black'n'white lot number.

- The 3rd (mid-Jan) notice went into the right post office box and, this time, the clerk was not so easily led astray by the lot number sticker.

I am both pleased and appalled that they let the box sit there for 60 days, undelivered.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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Pogopossum
30 Jan 2020
12:31:41pm
re: The good old days of mail service

This is off topic, but it is related to the photographing of every piece of mail.

At the Minneapolis airport (and I assume others) the airport police photograph every license plate of the cars parked in the parking ramps every night. This helps folks who forgot where they parked their car can find it (personal experience Sad ). I am sure there are other uses also.

MSP is a pretty big airport - I can't imagine what they do at O'Hare or Atlanta!

Geoff

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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
30 Jan 2020
02:21:34pm
re: The good old days of mail service

Just to clarify, much of the high speed sorting, handling, and cancelling of the mail is based upon image processing. Sorting and handling machines take images of each item and use the images to correctly orientate the mail pieces for cancelling and directing the mail items to the correct city. This was being done for many years far before ‘informed delivery’ was ever implemented. Since they already had the images, it was not hard to then start sending them to postal patrons since it is virtually no extra cost.
Don

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StampWrangler
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05 Feb 2020
11:17:28pm
re: The good old days of mail service

And my package woes continue. The post office FINALLY properly delivered a package to my address. It even arrived a day early. It was well-packaged in a large packing envelope.

The end was completely ripped open and it was delivered to me wide open. Not marked damaged. Not one human being who touched it on its way to me, bothered to staple or tape it shut, to make sure that none of the contents fell out. Yes I realize it went through a lot of automated processing machines. But it was handled by humans, at the very LEAST by the carrier who put it in their route box to deliver it. I just feel like post office employees don't care anymore whatsoever. At least none of them on the way to my house.

Rant completed.

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FrequentFlyer
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06 Feb 2020
08:10:13am
re: The good old days of mail service

Quote:

" I just feel like post office employees don't care anymore whatsoever. At least none of them on the way to my house."



In my opinion, it starts with the hiring process. Mail no longer has the importance it once had, so the USPS no longer gives much attention to the skills or work ethic of the people it hires to handle mail. EEO drives the process.

frequentflyer
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keesindy
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06 Feb 2020
12:18:05pm
re: The good old days of mail service

In the US, labor is in short supply. The USPS is not exactly an employee friendly place to work. Finding qualified and enthusiastic employees these days is likely to be even more difficult than in the past.

Tom

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StampWrangler
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06 Feb 2020
02:00:32pm
re: The good old days of mail service

I also feel like it's not just the post office. It seems to me that we are living in an era where people don't care as much to provide excellent customer service. For the most part, companies are all large enough that if they lose a few customers, it's not a problem for them and they don't care. And sometimes they are just customer-service-overwhelmed. The last few times I've had to call the post office main (800) number, I had to hold nearly an hour. Sorry, I realize this is getting off-topic. That's my 4-cents-worth, anyway.

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angore
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Collector, Moderator
06 Feb 2020
04:31:57pm
re: The good old days of mail service

One aspect of customer service has to do with competition and maximizing by profit by driving down costs. The USPS has imposed restrictions that challenge profitability combined with prevailing reduction in first class mail. It is losing billions of dollars per accounting rules.

Most consumers have usually chosen cost over customer service. Corporations have stockholders that demand results.

To paraphrase a statement from the movie "The Godfather": It is not personal, it is just business.

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StampWrangler
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06 Feb 2020
05:09:48pm
re: The good old days of mail service

I agree!

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ikeyPikey
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06 Feb 2020
06:20:01pm
re: The good old days of mail service

'
StampWrangler, your post is not entirely clear.

Q/ Did you s-e-e the letter carrier deposit the torn package in your box ?

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
07 Feb 2020
08:29:35am
re: The good old days of mail service

i'm taking the opposite side, here, natch

I think, in general, customer service at the PO is just fine, with lots of personal touches. This is far more true at local POs than city POs, but my little one, Red Hook, NY, is fabulous.

Moreover, industry wide, they deliver the mail effectively, with little shrinkage, for a very small fee. This latter aspect was true when I lived in Cleveland, Charlottesville, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and now Red Hook.

There are things I'd change, were I the PMG, but, in total, I wouldn't trade it, and certainly not for what appears to be coming down the road.

David

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StamperMA
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07 Feb 2020
09:34:23am
re: The good old days of mail service

Certainly a variety of USPS experiences to digest here. In general I am satisfied with my local PO experience and I find my carrier to be efficient and personable.

My main gripe has to do with the fact all of our neighborhood mail drop boxes have been replaced with more secure versions. They no longer have a pull down flap over the mail slot, only a narrow slit for envelopes. This means I can no longer deposit padded envelopes, as they are too thick for the slot. They now require a trip to the PO.

Dennis

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ikeyPikey
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07 Feb 2020
09:59:06am
re: The good old days of mail service

Quote:

"... They no longer have a pull down flap over the mail slot, only a narrow slit for envelopes ..."



This is utterly & completely the fault of the thieves, who figured out that they could coat a small water bottle with glue and go "fishing" for your outbound personal checks.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
07 Feb 2020
11:52:50am
re: The good old days of mail service

Quote:

"This is utterly & completely the fault of the thieves, who figured out that they could coat a small water bottle with glue and go "fishing" for your outbound personal checks."




actually, I think this has more to do with regulations limiting size and weight for security reasons.

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StampWrangler
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07 Feb 2020
12:00:07pm
re: The good old days of mail service

Quote:

"Q/ Did you s-e-e the letter carrier deposit the torn package in your box ?"



Nooooo I did not -- but in our neighborhood, we have those NBU's (Neighborhood Box Units) that are a structure of a cluster of locked boxes, inaccessible to anyone without the key. So it wasn't accessible to a vandal.

Although we are having a rash of vandalism to the NBU's themselves for mail theft in our city lately. But this one hasn't been hit yet. Yet.

Quote:

"Certainly a variety of USPS experiences to digest here."



Indeed yes - agreed that there are a lot of good experiences out there. And yes, I probably get 99% of my mail properly delivered. But that 1% -- oh, that 1% --

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sheepshanks
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07 Feb 2020
03:17:18pm
re: The good old days of mail service

Well some of the mail is held up (or down)in South Carolina, been a bit blustery by the look of things.
Image Not Found

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vinman
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07 Feb 2020
05:10:23pm
re: The good old days of mail service

My experience with the Post Office has been pretty good over the years, counter service and delivery. For about fifteen years I didn't have a steady carrier so times were all over the place but I usually received my mail by the end of the day. I have had a regular carrier for the past few years and delivery is steady, delivery around 3:00. Living in the city has it's advantages, I have five different Post Offices that are close to me by driving. Depending on my activities for the day I have a choice. There can be lines in two due to language barriers of some of the patrons, I live in a multicultural area, heavy in Eastern European immigrants. I do prefer one office over the others.
I don't know what happens to my mail after I post it. Some of the mail I receive appears to have tire tracks on it, not sure how they get there.

I'm moving to Bellefonte, PA and visited the town many times and have had interaction with counter personnel which has always been OK. I made settlement on my new home three weeks ago and I am still getting the previous owner's mail even though he put in a change of address, he hasn't received any forwarding mail from my address so there is a dis-connect at the post office. I give him a call when I get into town to pick up his mail.
I live across the street from the Post Office which will be very convenient. I'll let you know my experience after I get settled in the new place.

Vince

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ikeyPikey
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07 Feb 2020
05:22:45pm
re: The good old days of mail service

Quote:

"... I think this has more to do with regulations limiting size and weight for security reasons ..."



Explain that to my Congresswoman:

Queens lawmaker introduces legislation to install ‘Cadillac of mailboxes’ on a national level to fight mailbox fishing

Explain that to the NYPD:

Cops at 111th Precinct advise against using old mailboxes this tax season despite decline in mailbox fishing

Like The King said: "etcetera, etcetera, etcetera ..."

https://qns.com/tag/mailbox-fishing/

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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vinman
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13 Feb 2020
08:00:41pm
re: The good old days of mail service

After posting how well my local deliveries have been my wife received a a package shipped in a protective tube. It had tire tracks, broke open and delivered in the rain. It was a print she wanted to frame for the new home. The print did not survive. It would have been nice it the mail carrier rang the door bell and let me know it was damaged. We took a picture of the tube and the print and the company sent a replacement and they will file a loss with the post office since it was insured.

Vince

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StampWrangler
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13 Feb 2020
10:25:26pm
re: The good old days of mail service

I have received numerous mail pieces with tire tracks and I never cease to wonder - why - how - ..... ????

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