Although I grew up in a small rural village, it was my friends in the outlying countryside who had mailboxes in front of their houses and driveways. Inside the village we had an actual post office with combination boxes. You can read more about the history of the different Island post offices in my post, 'Amanuensis Monday ~ The Stories That Should Be Told, Part 34'.
Some of my first memories of the post office include the postmaster, Mr. Carey Fairbanks. Mr. Carey had huge deer heads mounted high upon the walls; one on the customer side of the counter and another on the office side of the counter. As a child, I'm not sure which intimidated me more, the ominous looking deer heads with eyes that seemed to track my every move or Mr. Carey with his gravely sounding voice and stern look.
I don't recall ever seeing the combination to our post office box written down. If you asked me to recite the combination, I couldn't. I still can't. Yet if I stood in front of the post office box, I could twirl the knob in all the different directions and within seconds the box would open. I always found this odd.
In the late 1980s, I moved away from the Island; living in another area of the state before eventually moving out of state. Visits home rarely included trips to the post office.
In 2002, I was home for my father's funeral. One of my brothers and I took a walk around the Island and ended up on the street near the post office. He glanced over at me and asked if I remembered the combination. We walked inside the building and up to our old post office box. I twirled the knob without any hesitation. The number of repetitive turns in different directions and the letters where the pointer should stop all came naturally. The box opened right up.
|Sicily Island Post Office|
Post Office Box 61 no longer belongs to my family. The combination lock had been removed and replaced with a key lock.
On this Sentimental Sunday, I leave you with the following:
3 right turns, stop between G and H
2 left turns, stop between C and D
1 right turn, stop between I and J
And yes, I had to look at the picture and imagine myself twirling the knob.