About Me

Twenty years ago I asked a Tarot card reader what would I be doing when I was 50. She replied, “I see you doing something so wildly creative, it defies a job title.” Only recently did I realize that was a slick way of saying, “I have no idea of what you’ll be doing.” But that prediction kept me charging ahead to the fifties with zeal and anticipation. Now that the future is today, I’m ready for anything!

The Small-Town Post Office:
Address Unknown?

If you're a person who still writes letters, you could address a letter to me at Susan Maricle, Bruno, Minnesota, and chances are I'd receive it. 

Because once the letter arrived at the Bruno Post Office from Duluth or the Twin Cities, a postal worker like Bev or Dan would say, "Ohyeah, I know where she lives."

The Bruno Post Office.
Neighbors knowing neighbors makes a post office unique to small towns. The post offices in Kerrick (population 79) and Bruno (population 102) are on the list of 117 Minnesota post offices under consideration for closure. It's not a done deal, as residents are signing petitions and contacting their state legislators. But the fact that specific post offices (I refuse to use the term "retail outlets") have been identified is reason enough to act.

The Kerrick Post Office.
A frequent objection to closing small-town post offices is their significance to senior citizens, their role as a meet-and-greet with old friends before breakfast. If the Kerrick and Bruno post offices close, seniors who rent post-office boxes would have to either switch to at-home delivery or drive to a farther post office. If you're a senior on a limited budget, and are apprehensive about driving on icy winter roads -- Highway 23 can be treacherous -- you've just lost a treasured morning ritual. And the local diner has lost the breakfast income that follows the ritual.

From my own point of view, a small-town post office is a go-to place, a where-do-I, who-do-I, how-do-I place. When I left the Bruno Post Office this morning I ran into Sparky Nelson, who administers the food shelf and volunteers at senior dining. I asked her who I would contact to rent the Bruno Town Hall across the road. She directed me to Doug Blechinger, the mayor who lives down the road. Stand outside in front of a small-town post office with a question. Before long you'll have the answer. 

A Secret Santa and Mike the Mailman
In the event of a post office closure,  those of us with rural route delivery would receive our mail from a more distant post office, perhaps Askov or Wrenshall. I'm sure the postal workers there are great people, but I wouldn't expect them to know everything that goes on in our little corner of east central Minnesota. Like the anonymous benefactor who would buy a small Christmas present for each young child in Bruno. The toys would show up in mailboxes on Christmas Eve with a return address of the North Pole. Or when "Mike the Mailman," as neighbors called him, would leave a dog biscuit in the mailbox at every home on his route where a dog lived.

The Collectible Toy Post Office
Eight miles north on State Highway 23, the Kerrick Post Office resembles a toy building in a collectible tabletop village. Terri Stadin says an older gentleman comes up from the Cities once a month to buy a book of ten stamps because he admires the tiny building with its neatly manicured grounds.

The Kerrick Post Office was fashioned from part of the old Kerrick Hotel in the 1970s, says retired Postmaster John Wenzel. (Wenzel's own home is also a piece of history: it's a refurbished church that you'll recognize if you've seen the movie Iron Will.

The bulletin board outside of the post office is another reason why small-town post offices are the go-to place. You'll see notices for free will suppers, informational flyers about utility payment assistance, and assorted business cards. The bulletin board is a 24/7 news service for those who don't have the Internet, and provides local context for people like me who are too busy dashing here and there to notice what's going on.

Address Unknown,  A Connection Lost
The dominoes are slowly but steadily falling. A post office is probably next after a school in giving a town its identity, and Bruno and Kerrick lost their local schools to consolidation long ago. A desire for smaller government can lead to a greater disconnect among neighbors and communities. Is that really the outcome that we want?

Listen to the Minnesota Public Radio report: 

Related Posts:


  1. Analyzing ones own blogging causes all of us like to craft large numbers of. Used to do an important which is relatively shocked through. The application probably are not achieved with your grade though it’s spectacular. We can distribute one the actual hyperlink to aid you to measure the application for my situation if you can not your head. renta de oficinas virtuales

  2. Muchas gracias por el articulo, veo muy interesante la renta de oficinas sobre todo yo que vivo en la ciudad de mexico

  3. Parking software condominium
    email blast to tenants
    Guest parking
    Free Parking Software for Town Houses, Condominiums, and Businesses Solves Parking Problems
    Searching for a parking space is such as frustrating routine activity for lots of people in cities all over the world. This search is burning over a million barrels of oil of the world each day. There are also 4-parking spaces every vehicle in the US and almost all streets are most of the time, empty, which leads to urban environments that are ironically doing far more to accommodate the vehicles than people. As the global population continuously urbanize, without a convenience-driven and well-planned retreat from cars, these sort of parking problems will worsen.
    http://webparkingsoftware.com software is the first step in the right decision. It involves using low-cost sensors, mobile phone-enabled, and real time data collection automated payment systems enabling people to reserve parking in advance or predict accurately where they can find a spot. When deployed as a system, free parking software thereby reduces car emissions in the urban centers by means of reducing the necessity for the people to circle the city blocks needlessly searching for parking. Furthermore, it permits the cities to manage their parking supply carefully.
    This free parking software is now being developed in many different states and cities around the United States and some other countries. For instance, in LA, smart meters and low-power sensors are tracking the occupancy of parking spaces across the Hollywood district, one of the most congested areas. The users will be able to access this occupancy data in order to determine the availability of the spots and then pay for them with their mobile phones. Other than the environmental benefits and lending convenience, free parking software is improving the utilization of the current parking, which lead to greater revenue for parking owners.
    These programs will be able to make great differences on a neighborhood level, but more widespread development and deployment is necessary for free parking software to change the cities and to contribute to the transportation sector pollution reductions greenhouse gas. One problem is that there are no citywide solutions all over the fragmented private and public parking providers. The occupancy data has a tendency to have many owners and is not accessible or standardized in a way that may enable software developers to turn into user-friendly applications. Thereby, individual smart parking efforts are so far successful locally, but uncoordinated, and operates in their own entrepreneurial or bureaucratic vacuums without a need to take gap between current free parking software and more widespread transportation system planning is an enormous missed opportunity for the cities to reduce the transportation related emissions.
    Moreover, free parking software has been hindered by a lack of insight into the complete benefits of this software, specifically when compared to the cost of building extra parking spaces. Lack of collaboration between communities with the parking software programs, as well as lack of coordination between hardware providers, municipalities, and developers is also contributing to the slower adoption of smart parking. Nevertheless, it is possible to overcome all these issues. Cities will be able further accelerate these advantages by means of updating the land use and building codes policies to reflect the reduced need for parking.


Real Time Web Analytics