Postman, Spare that Box*

In response to my standard “any questions” query a student today asked “What is trudalane?”  Fair question.  I spend a good part of the summer and occasional weekends the rest of the year in Otisfield, Maine, which produces little news of more than local attention. My Google alert for Otisfield generates a trickle of articles, most about Seeds of Peace. The bass poaching story–which did not involve whole fish cooked in parchment–was special, but Otisfield generally flies under news radar.

Not always, though. Otisfield has one mailbox, located in front of the town offices.  The Postal Service planned to remove the box because of its volume is below the 25 letters per day benchmark.  Otisfield protested.  The next nearest box is miles away and losing Otisfield’s sole mailbox would be an indignity.  The town already lacks a zip code, free-riding on Oxford’s.  Take away the mailbox and what’s left? No center stripe on town roads?  The town protested.  Otisfield parked a backhoe and other road-maintenance equipment around the box to block the Postal Service’s removal team and mounted a public relations David-versus-Goliath campaign.  National media picked up the story-it wasn’t quite as hot as Jon versus Kate but Hey! It’s a mailbox!**–and the Postal Service backed down.  The box was saved, to serve the residents who mail six items each day.

That’s Truda Lane.

*With apologies to George Pope Morris.

**A Google search for <otisfield mailbox> produced 2,040 hits.

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