The other day I was out on the route and I had a mission. I needed to find out where a new subscriber to the newspaper lives; this in a rural area where only about half of the mailboxes have numbers painted on them.

Extrapolating from the boxes which did have numbers, I gradually narrowed down the prospects and pulled into the driveway of an elaborate and large steel-sided barn. Vehicles were parked there, so I walked into a large drive-through bay which was open.

A young woman in a horsey outfit popped out of a stall; there appeared to be some large brown beast in there. She asked me, “Can I help you?”

I explained my quest and the woman said, “The owner is out in the arena — she’s exercising a couple of the horses.”

I walked on through the barn, glancing through the slats of the stalls at large, slow-moving horses who peered at me inquisitively. The mingled odors of horse, manure, and straw bedding formed a rich amalgam which I sniffed at appreciatively.

The “arena” was a fenced circle about one hundred feet in diameter. Two women were encouraging two horse on long leads to circle around. A man with a digital camera lounged against the fence and occasionally snapped a photo.

I asked him, “Is that the proprietor out there?”

“Yeah, just give her a wave and she’ll come over in a bit.”

It was an intriguing scene and I’ll return one of these days to snap some photos of my own.

The owner was a weatherbeaten gray-haired woman in her sixties. She certainly looked as if she spent much of her time outdoors! I established that I was at the right place and walked on back to my car.

My attention was caught by a unique mailbox-post out by the gravel road. It was welded together from presumably worn-out horseshoes. An overall view, followed by a detail shot of one of the welds:

I could imagine the scene of that post being put together. It’s a snowy winter day and the horses have all been fed. The proprietor enters a shop room in the barn, chafing her hands and stomping snow from her boots. She drags a white plastic bucket from beneath a workbench and empties dozens of rusted old horseshoes onto the concrete floor. She fires up a stick welder, dons a face-mask, and goes to work…




Filed under Photos, Quincy

6 responses to “Shoebox

  1. bev

    …then again, it might have been made as a present to her from a family member!

  2. I’ll ask about the post the next time I’m there, Bev.

  3. Joan

    Another great post about posts, Larry! These mailbox posts photos could become a series all by themselves, they are so unique.

    I can’t understand why the rural mailboxes can’t serve for both mail and newspaper, but I assume it’s a part of that federal law that I never paid any attention to when stuffing cards or notes into my neighbor’s mailbox. One day I expect the heavy hand of our mail-woman will land on my shoulder and I’ll be escorted to the County Clink.

  4. Joan, it won’t be the County Clink, but a minimum-security federal prison. Now you’ve been wanting a vacation, haven’t you? Think of the interesting people you’ll meet!

    Everyone who delivers papers on a rural route has a few stubborn customers who don’t want the blue plastic newspaper-boxes and want their papers delivered in their mailbox. PITA, to tell the truth! It’s technically illegal but nothing is done about it unless the mailman raises a stink. The mail-lady who delivers in my territory (our paths often cross) won’t say anything; she owes me, ever since she rear-ended my car at 20 MPH. Amazingly, there was no damage to either vehicle!

  5. Joan

    Geesh! I hope not. Stripes make me look fat.

  6. No problem, Joan. They like fat!

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