Category Mail

The Blind Reader

I think it’s safe to say that Della Donner and Patti Collins met but once, in December of 1913. Although both lived in Washington D.C., they moved in different circles. Della Newsom Donner “liked to go about a great deal.” Her former husband, William H. Donner, was “a home-loving man” who made $4,000,000 when U.S. […]

An Amiable Uncle

When I began to read, one of the first books my mother gave me was Penrod by Booth Tarkington. I loved the book, in part because Penrod’s boyhood was preferable to my own, but also because Tarkington was fun, funny, and his prose flowed like a brook in the woods. I still return to him […]

The Gdańsk Post Office, 1939

On September 1, 1939, the morning the German army invaded Poland, the postal workers at the Polish post office in Gdańsk delivered more than mail. There was a lot of history behind the 1939 invasion of Poland, and specifically the invasion of Gdańsk. The borders of Poland had been redrawn many times since its birth […]

Abbie Stories

Abbie was born December 2, 1983, and joined our family on January 27, 1984. These are a few of the stories from her childhood that I did not want to lose. * * * We met Abbie on a Wednesday at Catholic Charities, in an upstairs room, in an old building. It was equipped as […]

Dear Roland,

March 21, 1986 Dear Roland, Her screams and the sound of shattering glass were so close together I couldn’t tell them apart. Crouched behind the counter now she was still screaming, right in my ear, her hands tearing at my jacket as if she wanted to force her way inside, and the glass was shattering […]

Letters and the U.S. Post Office

“It’s long past my bedtime. But writing letters is my chief dissipation at present, writing ’em to you being the chiefest and most dissipated.” — E.B. White, in a letter to a college sweetheart, September, 1921 That’s one of the things I love about letters. Sixty-one years later and I can hear E.B. White as […]

Friends and Mail Boxes

  Given my passion for the post office, it should be no surprise that I love mail boxes as well. I especially love pictures of mail boxes and friends. The one that started it all, a photo of artist Theo Tilton next to a giant mail box in Louisiana. Roland Sweet notes, “In the fall […]