Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ben, Yet Again

I have a deep passion and love for Ben Franklin.  What an incredible innovator and visionary! Ben Franklin founded the United States Postal Service in 1775 during the Second Continental Congress. What an achievement that has lasted 237 years.  

I love mail. I love the post office. I love stamps. It is a dying art form.  It makes me terribly sad.  I just went through a box of mementos from my childhood and found every letter that anyone ever sent me.  There were tons from my sister, my dear friends,  a couple of celebrities. All beautifully written. Some on binder paper, some on stationary, some on anything that could be written upon.  I was shocked how many letters I kept.  I haven't re-read them all yet, but the form of communication is far more satisfying and indelible than email, tweets, FB, etc. 

The USPS has gotten smart, finally.  Creating "forever" stamps was genius, though it may just be survival.  Every time there was a rise in stamp prices, people groused.  Not just because it went up but because you had to purchase 1 cent or 2 cent stamps to comply with the new postage rate.  

I am very nervous about the Postal Service.  I don't know how they will survive in the long run.  There's been talk for a long time about the USPS going bankrupt.  How to help?  Well, first of all the Post Office was never open on Saturdays when I was a kid, so close the post office on Saturdays now.  Maybe just keep the main offices open in cities around the country. Our post office is open until 7pm M-F.  Cut back the hours.  I want the USPS to survive.  I would like more people to write personal letters again.  I know that most of the mail we all receive are ads, promotions, come-ons, solicitations, catalogs.  

The Genie is out of the bottle, but for the younger generations to come, you are missing out on a wonderful way to communicate.  It's far more forever than an email.  You can hold a letter in your hands.  You can smell the paper.  It's tangible. It's enduring.  I love personal mail.  I don't want it to go away.  I fear we are on the precipice. Write a letter, buy a stamp, make someone's day.  Many of you have never had that experience.  Even thank you notes and invitations are emailed now.  I've done it.  Hate that!  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know saving trees and all that, but a letter. It's positively romantic.  Again, take a chance, write a letter to someone, put a stamp on it, go to your post office, make someone's day.

Sidebars:  Rizzoli and Isles ended its summer season last night. America's Got Talent returned last night after being off during the Olympics.  It wasn't very good, talent wise, but as harsh as Howard Stern sounded, I hope that every aspiring young musician, singer, magician, wanna-be, listened to Howard's criticisms.  I thought he was spot on!   Still not over Marvin Hamlisch's drawn out viewing and funeral.  No mention of it by news people, a rabbi, nothing.  Sad to have lost another Sweathog, Ron Palillo.  There have been so many sudden and not so sudden deaths recently of people far too young. Cherish each and everyday. 

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