Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo who?

The creative folks in Maple Plain, MN, Post Office, are using the season to pitch postal products. I wish I was that creative. Back in my day, I tried the same thing, but the straw in my shirt was extremely uncomfortable.

This is a much better approach.
And also, this postal pumpkin in their lobby has a unique take on a Halloween Post Office.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Postal Pumpkin Patch

Concept and design, courtesy of Dave Reynolds

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sharp Dressed Man

How's this for a great costume? Colbin is the Grandson of Wichita, KS, Carrier Ron Page.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


This Hugo, MN, scare crow is warding off trouble for 2 mail boxes - one up each leg!

I like the idea of a scarecrow. Got something troubling you? Something you're scared of? Make a happy, silly, stuffed straw creature to deal with it.

That way, with the scarecrow on guard, you can forget about it. Get on with your work, and bring in the harvest.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's On the Web

Onslow, IA, Postmaster Joan Butcher uses a spider web to encourage customers to use our web-site.

Friday, October 24, 2008


This old postal jeep looks like it's still on the road delivering mail.

But it's not, it's been brought back to life with a whole new job to do.

The owner uses it to drive through the neighborhood selling jellies, jams, and other fruit treats.

Now that's a sweet reinvention.

What else have you seen old postal jeeps used for?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Honorable Position

A large audience enjoyed a unique display of Native American dancing, food and festivities at the installation of new Peyton, CO, Postmaster Jim Ramirez.

Ramirez is of Southern Ute and Spanish descent. He coordinated the diverse installation program.

“I’m very grateful for the tremendous support my family, customers, friends and postal employees have given me over the years,” Ramirez said. “This special installation was for them as much as for me.”

Ramirez, third from left in photo, said he was honored with his new position. When I began as the first Postmaster General I considered it a great honor as well as a large responsibility. Being a Postmaster is a unique and honorable position, and a lot of hard work.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stork Special Delivery

As I said in yesterday's blog, it may be against regulation for a child to be shipped through the mail, but you can't stop the stork from making deliveries wherever he wants!

Tripp, SD, Postmaster Tamara Rokusek announced the “Special Delivery” of her grandson Holdyn with this photo.

Now I doubt you could top this, but what is the best thing you ever received in the mail?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Special Delivery on the Rails

This city letter carrier posed for a humorous photograph with a young boy in his mailbag, but it could have been based on some bizarre facts.

After parcel post service was introduced in 1913, at least two children were sent by the service. With stamps attached to their clothing, the children rode with railway and city carriers to their destination.

The Postmaster General quickly issued a regulation forbidding the sending of children in the mail after hearing of those examples.

What's something unusual that you think we should deliver?

Monday, October 20, 2008

A dog the Postal Service could love

Owney was a stray mutt who wandered into the Albany, New York, Post Office in 1888. The clerks let him stay, and he fell asleep on some mailbags. Owney was attracted to the texture or scent of the mailbags and followed them when they were placed on a Railway Mail Service train. Owney began to ride with the bags on trains across the state--and then the country.

Railway mail clerks considered the dog a good luck charm. At a time when train wrecks were all too common, no train Owney rode was ever in a wreck. Railway clerks adopted Owney as their unofficial mascot, marking his travels by placing medals and tags on his collar. In 1895 Owney made an around-the-world trip, traveling with mailbags on trains and steamships to Asia and across Europe, before returning to Albany.

Friday, October 17, 2008

All Star Players

The all-star Great Falls, MT, Post Office teamed up with its popular local Pioneer League baseball team, the Voyagers, in a winning stamp event.

In a night game at the ballpark, Postmaster Dave Chiavaras dressed up in this old-time baseball uniform, similar to the one on the "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" stamp, and threw out the first pitch.

The line-up included a special baseball postal station at the ball park that sold plenty of stamps and merchandise, besides offering a souvenir baseball postmark. They also held drawing and presented a beautiful framed picture of the stamp, autographed by the Voyager team, to a special fan.

What could be better? A fun enjoyable family night, good postal publicity, and raising revenue.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cherish the Mail

And you think you have problems sorting and delivering the mail?

This photo was taken in 2005 at Ramadi, Iraq.

Have you ever had to sort mail in the dirt? Or deliver to people who have no address?

Yet these are some of the people who cherish receiving mail the most.

If you plan to send holiday packages to the troops please get them sent early. It not only means a lot for the those receiving them, but it can also make a big difference for those who work to get them delivered.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


That's a lively bunch of dinosaurs playing across the top of this purple mailbox.

Hopefully the mailbox won't become as extinct as the dinosaurs.

Some people want to open up the mail box to any carrier. And some think multiple units with several boxes clustered together are better. And some think there won't be any mail at all to put in a box!

What do you think? Is the day of individual boxes for each address, and located right in front of the home come and gone?

Would multiple carriers using the box make it less secure? Would you like your box to be used that way?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Open Your Eyes

Do you notice all the wonderful things when you are out delivering the mail, or on your way to work? Such as beautiful fall days that are really stunning. Or do you just put your head down and go?

Part of observing is noticing your customers. Is there a competitor's truck often sitting at their house? Next time you see them ask if they'd like to find out if USPS can save them some money.

Part of observing is noticing your employees. Are they doing a good job? Next time you walk by stop and visit for a few minutes and tell them how much you appreciate their efforts.
Notice the fall colors. It takes a few more minutes, but it can really make a change in the whole day.

What did you notice today? Drop me a note:
photo by Marcy Earley

Friday, October 10, 2008

Quality of Work Life

The Portland P&DC recently observed the 20th anniversary of the QWL process.

The QWL concept goes back to 1980 when the national contract talks for Mailhandlers brought the suggestion for a way to contribute to improvement of conditons on the workroom floor. The 10th annual QWL conference was held in Philadelphia this year with over 750 in attendance.

Quality of Work Life intends to utilize the skills and creativity of its employees to solve everyday problems in the work place. Now, that sounds like a Ben Franklin idea!

What are some reasonable ways you can suggest to improve our work life? Click here to comment.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


A partnership between USPS and the City of Denver has resulted in an eco-friendly Post Office. The city’s Post Office Building, which houses the Mile High Station, recently earned the nation’s most prominent “green” building rating — LEED certification.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the U.S. Green Building Council’s nationally accepted rating system that measures the environmental attributes and sustainable features of buildings.

All LEED-certified buildings reduce water use by at least 37 percent, energy use by 30 percent and use 15 percent of recycled materials for construction. The idea for the Post Office Building began when Denver officials were searching for a place to build a new courthouse. Of all the sites they found, a spot occupied by the old Mile High Station was determined to be the best location. City officials promised to build a new, eco-friendly facility for the Postal Service in exchange for the postal property — an opportunity USPS welcomed.

“The project has benefited the city and the Postal Service,” Denver Postmaster Alan Catlin said. “It has proven to be an efficient, environmentally friendly building.”

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

“Time is money”

Yup. I said it in 1748 to a young businessman and I’ll say it again today.

Time IS money. That's why everyone is in such a hurry.

I was wondering about time and the Postal Service. Almost everything we do is measured these days. How many steps we take. How many letters we deliver. How many miles we drive.

As a wily inventor, I'm wondering if there is something we aren't measuring yet? And maybe I could come up with a device to do it. Got any ideas? Tell Benny. Click here.

Don't wait -- time's a'wastin!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Diversity team at Deaf Nation

More than 2,500 individuals attended the Deaf Nation conference recently in Denver, CO.

The Postal Service was on hand with a booth promoting products and services.

Postal employees who are members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community manned the booth along with diversity and retail employees.

Deaf Liason Saundra Calderone said "It was a blast," as she served as interpreter and a salesperson at the booth.

A tip of Benny's hat to these creative individuals who are making sure everyone is aware of the great things the Postal Service has to offer.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Motorcycle routes...why not?

The Postmaster of Redwood Falls, MN, wrote me and said this,

"I ride a Harley and love it, and I’d like to see a motorcycle route with trikes – I might have to go back to carrying mail again!"

That's intriguing. If fuel costs continue to go up, why not have some specially outfitted motorcycles?

USPS just announced they are testing these three wheel vehicles that run on electricity.

Not exactly a Harley, but better than a Segway!

What do you think we should do about fuel and delivery? Click here to comment.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Baby you can drive my car

No other era of automobiles defined an age quite like those of the 50’s –– Dramatic tail fins, sporty designs, big V-8 engines, and shiny chrome.

People call these cars "classics." That's the same term, among others, that they use for me -- Good Ole Classic Benny

To commemorate those classic cars, the Postal Service issued a “50’s Fins and Chrome” stamp today, highlighting five automobiles from that era. One of those featured vehicles on the stamps – a 1957 Chrysler 300C – is owned by George McKovich of Twin Falls, ID.

“I was ecstatic when I found out,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for my 300 to be shown to the world.”

McKovich is an avid stamp collector, and having his own vehicle on a stamp is “something special,” he said. “A hundred years from now kids will be putting this stamp in their books. This is a way to leave a legacy behind,” he said.

His car was chosen through a solicitation from the Chrysler 300 Club International. The stamp designer was looking for a car model that fit McKovich’s perfectly – “a red 1957 Chrysler 300C.”
McKovich has owned the car since 1999. The car then underwent an off- the- frame restoration a few years later. The car is considered a rarity. Chrysler only made 1,767 coupes that year, and just 180 were red. Of the original number, only 380 survive.

Now that the car is famous, is it for sale?

“No. It’s not leaving our hands,” he said emphatically. “There is too much blood, sweat and tears in it.”

The car also has conjures some significant memories.

“The first car I drove was my dad’s 57 Chrysler,” he said. “That’s the car I got my license in. So, this car is special.”

The stamps are part of the “America on the Move” series that has previously featured “50s Sporty Cars” last year.

Please, tell Benny what you think of these stamps. Click here.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

B. Free Franklin

My Postal career started in 1737 when the British Crown Post
appointed me Postmaster of Philadelphia. In 1753 I was appointed Deputy Postmaster General to the colonies.

As part of the Second Continental Congress, I served on several committees, including one to establish an independent postal system. On July 26th, 1775, the Congress appointed me as the first Postmaster General for what would become the United States Postal Service.

I was responsible for all Post Offices -- from Massachusetts to Georgia -- and I had authority to hire as many Postmasters as I saw fit. I would mark postage-free letters with my unique personal signature: "B. Free Franklin"

I'm very proud of the United States Postal Service. It still serves the purpose we originally had in mind - to connect friends, families, neighbors and businesses all across the nation. An affordable means of communication among citizens is critical to a free nation.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

More weird mail

Janet, who is a Nebraska Postmaster, worked at a processing plant and was amazed at the fully decorated cakes that came through the mail. "Most were just in a box with plastic wrap over the top. They were treated gently and always looked great when they left the plant," she said.

An clerk told us about a giant cabbage that come from Alaska to a resident of the local nursing home. Her son had sent it to her.

"He had put a haxagonal piece of plywood on top and bottom held together by a few wooden slats, so the cabbage was still clearly visible! Next to the address label on one of the end pieces of plywood he'd added a note: Coleslaw for everyone! "

And another person wrote about a coconut she sorted, "right off the tree from Hawaii. The sender had just used a black marker to write the address and the stamps were stuck right to it."

A Boulder, CO, clerk writes, "We have two brothers, one who lived in Boulder & one out of state. Year after year they send the same fruitcake to and from each other. Parcel workers were always on the lookout for the fruitcake brick!"

Got your own weird mail experience? Leave a note below by clicking on "comments."