March 2018 SOLC–Day 4
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One of the bonuses of small town post offices is that the line is rarely long. On this particular Saturday morning, other than the woman being waited on, there was only one man in line in front of me. He was somewhat disheveled, gray haired and bearded, wearing well-worn jeans. As the first customer gathered up her stamps and moved away, he stepped forward to the counter.
“Do you have the Wyeth stamps?” he asked. My ears perked up. Wyeth stamps?
“Let me see.” The clerk riffled through her drawer and then pulled out a sheet of stamps. “Here you go,” she said, handing them to him.
“What’s your favorite?” he asked her, reaching out to take the sheet. “The cow?”
“No,” she said. “I’m not sure. I have a print of the dog on a white bed at home. But that one’s not here.”
“Oh, I love that one,” I chimed in.
The man shifted to the side to include me in the conversation. “Have you ever seen the one with a skiff pulled up on shore?” he asked us. “And there’s a house up over the knoll…”
We both shook our heads, unfamiliar with that particular painting.
“It’s called Teel’s Island,” he said. “It’s a watercolor.”
We spent the next several minutes discussing Andrew Wyeth, the Farnsworth museum, the Olsen house and our favorite Wyeth paintings. Three strangers in a rural Maine post office on a Saturday morning. Then the man paid for his stamps and left. I requested and paid for my own sheet of Wyeth stamps and went on my way.
Later that day, I went online and did a quick google search for Teel’s Island. The image, quintessential Wyeth, filled the screen. There was the skiff the man had mentioned…the knoll…the house–Each detail adding to a whole that was considerably greater than its parts. I now count it among my favorites.
Clearly, there’s more than one bonus to small town post offices.
Note: A big shout out to Cindy at Mainer in Training. Thanks, Cindy! Her wonderful recent slice, Christina’s World, reminded me of this moment. If you have a chance, be sure to stop by and check it out!