Neither Rain, Nor Snow, Nor Dark of Night

September 29, 2014

All the rain falling in our neck of the woods lately has the citizens of Miller feeling a little like ducks.  Although rumor has it that ducks don’t like the rain any more than humans.  True or not true?  Good question.  No ducks could be bothered to answer that question with anything other than a raucous, “Quack! Quack!”  But it isn’t ducks that that come to mind on this dreary Monday morning, day number seven of rain, rain, and more rain. 

 Okay, now you’re thinking about Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, right?  You know, water, water, every where, / and not a drop to drink.  No.  That isn’t what’s on tap for today.  He! He!  Today is about the post office.  Usually the mail runs by nine in the morning.  Not today.  Today it is nearly noon and no mail yet.  Is it a federal holiday, you know one of those that only government employees, banks, and the post office get off?  Nope.  Today is not a holiday.  Now, what could be holding up the mailman.  It must be the rain.  But wait, doesn’t the post office have a motto? 

A motto that reads like this: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
 Well, the answer to that question is NOPE!  Those words are inscribed above the entrance to the New York City Post Office on 8th Street and  have long been quoted as the motto of the United States Postal Service (USPS).  
NYC Post Office 

However, the USPS has no official motto.  They have a mission statement that ends with this erroneous statement.
It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities.

Anyone that has ever visited a post office would debate the veracity of this.  Still, a mission is just a statement of intent, not a promise etched in stone.  And certainly not as romantic as the quote that is etched in gray marble over the entrance of the NYPO.  Per the USPS website, it comes from “Paragraph 98, of The Persian Wars by Herodotus. During the wars between the Greeks and Persians (500-449 B.C.), the Persians operated a system of mounted postal couriers who served with great fidelity.”  

Want to check it out for yourself, here is the link.
Washington, D.C. Post Office, now the home of the Smithsonian Institution's National Postal Museum.
The quote is from a piece called The Letter by Dr. Charles W. Eliot, former president of Harvard University.

Around town, there is gossip to be had...we'll get to that later.


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