When we bought the house in 1984, we had no idea that the location of the mailbox would turn out to be so precarious. It was located right out in front We thought it was perfect.
That first mailbox, which was there when we bought the house, was wiped out by a large truck that took the turn too wide. I found it lying on the ground beyond help when I came home from running errands. My husband, Walt, replaced both post and mailbox.
The second one, was hit by a young man we’d hired to clean the roof gutters. When he was done, he got in his truck, which he had parked out front near the relatively new mailbox. In his maneuvering before he left, he backed up and knocked it askew––it sat cockeyed, looking like it had a hard night. I don’t think he even realized he had damaged it. I tried propping it up with rocks, but it kept listing. The mail lady suggested fixing or replacing. She was clearly annoyed. So, Walt replaced the post. This time, he put it in concrete. And we were able to save the mailbox.
That was the third post, second mailbox and left unscathed for many years. It even survived a drunken neighbor, who trying to avoid the mailbox, drove up through the yard. On his wild ride, he damaged two azaleas that later died. And weeds still come up wherever his tires traveled. I remember the squealing of brakes in the middle of the night and the damaged yard the next morning. I still cuss him when pulling out those weeds.
Then my neighbor across the street came home one day and knocked it over and totally demolished it. He totally broke off the post and smashed the mailbox. He said the sun was in his eyes and he thought he was clear of the mailbox. He felt terrible and offered to pay for all repairs.
By then, Walt had passed away. So, I got a new post and mailbox and hired a neighbor boy to put it on the other side of the driveway. It took about 15 years and three accidents, but I finally figured out a solution. It was a good move. The “new” mailbox is now about 20 years old and beginning to show its age. In that location, it has been safe from accidents by vehicles, but it did have a close call a couple winters ago when a very large branch came down in a major storm and brushed against it. It didn’t even get a scratch.
A few weeks ago, I noticed how grungy it was looking. So, I got out some soapy water, a small brush, an old towel and scrubbed it clean. It looks–-not exactly new—but much, much better.
All these remembrances about my mailboxes are because of Ned Hickson, former editor at the Siuslaw News who is now a mailman with his own route. He posts photos of his favorite mailboxes on Facebook once a week or so. After looking at those, then at mine, he shamed me into cleaning my mailbox. So, I’ll blame my newly clean mailbox and this blog post on him! It’s your fault, Ned!