Post office is one of Mike’s favourite places

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MIKE RAINONE/Hammertime

Like most of you I sure am glad the powers that be got the postal dispute settled, because I was really missing my daily visit to the mailbox. I anxiously looked forward to a card, letter or parcel from a relative or a friend to arrive.

The post office has always been a vital part of our community communication system since the early 1900s, first serving the district at Holbrook P.O. on the James Aylwin farm near Menaik, then in Ponoka from Algar’s General Store on Railway Street. In those early days the big canvas bags full of mail came in every day on the train or stagecoach, were then delivered to the post master by dray, then sorted into boxes and distributed to those hardy rural route couriers, who somehow always got through, no matter what.

Our post office has always been a great place to stop, first completing our business with the congenial staff, while possibly running into a neighbour or friend, sharing the current news, and checking out the lobby bulletin board. Who among us has never made many a nervous trip to the post office or neighbourhood boxes looking for a special letter from a friend of loved one, or to pick up a Christmas or birthday gift, an airmail message from across the world, a cheque, a bill, a job offer, or that most important news that may change the course of our lives?

Of course the frantic invasion of glitzy electronic media such as the Internet, email, Twitter and Facebook have changed our communication methods drastically. Whatever the case, nothing will ever really replace that private and personal touch of a visit to our post office, or from those dedicated mail carriers, who as well as watching out for the family dog, will always stop to assist a fellow citizen in distress.

Hopefully our new federal government will allow the postal employees and their union to settle their inddifferences on their own, aiming for a fair and long-term agreement that will avoid strikes and the resulting hardships for both customers and staff. On the other hand, maybe this vital national department should go into the private sector, just like so many other public services that we use and often take for granted, each and every day.

By the way, one of my favourite movies is The Postman, starring Kevin Costner as the saviour of a ravaged and war-torn nation.

So you think you know everything?

Here are some interesting tidbits and trivia for all of us who maybe think we know quite a bit about most things, but should really enjoy finding out something new and then pass it on to others.

* Astronauts cannot burp or expel any sort of gas when they are in space, because there is no gravity to separate the liquid from the gas in their stomachs.

* Drinking water after eating reduces the acid in your mouth by 61 per cent; the tooth is the one part of the body that cannot heal itself, and your tongue is the only muscle in our bodies that is attached at only one end.

* To make a kilogram of honey, bees must collect nectar from more than two million individual flowers, strawberries are the only fruits whose seeds grow on the outside, and avocados have the highest calories of any fruit at 167 per 100 grams.

Hopefully you are all having a great time at the 75th Ponoka Stampede. Other gala celebrations in our community this summer are the diamond anniversary of the Ponoka Community Golf Course and the ‘100 Years of Caring’ Reunion Weekend for the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury from July 29 to 31. For more information on the latter celebration, please contact ahp100yearreunion@gmail.com before July 4.

It is now officially summer, so forget about the weather forecast, and go ahead and have some fun in the sun along with a great week, all of you!

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