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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Crisp Lake Chronicle, Circa 1950

 A farewell party was held for Uncle Bill last Saturday evening at Hutcheson Park on Lake Drive. Uncle Bill has been the head Post Office official at the postal station in Fairmount ever since his return from the war. He was a natural for the job because he had done the same thing for the Army APO - European Theater, in London, England. Uncle Bill says he is not real happy about the transfer but would make the best of it given the fact that it was politically motivated. "You play with a snake and you are going to get bit," was one of his replies. He claims it was politics pure and simple and had nothing to do with his performance. He said he made a mistake and told his cousin Walter on his mother's side that he had voted for Dewey and not Truman in the last election and Walter told Mr. Jones the precinct captain who in turn told Bill Serman. Well that is possible I guess but upon further inquiry I found out the real reason for the transfer to the Kansas City office. It was no secret to anyone living in and around Fairmount that Uncle Bill had acquired the habit of drinking a beer with his lunch each day. It was against postal rules to drink in a government facility so he would take his sack lunch over to the Calico Cat each day to imbibe in a brew but never more than two. So as not to inconvenience the postal patrons he would leave his cousin on his wife's side, Homer, in charge who was the custodian but whom he had trained to sell stamps with instructions never to sort mail or do anything else around the office - only sell stamps. One day however after arriving at the Calico Cat Uncle Bill found a birthday celebration in progress for Herb McIntosh. Two beers turned into six so my informant recalls because Herb's brother Hal was buying and Uncle Bill told folks he could not be rude and leave the party early. Besides Homer was capable of selling stamps and anything else could wait until the next day. The whole matter could have been a non incident except when Uncle Bill did not return at his normal time Homer decided to take his lunch break anyway. He left instructions on the counter along with a role of stamps and a jar. The instructions stated that customers should take however many stamps they needed and leave the correct change in the jar or bring the money by the next day. Leaving the post office unattended and the stamps on the counter would not have been a problem either either except just by chance a Kansas City postal inspector was on his way to the Independence branch and thought he would stop by the Fairmount station just to say hi! The audit that followed found that there was nothing missing at our local branch. Homer has been transferred to Sugar Creek and Uncle Bill to the Kansas City main office. His assignment is on the mail train that runs between Kansas City and Chicago where he helps sort and put the mail bags out for pick-up and delivery for the towns in between. Uncle Bill says that the job is OK in and of itself but the main problem is that the mail car is always attached to the rear of the train and there are too many train cars in between it and the club car where they keep the beer.


  1. Excellent article. I will be dealing with a few of these issues as well.


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  2. Weird. I live about 50 yards from Crisp Lake. Now its a giant goose pond surrounded by meth labs. Not good.

    1. ya, it has gone down hill and I remember when the first two ducks found the lake. They must have returned to their summer place and told some geese because the next year a bunch showed up, and like stupid people we fed them, the rest is history