Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Magnolia River mail boat

Does anyone know whether the mail still runs by boat in Magnolia Springs?

For many years Magnolia Springs, Alabama, on U.S. 98 near the Gulf of Mexico, may have been the only town in the United States where the Postal Service delivered mail year-round by boat. Magnolia Springs writer Thomas Crosby Lakeman beautifully described the process in a 2002 posting at his website:

The postman is Huey, a lean and hardboned man who looks like he would not tolerate being called a "postal carrier" by anybody. His official vehicle is a speedboat that looks like it’s spent more time trawling for mullet than hauling Val-Pak coupons; its only mark of admiralty is a banged-up sign reading "U.S. Postal Service" on the starboard bow. In other words, do not hinder him: Huey’s boat is a federal vessel, just like the U.S.S. Nimitz.

Huey does know his work. Even though there’s a local ordinance against speeding on the Magnolia River, he clips that boat through the water like a bass fisherman scouting choice angling spots. He rarely requires more than a few seconds per dock: haul in, open mailbox, stuff, close, bring her about; all in one fluid movement. I wouldn’t call it graceful: A man with tanned forearms and a plug of Red Man in his back pocket is no more graceful than the guy who hauls the invisible wires in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. More likely Huey’s just in a hurry.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My parents live on Fish River, though a good deal further up than the area serviced by waterborne mail delivery and at least as of last year, it was still going strong.

7:20 PM  
Blogger David said...

yes they still get there mail by boat i took a picture of it today

view here

10:19 PM  

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