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Wednesday, April 13, 2011


There was once a little girl who loved to write. She would write on paper and put it in envelopes and give them to her grandmother to put in the mail. Course they had no stamps on them but the little girl thought they would get to their destination. And to her shock as well as her grandmothers, those letters did arrive—as if by magic. Happened all of the time.

This little girl knew the mailman who delivered the mail: His was tall, handsome and his name was Mr. Haynes. She recognized him always for he carried a big leather mail bag and wore a uniform [no one delivered mail by truck then--they all walked their routes] almost exactly like the above picture. He always took time to talk to her and gave her the mail to take in; did he know that she adored him? Probably not and probably never did. She continued to write to people and as usual, these envelopes went into the mail and were received—still with no stamps on them she thought. She had started this at age four and by age eight, realized that there was no way a letter could be mailed without a stamp: Was it Mr.Haynes who helped these get delivered?

She didn’t even have a complete address on her envelopes and yet, they were received for people told her that they had gotten her letters.

Into her teenage years, she would see Mr. Haynes when she was at her grandmother’s house: He was his usual chipper self and still took away her breath. The thought of asking him if he were the one who put the stamps on those letters of her childhood entered her mind but by this time, she was reluctant to ask him.

One day she was at her grandmother’s house watching her grandmother work on a scrapbook; she had made at least 25 and this girl knew all of them by heart for she loved looking at them. But when she looked at what her grandmother was pasting onto a page, she was more than shocked: There was a letter that she had written when she was four or five. And it had a stamp on it!

“How did you get that letter Grannie?” asked the girl. “Mr. Haynes delivered it to me a long time ago. In fact, he delivered a lot of your letters.” She just couldn’t believe it and laughed hysterically! The secret was out finally although the girl suspected that the mailman had put stamps on her letters for no one else had. But she said nothing about it to Mr. Haynes as she felt embarrassed.

When the girl reached womanhood, married and became a mother, she lost her grandmother but she did inherit one third of those scrapbooks. While at her late grandmother’s house one day, she caught a glimpse of Mr. Haynes: He was of course older now and so was she. The fondness that she had for him still lingered only this time it was coupled with gratitude for what he had done: He had spent his own money to make a little girl happy.

Years went by and although her grandmother’s house was rented, she would see the mailman off and on should she be driving by and as always, they exchanged greetings. Then she quit seeing him and life got in the way as it can do. A couple of years ago, she asked a mailman friend of hers if Mr. Haynes were still alive and the answer was, “No.” Sadness set in for she never got to tell him how very grateful she was for what he had done for her so long ago.

You can guess that the little girl was me and I never quit writing on anything I could find. Those scrapbooks mean more to me than words can ever say that I inherited for those letters are in there pasted by my grandmother and stamped by Mr. Haynes: He was more than a mailman! He was a magician to a little girl and a man who truly cared about seeing someone happy. I will never forget him ever. How could I?

Sherry Hill


  1. A beautiful memory, done in skillful narrative by a superb writer. And did you do the painting at the top?

  2. Sherry, you've again told us a wonderful story. All of us have "helpers" in this life. Some are revealed - as was your mailman. Other helpers remain hidden from sight forever. But they have all had a hand in getting us where we are. This is the reason that we should do random acts of kindness. It's a way of repaying so many debts - most of which we aren't even aware of.

  3. Joe thank your wonderful words. I've had this story in my mind forever [along with many more] and felt it should be told. And no I didn't paint the picture.:) I remain amazed at your work and your compliment means so much.

  4. SVM: Thank you cousin for your incredible comment. So many random acts of kindness go unnoticed as you pointed out. It means so much to me that you liked this story!Over the years, I have tried to repay Mr. Haynes' debt by doing things unknown to others. And we all should.
    Thanks again!