The petite post office of Rupert, Vt., is like something you would see on a postcard. Even on a dreary day, it's a place where chickens hang out on the porch and the postal worker knows everyone's name.
The post office of Rupert IS a postcard actually. And not just one-- artists from Vermont to North Carolina have all created their renditions of the tiny white building and have all mailed them to artist Jane Davies. What started as a posting on her blog has blossomed into something much bigger. Davies put a call out to send her a postcard and she would send one back to the first 200.
"And 1,200 postcards later I'm sort of swamped," she said.
The postcard project is her way of trying to help save her tiny post office by beefing up the volume of mail that passes through the town of about 600 people.
"It's really lovely to get cards from halfway around the world," Davies said.
The postcards aren't all of the building. In fact, the designs are as varied as the places they come from: records from California, keys from Arizona, postcards from all across the globe and all 50 states, except for one.
"Someone from North Dakota send me a postcard!" Davies implored.
The post office in Rupert is now closed on weekends; it's having its hours slashed even more. And with the U.S. Postal Service losing $25 million every day, this little place might be closed for good.
Reporter Steve Bottari: Where there are these really, really deep issues in terms of debt for the post office, is it sort of like, in a way, putting a Band-aid on a gunshot wound?
Jane Davies: Oh, probably.
But she says the cuts needs to happen at the management level, not the local one.
"Closing post offices isn't going to save them enough money," Davies said. "It's going to do more harm than good because they still have to deliver the mail."
Davies actually rents the building to the post office. She says if it closes she would find another tenant, but the loss to Rupert would go much deeper.
"We don't have a store, we don't have, like the library is only open a few days a week, we don't have other institutions where people cross paths on a regular basis," Davies said. "It's become much more than just keeping the Postal Service open."
It's about keeping open a small space with a huge place in the community and a couple of chickens on the porch.
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