David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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Mail Boxes


For many years I had a street number and every day except Sunday 1 saw a nice man or woman in a uniform bring my mail and deposit it in my mailbox, which was usually some sort of wrought iron affair attached to the wall on my porch. I got to know my mailman or woman, and we exchanged comments about the weather or how much mail I got. They always complained about how much mail I got. When I became a resident in the mountains, one of the first things that happened was a nasty note from my mailman. It told me my mail box was too low. I hadn’t thought about it, so I watched him the next time he delivered my mail on my dirt road. He pulled his truck up to my small, regulation rural mailbox, and sure enough, he had to lean down to put the mail in. And, because my mailbox is on the right side of the road, he had to lean a very long way to put the mail in.

I knew I was being needlessly cruel to a dedicated public servant, so I got out some tools and raised the box. All was well.

Pretty soon, though, I began to get little cards which told me I had packages at the post office. Every card meant an eight mile round trip, so I asked my friendly postmaster. what I could do about it.

“Get a bigger box,” he said.

A truly brilliant idea.

I went out and bought the biggest regulation mailbox made, and it wasn’t cheap. I figure, though, it’s been paid for several times with gas I haven’t burned claiming packages. The mail situation was perfect. Then it started snowing, and mailbox began to disappear. Soon, I knew, I was going to get another love-note from the government.

I have a very low threshold of pain when it comes to criticism, so I installed a post for the mailbox which permits the box to slide up or down depending on the snow level. It wasn’t cheap, either.

Now, however, I have a mailbox which is the envy of my neighbors. At precisely the correct height, with my name on both sides, large enough to hold even Time/Life books, it is a shining example which puts to shame the nameless, cockeyed, two-foot high, rusting, warped and battered pieces of junk which pass for mail boxes on my road

There’s just one other thing.

You have to keep the snow away from your mailbox or your friendly mailman won’t deliver your mail. There are two ways to do this: you can dig it out by hand, or you can use a snow plow, which in one clean sweep...

I recommend digging it out by hand.




© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner

Allenspark Wind Columns:


Why Allenspark?

Going Riding [August, 1985]


Used Cars

Peace and Quiet [1986]

Liberals & Conservatives

Going to the Movies

The Screened Porch

The Beginning of The Season

The Weather

The Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The End of The Season

The Gift of Time

The Beavers

Addresses [1987]


Watching the Trees Grow

Postal Rates

Changes in Estes Park

Square Dancing at the Pow Wow

Back to the Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The Solstices

Bird Feeders


The Estes Park Hardware Store [1988]


Limousine Service

A Memorial Service

A Hummingbird


A Hiking Trip

The Estes Park Public Library

Wild Life

Riparian Rights [1989]




Mountain Friendliness

A Motorcycle Trip

Satellite Television

“Weaving Mountain Memories”

Hotel Rates in the Old Days

The Price of Propane [1990]

The Front Range Almanac


Modes of Transportation

Miller Moths

My 50th Column

Modern Conveniences

Rock Climbing

On the Death of Otto Walter, Postmaster

Otto’s Memorial Service

A Big Owl Pot-Luck Dinner

A Whine About Telephone Service [1991]

After the Persian Gulf War

Some Changes in the WIND

The Trip to the Mountains

The Mountains in the Summer


Of Dogs, Music, and Children

Muhlenburg County

To My Grandson

The Sale of Longs Peak Inn

World War II  [1992]

Murphy’s Law and the Computer

The South St. Vrain Canyon


The Hazards of Volunteering

Crime in Our Valley


On the Death of Charles Eagle Plume

Can We All Get Along?

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Lost Horizon [1993]


Rumors About a Visit by the Pope


More About Fences


The Visit of Pope John Paul II

Forest Fires

The New Sewage System

The Snow Pool

The Good Old Days [1994]

The WIND’s 20th Anniversary

The Bunce School

The Shooting Gallery

The Estes Park Museum

Our Government

U.S. West Takes a Hit

The Year of the Hummingbirds

A New “Yield” Sign

Growth in Allenspark

Private Telephones?

The Salvation Army

Creation Science [1995]

Devolutionizing Big Government



Fort D.A. Russell

Domestic Terrorism

Old and New

Barney Graves

Life in the Wilderness

What’s In a Name?

Arthur C. Clarke


The Estes Park Trail-Gazette Columns:

July 1983


Estes Cone

Johnny Grant

Observations in Estes Park

The Bath House


The Sutherland’s Ice House

How Old is Charles Eagle Plume?


Christmas Trees

Tree Murder

Mountain Driving


Mail Boxes

More About Mail Boxes

“Are you related to ....?”


An Accident

The Wild Cat

A July Reunion

A Visit to Baldpate Inn

Opening Cabins


The Times, They Have Changed

Death and Transfiguration

The Population Explosion

The March of Time

Faith-Based Social Services

Looking for Pitch

Recent Writings I

Recent Writings II

Recent Writings III

Recent Writings IV

Recent Writings V

Recent Writings VI



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