David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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More About Mail Boxes


I now have, at some expense, a mailbox which is above reproach. It is also, I’m afraid, rather drab in comparison to a large number of mailboxes around here. I’ve been looking at mail boxes lately and I want to share some of them with you.

Maybe you’ve seen the one made out of an old milk can. There’s one over in Peaceful Valley up on a 20 foot pole. It says “Air Mail” on it in big letters.

Sometimes people write things on their boxes, like “Love and Peace.” Near my house there’s one that says “Lord’s Blessing.” Mostly, though, people don’t pay much attention to their mailbox. They make sure they go to the hairdresser, and press their pants, and they even wash the family car now and then. But the mailbox doesn’t get much attention once it’s put up. In fact, you can pretty much tell how long somebody’s been around by the condition of the mailbox.

Years ago on our rural route the summer residents didn’t have mailboxes at all. We all had a big canvas mail bag, with the name written on it more or less fancily, and we hung it on a peg so the mailman could pick it up and drop off our other one. If we forgot to leave the empty one, it meant a long trip to the post office to give the postmaster our bag.

There are a few places that get a lot of mail in the summer, like Camp St. Malo, that still use bags, but for the most part they’re a thing of the past, like the homemade mail boxes that sprang up after we were told we had to have a mailbox.

Most people built little replicas of log cabins, but the doors fell off and the rain got in. So most of those are gone now, too. You can still find them, but they have a regulation rural mailbox stuffed inside.

If you live off by yourself, you can be pretty creative with your mailbox. Most of us, though, have our box in a group, and conformity is more or less the rule. It’s hard to enjoy a box covered with flowers when it’s surrounded by 30 plain, gray boxes. Maybe if one person decorated his box, everyone else would, too. No, I don’t think so, either.

Most of us probably tend to think of our mail box as a utilitarian device and don’t give it a whole lot of thought until it lets our mail get wet or falls over. Maybe that’s why most mail boxes look as though they could stand a little love.

On the other hand, don’t you wonder, when you see somebody’s name on a battered and askew mailbox, what their house looks like?

I could get a post office box, 1 suppose, but I’ve developed a commitment to my mail box. I figure if I keep it looking new people will think I’m a well organized and nice person. This proves you can’t tell much about a person from his mailbox,




© 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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