Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hardyville Post Office

Yes, folks, it is true. This used to be an official, honest to goodness United States post office.

This is a picture of the old Hardyville post office, located in downtown Hardyville. The other noteworthy and distinguishing landmarks here include: There are none.

Hardyville is right outside of Deltaville, which is yet another water-bound community quite similar to Mathews, located due north of us. (An interesting side note about Deltaville is at the very end of The One Main Road here is a place called Stingray Point. Legend has it that Captain John Smith wrestled with a stingray here. The score was: Stingray-One. Captain John Smith - Zero. After he finished splashing around the Deltaville waters, Capt. Smith went on to do a few other things that are noteworthy, but around here he's simply known as that famous person who messed with a stingray. We like to focus on the important parts of history.)

A delightful lady fondly known as POOKIE used to be the post master (mistress?) here. And I will say it again: This was the actual Hardyville post office. Now Pookie happens to be the mother of the male friend who took me on the marathon water skiing trip I talked about yesterday. Pookie also has a personality so large, I cannot imagine how it fit inside this small building every single day.

I'd like to point out something that is obvious to me, but perhaps not so to everyone else: Around these parts, most folks drive to the post office to pick up their mail. Although mail delivery is available, I personally do not know a soul who takes advantage of this, and I have absolutely no explanation as to why. It's just the way we do things. The post office, therefore, has been and continues to be a gathering place for people who live in the community. And, just like Hardyville, most "sections" of Mathews, Gloucester and Middlesex counties are named after the local post office.

I have some questions about this particular post office, though.

1. Where, pray tell, is the RESTROOM??? I must know the answer to this. I won't be able to sleep at night until I find out.

2. Exactly HOW MUCH MAIL can actually fit inside this structure?

3. Aren't jail cells bigger than this?

4. If Pookie is in this one-room closet sorting all the local mail, and a family of four walks in, WHERE DO THEY FIT? What is the protocol for determining who has to wait outside?


The current Hardyville post office is in a slightly larger building right next door to this one. Pookie no longer works as the post master (mistress?) either.

She finally retired after too many years of having to go outside to change her mind.


foolery said...

What's the matter with that post office? It looks fine to me. Freshly-painted and mowed, too. It's bigger than my house. :)

Pookie must have had either

a) a bladder the size of bagpipes

b) a good friend who covered for her twice a shift while she drove to the nearest gas station for a pit stop

c) a bucket below the counter (ewww, sorry)

d) a strict NO COFFEE NO WATER NO BEVERAGES OF ANY KIND clause in her contract, or

e) a catheter


kaffy said...

Perhaps the old post office is really a converted outhouse, equipped with a circular hollow seat. Or perhaps she peed on her feet, as I've heard that peeing on your feet alleviates foot odor, no kidding (read it on the INTERWEB, and that's gospel for sure). I'd rather have regular foot odor than pee foot odor. With a name like "Pookie" one would HAVE to have a huge personality...and a beehive hairdo. But then maybe she should be called "Poofie" instead. Oh, enough from me. Keep the stories coming!

Icey said...

Kaffy -
don't know what you had in your coffee this AM but I want some! Thanks for the laugh - I needed it after the week I'm having!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Foolery, I already thought of the bucket idea. It has some merit. But I will not rule out the bagpipe bladder do you think this stuff up?

Kaffy - Thanks for that tip. If that is the case, my feet should smell sweet as a rose since the MALES in this household cannot seem to direct their flow into the appropriate receptacle, therefore it is usually ALL AROUND the receptacle and my BARE FEET traipse through far too often. Yes, it's DISGUSTING. (But now I can rest easy that my feet don't stink.)Pookie doesn't have a beehive hairdo, but it certainly has the POTENTIAL to be's very "teasable."

Icey (and Kaffy, and Foolery if you buy a plane ticket) - There's a STREET DANCE in Mathews Saturday night. Watcha doin'? Come on down....I'd love the company.

soupisnotafingerfood said...

That Post Office? It looks smaller than my "playhouse," which my mom created from an old chicken coop when we were kids. And in my town, the town-folk do mostly go pick up their mail from their PO Box. Not the Rural-Delivery folk, but the "townies."

I am loving how you capture these little quirky bits of your area. You know how you can bring a box of something into your house, and then if it sits there for a few weeks you stop seeing it? Well, I'm sure that's how 95% of the population (all 12 of 'em??) regard the greater Mathews region... but you, you are looking at it through fresh eyes and a fantastic camera lens and preserving those bits of history. And that, my friend, is priceless.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Aw, soup. That's such a nice thing to say. You've definitely made my day. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

The bathroom was in the building next door. Pookie had to lock-up the post office to go to the bathroom.