Would you look at this ordinary little mailbox: wrought of standard issue US Postal Service dimensions and materials. But, at closer look you realize there was something fishy here. No, not the bullet hole above the flag’s hinge. That’s not so unusual for a rural piece of metal. No, it’s the orientation of the box that’s odd.
Most mailboxes are set perpendicular to the road; posted that way, the mail carrier can breeze in, window down, slide the mail into the box and quickly carry on. But this box is not facing the road, nor is it on the road. Posted on a paddock fence with a thick strip grass between it and the road it would indeed be a prolonged stop for that postman.
Why? Perhaps it was placed away from the road so to protect it from mailbox smashing hoodlums. I grew up in the country where mailbox smashing seemed to be a popular pastime. We went to great lengths to protect our mailbox from inevitable obliteration. No one on our stretch of road would dare have a decorative mailbox, or a simple standard issue box like this. No, we either had armored boxes or ugly barrels made into mailboxes, all to foil bat-wielding, box-smashing hooligans. Certainly, this box has not been dented, damaged, or otherwise batted around. It’s just a bit wind-weathered and worn, and once and only once shot at. Except now it’s shot by the camera-carrying visitors to the park.
Whatever the reason for its placement, it sits empty as the owners of this ranch deeded the land to the State of Washington and it is now a part of Columbia Hills State Park, just north of The Dalles Dam.
I started photographing it as a gift to one of my loyal blog followers. She’s been very supportive of my writing and photos and in return I wanted to participate in her Amazing Mailbox Quest. So, now I’ve presented her with an ordinary box with an extraordinary placement.
Thanks Madaqua for the inspiration to look at this box more than once. It does make for a lovely photo if I do say so myself.