Closed Post Offices seems to be a theme along Route 66. This time, it even has Charly miffed. There is no consistency to finding a Post Office open as we travel.

I convinced Charly to purchase some postcards. The conversation went like this…

“Hey, Charly, check out this postcard,” I said, “You should get some and send them to your friends.”

“Why?” looking at me with a confused face, Charly went on, “I can just text them or post them on Instagram.”

This time, it was my turn to roll my eyes. I reminisced about the days when you’d run to the mailbox to see if you got anything. A postcard, letter, package, it was like winning the lottery back then.

“Here’s a reason why,” I began with, “tomorrow all of your pictures on Instagram could be gone in the blink of an eye. It could start with a glitch on your phone, or a major outage at Instagram. You have zero control. At least with a postcard, it is something tangible.”

“My phone is tangible,” she said smugly.

“Your phone is tangible, what what is stored on it is intangible and could be gone in a flash,” I explained.

“How so?” she asked defiantly.

“Everything on electronic media is stored via electrons. While an electron is a small subatomic particle, it is one of the most unstable particles on the planet. An electron enters a wire only to force the an electron to hop off at the other end. Nature wants balance, and in order for electrons to be of any use, we have to create an imbalance,” as I dove in to my physics lecture.

Charly sat there with raised eyebrows as if to ask, ‘Are you finished yet?’ I could tell using intellect wouldn’t get me far, so I changed direction.

“It’s a tangible gift. Something your friend can hold, touch, pin on the wall, tape to the fridge, and pass down to her children,” I said.

Now her expression was as if she was thinking, ‘Okay, that makes sense.’

“Where’s the nearest Post Office?” Charly asked.

“There has to be one in this small town, we’ll just drive around and look for an American Flag,” I said.

The First Closed Post Offices

The first closed Post Offices (and I say that in the plural, because we found many) appeared to be open. The flag was flying and it was 2:30 in the afternoon. For all intents and purposes, it should have been open.

“Here, Charly. There’s a Post Office,” I said pointing to a red brick corner building.

Charly got out of the car, walked to the door diagonally across the street from where I stood taking pictures. She went to the door, turned around, and walked back to me.

Closed Post Offices #1
Closed Post Offices #1

Before I could ask why she didn’t go inside, she looked at me and said, “It’s closed!”

How could it be closed, I thought. Today isn’t a holiday. It’s a work day. It’s only 2:30 p.m.

“Closed?” I asked while thinking she didn’t even try the door.

“Yes, closed. The sign says the hours on weekdays is 10 a.m. to noon, and then 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.” she stated very matter-of-factly.

“That’s ridiculous!” I proclaimed like a disgruntled customer.

There wasn’t much we could do except to move on.

Other Closed Post Offices

Every stop we made at a post office yield the same results. They don’t all have the same hours. But it seemed that we were always about 15-30 minutes late. If we got there at 4 p.m., they closed at 3:30 p.m. If we got there at 4:45 p.m., they closed at 4:30 p.m.

And they wonder why people complain.

Fixing Her Hair

As I drove, Charly was fixing her hair. I noticed she hasn’t changed clothes yet today. She’s still wearing the same outfit, but obviously, today’s fuss is about her hair.

“I’m tired of the wind blowing this piece of hair in to my eyes,” she said holding a strand out.

I was too busy driving and paying attention to the road to look. We were in a rather rural area and Historic Route 66 had a few bends in the road.

Suddenly I saw a nicely restored drive-in.

66 Drive-In
66 Drive-In

“Can we go to the drive-in and see a movie?” Charly asked with excitement.

“They don’t start the movies until after dark,” I pointed out.

“Okay. I don’t mind waiting,” she said sitting back in her seat.

Looking at my watch and the position of the sun I found it necessary to say something.

“Charly, we’re going to have to wait about 3 and a half hours before sunset, and then another hour before the movie starts,” I explained.

“Oh,” she said with a lot of disappointment in her voice.

“I will tell you what,” I said to ease the disappointment, “since we really aren’t prepared right now, let’s go eat something, grab a few snacks, and return when it is dark.”

“But I want to eat at the drive-in,” she whined like a little child.

Seeing this could be a major disappointment and point of regret later on, I said, “Okay. But, let’s go get some provisions.”

We headed back to the car and started driving to find a store.

Back of the Screen and Ticket Booth
Back of the Screen and Ticket Booth

Drive-In Provisions

When going to the drive-in there are certain provisions one must bring. First, a blanket and pillow. Second, beverages. Yes, you can buy something at the snack bar, but at those costs, you’ll die of thirst or go broke, so you need an ice chest with some drinks. Third, your favorite snack. Again, the snack bar will break you and you need something to snack on during a movie.

We entered the convenience store and I instructed Charly to get one of her favorite candy, some other snack, and a couple of bottles of her favorite beverage. I looked around for a cheap ice chest.

Movie Time

I can’t recall the last time I went to the drive-in, and for Charly, this was a first. We slowly drove up to the ticket booth.

“Is it by the car or per person?” I asked the lady.

“Per person. Two adults?” she asked.

“Is there a senior discount?” I asked.

Bending down to get a better view inside the car, she looked at Charly, and then she looked at me. Being totally unaware, I hadn’t noticed Charly was playing with a curl of my hear behind my ear. Perhaps this earned the glare I received from the lady.

“Senior?” she asks, “Are you over 60?”

“Yes,” I answered.

Looking again past me and at Charly, it was about then I noticed what Charly was doing.

“Stop that!” I said pushing Charly’s hand away, “This lady is going to get the wrong idea.”

If looks could kill, this lady would have slayed me. I gave her the money, and we entered the lot.

“You had this cute curl of hair,” Charly said with a sheepish grin.

“Yeah, thanks to you this lady must think I’m some pervy old man,” I snapped.

“Oh, that’s what you think?” she asked, and then added, “I’ll stand up for anyone who thinks your pervy. I tell them, ‘He’s not pervy, in fact, he’s very prudish.'”

“So, I’m not the one extreme, but the other,” I said continuing, “That’s comforting to know.”

I pulled up to a spot and edged the car forward and backward until the viewing angle was just right. I then reached to the back seat and positioned the ice chest to form a wall between me and miss-hair-fetish.

“Eat your snacks,” I said.

“I thought you were going to get dinner at the snack bar,” she asked.

I drew a deep breath, “That’s right, I did. Come on, let’s get dinner. BUT, no more playing with my hair or anything else that might make people think we’re here for some hanky panky.”

Looking at me with a very confused look, Charly asked, “Hanky panky?”

I can tell I’ve got a lot of explaining about drive-in movies.