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Pearl (A tribute to Mrs. Pearl Bonnell, from Waretown, N.J.) She remembered, in the her many trips down to She recalled her first A counter and a row of

old days, when she served the town its mail, the depot, for it came by way of rail. Post Office; it was her parent's store. boxes; in those days they didn't need more.

Four times daily she got ready to go down and meet the train. Mornings, afternoons, and evenings, sunny weather, snow and rain. Sometimes she walked or rode her horse the half-a-mile, or so. Winter was another story; in those days they didn't plow snow. So, she'd hitch her horse, Prince, to the sleigh, on mornings that it snowed, and he would step so lightly down snow-drifted country roads. In the mornings, it was usually deserted at the station, but when the evening train came in, she'd find a congregation. The neighbors, talking news, and politics, and crops, and weather; a good excuse, at end of day, for folks to get together. And, from the Bayside Inn, a hack was usually in wait; the driver glancing at his watch, perhaps the train was late. Youngsters playing tag around the platform and the track, but when they heard the whistle, everybody would step back. She'd wait on the trembling platform for the sack that they'd throw down, then, she would hand up to them the sack of mail from town. Sometimes there'd be mail-order bundles holidays would bring, or flat cartons full of peeping baby chicks, when it was Spring. Day after day, for years, she made her journeys, without fail, until a carrier was hired to take and bring the mail. The people in the village had learned they could depend on Pearl's faithful service, and in need, a helping friend. In war times, when soldier's families found the waiting hard, she shared their daily vigils for a letter or a card. Sometimes they shared a letter, when the news inside was glad, but she knew a letter edged in black contained news that was sad. She married, and her husband was appointed postal clerk; her ever faithful helpmate, with their family and their work. Postmaster forty seven years, she watched the village grow, but she could well remember how it was so long ago. -Lillian Arnold Lopez "Pineylore"


Pearl