Friday, January 16, 2009

Photostory Friday - Standing in Line at the PO

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Standing in line at the post office is one of my least favorite tasks, and there is always a line at the post office. People in line are often as unhappy about being there as I am, and the cashiers are cranky (remember where "going postal" originated). So the other day, after accumulating a few weeks' worth of packages to be mailed, I couldn't put it off any longer; I grabbed my current read to distract me from the grumpy vibes and headed out.

Full parking lot = bad sign. I walked through the door and indeed there was a long line of disgruntled folk. But wait...what's this? Three or four spots from the end of the line was a young woman with a colorful, fun outfit on, rainbow dreadlocks, and holding a big hula hoop. I hesitated for a minute (I'm pretty shy with strangers), but then asked her if I could take her photo. "You're so colorful," I said. She quickly agreed and I ran (ok, I limped) back to my car (which means losing my place in line! was I crazy?) to fetch my camera. We had a spontaneous photo shoot right there in line at the PO and a fun conversation about her hula hoop (or just hoop) and her hoop troop, Hoopshine.

This is Lacye.

Lacye's wonderful dreadlocks.

Lacye makes these hoops and mails them all over the world.
Just like this - no box, taped up with postage affixed.
(Although, she was there to find out why this one was returned.)
She has an online catalog where you can order custom-made hoops.
You can read here about why she hoops.

I learned a few valuable lessons from this fun encounter.
  • Always have my camera with me.
  • Cameras/photography are great conversation starters (so are hoops).
  • Standing in line at the PO doesn't have to be boring.
  • I never thought I'd say this sentence: "I had so much fun at the post office today!"
Lacye encouraged me to take a class in hoopdance. I didn't tell her that I was the first generation of hula hoopers (at least the authentic plastic hoops) and that it was more than 50 years ago and I doubt I could spin one of those bad boys on my body anymore. But I appreciated her belief in me!


Serena said...

wow..that's interesting that the post office takes the hoops without a box, etc. I would have a hard time doing that at my post office I think...they are box nazis

Olga said...

I waited in line 30 min a few days ago just to buy stamps...I know exactly how you feel.

Jientje said...

What a fun story!! You know, you're much braver than I am. I'm always very shy when it comes to photographing people!

Terri said...

I usually am too Jientje - but there was something very welcoming in her demeanor.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

I'm so glad you joined in PSF, this was perfect. I know what you mean, I'm getting braver and braver for those candid GOLDEN shots like these!

DaniOfAlaska said...

What an awesome story about such a typically depressing place. And it's even nicer to read because Lacye is my daughter! She's always been a colorful, talkative, welcoming girl and I'm glad she was able to positively affect you. Thanks for publishing such nice comments about her and the awesome pictures. Sure makes a mom proud! :)

Terri said...

Oh Dani, you made my day! What a very sweet circle that makes. (no hoop pun intended!) I could tell what a special young woman she is. I hope to see her around town again.

gwenlyn said...

You've got to be kidding! He mom posted a comment? Only you, T. have that kind of Karma, I swear to gawd!

Isn't retirement grand? Look at the adventures you have!!!

Gal Friday said...

This was such an interesting blog to read and look at on so many fronts for me!
First of all, I had to do a double-take becasue the interior of this post office looks almost identical to the one in my area(but it was closed down in 2000 and turned into offices and the U.S. Postal Service is now located in an ugly, faceless, remodelled supermarket--bleh). There was a mural/painting on the wall much like the one I can see from your photos--done by a WPA artist during the Depression--so I am guessing this was done in post offices all over the country. It may have been the same artist!Not only the mural, but the lobby itself looked exactly like the old post office I know...again probably dozens and dozens of the same "model" post office built all over this country at one time. At least yours is still open.

How brave of you to ask the young lady if you could take her photo--she is a great walking advertisement for her "Hoopshine" endeavor. Inspires me to also try to remember to have a camera with me when I go out...

One more thing(sorry this is so long):
You may want to check out this link--about an experiment done sending several odd shaped and unwrapped things through the U.S. Mail(the hula hoop without excess packaging reminded me of this website)

Chris said...

THAT is one of the coolest stories I have read in a LONG time. Way to go!
Great pictures too!

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I've been retired since November, 2008. I've been spending lots of time taking photos, singing, and writing. Currently working on a historical fiction novel.. I highly recommend retirement!