Skip to comments.Snail mail: Postcard arrives to wrong house, half a century later
Posted on 04/25/2012 12:46:57 PM PDT by RightFighter
Talk about snail mail! The nearly 60-year journey of a postcard through at least four states is finally winding down, although the little Georgia boy whose parents wrote him during a trip to Chicago is now 71 years old. The postcard, with a picture of the Windy City's Shedd Aquarium on the front and a 2-cent stamp on the back, landed in the mailbox of Elizabeth Fulcher, of South Daytona, Fla., last week.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
I don’t think I would have turned that card over to the mail man — not without making copies, and getting a notary to validate an affidavit. I also don’t buy the excuse that some homeowner hung on to the card for 50 years, sold their house, and the buyer put the card n the mail box. What kind of dopey excuse is that?
I agree with you completely. Elizabeth texted me and told me that after the newspaper interviewed her, the mailman showed up and told her that if she didn’t turn the postcard back over to them, she would be arrested. I looked up some case law and from what I could find, she was well within her rights to just tell them that she had made arrangements with the intended recipient to get the card to him by other means.
The original postmark is from Chicago. The 2nd postmark is from way up north in Iron Mountain Michigan (Kingsford Exchange post office).
At the time, we were trying to arrange for a news station to pay for her to travel to Virginia and hand-deliver it to him.
I can imagine that that would have been intimidating.
Something is “fishy” about this.
I’m sure it was. If it had been me, I’d have pretended to look for it and then said, I’m sorry - I must have misplaced it.
The United States Postmaster General was quoted as saying,
“Just give us another 60 years and we’ll get it right!”
Right - that doesn’t make any sense as the second post mark is in Michigan and if it was originally delivered correctly it would have been in Georgia - the buyer of the old house just happened to go back up near where it was originally mailed in Chicago and dropped it to be mailed? My theory would be that it fell and got lost behind a cabinet or piece of equipment and was recently found when it was moved for the first time after all of these years and then sent on its way - Michigan is close to Chicago so that is probably where it was moved to be sorted after being mailed. This is not the first story we’ve seen about a post card being delivered decades later. And what is their explanation as to why it would be delivered in Florida when it clearly has a Georgia address?
We have post office box. We found some important mail in the lobby trash addressed to us. I asked the post master about it. He said he must have put it in the wrong box. Once someone else receives it, it belongs to them.
It seems that what they tell you depends on the situation and if they're in trouble for goofing up.
LOL. Right - so if someone's paycheck arrives in your box by mistake - it's yours? Or if someone ordered something out of a catalog / online and it gets delivered to you by mistake, you get to keep the products? LOL.
60 years and sixty billion dollars should about do it.
You do not have the right to mail that is misdelivered to you. Specifically, you don’t have the right to USE mail that is misdelivered to you, whether it’s got someone else’s name and your address, or someone else’s name and a completely different address. You always have the right to return it to the post office, or to get the mail to its rightful owner. For instance, if mail to your neighbor arrives in your box, even if it’s got your address for some reason, you would be perfectly okay to walk down the street and give them their mail or call them and ask them to pick it up from you.
You’re also okay if you accidentally open the mail first. As long as you get it to the rightful recipient once you realize the mistake, you’re in the clear. You cannot, however, take whatever information is inside and use it for your own purposes, and you don’t have the right to just throw it away. At least that is the way I understood the case law I was reading.
In this case, I think the post office would have a difficult time pursuing any kind of charges against her even if she’d flat refused to give it back. This particular item reached what I would consider to be more of an “artifact” stage. Had the post office realized that they were delivering a postcard this old, they’d have probably tossed it. They certainly weren’t going to go to the trouble of finding the man like I did. By the way - not an easy job, because the card is addressed to Scott McMurry, but his full name is Dean S. McMurry, and he goes by his middle name. That made it pretty tricky to find him.
I think what might have happened is that the post office might have heard about the conversations we were having on Facebook about it. I suggested that we get in touch with Fedex or UPS and offer them the opportunity to deliver the postcard, and to cut a commercial about it with a script saying something to the effect of “The regular mail took over 50 years to deliver this postcard to the wrong address in the wrong state, but Fedex found the rightful recipient overnight. Whatever you’re sending, don’t take chances. If you care enough to send it, send it with Fedex.”
I laughed about the commercial! How delicious that would have been. :-)