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Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds...

If this Herodotus quote was posted over the main Denver post office rather than the one in New York City, we'd have to delete "swift."

Because over the last month, metro residents have gotten accustomed to very special deliveries -- mail drops at their homes at 7 p.m., 9 p.m., sometimes even later. At first, it seemed an odd holiday phenomenon -- or maybe a new moonlighting U.S. Postal Service shift.

As it turns out, though, the post office hasn't changed its hours -- the blizzards and their rutted remains have just stretched out the job in Denver. "It really takes letter carriers a lot longer to deliver the routes," says Al DeSarro, post office spokesman. "We're trying to get it back to normal as soon as possible. Our goal is to try to get all the mail delivered by five o'clock every day. Usually, we're able to do that. But this past month, it's taken an average of two to four more hours for carriers to deliver the routes."

Most routes are designed so that the carrier can sort the mail at the office, deliver it, and then return within eight hours. Now, between having problems parking vehicles (DeSarro reports that he spent an hour recently digging out one carrier on his route, and that man had four-wheel drive) and then trudging slowly to mailboxes (even so, he says, eighty carriers have injured themselves on the ice), the job goes much, much longer.

The only bright spot for these faithful letter carriers: They get overtime.

And it's way above freezing today. Seal that with a kiss.-- Patricia Calhoun

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.