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Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Mail Box

 17 years ago when I retired the office and those I worked with across Pennsylvania held a retirement party for us. At that party I was presented with several departing gifts and one was a hand made mailbox by my friend and co-worker Tony Telep. Tony had made the mailbox on the theme of our A-Frame house. I was excited over this labor of love by Tony and being a woodworker I recognized just how much work had gone into making it.
Tony's advice was to use a good wood sealer on it each year and it would preserve the wood from deteriorating. I have taken it down each year and as I stain the roof and seal the rest of the mailbox I can tell just how much care was put into making it just right. Tony hand cut each of the roof pieces and weathered the exterior trim boards. I think of Tony often but especially each year when I treat the mailbox as Tony suggested. You can't help but notice all the care and effort that went into making this box by Tony when you seal the wood each year. He made every little detail just right and there is no question it was a labor of love from start to finish. 

When we moved out here I would send Tony a letter every few weeks telling him much of what this blog was set up to do - how life is here in the mountains. Tony then retired and he would call me on his cell phone around once a month. Then one day about three years ago I got a call from Tony who informed me he had a disease that was going to take his life. The lump in my throat was so big that it was all I could do to say goodbye to Tony and tell him how much I valued his friendship over the years and how I loved him. 

Then a few weeks later I heard that Tony was gone and I'm still heartsick over the loss of a good and true friend. A few weeks later I had heard from Tony's son who advised me he was cleaning out Tony's desk and found all my letters which Tony had saved. He said every time he would visit his mom and dad that Tony would pull out the most recent letter and read it to them and then put it away in his desk. 

Having a good loyal friend like Tony is priceless. Having a mail box that reminds me of Tony and how meticulously he made it is even better because each time I look at that box I think of Tony. I have it in a spot that  I see every day and what wonderful memories I have  of Tony and his friendship... 


Bruce said...

Comment by Sakoieta: Excellent post. True friends are hard to find but once found they are never forgotten. :)

Bruce said...

Yes my friend they are hard to find and you are so right. It is especially nice to have something to remember them by as a reminder.

Karen Zilverberg said...

Nice gift!