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Rollins Fork Post Office was there one day but gone the next. Residents don't understand why.
One Rollins Fork resident says he objects to the 'nasty' way that Postal Service officials closed the rural post office.
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Date published: 7/13/2003
Then, in a decision that flabbergasted customers, the Postal Service closed the office, saying it didn't have a qualified postmaster to run it.
Customers were appalled by the suggestion that no qualified postmaster was available. Hardy had served capably for 15 years.
"I think they did it right nasty," Coates said of the situation.
Bob Novak, a spokesman for the Postal Service, said the post office was indeed closed because it lacked a postmaster. As for the sequence of events that created the vacancy, he declined to comment directly.
"All I can say is that the Postal Service feels that we can better serve our customers out of our other offices," Novak said.
There are several post offices in the area, most at least nine miles away.
"It just gets to be a pain," Daiger said of driving to other offices.
Novak said finances played a part in the closure, though he couldn't say whether it's cheaper to provide roadside delivery than to keep the office open.
Coates, who owned the office space, said he rented it to the Postal Service for $160 a month. It was open four hours a day.
"I don't have a cost comparison, but apparently we figured we could serve our customers more efficiently at a lower cost [by closing]," Novak said.
Many Rollins Fork patrons now get their mail delivered at home in roadside boxes. It's convenient, and it's the way many Americans get their mail. But it doesn't feel right to people in Rollins Fork.
They miss bumping into each other in the post office. They're irritated at losing their Rollins Fork address--Daiger said the Colonial Beach address her family now has doesn't fit them.
And they just never thought the Postal Service would really close the office, tiny as it was.
Still, a feeling of resignation seems to have replaced some of the anger customers felt when the office closed in mid-May.
"Given very little choice, everyone trudges on," Daiger said in an e-mail. "I don't suppose a tiny place like Rollins Fork can stop 'progress.'"