Friday, April 20th, 2007
I went to my precious post office for the last time yesterday. It closes today in preparation to be torn down, along with several other buildings in downtown Tuscaloosa, to make room for a new – and totally unecessary, since they just remodeled the old one – mammoth federal courthouse complex.
Along with the relatively unattractive but supremely convenient post office building, we’re losing a former opera house from the 1870s and some convenient cross-through streets, if they make it anything like the other gigantic government building project downtown.
This is what happens when a senator from our area gets his hands on some federal money. Never mind that we don’t need a new federal courthouse; we’ve got the money now, so let’s spend it!
Can I just say I hate so-called progress? Several years ago in Eutaw, an old – and reputedly very cool – hotel was destroyed to make way for the remarkably blah new courthouse, which I hear Eutaw’s criminals adore. I hate when old buildings with lots of potential get torn down to make way for new, uglier ones. It’s so wasteful.
At the post office, the guys behind the counter – who I’ve come to know by name over the past year from sending eBay packages on my lunch breaks - started a petition to save the post office. I was one of the first to sign. Yesterday, it was several pages thick.
Yet the post office will be torn down and its boxes and employees moved to the overcrowded post office several blocks away. See, there are two post offices downtown. The city figured we could lose one, no problem. But how will it work when already both post offices have people lined up out the door every time I go? And where will the three postal workers I know and love go when there are five desks at the other branch, and four are already filled?
Rumors are swirling that the post office will be reinstated somewhere else. I’m hoping for a location even closer to my office, but in the mean time I’ll be stuck going to … where? Half the time when I go somewhere else I get hassled about my international packages.
Besides, I will miss that little skip down River Road (now renamed Jack Warner Parkway, but being a change-hater, I refuse to call it that) and hop up the hill to University Blvd. Now it’ll be two skips and a hop, and then at the end a hassle instead of a smile and a joke from my post office friends.
But the government has spoken. It’s goodbye for now, sweet post office. I loved you while I knew you.