Unsolicited advertisements. Bills. To most, this is just another day of checking the mail, but to Brookesmith residents it’s something special. Located at 13375 FM 586 S, the office is not just a gateway to the modern world, but a staple in this community of 250. With generous operating hours (7:00 am – 2:45 pm) , a familiar atmosphere, and a need to pay bills and receive news, Brookesmith just wouldn’t be the same without the Post Office.
“We don’t really get a chance to do city things very often” stated resident Joleen McGowan. “It’s fun.. standing in line, when there is a line, is something to look forward to!”
Times haven’t always been good for the heart of the community, though. “In 2008, we developed a leak in the roof after a severe storm moved through the area. Unfortunately we hadn’t been able to afford insurance in quite some time, and we had to auction off a block of 8 post office boxes to help us pay for the repairs.” said Postmaster General Henry Sellers. “Being named business of the month is as exciting as that time old man Jones planted marigolds by the church sign”.
Brookesmith residents have come to patronize the Post Office more frequently than all other small communities. While the Richland Springs Post Office mulls closing, the future looks bright for Brookesmith. Joleen McGowan went on to say, “If the Post Office carried food and drinks, I’d never have to go to Brownwood.” McGowan continued, “I hate going to Brownwood, those city folks drive like they own the road! The worst part of driving to Brownwood is that Truman Harlow Overpass. It’s scary tall. Sometimes, when the sky is just right, I can see all the smog from Brownwood back here in Brookesmith, I’m so fortunate the wind almost never blows from the northeast. Those poor folks in Zephyr get a whiff of Brownwood’s pollution everytime a blue norther blows in in the winter time.”
McGowan isn’t the only resident who enjoys the convenience of small town life. Area welder Lester Douglas also enjoys the Post Office. While selecting a book of stamps, Douglas expressed concern that the Post Office was potentially underserving the Brookesmith market. “Well, I mean, the only kind of stamps you can get here are postage stamps, you see? What if the Post Office could sell other kinds of stamps? I could get my deer hunting stamps, my waterfowl stamps, hell, I could even get some food stamps for when the hunting is bad!”
Area teens also enjoy the festive atmosphere. Stamp collecting is a major hobby among the youth, with children and teens alike sitting on the old rock fence by the gym, trading designs from days past. “Sometimes the younger kids don’t know that Forever Stamps are your best bet when mailing, but when trading, the smaller denominations are more highly sought.” one teen, who wished to be unnamed, said. Designs featuring the American Flag, eagles, and wildflowers are the most highly traded, while designs featuring civil rights figures and historical scenarios are rarely bartered. “You gotta be really desperate to trade for a stamp with one of them book people on it” the teen spoke, denigrating the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow stamp that this reporter offered.
As the Post Office is the only business in Brookesmith, expect it to win Business of the Month again in the future.