Tuesday, March 18, 2008

James & Dolly Madison and Postal Stuff


On CBS Sunday Morning News Show last Sunday they had a bit about James Madison, Dolly, and their home Montpelier.

I perked up because we visited Montpelier, which, must have been just a year or so after it was bought from the DuPont family, who owned it as a private residence, which they said was 23 years ago. Now, according to the article it is being restored again.

It is just down at the foot of the hill of Jefferson’s Monticello. I hate to admit it, but I don’t remember the house itself, only outside of the house where my son Adam chased the peacocks on the lawn near the parking lot.

Dolly was the first wife of a president to be called “The First Lady”, but that was spoken by Zachary Taylor at her eulogy. But she did earn that title. In the War of 1812, just before the British burned the White House Dolly had many of the things of historical value moved out during the night. And, when Thomas Jefferson was president, he was a widower, Dolly served as hostess to state dinners and things that protocols called for a woman.

James Madison was a little short man and a great writer. Maybe that is why I like him, he was a runt too.

He may possibly be a distant relative. He is a distant cousin of Zachary Taylor and one of the family’s folklore on my mother’s side is that my ancestor Mary Polly Taylor Pullen was first cousins with Zachary. I still have not found any proof of that.

James Madison was partly the author of the Declaration Of Independence and was widely known for his fine style of writing.

Once George Washington needed to send a classy letter to Congress he chose James Madison to write the letter for him. Then, Congress needed to respond to the letter in the same high style of writing, so they chose James Madison to respond to George Washington, and I think they carried on a correspondence for a while, which basically was Madison carrying on a correspondence with himself.

In a way, it reminded me of a Postal Supervisor named MB.

M was a tall redheaded man, very friendly and eccentric. He was a guru of electronic gadgets and watches. He sold them from a catalog that he was the authorized salesman for the area.

M was a supervisor of LSM Machine crews when I knew him. An LSM machine is a Letter Sorting Machine. Back then it sorted about many letters a minute – I forgot how many. Now, the Postal Service Scantronics machines sort that much a second, if not more.

M was transferred to a branch with carrier service and window service. I think it was a promotion. After he was there for a while a customer complained and M replied to the customer. The customer did not accept the M’s explanation and wrote another letter complaining, which M replied again. I heard the correspondence continued for a while.

The letters somehow ended up in the hands of the higher ups of the Atlanta Post Office and someone took a closer look at the letters and made the discovery that the customer doing the complaining was MB and the manager doing the explaining was MB. They were one in the same person.

He was sent back to his old job as manager of the LSM machine.

MB and two or three other people were killed March 6, 1985, when postal employee went berserk with a gun.

Interesting, the last person he shot was a deaf person that was working behind the LSM machine and did not hear the noise of the gun fire – everybody else heard the shots and quickly fled.

The shooter, I think his name was Brownee or Brownlee walked around the machine and there was the deaf person working away – POW!!!

He survived and may have been the only survivor. In 1988 I ran into him and he told me (in his own way) that he was still working for the Postal Service, but transferred to a small town post office.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Si's blog said...

Very nice post, ET. Yours has a good personal story.

Went to Montpelier probably shortly after you were there. One of the neatest things about it to me at the time was that Randolph Scott had lived there. It was after that I started to understand The Founding Fathers and The Constitution and I really came to appreciate what they did and what happened.

6:22 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Si,
That reminds me, HBO is having a series on John Adams, which the first two episodes were Sunday night and now there will be an episode for the next three or so Sunday nights.

6:48 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Si,
And thank you

6:49 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

The moral of that story is to wear hearing aids!! I can't wait to et mine.

6:50 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Judy,
You a hearing aid? Nah!

6:58 AM  

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