In black neighborhoods, carriers deliver more than mail

” ‘Here comes Uncle Sam!’ is what I used to hear on my mail route in west Durham. Mostly I heard this from older African Americans — along with the usual jokes about bills, junk mail and checks. Almost one-fifth of my customers received Social Security checks, and many of them relied on me to deliver their medications, including on Saturdays.

“What I didn’t fully appreciate until later was the reassurance they got from seeing their letter carrier and the connection I represented to the Postal Service and the federal government. For them, the post office was also quite likely a place where a relative had found employment — enabling a middle-class lifestyle, homeownership and college tuition for the kids.”

— From “What we’ll lose if we lose the post office” by Philip F. Rubio in the Washington Post (July 29) 

The Postal Service’s list of proposed closings includes 20 locations in North Carolina, from Raleigh and New Bern to the Appalachian Trail.