Live At The P.O.

But here I am, and here I’ll stay. I want the world to know I’m happy.

Eudora Welty

The Acklen Post Office has a wall of fame. Where most post offices used to put up wanted posters—or so I’ve heard, or rather read, since a wanted poster in a post office was once a key plot point in an Encyclopedia Brown story—they put up headshots of notable visitors. As the hub of country music and a major recording center Nashville certainly draws a number of celebrities, and if there’s one thing famous people love to do it’s buy stamps. And if you’re ever waiting in line to buy your own stamps and not in the presence of a live celebrity you can peruse the names and faces of those who’ve come before, people like…

The truth is I don’t recognize most of the people whose headshots grace the walls of the Acklen P.O. A few might be on the D-list but the rest don’t even make the list. Some are has-beens but most are never-weres. If they’ve paid their dues they deserve a refund.

I’m not trying to be too snarky because I believe most, if not all, have done something to deserve their spot on the wall. They may not be known to me but they were, and maybe still are, wanted somewhere, and their only crime is that they fell short but still tried. And it’s not as though I’ve accomplished anything. It’s not as though I’ve earned my spot on the wall.

Maybe I could, though. Just between us it goes through my mind every time I’m in the Acklen post office. What if all I have to do is have a few glossy headshots made?

And I’ll just carry them in and maybe buy a few stamps and hand one over. To make it really easy for them I’ll even bring in my own marker and autograph it for them, and maybe add a personal message: “Stay cool and don’t take any wooden stamps.”

The important thing is I won’t ask because asking, “Am I famous enough for you to hang up one of these?” would give away the gig. If you have to ask if you’re well-known then you don’t have to ask. Also one of the keys to success, or so I’ve heard from people who I assume aren’t locked out, is projecting confidence. As my kindergarten teacher used to tell us, if you dream big, work hard, and believe in yourself there’s a small chance you’ll find happiness and won’t end up sneaking off to the teachers’ lounge at naptime to pour cheap brandy in your coffee. It could be the start of something big. It could prompt me to really accomplish something. At the very least people might start to recognize me. They’ll stop me on the street and say, “Hey, aren’t you…um…do I know you from somewhere?”

And I’ll smile and nod and say, “No, I’m the other one.”

7 Comments

  1. Allison

    If you’ve ever eaten at Gabby’s, their wall of fame is regular folks who submit a photo for the wall. I think there are a few celebs mixed in, but they like to reward the everyday burger lovers who make their job possible.

    If you have not eaten at Gabby’s, you need to go there ASAP. I’ve eaten a lot of burgers in my life – this is easily the best.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      A quick check reveals Gabby’s is just a hop, skip, a jump, a couple of hops, and another jump from where I work. Close enough. How have I not heard of this place before? Lunch at Gabby’s has got to happen soon.

      Reply
  2. Ann Koplow

    Hey, aren’t you…um…do I know you from that hilarious blog?”

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Why, yes, I’m mistaken for him all the time.

      Reply
  3. Gilly Maddison

    You may have heard this joke:
    A famous person was visiting an old folks hurting home when he encountered one of the patients who stopped to chat to him.
    The famous person said, rather arrogantly, “Do you know who I am?”
    The resident replied, “No, but if you ask one of the nurses, she’ll tell you.”

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I haven’t heard that joke before but you can bet I’ll be retelling it on a regular basis now, probably along with the Groucho Marx line, “I intend to live forever, or die trying.”

      Reply
  4. Gilly Maddison

    That last comment should say NURSING home! Although I have no doubt some of them are hurting homes from what I read in the papers!!!!!

    Reply

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