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about the p.o. box...

Monday, November 21, 2016

...there must be a back story, and since I don't actually know, there is no reason not to make something up, right? When my dad got home from the Big War, he got married, to a home town girl. Who I am pretty sure did not want to leave the safe familiar environs of family and friends, so they settled down in that small south GA town. Living in various and sundry rented spaces, producing two children. We will assume when they produced one of each gender, they decided to quit.

He went into business with his dad, who was operating a cotton gin, and working as a Texaco distributor selling petroleum products: oil, gasoline and heating oil. When his dad died, he continued to run the businesses in partner ship with his mother. Who was probably a silent partner, enjoyed the income, without providing the labor.

I am guessing my granddad first began use of that PO #229 when he started his business, and will also assume my dad 'inherited' and therefore continued to use the box after the death of his dad. It was our family address for many years. When my dad became executive director of the local Public Housing, he continued to use that box/address for the Authority. After a successful second career in that position, he retired. Agreeing to let the Housing Authority continue use of the PO Box.

Which caused him to finally have a need for mail delivery at his house. In all those years of living in that house he built, there had been no residential delivery. No box, no mail slot, no need for the mailman to bring correspondence to the house. My dad took the front door down off the hinges, proceeded cut a hole in the solid wood door, and installed brass hardware he had purchased, to have a mail slot for home delivery.

But two-two-nine lingers on. Long after he relegated the box at the post office to the Housing Authority, all of south GA uses 229 for an area code. As the population grew in the state, and need for more telephone numbers increased, the southern half of GA had their area code changed. For many years it was 706, but now everyone who applies for a phone number now gets one that starts with 229.

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