Small town residents fighting to keep post office

Meeting to be held in Wendell on July 8

WENDELL, Mass. (WWLP) – Everywhere you look in the eastern Franklin County town of Wendell, signs urge residents to attend a town hall protest meeting Tuesday July 8th. The postal service wants to either reduce the post office hours or close it altogether.

Longtime Postmaster Charlie O’Dowd is an icon in this community of less than 800 residents, who takes a interest in the lives of the people who pick up their mail here.

“We’ve seen them go on to college. We’ve seen the joy of their moms when they share the letter of acceptance to college,” O’Dowd said.

And Charlie apparently has had a strong influence on the townspeople of all ages.

“My young neice goes home and she plays post office, She has her stamps, and her mail, and her letters and she makes them out,” Lorraine Chaisson of Wendell said.

The small post office shares its building with the town’s Country Store. Townsfolk cringe at the idea of going instead to Turners Falls or Orange to pick up their mail If Wendell loses its post office.

“People that would be traveling off the mountain will probably do more of their shopping and eating off of the mountain,” Country Store employee Kathleen Leonard said.

Concerns about lost business and the loss of a special hometown feel are just some of the reasons the people of Wendell will share with the Postal Service during a meeting billed as both a public hearing and protest meeting.

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