Holiday post office lines

People line up at the Maple Way post office around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Post offices will be open for pick up Christmas Eve.

Someone waiting in line at the post office Wednesday morning had his eyes on the prize.

“I hope I have presents,” Anthony Martino, 30, told the Jackson Hole Daily.

Martino was one of about 20 people in line for package pickup around 8:30 a.m. at the Maple Way post office. He had tried to pick up his mail the night before but gave up and decided to come back later.

“I came in yesterday around 4 p.m. and the line was, like, around the corner,” he said. “I thought I’d come here earlier in the morning to beat the line, but it’s not that much different.”

The line, however, moved pretty quickly. Within three minutes, Martino was near the front.

Tim Hodgson, 54, was there for work. In and out of the post office every day for his job at Jackson Hole Security, he said holiday lines move fairly quickly.

“During holiday season it’s busy like this,” he said. “They do a great job. They push people through as quickly as they can.”

It’s been a big year for the U.S. Postal Service. The COVID-19 pandemic has people shopping online more, and that’s pushing the numbers for the Postal Service.

“It’s super busy,” said Max Brooke, a clerk at the Jackson Hole post offices. “Across the country things are super delayed, so a lot of things aren’t going to be arriving on time.”

David Rupert, a former Jackson Hole postmaster and the U.S. Postal Service’s manager of communications for the western United States, didn’t have specific data, but he confirmed what Brooke said.

“Every indication is it’s breaking every record,” Rupert said of the 2020 season.

Jacksonites, he said, may have a slight leg up.

“Jackson is rural. Idaho Falls is two hours away. You’ve learned to shop local, and what you can’t find local you shop by mail,” Rupert said. “Ever since the Sears Wish Book” — the department store’s iconic catalog, first published under that name in 1933 — “Jackson people have figured out how to order by mail.”

While some Jackson homes receive U.S. Postal Service delivery, most do not, so holiday cards and packages have to be picked up at the post office.

Luckily, for people who have forgotten to pick up a package from Grandma they have to open over Zoom on Christmas morning, Jackson Hole’s post offices will be open Christmas Eve. That’s despite an executive order from President Trump giving federal workers the day off.

Rupert said such orders usually have exemptions.

“We got work to do,” he said.

Post offices will be closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.

“Our employees are going to take a well-deserved break,” Rupert said. “They’ve worked really hard to get to this point.”

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or barnold@jhnewsandguide.com.

Teton County Reporter

Previously the Scene editor, Billy Arnold made the switch to the county beat where he's interested in exploring Teton County as a model for the rest of the West. When he can, he still writes about art, music and whatever else suits his fancy.

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