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Category Archives: Whimsical

I Pray You Have No Bills Today

Praying Mantis Mailbox

Please Don’t Be Bad News!

When I originally started this blog, I had (and still have) a couple hundred pictures I took of local curbside mailboxes. I wanted to share them and offered a bit of a taxonomy that broke them into various categories, e.g. Brick, stone, wood, etc. I also created a category for my favorites, which were the whimsical ones; the ones that weren’t necessarily all that well-crafted but were definitely interesting and, frequently, somewhat funny.

Then, along came Pinterest. I have found a huge collection of photographs from around the country, even from around the world, of interesting and whimsical mail boxes. I am going to share some of them as time goes by though, if you’re a member of Pinterest you can pretty easily find them yourself. Nevertheless, I will offer some of my favorites as well as continue posting some of the local ones I’ve found. Hopefully, I can pick up the pace a little. It’s been quite some time since my last post. I’ll try to remedy that.

Here’s one I found that is not local but is quite clever. Hope you like it.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2012 in Metal, Whimsical

 

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Saguaros Can Be Useful Too!

Cactus Shaped Mailbox

Perfect for the Dry Climate

I know – metrics are really helpful to do that (know, that is) – very few people visit this blog of mine. Nevertheless, it solves a problem I had of where to store the numerous pictures of mailboxes I was amassing. What’s really gratifying to me is that I’ve now received pictures of interesting mailboxes from several friends and even one reader I don’t know from Eve.

This one was posted on Facebook last night by a friend and former colleague of mine at Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. He tagged me to be sure I saw it and it surely is one of the more unique and interesting examples I’ve seen in a while. He encountered it in Palm Springs, CA. I don’t know for sure if he was thinking of me when he snapped it, but I’m grateful he chose to share it with me and I assume he knew I would want to post it here.

I doubt this is something you can buy out of a catalog, but one never knows. Although the area’s median income is lower than that for the entire state, there are lots of pretty wealthy people who either live or have second homes there and there are lots of retired people who likely have plenty of time on their hands to create something like this. Regardless, it’s a fine specimen.

Palm Springs holds some great memories for me. My family used to go there for three and four day weekends when I was young. We would drive there and, back then, the road was almost entirely two-lane. I would always get a horrible sunburn and have to spend the rest of the weekend in the pool wearing a t-shirt. It sucked, but I was clearly a stupid little kid who couldn’t think past the moment. I think I can reasonably assume these episodes played at least a supporting role in my recent discovery and subsequent surgery to have a Melanoma removed from my lower back (I’m fine. No metastasis – whew!)

I have some other interesting memories of Palm Springs. I think I’ll save them for my other blog – Systems Savvy – where I post far more frequently than here.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Metal, Whimsical

 

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Hi There Local Postal Carrier Person

Waving Mailbox

Hi There, Neighbor.

I received the picture I used in my previous post thanks to a reader who told me she found my blog because she and her husband had been searching online for a specific type of mailbox they’d seen down in Florida and wanted to find one for themselves. She requested my email address so she could send it to me, which she did and I posted it as my last update.

Since then, Chris was able to take pictures of the type of mailbox they had been searching for, one of which I’m sharing here. I haven’t seen anything remotely like this in these parts, and I’m grateful she sent me these photos. This one surely gets classified as whimsical.

Clever and colorful, this one obviously required a bit of tube bending and welding expertise. I imagine it extends down into the ground at least a foot to give it stability. Wonder how it would hold up during a hurricane. It is in Florida, though I have no idea precisely where in the state they were when this picture was taken.

Thanks again to Chris (Christine) and Terry for being so kind as to share this with me. I welcome any photos any of you want to send me and promise to share it on this blog within a week or two of receiving it. I would have posted this one a bit sooner but I’ve been consumed with rethinking the business model I’ve been working with and dealing with the consequences of a rather stupid mistake I made. No biggie, but I had to pay a lot of attention to my other blog and some other ancillary matters. Hope you like this.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2012 in Metal, Whimsical

 

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Un Buzón de Correo Muy Caro

Villa Costa-Plenty Mailbox

Hey! Did Anyone Force You To Buy It?

Update: I received some pictures of the mailbox Chris mentioned (see my next post) when sending this one, and discovered Chris is not a gentleman, though her husband is! Thanks again, Chris.

This is, if memory serves, the first picture I’ve received from a reader I don’t actually know. The picture was taken in Venice, FL last year by a gentlemen who came across my blog while searching for a particular kind of mailbox he wanted to get for his home. He commented on one of my posts and told me he had a picture of a mailbox I might be interested in using.

As I’ve noted before, my favorite curbside mailboxes are the whimsical ones. The mailbox, by itself, is pretty mundane. However, and I don’t have any pictures that fit this particular genre, the practice of naming the home the mailbox represents is surely another classification I need to consider. The name is definitely whimsical and, since it’s in Florida, I think the use of Spanglish makes perfect sense. Now that I think about it, seeing as how it’s in Venice, perhaps it’s fractured Italian?

At any rate, I responded to the comment, sending him my email address so he could forward the picture. Here’s what Chris (his wife’s name is Terry) had to say in a follow-up response to my asking him how he came across this blog:

Google sent me to your blog when I was searching for a certain mailbox style that I have seen down here in Florida, it’s made of bright poles of some kind, probably metal, and in a modern shape and holds the mailbox. If I see another one, I’ll be sure to have my camera ready and will send you a pic! I also thought I wanted one for home! But it’s always nice to come across an interesting blog when searching, and I did enjoy yours!

I hope you find the mailbox you’re looking for, Chris, and I surely hope you get a pic of it and send it on to me. If anyone who reads this blog comes across a mailbox they think fits Chris’s admittedly vague description, please get a shot of it and let me know so I can post it. If you comment on one of my posts, I’ll see your email address and send you mine so you can get me the file. I still have lots of pictures to share but always appreciate seeing other mailboxes that people encounter. Thanks, Chris. Much appreciated.

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2012 in Mailbox Photos, Whimsical

 

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Two Pounds of Junk Mail to Beam Away, Scotty!

Beam that Mail Aboard, Scotty

Beam that Mail Aboard, Scotty

I still have a lot of pictures to share; just not a lot of time to do so. However, I recently received a picture from a dear friend, the second one she’s sent me, and I would like to share it with you. One of my favorite types of mailbox, as should be evident from those I’ve already shared, is the whimsical one. The mailbox where someone has taken some time to think out a design concept and used some level of artistic talent and craftsmanship to execute their design.

This one is particularly cool, as it is not only rather intricate, but it is well executed. Although this picture was taken during daylight hours, I believe the presence of what appear to be a small solar panel and a light in the center of the main superstructure indicate it lights up at night. I imagine it would be a bit confusing to anyone driving down their street who was unaware of this mailbox’s presence. For the owner, perhaps it serves as a homing beacon when returning from an evening of drunken revelry. Then again, maybe that says more about me than the owner.

One thing I note that makes it a bit different than some of the other whimsical mailboxes I’ve shared is that the Starship is not the mailbox itself; that appears to be the duty of the black, regulation mailbox it sits atop. Of course, this clearly obviates any possible conflict with postal regulations and in no way detracts from the beauty and cleverness of the design.

What would make this particular mailbox super special is if it had the capability of beaming all the junk mail it no doubt collects to a recycling center. Now that would be something almost everyone would pay to have, provided it was reasonably inexpensive. Perhaps a deal to amortize it for a decade, with the proceeds from recycling being applied toward the payments. Shhh! Don’t tell the junk mailers.

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2011 in Mailbox Photos, Whimsical

 

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Have a Coke and a Smile!

Coca Cola Truck Mailbox

Life Begins Here?

OK, so I stole Coca-Cola‘s tagline from 1979, made famous by Mean Joe Greene. Coke is not quite the benign organization many of us are familiar with, but this mailbox is a wonderful example of the whimsey many people bring to the design of their analog receptacle to the world.

The basic design uses two of the most prevalent elements I’ve found; brick as a construction material to support the actual mailbox and a flower box built around the structure to add color and appeal. I like the way they took a regular mailbox and added a little metal coke bottle as the handle. The rest appears to be made out of wood and is well rendered, though it is none the better for wear.

Note the brickwork is clearly not that of a craftsman, at least not one with a lick of respect for his craft. The main structure, which uses all horizontally laid bricks, is sloppy and mostly out of alignment. The mortar is of varying thicknesses and not neat at all. The four vertical bricks used to hold the box itself are, perhaps, the ugliest part of the entire mailbox, appearing both out of place and unfinished.

I think those are Geraniums surrounding the brick though, not being a horticulturist, I’m uncertain and will leave it to others to correct me if I’m wrong. I will say Wikipedia leads me to believe they may be Pelargoniums, but I’ve never heard that name before so . . . assuming they are actually Geraniums, they are a reasonably hardy flowering plant in this part of the world (Southern California) and add a splash of pleasing color to the entire design.

This one is right around the block from me, so I get to see it once in a while when I walk with my kids around the block; they on their Razors, and me gamely following along. I’m not a Coke drinker; neither am I a fan of the beverage or the company, though I’ve surely had my share of Rum & Cokes in my life, including Cuba Libres consumed in Cuba back in 1973 (another story for another blog of mine). Regardless of my feelings about what the company represents, this design is one of my favorites for its whimsicality and simplicity.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2011 in Brick, Flower Box, Mailbox Photos, Whimsical

 

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Can You Hear The Beach Boys Singing “Little Deuce Coupe”?

Little Deuce Coupe

Little Deuce Coupe

This is the second picture I’ve received from a friend; a very gratifying experience. It’s a fine example of a customized, suburban, curbside mailbox if ever I saw one. This has several elements I really like. Note the supporting column appears to be a metal I-beam, with two strong metal brackets to ensure stability.

The planter to the left is also interesting, as it’s wooden and sort of “woven”. Not sure what that technique is called. It’s filled with a succulent I’ve seen many times and it also appears to be set on top of a tree stump.

If you look real close at the top right of the photo, you can make out the reflection of the inside of Trisha’s car. In the original, which I’ve cropped a bit, you can make out what looks like the heating elements at the bottom of the windshield, which leads me to believe it was taken through the rear window of her vehicle.

The Circumstances

Here’s what she had to say about taking the picture:

“Been meaning to take a photo of this for you for the longest time. They don’t make it easy – the truck is parked directly in front. I had to park in the driveway. I wonder if they were in the house and saw me, and wonder if they thought I was a Google Earth photographer? ;)”

She later noted,

“One of the first times I spotted it, they had a matching yellow hot rod in the driveway. Haven’t seen that since… would’ve made a great photo.”

I couldn’t agree more. Maybe some day I’ll be able to re-post or at least replace this picture with a new one showing both the mailbox hot rod and the full-size one. That would be cool.

Care to Share?

If you have a picture of a cool mailbox, or you see one and have the time to snap a pic of it (phone camera is fine), you can send it to me and I’ll be happy to post it. Please tell me a little something about the circumstances of your taking the picture. I still have about 150 photos myself (with lots more mailboxes to shoot), but will give priority to any sent to me. Thanks.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Flower Box, Mailbox Photos, Whimsical, Wood

 

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What Is This Thing?

Cheese Box?

A Cheese Box on top of a Beanstalk?

This is the first picture I’m sharing that I didn’t take myself. I encountered it somewhat serendipitously, as it was shared on Facebook by a friend who seldom posts. I’m using it because she specifically stated it was for me, and I like it a lot.

After staring at it for a bit, I’ve come to the conclusion the owners of this mailbox must be either from Wisconsin or California dairy country. To me it looks like a giant wedge of cheddar cheese perched jauntily atop a thick beanstalk. I’m tempted to suggest they should have painted the box a light cream color. Then it would be a Jack on the beanstalk <ouch, that even hurt me!>

I really do like this. It exhibits a great deal of creativity, artistic flair, and craftsmanship, as well as my favorite attribute of many of these mailboxes, whimsy. Maybe it should have holes so it looks like a Swiss cheese, but that might cause the mail to be damaged by rain. Nevermind. I think the Jack suggestion is my fave, but then I’m not the owner.

How come nobody else is sending me pictures, BTW? Eh?

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2011 in Whimsical

 

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A Delivery in the Mountains

Dreaming of a Mountain Cabin?

I have to think these of this household as having, or frequently renting (or, to be honest, wishing they could do either) a nice A-Frame cabin in Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead, up the San Bernadino Mountains here in Southern California. I’ve been there many times myself and it is a lovely area to spend time.

This definitely looks hand-crafted, but I could be wrong. There are lots of companies that produce manufactured mailboxes of all types. However, I prefer to believe the people who live (or lived) here made this one themselves.

Note the entire structure and box are constructed of wood, including the shingles. I didn’t get up close – seldom do; there’s just too much fear and suspicion running rampant in this fair land of ours right now – so I’m not clear on how the door opens. It looks like the roof would get in the way if it swings to the right, and the little ring at bottom left leads me to thing that’s the direction it opens in.

Oops! Just previewed this page and looked at the enlarged picture (did you know you can click on the pic and see the full-size version?). I can see now I’ve got two things wrong so far. The door is hinged nicely along the angled top and clearly opens parallel to the roof which, if I’m not mistake, the shingles of which are made of some kind of composite – not wood.

It also has some sort of wood flag that all curbside mailboxes are supposed to have – but many don’t – that indicates the presence of outgoing mail. One more thing. I really like the foliage surrounding this box. One of the design components of many curbside mailboxes consists of planters/foliage/flowers, etc. This one looks kind of wild, yet reasonably under control.

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Whimsical, Wood

 

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Fill ‘er Up!

Old Harleys Never Die

I'm Home & I'm In The Pink

I found this one very close to the airplane mailbox I posted the other day. This is another example of someone taking a little time and artistic license to customize their connection with the Post Office and the outside world.

I’ve run into several people who knew about this one and, as far as I can tell, it’s made from a genuine Harley-Davidson gas tank. I’m not sure, but it’s possible this particular box doesn’t meet the USPS Residential Mailbox Standards, which specifically state “Your postmaster will approve custom-made mailboxes on a one-time basis as long as they generally meet USPS standards.” I wonder if they really take the time to inspect these things or if it takes a complaint by a mail carrier before any action will be taken. I’m going to ask soon. I’ve seen plenty of mailboxes that I’m sure violate the height requirements, which state “You should install the mailbox with the bottom of the box at a vertical height of between 41-45 inches from the road surface, unless you have a road or curb condition that prevents this (emphasis theirs). I’ve seen quite a few that aren’t more than about 24 – 30 inches from the road surface, but I’ve never measured.

Notice the heavy chain securing this mailbox. Rumor has it someone once stole the box and I guess the owners either got it back or created a new one and they’re doing their best to make sure the act isn’t repeated. To me, the eyes of the skull are somewhat cryptic, as skulls normally have round eye sockets. I don’t suppose it means much, but they do seem a tad sinister. I suppose that’s to be expected of a biker. Perhaps the owner was once wild, has settled down, and feels the need to project a hint of their past. Then again, maybe I’m projecting.

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Whimsical

 

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