A Rudolph postmark that was the Christmas signature for an Ohio town of the same name was thought to be in danger after postal cuts, but some Christmas spirit from locals has saved the tradition from falling victim to staff downsizing.
The Rudolph postmark originates in, of course, Rudolph, Ohio and has been a proud tradition for many as the Christmas season approaches.
But as post offices across the US have seen cuts, the Rudolph postmark’s future was in peril. With the town’s outpost seeing a staff cut of 50 percent, how would the Rudolph postmark survive the decreased manpower to stamp all those cards and gifts? (The downsizing in the small office only cut a single worker, reducing the staff from two people to one person.)
Charlotte Lamb, officer in charge, would have had to have been solely responsible for the Rudolph postmark, and Lamb was forced to face facts: Running the post office alone, there was no way she would be able to process the volume of mail alone.
And, it seemed, the Rudolph postmark would have to be retired. Lamb explained:
“I struggled with it for a little bit, but then I just realized no matter what I wanted, it couldn’t be done by me alone.”
But Lamb also knew that the Rudolph postmark wouldn’t die quietly, and says that, as soon as she began breaking the news, Rudolph’s residents were not pleased:
“The day the office was transferred over to me, a guy came in with a stack of letters and asked if he could get the Rudolph postmark. When I told him we’re not doing it this year, his mouth about hit the floor. … I thought, ‘Man, I’m going to be doing this all month long’.”
However, the people of Rudolph were not about to allow their Rudolph postmark to become a casualty of staff cuts, and the locals and lawmakers stepped in, and, soon, the USPS granted permission for volunteers to step in and help hand-cancel the mail and deal with the Rudolph postmark’s increased volume.
Lamb confirmed that, due to the USPS and local volunteers, all mail canceled in Rudolph will be marked with the Rudolph postmark between now and December 24.