Mail driver relies on kindness of residents

Postal carrier Jonathan Edwards had nearly finished his route Tuesday afternoon when he made a right turn from South Curley Street onto Foster Avenue - or tried to. His small mail truck spun its wheels in the snow before getting stuck in the middle of the Canton intersection.

Edwards was philosophical about his predicament. It was the first time all day that he had been waylaid by bad roads, he said. And he had fallen just once - "my very first delivery, flat on my back."

"It's not that bad," he insisted with a weary smile, noting that people had offered him parking spots and had done a good job clearing sidewalks. And it could have been worse: "I'd much prefer the snow than the ice. Sheer misery."

As Edwards spoke, a man who lives a few doors away on Curley shoveled around the truck's rear tires trying to free him. Tim Walton was outside when the truck ran into trouble, and he went to work.

"Hey, for being out today - stuck only once, that's not too shabby," Walton observed.

Edwards agreed. Those rear-wheel-drive, lightweight mail trucks, he said, are "just notorious for getting stuck."

Walton's first few attempts to push the truck out failed. So he cleared more space behind the rear tires and tried again. But the back wheels just spun and spun, whether Edwards had it in forward or reverse.

Finally, they altered their approach. Walton pushed the truck back several feet to see if that snow offered a better grip. Edwards, meanwhile, abandoned the turn onto Foster. Instead he decided to stay straight on Curley, cleared to asphalt by enterprising residents.

Another push and this time the little white truck lurched across the snow and onto Curley. Edwards hopped out to shake Walton's hand. "All right," the postal carrier said, "thank you very much." Then he rolled away, hazards blinking, to complete his rounds.

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