Mail bonding: No good deed goes unpublished

STAR VALLEY, Wyo. – Chalk this one up under “How community works.” Credit WYDOT and one grateful new Star Valley citizen for pulling together a feelgood story that Buckrail is only too happy to pass along.

Michela Swarthout is a recent transplant to Wyoming from Boise. She lives in Star Valley between Thayne and Grover. In the couple of months she has been here, Swarthout says she is blown away by the kindness of strangers and she can’t help but pass it along.

The latest such nice gesture came courtesy of the Wyoming Department of Transportation. It’s not an agency that would probably come first to mind when thinking about going above and beyond but then again, there’s people like Joe Eggleston, who has earned a reputation for being one of those ‘neighborly’ kind of guys no matter what.

“Just wanted to give a shout out to Joe Eggleston with WYDOT for not only getting a mailbox post installed for me within two days of asking for it, but for stopping to help install the mailbox after driving by and seeing me struggle with it in 25-degree weather,” Swarthourt wrote shared on Facebook’s Misty’s List.

A quick call to Eggleston confirmed his do-goodness but of course he wanted to downplay the whole thing. Eggleston explained that Swarthout was told by the Post Office to get in touch with WYDOT to have a new mailbox post installed along S. Highway 89. The state transportation department oversees mailboxes and their posts when along the side of a highway to ensure they meet certain safety standards.

Eggleston secured Swarthout a new post as fast as he could and was on his way home one night when he noticed Swarthout wrestling with that very post and box on a cold night.

“I was on my way home that night. I happened to see her having a little trouble so I turned around and went back to help her out,” Eggleston said as if the good deed was no more out of character than a friendly wave to a passing motorist.

To Swarthout, it meant everything.

“It was after work hours and he didn’t have to do it (with no gloves to boot), but he did. I hope I get a chance to repay the kindness to [him] or someone else. It made me feel valued,” she said. “This type is completely unheard of for me. I’ve had similar experiences with the Afton Post Office and residents. It blows my mind how kind people have been and makes me want to do what I can to emulate that. It shows how being the good you want to see in the world actually does work.”

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