The Pony Express

The United States Postal Service is broke. First class mail revenue is down, and layoffs are expressly forbidden by the labor contract. The USPS is losing 10 billion dollars a year, a rounding error in profligate Washington, which thinks nothing of giving 535 billion dollars to a failing solar panel company whose president is a major Obama contributor, but giving a half a billion dollars to a political friend is one thing, paying for mail service to the taxpayers is another. And so the USPS is looking for ways to cut costs, like no mail on Saturdays, closing almost 4,000 local post offices, and so forth. So it may not be long before delivering the mail is no longer handled by the United States Postal Service but by a private company or companies, like FedEx or UPS, who seem to make a profit, probably because they are not bound down by overly generous not to say golden union employee pension payments. We have seen the mail delivered by horse, by foot, by rail and by air, but it all began with the Pony Express.



He saddled up, this teenaged boy

Five-six or less, a jockey’s weight

Ahead lay nineteen hundred miles

Important letters not be late

The pouch secured, he mounted up

Then off into the wild he’d go

To Sacramento, ten days out

From station home in St. Joe, Mo

Across the trackless western plain

Through Injun country all the while

Through Kansas and Nebraska too

He changed tired horses with a smile

He ran from Cheyenne and the Utes

Vast buffalo herds in his way

He paid no heed to danger for

He had to ride more miles that day

Fort Laramie, Fort Bridger next

Then Salt Lake City, a brief stop

A bite to eat a bit of rest

Then on a horse again he’d hop

Across the empty plain he rode

Distant Comanches raiding north

Nevada desert, sand and scrub

It matters not, the mail goes forth

The High Sierras, bitter cold

Snow and wind, he faltered not

Then California, and on time

Delivered promptly, on the dot

To Sacramento he did ride

To where I lived, a pleasant view

To Occupant, the letter read

I sent it back, there’s postage due


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