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Love and Cactus: February 14th

VALENTINE, TEXAS

The Post Office,
The Postmark,
and
How to get your Valentine postmarked Valentine, Texas

by Phil Lately,
Texas Escapes' Gruntled Postal Correspondent
Photos courtesy of Jason Penney


VALENTINE, TEXAS
79854

Jeff Davis County,
West Texas

Valentine Texas post office
VALENTINE, TEXAS 79854
Photo courtesy Jason Penney

We called the Valentine Post Office to get the straight story on Valentine's Day and the demand for postmarks.

We found that it is a little like sending a letter to the North Pole for Santa, except in this case, there's a real Post Office and you actually get a reply (if you provide the card and enough postage). Santa just throws your letter in the trash.

Postmaster Maria Carrasco has been on the job for 10 years and her busiest day of the year doesn't faze her one bit. She says she's handled it by herself in the past, but if she should somehow get behind, backup is available. She has a 10-year record of having never been late.

Romantics that request a Valentine postmark for their Valentine's Day card are the type of people who plan ahead. She received her first requests just after the New Year and before the end of January there were already three trays of letters ready to be stamped.
Valentine TX postmark 2001 winning artwork by Ismelda Ornelas

Courtesy Valentine Postmaster
The whole town gets involved in the project. The school holds a design contest for the 7th to 12th graders and the winner is chosen by the city council.

The winner this year was Ismelda Ornelas. Some kids get their artwork put on the refrigerator - Ismelda's goes on a world tour.

After the winner is announced and the artwork sent to San Antonio for approval, the Official (red) impression is made and when the time comes it's placed in the lower left hand corner of the envelope.

The regular black postmark of Valentine cancels the stamp.

The mailing schedule is well thought out.

Valentines for foreign delivery are posted on the 1st to insure enough time to reach the loved one (some postal agencies aren't as efficient as ours). As many as 26 different countries have requested the Valentine cancellation.

Maria starts mailing them on the 7th of February, but for those who notify her, she'll separate the ones that ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE an actual February 14th postmark. It will arrive late, but with the all-important date correct.

How to get your Valentine postmarked Valentine, Texas

If you would like your Valentine postmarked Valentine, Texas, place your card with the correct address and postage into a larger envelope and send it to:

Postmaster, Valentine, Texas 79854

Enclose a note if you want to have the Official February 14th postmark. Please don't tell them we sent you.



John Troesser

Since February, 2001



See Valentine, Texas
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Jeff Davis County | West Texas

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