Postal employee Cynthia Crane knows lines. She used to toil at the Inglewood postal hub, a sprawling facility where lines and packages tend to pile up. But that was before she moved to the office serving the tiny community of Silverado Canyon in the Cleveland National Forest.
"It doesn't really get crowded here," Crane said Saturday morning, her voice almost echoing in the empty office. "When it gets real bad, we have two lines with about three people in each."
There were no lines Saturday at this small outpost, where most patrons are greeted by name. One local woman dropped by just after 10 a.m. to check on an eagerly awaited package.
"No, but we'll call you if it comes in," Crane told her as she left.
Two sorters, one postmaster, one driver and one letter carrier make up the entire staff at the post office, which serves about 500 homes. The doors open early and close late, so there's time to help folks wrap up their packages or make those tough stamp selection decisions.
"We have the kind you lick and the kind you peel," Crane cheerfully told the sole customer at 10:15 a.m. "And you can get either the holiday stamps or the Legends of the West. I like the holiday ones."
The service is so good, people drive in to sample it, the same way they visit the local diner across the street for the breakfast special. "We have some people that come up from Orange, a couple from El Toro," Crane said. "Some people just like to go where they know there won't be a line."
People like Renne Jones, 39, of Lake Forest, who brought her son and a tall stack of Christmas cards with her.
"I live in Lake Forest, but I love Silverado," said Jones. "I use the post office here and this branch of the library, too. I don't like crowds. I just absolutely don't like crowds at all."
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