RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
On this Friday morning, it's time for StoryCorps. The Postal Service is planning to cut back hours and reduce services and thousands of mostly rural Post Offices across the country. One of them sits inside the Wood & Swink General Store in the north Florida town of Evinston. It's been in Freddie Wood's family for over a hundred years and has barely changed in that time. Each afternoon you'll find Freddie, who was a farmer by trade, holding court there. At StoryCorps he spoke with his wife and the town's former postmaster, Wilma Sue.
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FREDDIE WOOD: My full name is Frederick Wood, Jr., better known around town as Freddie. I have been the grandson of the Postmaster, the nephew of the Postmaster, the son of the Postmaster, and the husband of the Postmaster. How many people are in the town here, what would you say, Sue?
WILMA SUE WOOD: I would think there's 150 people in the town. They go to the post office to visit and find out the news, who's had a baby, who's died.
WOOD: I have to go every day, love to see people, talk to them and answer questions. Little feuds here and arguments, you get to hear both sides and you try to stay in the middle. I have to do stuff like that a lot. And my cousin calls me the Squire of Evinston.
WOOD: We've had a lot of interesting people that come in.
WOOD: One of the characters, his name was Johnson, and he would come to the store especially when he got drunk. Once he walked from his house with nothing on but his long-handle underwear. And his wife was a very educated and prissy lady, and they had a cow, and once she came by leading the cow. He says, boys, there's a million-dollar woman leading a 10-cent cow.
WOOD: Another time, two couples came in from New York. One of the guys was very rude. And we had some turkey calls, sitting there on the counter. Well I picked one up and gave it a squawk, and he came running over and he says, what is that? I said, it's a turkey call. Works every time.
WOOD: The Post Office and the store, I just love it.
WOOD: It's almost like a member of the family. You have to treat it with respect and take care of it. And I think that's what's kept it going all these years.
WOOD: We get people coming in there, and I don't care whether they're from Montana, Maine or wherever. They say, this is just like the little post office in the little town where I grew up. They say, that's gone now, but they say, but don't let nothing happen to this. Let it be like it is. And I'd like to keep it like it is forever, if we could.
MONTAGNE: That's Freddie and Wilma Sue Wood, talking about the Wood & Swink General Store and Post Office in Evinston, Florida. This interview will be archived with all StoryCorps interviews at the Library of Congress. The Podcast is at npr.org.
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