Americana: Letters of Introduction

Tom Smith, who has been delivering mail in Wilmington, Del., for about 25 years, likes to know everybody on his route personally. So when he was assigned to a new route and faced 400 strangers, he dropped them a letter of introduction—in their mailboxes, without postage.

One person complained, apparently because of a postscript in which Smith offered membership forms for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. What he did was illegal, and superiors warned that he could be fined $300. Smith has offered to pay $60 in postage to end the matter. Meanwhile, he is obeying the law and making sure that...

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