Letters Carried in the West


Meet Andrew.

Andrew Richthammer is a letter carrier who, until recently, worked on the West Side of South Bend. We connected after he saw the 'Alley Run' story which follows a City Solid Waste crew on their morning route off Western Avenue. He and I share a similar path of moving to South Bend as children and now continuing to call the city home as young adults.

Our story follows Andrew through a piece of his daily route, particularly along Olive and Lincoln Way West. Similar to the 'Alley Run' story, I simply walked behind as he (quickly) went about his work. Walk with us:

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We’re in every neighborhood.
— Andrew Richthammer, USPS
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Andrew's consistent presence in the neighborhood has given him a window into the life of the Lincoln Way West corridor unlike anyone else I know. As someone who places a high value on understanding my local 'place' I found myself wishing I had done a stint as our local letter carrier.

We cannot all be letter carriers, but in the time since shooting this story I've reflected on how I am practicing consistency and presence in my 'place.' Meaningful friendship and change is built on a foundation of trust – a foundation that can only be built by consistently putting my feet on sidewalk concrete.

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Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
— United States Postal Service
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Sunrise Cafe – That's South Bend.