Life in South Bend, a Rust Belt city on the move.
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Stories

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:

OLIVE // BONDS // HARTZER

We’re in every neighborhood.
— Andrew Richthammer, USPS

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.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Sunrise Cafe.

That's South Bend.

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