a blog supplementing the Images of America book from Arcadia Publishing
The 1950s were indeed a kinder, gentler era where small random acts of kindness were commonplace in Menasha. The mailman made deliveries twice a day. He walked his route and carried a heavy leather mail bag. He could, but didn't, cut a path across the grass from house to house; he used the sidewalk and front walk to each house. My mother and others in the neighborhood, and probably throughout the city, plied him with ice water or lemonade on hot days. The city of Menasha, in hindsight, was more benevolent than it probably is today. They made room in the budget, to my knowledge, for only a single street sweeper, a mentally challenged man we knew as "Kenny." He made the rounds of the city's intersections with his wheelbarrow, broom and shovel and worked hard but always enjoyed the company of our neighborhood's kids. Kenny never wanted for a drink of water or lemonade. Now days out here in California the mailman drives a small right hand drive truck and stops about every hundred feet to deliver mail to maybe four or five houses. But on hot days he gets thirsty too and will often find a bottle of cold water in our mailbox. It's what my mother would have done. Jim Krahenbuhl
Jim, I remember Kenny! It never occurred to me that his employment was exceptional, but in hindsight, you're right, Menasha did him a service. And by extension, we all benefited, even though we might not have realized it at the time. So good to know the benevolence instilled in us by our taken-for-granted small town values is still carried out today by folks like you. You're a good man, Charlie Brown.