The other day, I was having a haircut when I looked at the opposite wall. There were some framed pictures of the Norman Rockwell type – they may even have been his. In any case, one of them showed some young kids in the local post office. They obviously weren’t there to buy stamps even if they were only three cents then. No sir, what they were doing was perusing the wanted posters. I had forgotten that you used to be able to go into any post office and see photos and background on the FBI’s most wanted list. As youngsters, we used to avidly read about those who were posted and the awful deeds that they did.
Each of us secretly hoped that we would spot one or more of the dirty guys (I don’t recall any women. I guess they didn’t strive to have equal access in those days). If we should spot one. we would be able to call the FBI and tell them where to locate the ruffian. Then, we would probably get a reward and have our photos in the newspapers. Heck, even J. Edgar Hoover himself might have thanked us and tell us to look him up when we were old enough to become an agent ourselves. Somehow that never happened. Probably because the bad guys would have gone nuts in Sandy Lake or Stoneboro, Pa. as there was nothing to do there. I suppose they could have gone to Isaly’s or the Vengold and had some tremendous milkshakes, but they undoubtedly would soon have grown bored.
I always thought that they missed a big opportunity to hide out as the FBI most likely would not look for anybody in Sandy Lake or Stoneboro either. We kids would not have recognized them as we all knew that the big bad guys were masters at disguise. Still, they were good places to hide out for a time. They would most likely like Stoneboro the best as it had bars. Sandy Lake was a mile away and it was dry. The saying was that Sandy Lake would always vote “dry” as long as the bars in Stoneboro were only a mile away. However, they were not really great bars so if we should have missed Pretty Boy Floyd or one of his friends, it stands to reason that they beat it out of the area as quick as they could.
Most likely they headed off to Youngstown, Ohio which would have held a greater interest.
I often wondered why the FBI stopped putting up the “Most Wanted” photos in the post offices. One reason may be that the kids don’t go there anymore. Why would they? First of all, they can’t afford the stamps. Secondly, most of them can’t write cursive so they wouldn’t be sending out letters even if they could afford to. Now they send e-mails, messages and other forms of communications from their computers so who needs the post office? Besides if they thought about it, they could undoubtedly google the “Most Wanted” and find Pretty Boy’s grandson – especially if he were a rioter!
OK, I must admit that some people still go to the post office. Mostly those who still have the ability to use cursive undoubtedly. Some folks claim that they do see posters, but they are mainly of politicians. They even have their rap sheet – that is, how much of our money they have spent! Hmm if true, perhaps things aren’t as different as I thought!
Barry Evans is a columnist for Villages-News.com