Return to sender

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 11, 2003

Like most of us, Bernice Morton has had the odd piece of mail to go astray over the years. Not many, mind you, but enough to make her aware that the U.S. Postal Service is human.

But she’s never heard of a letter that took five years to be delivered before. Until now.

So when Morton’s granddaughter, Kate Hunte, called her from Mobile last month and told her she had a letter for her, Morton admits she was a little confused.

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Recalls Morton, &uot;I said, ‘What letter are you talking about?’ She said, ‘The one I sent you five years ago.’&uot;

Turns out that the letter Kate sent way back when was inviting her grandmother to a school concert &045;&045; a school concert that took place in 1998. &uot;She was 10 years old when she sent it,&uot; Morton says. After a moment, she adds, &uot;She’s 15 now.&uot;

Morton made it to the concert anyway (&uot;no thanks to that letter&uot;), but the letter never made it to its intended destination. It was originally mailed Nov.23, 1998. After bouncing around in postal limbo for nearly five years, it was stamped &uot;Return to Sender&uot; and delivered to Kate’s house on June 7 of this year.

Kate slipped the letter &045;&045; envelope and all &045;&045; inside another another envelope and mailed it. On the back of the new envelope she wrote, &uot;Glad you’re finally getting this letter (sorry it took five years!).&uot;

No one’s really sure where the letter has been for the last five years, or how it finally resurfaced after all this time. Being the curious type, Morton called the Selma Post Office to see if they might have any idea.