Calendar arrives decades too late
The 1950 Pennsylvania Railroad calendar never made it to James W. Flanagan, general manager of the Scranton Times.
He would never need it: he died in December 1949. But on Friday, 63 years after his death, the U.S. Postal Service made a delivery.
A mail carrier, with no explanation of where the package had been the last 63 years, handed it to Chris O’Hora at The Times-Tribune’s front desk. The calendar, rolled in a long tube, soon made its way to the office of Bobby Lynett, a publisher of The Times-Tribune.
Flanagan was the Scranton Times general manager from 1936 to his death in 1949 at the age of 63. He had a 54-year career at the paper, starting as a salesboy in 1895. The calendar includes a holiday greeting from an executive at the railroad company, dated the same month Flanagan died.
On Friday, Lynett gently rolled the large calendar out on his conference table, curious about its origin and more curious about where it had been the last 63 years.
Ray Daiutolo, a spokesman with the postal service, said lost mail is sometimes found when a machine is dismantled or a post office space renovated. Other times, someone may find a stamped but unmailed letter or package at a yard sale and then drop it in the mail, he said. Daiutolo was unable to trace the package’s history on Friday.
A new sticker, dated last week from a distribution center in Pittsburgh, accompanied two 4-cent William Howard Taft stamps, which appear to have been canceled decades ago, on the tube.
The calendar, originally mailed from the Philadelphia publicity department of the Pennsylvania Railroad, features the painting “Crossroads of Commerce” by Grif Teller. The Pennsylvania Railroad merged with New York Central Railroad in 1968.
Lynett said he will contact officials at the Steamtown National Historic Site to see if they are interested in displaying the calendar.
If not, it will be displayed someplace inside The Times-Tribune building, he said.
“We’ll find a good home for it. That’s for sure,” he said.
Reported by SARAH HOFIUS HALL of the Citizens’ Voice of WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (MCT). Visit The Citizens’ Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) at citizensvoice.com.
©2012 The Citizens’ Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)