One U.S. Postal Service carrier is certainly living up the agency's unofficial motto. In this case, it wasn't rain or snow or gloomy nights but the effects of wildfire that won't stand in the way of keeping a promise.
Captured by a drone operated by Douglas Thorn, the footage shows the familiar USPS truck driving through a Santa Rosa, California, neighborhood that has been, in many places, reduced to its foundations by wildfires. The whiteness of the truck stands in stark contrast to the charred and ashy remains of houses, to say nothing of the smoke that hangs in the air, a floating and ethereal reminder of the wildfires.
The scene feels almost apocalyptic. Wide shots from the drone show burnt trees and and automobiles alongside property lots that have been reduced to a cinder. The arbitrary nature of the devastation is made all the clearer when we see untouched houses and lawns, no worse for wear. Verdant lawns and unmarked garage doors stare down the husks of homes, only separated by a two-lane residential street.
And still the mail is delivered to those addresses, per the owners' wishes. A statement released by San Francisco District Manager Noemi Luna explains why the mail carrier still made deliveries:
"This is an example of the long standing relationship that has been established between our carriers and their customers based on trust. The carrier in question was honoring a request by a few customers who were being let back in the fire zone to retrieve personal items. A few customers asked the carrier to leave their mail if the mailbox was still standing because they could not get to the annex to retrieve it."
It's a service then, a promise of regularity and normalcy, after an event that was neither of those things.