Wow, I loved this one. Ward is a little mountain town northwest of Boulder, Colorado, and not too far from Allenspark, a small mountain community where I spent a good-sized chunk of my life.
When I was little, and visiting Grandma and Grandpa, I used to go with my brother and sister almost every day to get the mail at the Allenspark Post Office. Our box was up pretty high...can't remember the number or the combination anymore...I think I remember having to stretch up on my toes to feel around for any letters. One day when I reached into the box to check for mail, Jenny Jensen (I think that was her name -- don't know if she was the official postmaster or if her husband was) reached in from the other side and tapped my hand...scared the bejeebers out of me!
Later I could appreciate that I had a small town postmaster in my own family. My great-aunt Ruth Storen Holmes was appointed postmaster of Lexington, Indiana's post office in 1934 (prior to that she taught at the high school). In 1946 she was elected second vice president of the Indiana Chapter of the National Association of Postmasters.
For close to half of my life, my primary mailing address has been a PO Box in a rural community. Up here in the holler, I'm about as far from my PO Box as any other place I've lived. A small town post office isn't just a place where you get your mail.
A couple of years ago we had an icy snow storm that knocked out power for several days. Steve, the postmaster, pretty much had the most up-to-date information on how the restoration was going. If I hear a rumor, I often ask Steve what he's heard. The small town post office is like a hub for crowd-sourced wisdom, history and good stories. It's an amazing intersection, a space that connects people who are spread across rural landscapes, and simultaneously connects their community to the outside world.
So I can relate to this song and the folks in Ward:
Here's the Town of Ward's Save the Post Office page with links to several articles.