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Lasting impressions

Texas Post Office stamps thousands of valentines

Valentine, TX, Postmaster Leslie Williams. Photo: Big Bend Now

Forget Christmas. This is “our season” at the Valentine, TX, Post Office.

Each year, approximately 10,000 people send their Valentine’s Day cards to the small office, where Postmaster Leslie Williams cancels the postage with a special stamp.

“I do enjoy it, but about midway you get to thinking, ‘Oh, why?’” Williams told the Big Bend Now news site last week.

Special cancellations are a longtime postal tradition. Customers also can request postmarks from towns such as Valentine, NE, and Valentines, VA.

In Texas, junior high and high school students submit designs for each year’s cancellation stamp. The city council chooses a winning design and sends it to USPS, which turns it into a rubber stamp.

Around Feb.1 each year, Williams begins receiving thousands of Valentine’s Day cards in sealed envelopes with the correct postage. (The envelopes arrive in larger envelopes.) She uses her stamp to cancel the postage on each sealed card, then mails it to the intended recipient.

“A lot of people write why they’re sending their valentines out to that person,” Williams said. “They write little thank you notes, or they might say, ‘It’s my mother’s birthday on Valentine’s Day,’ or something like that.”

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