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Red letter day

Carrier schools Elmo on U.S. Mail

Angela Hampton, a Manhattanville, NY, letter carrier, is joined by her new friends from “Sesame Street.”

Angela Hampton isn’t sure why she was approached to be the face of the Postal Service in a new episode of “Sesame Street,” but if she had to guess, “it’s because I’m passionate about what I do,” she said.

That postal pride is evident in “Elmo Mails a Letter,” the second episode of the 52nd season of “Sesame Street,” which is scheduled to debut Nov. 18 on the HBO Max streaming service.

The fuzzy red Muppet has a passion for mail, too. A 2003 installment of “Elmo’s World” focuses on mail in all its forms and includes “The Mail Song,” sung to the tune of “Jingle Bells.”

Its one lyric? “Mail.”

Elmo helped dedicate the Postal Service’s Sesame Street Forever stamps in Detroit in 2019, as well.

But this episode of “Sesame Street” is special not only because of the theme and the players but because of the timing: It was the first episode the crew filmed on location since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

So it was high spirits all around (Elmo comes by his naturally), and from the sound of it, Hampton had the time of her life.

“They sent a car!” she marveled. That was the day after Mother’s Day, and while she had the day off from delivering mail, it was not a day off from work.

“It’s grueling,” she said, laughing. “Let’s just say I have a new respect for the craft.”

“I had my own trailer,” she continued, still wowed by the experience. At one point she remembers her energy flagging and muttering to herself about needing a Red Bull.

Her muttered wish was apparently someone’s command because — poof! — a Red Bull materialized. “I was treated like I was somebody special,” she said, modestly.

Hampton has worked at the Manhattanville, NY, Post Office in the Harlem section of New York City for her entire 21-year postal career.

She grew up in the area, as well; another reason she believes she may have been chosen for the appearance is “I’m a good carrier, and I treat people the way I want to be treated.”

The single mother also tries “to be a good role model,” including for her 31-year-old daughter, Chanel McDuffie. She knew her daughter would love to see her on television, so she was happy to help.

One of the many perks of the experience was a special video that the character Rosita made for McDuffie, who has cerebral palsy. That really touched the native New Yorker.

“That was the highlight of the whole thing,” Hampton said.

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