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Ghost Office delivers Hallowe'en mail...almost 60 years late

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - These postmarks clearly show when this letter and the post card were mailed to the McCullough residence, today presumably no longer occupied -  even in spirit - by the Arragons.As Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association Chair Robert McCullough thumbed through his mail delivery on Hallowe’en, he and his wife noticed something odd.

They’d received a letter and postcard addressed to “Mrs. R. F. Arragon” in the day’s postal dispatch. The correspondence was correctly addressed; McCullough said he and his wife had purchased their home from the Arragon estate.

“Rex Arragon was a religion professor at Reed College for his entire career,” McCullough told THE BEE “He, and his wife Gertrude, were intensely brilliant and eccentric people. Some say his nickname was ‘Rex Arrogant’.”

Talking with the post office, a worker said that sometimes mail gets stuck inside their giant sorting machines. But, McCullough learned, this mail was postmarked long before automated equipment was installed. However, these pieces of mail did have an automated routing code stamped on their back, so wherever they had been all these years, these two pieces of mail had just entered today’s postal delivery stream.

The mystery deepened when it was observed that although they arrived on the same day, they had been sent three years apart, from two different cities. It seemed impossible that, even if mislaid along the way, they could arrive in the same mail. Could it be a neighbor’s prank? Yet, there is that modern automated orange delivery code visible on the back, verifying passage through today’s postal delivery system.

The puzzle is unresolved – but McCullough preferred to focus on the family they were addressed to. “In life and death he was brilliant, and cantankerous,” McCullough mused. “If he’s haunting us by sending this mail on Hallowe’en – I’m very impressed.”