Sanders: Delivering the goods | TheFencePost.com

Sanders: Delivering the goods

In the days before we had Enhanced 911 addressing with street signs way out in the country, when I ordered something from a company in a city, they insisted UPS would not deliver to anything other than a street address. At the time, we had the address of HCR 56 Box 86 which meant Highway Contract Route Box 86. That was an official U.S. Postal Service route, assigned by the postal service. It seemed specific; it was not random, but it was not good enough.

If I ordered from a rural state or an agriculture-based company they could use the HCR address. That's what we used when we ordered ear tags from Richey in Brighton, Colo., or parts from an area John Deere store and it didn't cause a problem nor a ripple when we gave that location. The products were delivered. Practical people were aware that the UPS man knew us by name, knew where we lived and the written address didn't matter.

To work around the companies that had an obsession with an address that fit their acceptable numbering system, I made up an address: 1 Sanders Lane and it worked. No more hesitancy about taking my order. The funny thing is that address was completely bogus yet they accepted it without question. The companies would not ship to my legal, assigned post office address, but would to a made-up one.

Until we had the rural addressing system we weren't sure when we started receiving letters from other rural residents showing addresses such as 141st Street and a rural town. We didn't think the people had relocated, yet it made it sound like they lived in a big city.

“Until we had the rural addressing system we weren’t sure when we started receiving letters from other rural residents showing addresses such as 141st Street and a rural town. We didn’t think the people had relocated, yet it made it sound like they lived in a big city.”

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Once we got the new addresses, we had some idea what our other rural friends had already experienced. Our challenge now that we have E911 addressing is learning the official names of streets and roads, particularly when emergency vehicles are dispatched. The calls used to give the name of the person and we could know immediately where to be leading the ambulance or attending the incident. Giving out names is pretty much frowned on these days, especially for radio transmissions. Slowly but surely we are becoming accustomed to street/road names in the neighborhood. Under the guidance of the county emergency services director, the volunteer fire departments in our county were asked to help come up with the street/road names and were asked to not use family names, for some reason, though adjacent counties do.

We have Highline Road due to the power line that the road follows. One road is actually named Gravel Road which confuses people when you tell them go take the gravel road, then you have to go on to explain you are not referring to the officially titled gravel road, but a different road that is simply covered with gravel.

For those of us who have been here for years we also need to remember not to give directions using long gone landmarks that we still "see" in our minds. ❖