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Bright & Brief

September 9, 1986

CANAAN, Ind. (AP) _ Twenty years ago residents had to fight off attempts to close the post office in their tiny community of about 100 people.

But now, the village is swamped with mail each year by collectors anxious to get their letters delivered by horseback and canceled with a special commemorative postmark.

Canaan’s 20th annual Pony Express mail run will take place Saturday. Relays of riders will carry pouches containing hundreds of letters between this tiny southeastern Indiana community and Madison, 10 miles away.

Each year thousands of people come to the village to see the mail run and enjoy its accompanying festival, said Gale H. Ferris, president of the Canaan Restoration Council.

Many arrive early enough to mail a letter just to have it stamped with the special postmark, which features a drawing of a pony express rider and a mountain in the background.

″We get up to 1,400 pieces of mail that day,″ he said.

To make the occasion more authentic, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington loans the town authentic Pony Express saddle bags.

Several years ago, Ferris said, a member of the council suggested holding a mock Indian raid along the route to liven things up a bit.

″But we vetoed that idea,″ he said. ″We frown on interference with actual mail.″


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Taxi drivers here were criticized by a city official who said they dress like bums, but now they’re getting a chance to drive their cabs dressed in better style than most of their customers.

A chain of four formal wear stores has offered to give a used tuxedo from its 5,000-suit surplus inventory to any taxi driver who wants one, following city officials’ comments last week that they’d like a dress code for drivers so visitors would get a better impression of Buffalo.

The first to take advantage of the offer by Heidie’s was Nelson Krantz, who wore one Monday night.

″There are times you should wear one and times you shouldn’t,″ said Krantz. ″On days when it’s 90 degrees out, it gets quite hot in the cab, and you tend to get ruffled up.″

Frank Hahn, the city’s director of licenses, started the movement last week when he said the cabbies ″look like bums″ and dress like ″crumb bums.″

″I don’t think it’s a bad offer,″ Hahn said Monday. ″I think they’d be in good shape with the tuxes, although I don’t think some of these guys would even think of putting one on.″

Buffalo has about 200 independent and 400 fleet taxi drivers.

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