On the Town

Once upon a time, you could ship your kid through the mail

Babbie Guscio
Babbie Guscio

“If it fits it ships.”

Can you even imagine taking your adorable baby down to the Bluffton Post Office and trying to stuff the little darling into a box and shipping precious off to granny?

Well, you won’t believe this. In the early part of the 19th century our country was sparsely populated, so in 1896, Congress enacted rural free delivery, which meant packages could be delivered to your door, and you did not have to hitch up the horses for the trip to town to get mail.

After a spell, parcel post came along in 1913, and any package weighing up to 50 pounds could be delivered anywhere, from the city to the farm. This meant you could get packages delivered from the new catalog companies like Sears Roebuck, so a whole new world was opened to those living on farms in isolated areas. There were few restrictions — no poisons, flammable items, liquor or things that smelled bad.

The most precious of all your possessions, your little baby, could also be mailed parcel post until 1920.

If you had a correct postage, junior could even be sent via train watched over in the mail car by clerks. Many families knew their mail carriers, so families were not afraid to mail little children to granny for the weekend. One child set the record for the longest mailing distance — 727 miles from Florida to Virginia — for the meager sum of 15 cents. Children had to weigh under 50 pounds and not be over 84 inches in combined measurements.

Now of course this practice has ceased. There are some really cute pictures on the internet of babies in mail pouches being delivered by the postman. The only live thing you can still send are baby chickens. But anything else not on the forbidden list that can fit in one of those boxes at the P.O. is fair game.

SOBA exhibit highlights past presidents

If you are in the market for an “old master” painting, it seems now may be the time to buy.

Collectors are now buying contemporary works, and they are becoming very popular at auction. People are matching paintings with their decor, and it seems many new houses have high ceilings and lots of windows. Are we losing our charming, glorious past, or are we on the verge of opening a new exciting door?

Now is the time to discover what might be behind that door.

Nine past presidents of the Society of Bluffton Artists will show their work at the SOBA Gallery on Church Street Sept. 6 to Oct. 2. You are invited to join them at an artists’ reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 9. The works are varied and show how each sees their subject on canvas, much to our pleasure. Can’t wait see you there.

Dance with a star

Karina Smirnoff of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” will be at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Bluffton on U.S. 278 from Sept. 12-14 to offer private coaching sessions and a group workshop.

What fun, and if you would care to join her and enroll in the workshop, call 843-837-6161.

Ready for some football?

Clemson vs. Georgia Tech at Fat Patties is set from 5 to 10 p.m. Sept. 22.

You can have a worry-free afternoon — no cooking or cleaning up, plus you can yell your head off for your team and no one will care.

There is a wonderful outside area for the kiddies so they can yell and scream, too.

The good part — and one that is fabulous besides not cooking or cleaning up — is that the fun is a benefit for the Bluffton Historical Preservation Society.

So save the date, bring your best yelling voice, get a group together and go TIGERS or JACKETS.

Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street or at thestoresc@gmail.com.