Friday, July 1, 2011

Red Hill General Store Scholarship Winner Announced

Red Hill General Store has announced the winner of their scholarship contest. The winner of the blog writing contest is Brianna Chrisman of San Jose, CA. Brianna will be awarded a $500 scholarship to be sent to the college she is attending.

The blog entry that won the contest for Brianna:

Mailbox Madness
You’ll probably think I’m part canine for saying this, but I’ve always had a thing for mailmen.  Maybe that’s because I’m a sucker for tradition, and getting a letter with my name handwritten on it gives me that cliché happy-warm feeling.  Maybe my love for these US Postal Service Agents is because I adore men in uniform and small, box-like vans with no doors. Or maybe it’s because every mailman I’ve every had, from Mike with the funny beard in Pennsylvania to Ronaldo in California who left last month to take care of his sick mother, to  Rick who dropped off my mail less than an hour ago, has just been so darn nice.  Since I was little, every mailman I’ve known has made an effort to find out my name, show me their van, and even let me deliver a letter or two.  I’ve never felt more loved by a stranger!  That is why, last year during career day, instead of shadowing the interior designers, surgeons, and psychologists with everyone else, I followed around Wanda the mailwomen for a day.

And you know what I found out?  Being a mail carrier is tedious!  After about thirty houses, everything started to look identical, as if I was in a trance.  Addresses began to blur together, the letters inside the bag turned to a cloud of white mush, and EVERY SINGLE MAILBOX LOOKED THE SAME.  After this long day was over, I made a decision to help relieve the mailmen and mailwomen of the world from the tediousness and repetitiveness they must face each day at work.  How did I do this?  I decorated my mailbox as a cow, of course - spots, udders, and all.   It sounds silly, and not something for a high-schooler to be wasting her time on, but now my mailbox looks udderly fantastic, probably makes mailman’s jobs much moooore exciting, and hardly cowst me a cent.  And I was so proud of my masterpiece, that I’ve drawn up some creative ideas for anyone else to use if they want to make the lives of mailmen everywhere a bit more amusing.  And I promise there will be no more bad bovine-related jokes from this point onward.

Before you get started on decorating your mailbox, you’re going to need, obviously, a mailbox.  Tiny slits in the door don’t work very good, and I highly recommend the stereotypically shaped ones, at least for the designs that I created.  You can get one of these at the Red Hill General Store.  The Fulton Polypropylene Rural Mailbox works especially nicely.  Oh, and for all these designs if you live in a rainy area, make sure to use waterproof paints and glue.

This is the original design of the cow-mailbox.  I simply added a white layer of paint around the mailbox, spray painted some spots, and then cut out legs, the head, and udders from wood.  To make your little cattle friend even more charming, you can always add a tail made of rope or a cowbell.  Milk the idea for all it’s worth.  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Who, other than environmentalists and airline companies, doesn’t love trains?  Add a little smokestack made of wood on the top of the mailbox, and some wheels, either made of wooden circles, or even broken wheels from an old toy.  You can paint on anything else you want: the name of the train (I’m not actually sure if trains have names like ships, but I know they should!) or other details you might desire.  If you really want to step it up, convince a small child to hide near the mailbox with a train whistle until the mailman comes, and then blow it every time they open it to put the mail in.  Or maybe just wire the hinge up to a sound device, being the technologically advanced nation we are and whatnot.

I call this one The Hot Dog.  It’s simple, and probably based off of the fact that I was really hungry while creating this design.  Anyways, to create this giant delicacy, simply paint the bottom half of the mailbox a golden-yellow, the top half red, and add condiments as you please.  I would advise red or yellow ribbon for the ketchup and mustard, and I’d stay away from the relish.  It’s gross and smells funny.

For all the parents reading this, here’s one for the kids: a “my family portrait” mailbox.  I always love seeing children’s paintings of their parents and siblings in school, so I figure the mailmen will enjoy it too.  Just paint your mailbox a solid white color, and let your kids go crazy with the rest.  Border the sides of the mailbox with a frame for a nice effect.  Portraits of the family always end up amusing, but pictures of the child’s favorite animal, best friend, or television character will work too.

Another fun idea is to use a metal mailbox and buy a large selection of sentence forming magnets, the ones with a random word on each magnet.  Scatter them on the surface of your mailbox and send the mailman a different greeting each day.  Monday’s can be “green tokens eat lice water,” and the next week you can try, “mad shampoo lovers stampede willingly.”  If you have a mailman with a good sense of humor, he might even arrange a message back for you.

Those are a few of my mailbox designs.  I’m no artist or designer, so if you think of a creative idea, it’s probably far better than any of mine and you should definitely try it out.  It’s a fun project to do with your friends or family, and it might end up making a mailman’s day just a little bit more entertaining.  Maybe if you amuse Mike, or Ronaldo, or Rick or whoever your mailperson is, they’ll think twice before they put that obnoxious advertisement in your newly beautified mailbox.

We would like to say Congratulations to Brianna Chrisman and also offer a congrats to our runners up:
  • Callista Cox who wrote "What Garden Gnomes are REALLY for"
  • Jordyn Smith who wrote "Bumpin' Up and Down in my Little Red Wagon..."
  • Sarah Cannon who wrote "The Bee's Knees" Did you know?
  • and Laura Denyer with "The Best Tasting Stuff in The World.
We will feature our runners up's blogs in the upcoming week.


  1. This is incredible. This Brianna girl really knows what's up. Go Red Hill General Store!!

  2. wow so creative! i would love to have one of these mailboxes! congratulations brianna!



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