My first memory of a post office was the one in Southport. I remember taking a field trip to the facility when I attended Edgewood Grade School. Our bus driver drove past the post office because it was on the other side of the street.
The driver knew of a church parking lot where he could turn around and head back so he could stop in front of the post office to let us out. The little building was and still is located on the northeast corner of Southport Road and Main Street, right across from Long’s Bakery.
We walked into the small post office and were greeted by the postmistress, who was probably the only person on duty. She guided us through the building and quickly directed us to an open door in the back. As the door opened we saw our bus pulling up to meet us. In the time that it took him to pull around to the rear of the building, we had seen the entire post office. It was a quick field trip.
A second post office was constructed a few years later on Madison Avenue, just north of Epler Avenue (the building is still there), and it was known at the Woodcroft branch, a combination of the neighborhoods of Edgewood and Homecroft. Shortly thereafter, some businesses started using the name. Pat Moriarty opened a drug store just north of the post office and named it Woodcroft Pharmacy.
With the Woodcroft post office came improved postal service on the Southside. At that time there were many contract carriers who worked out of their private vehicles. Steve Schulz, a former Southport High School classmate of mine, had one of those routes for several years.
At some point the post office started providing three-wheeled motor scooters to its employees. My dad’s Sunoco station was contracted to provide fuel, and in cold weather we had to provide a warm place to house the scooters at night.
The redesign of Madison Avenue to a four-lane divided road eliminated most of the parking at the Woodcroft post office, so it was closed, and a new one was built on the south side of Southport Road.
The name Woodcroft sort of drifted away after the post office and the drug store closed. The new facility in Southport was in operation for many years before being replaced by a new one on Edgewood just east of Madison.
The building on Madison is now known as the Cherry Asian Store. The old post office on the south side of Southport Road is now Sophia’s Bridal, Tux and Prom Shop.
I still have memories of having to squeeze those scooters inside our service station on cold winter nights so that they would start the next morning.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools.