The makeshift post office serves about 1,000 fairgoers each year.
By ASHLEY POWERS
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CANFIELD -- Snoopy's perched in the corner, paws outstretched, head twisted to his right. His goggles and aviator cap fastened tightly over his black ears, he's ready to steer his doghouse to new heights.
He can't see the rooster from where he's sitting, but, boy, is that swelled-chested animal ready to make a racket.
It seems like no big deal to some: Snoopy, the rooster, a 34-cent stamp, all clustered against a white background. But the latest edition of the $2 Canfield Fair souvenir envelope provokes a collection fervor among fairgoers -- a pleasure for postal employees, said Tom Rosko, Deerfield postmaster and coordinator of the fair post office.
"I get to see people I know by face only because I see them there every year," Rosko said, laughing.
Working the office: Across from the fairgrounds' central administration office, in a white trailer -- which is sometimes air-conditioned, but most times not -- a total of 24 employees will sell the collectors envelopes and provide postal services from Wednesday through Sunday. This is the third consecutive year the fair post office has shipped mail; a post office also was part of the fair from 1995 to 1997.
Working in pairs for six-hour shifts, the fair postal employees are local postmasters and rural carriers, some of whom seldom see the faces that go with the names on the packages they deliver. The chance to mingle is a rarity on rural roads, Rosko said -- and that's why there's a waiting list every year to work the fair.
"You have to want to do this," he said. "Someone kind of gun-shy, kind of introverted might not enjoy it."
Around 1,000 people usually buy items at the postal trailer, which is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The only services that aren't provided are bulk mail and money orders, though fairgoers can obtain knickknacks such as magnets and postal jewelry, Rosko said. But the envelopes still have the most drawing power, he said. Last year's featured Woody Woodpecker; this year's Snoopy design was selected in memory of "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz, who died last year.
"Snoopy, he's got his doghouse," Rosko said. "And we were trying to get Woodstock on there too, but the stamp's only so big."