Monthly Letters to Pulmonary Patients by Thomas L. Petty

Thomas L. Petty, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, 
University of Colorado

Chairman, National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP)


National Lung Health Education Program
A collaborative project with



HealthOne Center
1850 High Street
Denver, CO 80218
Phone: 303 839 6755
Fax: 303 832 8137

Waiting at the Post Office 
on New Years Eve.

March 2002
Second Wind
Lomita, California

     Dear Friends:

     I wanted to mail a certified letter before the year ended, so went directly to the post office for this purpose.  Many people were standing in line as I took my number (76).  That meant there were 20 people ahead of me, as number 56 was showing over the postal counter.  Over the 45 minutes that I waited, I noticed people sending packages, receiving post office box mail, buying stamps, or sending overnight mail.  As the line moved slowly, both young and old people with great ethnic diversity, as well as obvious economic differences and styles, moved up to the open counters as each number was called in succession.    It was interesting to watch the dynamics, the conversations and interactions between the people in the queue with the post office clerks.  Almost everyone ended the conversation with a “Happy New Year”.

     I felt good about my observations because the common denominator was connections.  One of the strengths of this country is that we are connected by strong foundations, traditions, families, work and spirituality.  This is one of our real strengths – something that has endured and will continue to keep America strong.

  I'll be in touch next month.

  Your friend,

  Thomas Petty, MD

Last update:
16 March 2002