Short Stories

US postal stamp features Jimi Hendrix

click image for Jimi playing the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock 1969 via youtube

“The Day The Post Office Became Cool”

By Mort Laitner

I sauntered into my post office to buy a sheet of “forever” stamps. As I stepped toward the counter, I asked the postal worker, “Do you have any cool pictures on those stamps that are good forever?”

Rather than speaking, she turned her head and pointed to the wall directly behind her back.

I could not believe my eyes. There was Jimi.

“You have a stamp with the picture of Jimmy Hendrix on it?” I exclaimed.

“Yup,” she replied.

I studied his image on the poster. The sheet looked like an old 45 rpm record sleeve.

Saint Jimi wore a psychedelic halo made up of: a burning Fender Stratocastor guitar, the type of flowers which once covered the bodies of Volkswagens and hippies, a mermaid, a butterfly, a sun with an eye in its center, a heart, a spaceship, an angel and a Mexican smoking a pipe.

Jimi’s tussled Afro framed his heart-shaped face. He wore a silk scarf around his neck and on his shoulders a braided and buttoned Sargent Pepper military jacket. Paisley locks of hair snaked across his head. His eyes hypnotized mine as I heard him ask, “Are you experienced?”

Swirls of paint ran so smoothly across his lips, cheeks and mustache that I wondered if the artist had tasted some purple haze.

I asked the clerk, “Why did you guys honor Jimi?”

“He did one hell of a performance of The Star-Spangled Banner at Woodstock. That number alone deserves a picture on a stamp. He was the greatest electric guitarist of all time. He may deserve a second stamp.” She responded.

“I’ll buy three sheets.”

As I handed her my credit card she said,”You know that customers are framing those sheets of stamp.”

“I can see why. They are awesome.” I replied.

“I never thought I’d say this. But today the Post Office became cool.”

The clerk laughed out loud and said, “Next customer.”


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