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A Toil of Two Cities
Virginia Lawrence | Caminito Del Rocio

 

  
Bob, in his surgical gloves, and Lucie assembling the April Sandpiper in their dining room. Only a very small number of the 10,400 folded tabloid sheets actually fit on the table at one time.
Photos Virginia Lawrence

 

By some standards the Sandpiper’s run of 2,600 copies might seem small; but when you consider that these copies are assembled by hand, the task acquires a Herculean dimension. Every month Lucie Walther and her husband, Bob, assemble the Sandpiper page by page and deliver it to the post office for distribution. Because the task is so physical. Lucie, who plays tennis regularly, says she needs no other activities to keep in shape.

The 16-page April Sandpiper was printed at Del Mar Blue on 4 sheets of tabloid-sized (11x17 inches) paper, one tabloid sheet for 4 numbered pages. The tabloid sheets were machine-folded and packed into cartons, which Lucie picked up on Tuesday, March 26. Over the next two days, working in their dining room, Lucie and Bob assembled a staggering 10,400 tabloid sheets. As usual, Bob wore surgical gloves to keep the ink off his fingers.

Before she retired, Lucie had a mail distribution business. Her husband, also retired, was a tool and die maker. Both emigrated from Switzerland to Pasadena in 1955, settling finally in Del Mar in 1968. Lucie and Bob have been assembling the Sandpiper since 1997, when the Sandpiper’s first issue was published.
In addition to assembling 2600 copies of the paper, Lucie pasted on the address stickers. This must be done in accordance with bulk mail regulations: the addresses are sorted by carrier routes and have to be stuck on in a precise order so that the post office will have no sorting to do.

As each batch is finished, Lucie binds it with rubber bands and puts it in a Number 3 post office bulk mail sack. When full, the sack weighs about 50 lbs. This past month there were 8 sacks - 400 pounds total.

As each batch is finished, Lucie binds it with rubber bands and puts it in a Number 3 post office bulk mail sack. When full, the sack weighs about 50 lbs. This past month there were 8 sacks - 400 pounds total.

 

The Del Mar post office no longer handles bulk mail, so Lucie delivered the 8 sacks to the Encinitas Post Office where she had made an appointment with the postmaster. Once the postmaster cleared the mailing, she could have come home.
But ... if the Sandpiper were actually shipped from Encinitas, it would transit through San Diego. So, to ensure a timely delivery, Lucie hauled the entire load back to Del Mar and turned it over directly to Del Mar’s friendly postal carriers, who dropped your paper into your mailbox, right in time for the April 1st deadline.
The Sandpiper thanks you, Lucie and Bob!!

Ready for delivery to the Encinitas postmaster.

 

 

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