Letter mailed 24 years ago comes back to BOCES

Photo by Tom Rivers: Dr. Clark Godshall, superintendent of the Orleans-Niagara BOCES, holds a letter that he signed 24 years ago, a purchase order for a VHS tape on “The Secret World of Bats.”

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 May 2018 at 6:49 am

No explanation why the letter went undelivered for more than 2 decades

MEDINA – In May 1994, Clark Godshall was working as assistant superintendent of the Orleans-Niagara BOCES. He also was the purchasing agent, signing about 3,000 to 4,000 purchase orders each year.

One of those purchase orders and was mailed on Sept. 30, 1994. It was sent to Austin, Texas to The Bat Conservation International. The Orleans-Niagara BOCES wanted to buy a VHS tape, “The Secret World of Bats.” The price was $40. The postage cost 29 cents.

The VHS tape was never delivered. On Monday, staff at the O-N BOCES received the returned letter from the Postal Service, with it marked as returned to sender on May 3, 2018. It had never been opened and the envelope has turned yellow on the edges. There was no explanation where the letter had been the past 24 years.

“Maybe it fell into a crack someplace,” Godshall wondered on Wednesday.

He has been the BOCES superintendent for the past 18 years, and has signed thousands upon thousands of purchase orders.

The local BOCES continues to maintain a collection of VHS tapes that are loaned out to member school districts. Beta tapes, however, are no longer kept at the BOCES.

Godshall found the returned letter – nearly 24 years after it was first mailed – to be an interesting conversation piece.

“Have faith in the Post Office,” he said. “Eventually it will get there.”

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