Diana G. Culp is about to move to Virginia from her home on Capitol Hill. She plans to arrange for her mail to be forwarded. But she has good reason to wonder if that will happen.
"For the last four years," she writes, "I have been forwarding the mail of the prior owner of my home . . . . That owner has sent numerous 'yellow slips' and even letters to the Post Office requesting that they forward her mail, but to no avail.
"When her mail kept coming to my home, I, too, sent notices to the Post Office. No response and no action; the prior owner's mail kept coming to my home. To this day, I still receive mail for the prior owner . . . . Incidentally, I also receive mail for people who must have lived at my residence many years before.
" . . . . Is there any mechanism in D.C. that will ensure the forwarding of my mail?"
There is indeed, Diana: The very change-of-address form that you claim the postal people are ignoring. However, there is a right way to file it and a not-so-right way. Let's listen to Katherine Davenport, a spokeswoman in the consumer affairs division of the D.C. Post Office:
Katherine says that mail is forwarded for only one year after someone moves, and only first-class mail is forwarded. After a year, any mail addressed to someone's old address will be delivered there, rather than nowhere, "because we are required to make a delivery," Katherine said.
The best way to avoid trouble and anxiety, Katherine said, is to go to your local post office, fill out the form and file it in person. If you mail in the form, it may be mislaid, misfiled or mishandled. But if you're standing there, and the postal clerk is too, your odds of success increase.
Ace in the hole: mention to your regular postal carrier that you're moving. Regular carriers really will try to see to it that your mail finds you, and they may even stretch the one-year time limit if you ask. As for prior owners of your house, Diana, ask the carrier to return Ms. Prior's mail to sender.
Right church, wrong pew. Many thanks to all you eagle-eyes who caught my flub.
In a column last week, I assailed the orange-and-black signs that I claimed had been erected beside Montgomery County roads as part of the county's Adopt-a-Road program. In fact, those orange-and-black signs are part of a state program called Adopt-a-Highway. Its aims are similar to Adopt-a-Road's, but the two operations are distinct. Sorry for any confusion or hard feelings.
Local high school reunions set and getting that way:
Woodrow Wilson '41 (both February and June classes). June 14 and 15. Call Sue Wurdeman (202-966-0153), Mary Fooshe Featherstone (301-881-3648 days) or Ellen King (301-972-1273).
Fort Hunt '71. Organizing. Call Marilyn B. Logan (703-360-0919).
McKinley Tech June '46 and Feb. '47. May 4. Call Marion Marnix Jones (301-572-6083) or Ray Hollidge (301-552-2854).
Eastern '46 and '47. Organizing. Call Doris Jaeger McCawley (301-736-8885) or Jean Clarke Hudson (301-894-4711).
McKinley Tech Feb. '41. Aiming for this spring. Call Ethel Cotsonis Lagos (301-585-1131) or Juanita Armstrong Cooper (301-864-3643).
Yorktown '76. Aug. 17. Call Lisa at 301-428-0876.
Parkdale '71. Aug. 9 and 10. Call George E. Randall (301-345-4496).
St. Patrick's Academy, all years: Aiming for April. Call JoAnne Crowder Howard (703-922-8064) or Eileen Sheehan Marletta (301-868-0049).
Northwood '71. Jul6 6. Call Brenda Coffman Graninger (301-840-9235).
Richard Montgomery '81. Sept. 21. Call 1-800-397-0010.
De Matha '51, '56, '60, '61, '62, '66, 71. May 4. Call 301-864-3701.
De Matha '76, '81 and '86. June 15. Call 301-864-3701.
Walter Johnson '81. Organizing. Call Lisa A. Bateman (301-540-7670).
Dunbar '66. Aiming for late summer. Call Daniel Jones (202-543-0354) or Michele Powell (202-582-1622).
Maryland Park '43. Organizing a 50th. Call Richard A. Ager (301-459-3545).
Washington-Lee '66. June 21 and 22. Call Linda Drake Cummings (703-573-0961) or Ginny Bergquist Landry (703-893-1852).
George Washington '71. Organizing. Call Debbie at 703-435-5685.
McKinley Tech June '41. Organizing No. 50. Call Beverly Batchelder Harrison (301-736-5189) or Grace Mattingly Clarke (301-577-6819).
T.C. Williams '71. June 21, 22 and 23. Call Duane Shields (703-683-0180) or Jim Morris (703-998-8391).