Starting at a young age, Frank Lambert grew up learning to work and serve. “I grew up on a farm,” says Frank, “so we were taught very early on not to be afraid of hard work.” Frank also grew up with an identical twin brother, Fred. When you ask him what it’s like to be a twin, he says he doesn’t know any other way to be. “There was always someone to rely on and confide in, there was always someone to support you,” says Frank. “It was always a push and pull kind of thing, with us, like ‘come help me do this’ or ‘you need to do that, let me help you.’”
Before we know it, Christmas will be here with its sights, smells and sounds. What will your Christmas season look like? Perhaps you’ll take a drive around the town to admire colorful lights shining in the dark, cool Arizona evenings. Maybe you’ll cook some warm gingerbread or sugar cookies and decorate them with your grandchildren. Perhaps during the season, you’ll enjoy a Christmas concert to hear familiar carols play. Planning to make at least one trip to the post office to mail a card or a package to a loved one far away?
For years, the Mesa Main Post Office, located at 135 N. Center Street, has made it possible for the community to enjoy the last two on the list simultaneously. While customers wait, local musicians volunteer to perform concerts free of charge. Linda Kay Hartmann, who arranges the concerts at the post office each year, explains, “We have found that cheerful music adds to the spirit of Christmas and lights the spirit of those waiting.”
Concerts come in all sizes: vocalists, harpists, flutists, pianists, ensembles, duets, trios, quartets, a cappella groups, children’s groups, violin/piano duets, guitar/singers & jazz ensembles. Given the size of the venue, Linda says groups of 20 or less fit the bill best. Based on schedule and availability, musicians block their times in ½ hour- to 2-hour segments.
Performers bring in their own equipment, but an electric piano is always provided. Linda says, “Some performers bring their own background music while others have instruments backing them up.”
Performers do not receive money for their service nor are they permitted by the USPS to sell anything in the building.
Linda is currently scheduling performers for time slots from December 2 – December 24, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, and 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Performers are welcome to schedule more than one time slot during the season if they wish.
Do you have a musical gift? Do you know someone with musical abilities who may consider sharing their talent during the Christmas season? If you or anyone you know is interested in volunteering and sharing your talent, contact Linda Hartmann at 480-844-9328 or email LindaKay678@gmail.com.
Henry W. Longfellow described the power of the carol in his poem, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” as he wrote what the bells seemed to say to him one Christmas: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep.”
Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, once taught, “The carols of Christmas remind us of our shouts of joy when we learned that we could come to this world and be given a Savior to redeem us.” (“The Perfect Gift”)
The season is upon us, and wild, sweet carols will weave thoughts of peace on earth and good will toward men into our homes, churches, cars—and even the post office. Wherever you are, Merry Christmas!