The Suopelto Post Office served as a meeting place for villagers and summer residents for decades. During the postal and shopping trip, the news of the village was exchanged and things of interest were discussed. There was a public telephone in the post office and in the cooperative’s yard building at times, when the telephone was still uncommon in people’s houses. The third telephone in the region was found at Ilola Manor. Arriving at their cottages in the spring, the summer residents went first to the post office to update themselves about the village’s winter happenings and news.
Suopelto’s post office used to operate for a long time in Kaunisto, where Anselm and Ida Kaste were post office workers from 1945 to 1966. When Ida retired in 1966, Helmi Virolainen (1923–2008) was elected new post office worker. In connection with this, the Suopelto Cooperative began to renovate the place for the post office. During the renovation, in the spring and winter of 1966, the post office operated at Helmi Virolainen’s home in Sulkala. From the summer of 1966 to year 1974, the post office operated in the cooperative’s property. The post office entrance was on the beach side of the store, where also was the entrance to the store manager’s home. The store entrance was on the front yard side. After the cooperative closed down, the post office moved to the opposite Kumpu property, where it operated until its closure in 1986, and when Helmi also retired. Helmi’s son Hannu Virolainen continued in his mother’s footsteps in the service of the Finnish postal services as a postman.
The post office day was full of coincidences. One day Päijänne’s hermit, Toivo Pylväläinen, arrived to do business as always, but this time he demanded to see all his money saved on his bank account book. The daily amount of cash in the office was small, so Helmi explained to Toivo that his money was not in the office, but it was written in the bank account book. This response did not satisfy the hermit, and on leaving he gloomily muttered that he would have to see his money next time. It took weeks, even months, until Pylväläinen once again came to take care of his affairs, this time with a long stick. He renewed his question about bringing his money visible and intensified his claim by knocking the stick on the corner of Helmi’s table. Helmi always got along well with people and reassured Toivo with her calm Karelian dialect: “Listen now Toivo. You don’t get your money on the table even with a stick, but they definitely are in a safe place.” Nothing else was needed at that time.
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