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A Bend front-door friendship delivered: That rings a bell

Family left out snacks -- and the mailman delivered a dance to the doorstep

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Thanks to a doorbell camera -- and a few snacks -- a Bend family and their mail carrier developed quite the connection. However, he recently got moved to a different delivery route, so they haven’t seen each other for weeks.

"I met him last winter, before the quarantine happened, and we had just moved into the house,” said Ana Blackburn, referring to mail carrier Jason Wynne. “When we became familiar with him was in the spring."

Since the start of the pandemic, Blackburn said their relationship has become even more valuable.

Blackburn works in the restaurant industry, but has been out of a job since mid-November. Still, she wanted to make sure essential workers, like Wynne, felt appreciated.

So Blackburn set up a small snack box outside her house.

"It's nothing,” she told NewsChannel 21 Friday. “It's a box full of Pringles or Cheez-Its, which was his favorite."

"I love those things -- I don't know why,” Wynne could be heard saying from a recording on the Blackburn’s Ring doorbell camera. “They're so addicting."

Blackburn said, “If I can give back to somebody that's out doing something every single day, even when I'm not able to work, then I think that was important for us as a family."

Just like the Blackburns wanted to do something special for Wynne, he had his own way of bringing a smile to their faces – through lots and lots of dances on their doorsteps, which the Blackburns have saved into their Ring account.

"A plethora of videos,” Blackburn said. “He does the Beyoncé song, he twerks -- he does all the things."

By a stroke of coincidence, NewsChannel 21 was able to find their favorite mailman, who told us his recollections of the woman and her kindness.

"I started really doing it once everyone was just kind of locked up," Wynne said Friday evening. "Nobody was going out. Nobody was really saying ‘Hi.’ I read this article that was basically saying, 'Just say hi to everyone you see, because you never know when's the last time someone waved at them or smiled."

Wynne said he’s always been the "class clown" type. He said he dances at any house where makes a delivery for USPS, but he’s developed a special bond with the Blackburns.

"I felt bad when I first met them,” Wynne said. “I was like, 'Hey, I just wanted to let you know I didn't even have a package for you yesterday, but I forgot my lunch so I stopped and got a snack.' And they started laughing."

Over the last three weeks, however, the Cheez-It’s have not been touched, and the dances have disappeared.

That's because Wynne’s route changed, and he no longer delivers to the Blackburns.

They don't have each other’s numbers saved, and they aren't friends on social media.

So these interactions captured on Ring were their only way to connect.

"She's an awesome person, kind-hearted and just great people,” Wynne said.

Blackburn said, "Jason, we miss you! Come back and visit us."

So perhaps one day soon, their former mailman will stop by and rekindle the friendship: "Return to sender."

Article Topic Follows: 2gether as 1

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Max Goldwasser

Max Goldwasser is a reporter and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Max here.


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