The Seneca Falls, NY, Post Office continued one of its best-loved holiday traditions this year: offering a postmark that celebrates “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
The town — which is believed to be the inspiration for Bedford Falls, the setting of Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 film — reunites surviving cast members each year for a festival that includes a screening of the movie, a bell-ringing ceremony and other activities.
“The town is just hopping and the event gets bigger and bigger each year. People come from all over to attend,” said Postmaster Dawn Waldron.
The Post Office, which has offered a special postmark since the festival began in 2002, held a lobby event this year where the cast members signed autographs and chatted with customers.
The participants included Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu, Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed’s daughter, and delivered the film’s famous line: “Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.”
Grimes was joined by two of her on-screen siblings, Carol Coombs (Janie) and Jimmy Hawkins (Tommy), and Jeanine Ann Roose, who played Violet, a child in one of the film’s Gower’s Drugstore scenes.
Waldron, who displays an “It’s A Wonderful Life” movie poster in the Post Office’s lobby, took the opportunity to have the actors autograph it. She also plays the movie in the lobby throughout the holiday season, often drawing crowds of customers.
But more than anything else, it’s the postmark that keeps folks coming back.
This year’s design features a saying — “All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away” — that appears on a needlepoint hung in the office of George Bailey, Stewart’s character.
“Collectors come back each year to add to the postmark to their collection. Some of them have every one we have ever done,” Waldron said.