Kincardine kids receive special delivery, rescued from an Indiana sidewalk


By Kristen Shane


Lucy and Alice Thorpe got a special delivery in their mailbox this month thanks to a few good Samaritans from small-town Indiana.


The envelope arrived in Kincardine Aug. 11. The return address sticker said it was from Dianne Ledvina of San Pierre, Indiana.


“I got the mail and I was excited because I saw there were pictures in it,” Alice, 10, recalled as she peered through the envelope’s clear plastic window.


“We weren’t sure what it was,” said her mother, Ruth Thorpe. The family didn’t know a Dianne Ledvina.

When they ripped open the envelope, out came a post card, slightly bent but readable, and a handwritten note.


The post card had been sent to Alice and her seven-year-old sister from their Kincardine friends, twins Avy and Delage Mowle, 11, and their brother Declan, 10.


From top left, post card senders Avy, Delage and Declan Mowle, sit with the lucky recipients, from bottom left, Alice and Lucy Thorpe.  (Photo courtesy of Joan Mowle)


It was one of 28 the Mowle kids had sent during an 11-day camping trip at the end of July with their parents, Joan and Kevin, in the United States around Lake Michigan.


“It kept the kids busy, writing post cards to their grandparents and their friends,” said Joan.


That particular card featured trains the family saw at the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson, Indiana, a small town of about 2,000 people.


After spending the day exploring the museum’s antique trains, Joan helped the kids write a few post cards. As they were leaving town, Kevin spotted a mail box.


“I remember throwing them in,” said Joan.


But the cards must have missed the box because the only one to reach its destination was the Thorpes’, and it had a little help along the way.


That’s where Dianne Ledvina comes in. Every morning, Ledvina and her husband go for coffee at Finger Hut Bakery in North Judson.


Ledvina has been a mail carrier for 31 years. So she never balks when her waitress hands her a stack of letters to mail.


One day at the end of July, the waitress gave her the bent post card, which Ledvina figures must have been found on the street and brought in by a good Samaritan.


“I took it from the waitress and I said, ‘Sure, I’ll send it,’” she said, when reached last week by phone at her home in San Pierre, not far from North Judson.


But when she got home, she realized the card would never reach its destination. The postal code was written in a spot where postal workers usually slap a barcode sticker. They wouldn’t be able to tell where in Canada it needed to go.


So she wrote a quick note detailing what happened, signed it ‘Sincerely, a mail carrier,’ and paid the 75-cent postage to get it to the Thorpes.


“It was pretty nice of (Ledvina) to do all the extra effort,” said Ruth Thorpe, whose kids play soccer with the Mowle children.


Joan Mowle was equally impressed when she heard what happened.


“This wonderful lady just went above and beyond,” she said.


But Ledvina said she was just doing her job. “They cared enough to write a post card, so I cared enough to need to get it to its destination,” she said. “I’m glad they got it.”


She had just returned from vacation herself when she sent it. “I guess that’s why a post card meant so much to me, because I had mailed post cards myself,” she said.


It looks like Ledvina will be receiving some mail herself soon. Joan Mowle and Ruth Thorpe are both planning to write her to say thanks.