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Ron Wright stands next to a customized mailbox sculpture by Suisun Valley sculptor Phillip Glashoff. Wright is a mail carrier and his mailbox reflects that. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)


Whimsical mailboxes take hold in Suisun Valley

By From page C1 | January 12, 2014

FAIRFIELD —Mailboxes in Suisun Valley are getting a little more personal.

Local sculptor Phil Glashoff has begun an art project to make the area even more unusual. At every address within “the loop,” which is Rockville Road to Mankas Corner and Suisun Valley, he hopes to put one of his custom-sculpted mailboxes.

Or, in the case of Joan and Avery Greene, a box to hold the publications delivered to the homes on Joyce Lane, where they reside. It bears a striking resemblance to the big red barn that sits on the Greene property.

“I think they are adorable,” Joan Greene said of her box and others already in place. “They are very creative.”

She met Glashoff through Advocates for the Arts and had already purchased some of his other work.

Avery Greene loves the look. After all, he said, it replaced blue plastic nondescript boxes.

It draws attention, as well as questions. The most common query, “Is this the fire department?”

“It gives a character and distinction to Suisun Valley,” Avery Greene said of the whimsical mailboxes that range from a dragon to a catfish.

“I’m a very big critic about how the valley looks and people’s impressions (of it),” Glashoff said. “If the valley and vineyards are producing some wonderful varietal wines, that should be presented in a positive way,” he said.

The first mailboxes were done for free about three years ago for his neighbors on Williams Road. Glashoff wanted to see the response.

It didn’t take long for residents from other roads in “the loop”  to clamor for one of their own. Glashoff is finishing work on a few more that will soon be installed.

Fairfield residents may recognize local mail carrier Ron Wright, who has a metal clone done by Glashoff.

“It’s the most appropriate mailbox we could have,” said Wright.

He’s lived on Williams Road since 1997 and said the mailboxes bring a unique touch to the area. And he’s happy when people pick out his mail carrier mailbox as their favorite.

Wright likes it too but also enjoys looking at other mailboxes such as the old woman in the shoe that represents a family with many children, and the one shaped like a grape press by the Suisun Valley Wine Cooperative.

Those within the area Glashoff wants to cover pay one price. Those outside the area pay a higher price. John’s Hauling on Mankas Corner Road sells the mailboxes.

“People love them,” said John Crossley, owner of John’s Hauling.

Chris Estes, who sits on the board of the Suisun Valley Vintners & Growers Association, is the proud owner of a mailbox that features a butler holding a tray with wine glasses.  He and his wife  sketched an idea of what they wanted but didn’t share it with Glashoff. When they saw the completed work, Chris Estes said the resemblance was uncanny.

Among his favorite mailboxes is the big yellow metal bird that sits by the yellow cottage on Williams Road. Another is a farmer with a pitchfork. The owner is an active farmer, Estes said.

Each box is unique, Glashoff said. “I don’t say ‘no’ to any idea,” he said.”I run with the idea.”

Glashoff’s goal of drawing attention to the valley seems to be working, Estes said. He’s watched people stop and photograph the various designs.

“It’s a special thing he’s doing in the valley,” Estes said. “There’s something there for everyone to like.”

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.

Discussion | 2 comments

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  • SobreakitdownformeJanuary 12, 2014 - 8:54 am

    I think this is great. I drive along the Suisun Valley area just to see them because they are so unique. I hope I can get one although I dont live in Suisun Valley. Its also funny how we were just talking about this on dailyrepublic.com a few days ago. ;)

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  • Mr. PracticalJanuary 12, 2014 - 3:39 pm

    Drive to the end of Williams Road and you'll see his Sculpture Ranch. Almost every mailbox along the way is his.

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