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'It’s pretty special': 8-year-old in Basalt forms unlikely friendship with her mailman

Ivy Hutchens waits outside on her porch every day for the mail to be delivered.

BASALT, Colo. — Certain things in life are just worth waiting for. 

"Where is Bruce?" asked eight-year-old Ivy Hutchens on a warm February afternoon outside her house in Basalt. "Where is Bruce, mom? Mom, where is Bruce?"

Even for an eight-year-old, Ivy has a lot of energy. But, every day around 2 or 3 p.m., Ivy sits down on her front porch and waits, and waits and waits. 

"I think he’s coming," said Ivy, peering down her neighborhood street. "I think he is."

Ivy is always waiting for Bruce Knutson. Her mom Riley agreed he’s a friend worth waiting for.

"She loves sitting on the porch. She sits out here all day long. Sits in that swing, waiting for Bruce," said Riley Hutchens. "Well, it means a lot. Ivy has autism, so she doesn’t make friends very easily. She connects a lot more with adults everybody is just drawn to her. She’s so funny and quirky."

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night keeps Ivy and Bruce apart.

"Hello Bruce!" exclaimed Ivy as the United States Postal Service (USPS) truck pulls around the corner. "I was watching for you."

Every day, Bruce the mailman stops at Ivy’s house in Basalt, delivering far more than just the mail.

"She’s special," said Bruce, a rural mail carrier for the USPS. "She’s always just brought a smile to my face."

Bruce has delivered the mail to Ivy and her family for several years now.

Thanks to a Christmas present from Bruce, Ivy is already suited up for her dream job at just eight years old. She has her very own postal service sweater that she wears proudly. She also holds her birthday card tight, it's signed by all of her friends at the local post office. 

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"They don’t make sizes that small," said Bruce. "So I just got the sweatshirt and then my wife sews and embroiders so she did it up for Ivy for Christmas."

It was the perfect gift. 

"Everyone knows how much she loves the mailman," said Riley. "It’s pretty special."

Their meetings only last a couple of minutes, but every day, it’s always worth waiting for Bruce.

"Bye, Bruce," said Ivy as she waved goodbye. "That was so fun."

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