These days, hardly anything holds up the mail—unless your faithful carrier succumbs to Postal Employee Rage after the Christmas rush. But just after World War I, when the U.S. Postal Service began regular airmail service with surplus warplanes and the bravest pilots they could find, your postcard to Aunt Emily could end up getting destroyed in a fiery wreck on a mountaintop almost as easily as it could be delayed by rain, sleet, snow, or dark of night. In his new book, Turk Bird: The High-Flying Life and Times of Eddie Gardner, National Postal Museum Director James H. Bruns details the life of one of airmail’s earliest stars and the death-defying acts it took to beat out the railroad as the preferred delivery system of the USPS. Bruns will discuss and sign copies of his book at 2 p.m. at the College Park Aviation Museum, 1985 Cpl. Frank Scott Drive, College Park. $4. For reservations call (301) 864-6029. (Andrew Webster)