The Hag now has his post office

This is how Trump honored country music legend Merle Haggard

Carolyn McAtee Cerbin, USA Today

Let’s get to the important work of the American people: naming post offices. President Trump put his spiky signature on three bills for such designations Tuesday, but one stood out.

Brace yourselves, country music fans. There’s now a post office in Bakersfield, Calif., named for the legendary singer Merle Haggard, who was born just north in Oildale.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican who represents California’s 23rd District, sponsored H.B. 1988 designating the Spanish-style facility at 1730 18th St. as the Merle Haggard Post Office Building.

Haggard, who died in April 2016 at age 79, was known for songs like Okie from Muskogee and Fightin’ Side of Me that “spoke plainly but not predictably of social outcasts, blue-collar concerns and persistent restlessness,” according to a USA TODAY appreciation.

Haggard is still a big deal to folks in Bakersfield, where his post office stands next door to the recently revitalized Padre Hotel and across the street from In Your Wildest Dreams antiques and consignment shop.

Roy Zubia, who works the front desk at the Padre, told USA TODAY Tuesday the singer is remembered well in town. He pointed out there’s also the Merle Haggard Drive that intersects with Highway 99.

Haggard’s son Ben, who was his dad’s lead guitarist, stays at the Padre when he’s in town performing, Zubia said.

Plenty of other country musicians also stay at the hotel when they’re booked to play at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. And that’s despite the fact the Padre has a reputation as being haunted.

Trump also signed bills Tuesday for the Converse Veterans Post Office Building in Converse, Texas, and Staff Sergeant Ryan Scott Ostrom Post Office in Liberty, Pa., honoring Ostrom, who died in 2005 from small-arms fire in Habbaniya, Iraq, at age 25.