The mail always gets through

Published 2:05 pm Friday, March 6, 2009

Not everyone has the luxury of having your mail hand delivered—especially with a “good morning” and a smile.

Seeing the photograph in Wednesday’s Post-Searchlight of the retirement of postal worker George Williams reminded me of nearly seven years of receiving my daily mail personally delivered by him. Each day when he came into the store to hand me my daily bills and other stuff, always smiling, George could always tell you how many more work days remained until his retirement.

Feb. 13, 2009, was the day, and George had been down-counting for several years.

George also is an accomplished and highly recognized horse trainer, which he really enjoyed from his spread in Seminole County. Yet from time to time the enterprise had its hazards. After more than several days of not seeing George, when a substitute delivered the mail, I would ask, “Where’s George.”

“A horse threw him,” might be a response.

One time, a horse stepped on his ankle, and broke it, and he was out again.

“What do you do when a horse won’t respect your commands and has a mind of his own,” I asked him once.

“You work him to death,” he said. “Then he knows.”

One day when George told me he was getting really short, Feb. 13 looming, it was a recent day in December—cold, rainy and downright nasty outside.

“After you have retired from the post office, ” I told him. “You’re going to wake up one morning, look outside and see a day just like this one, and your going to say, ‘Wow. What a great day to deliver the mail.’ And, you’re not going to be able to do it.”

He didn’t agree with my assumption.

Most of us don’t have a regular day-to-day encounter with our mail delivery person. We know they have successfully completed their rounds, because each day we check their deposits in our mail streetside boxes. Those of us in business get to see several folks during the course of the year—regular carriers and substitute carriers.

Their smiles, words of greeting, proficiency and professionalism, are greatly appreciated.

George has retired, and I have moved the store.

Downtown changes daily.

Time marches on.