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Piece of pie, iced tea helped make delivery job tolerable

Posted Thursday, August 13, 2009, at 11:50 PM

My teeny, tiny little Grandma Gladys was a rural mail carrier for several years. She's been gone a long time now, but she jotted down a few notes about the experience in a journal that she left behind.

I'm guessing she worked that job when she was in her late teens or early 20s which would fall on a timeline in the early part of the last century.

The man she married also worked for the post office, but he worked in town.

Both of their mail delivery careers were unique, although hers was for a much shorter time. He carried the mail on foot in Worthington with a pack slung over his shoulder for over 50 years! She carried the mail on horseback! Her route was through the countryside north of Worthington.

I worked a little stint as a substitute mail carrier -- didn't take long to acquire a new appreciation for what our mail delivery people do. Through rain, through sleet, through snow is no joke.

I've never had a wreck, knock on wood, except during the time I was on that mail route.

I put the front of my car in a ditch, the back end in another, and one day turned my car over on its side in a ditch. That was back before cell phones, nobody around, had to get out and walk to a phone -- was a nice stroll on a country road until those three big black dogs came after me -- didn't know I could run that fast.

The day I had three flat tires (with no volunteer tire-changers in sight) in one 95-degree day helped to convince me I wasn't in the right job.

In the snow, I slid and knocked somebody's mailbox flat. When it rained and flooded roads, I got lost trying to get through another way somewhere near Koleen.

It wasn't all bad -- I remember one box in particular where someone frequently left a piece of homemade pie. You'd open the box up and there it would be on a china plate with a fork and a napkin. You'd sit and enjoy then put the dirty dish back in the box, along with the mail.

At another box nearby, on hot summer days, I'd open up the box to find a huge glass of tea with lots of ice.

Toward the end of the route, another box frequently had freshly-baked gingerbread cookies.

It was a hot as heck job in the summer, cold as heck in the winter. And I was in a car. I can't imagine what it was like when my grandma rode a route on a horse -- and out there all by herself.

Mail people are out there on some very back country roads, all alone with nobody around for most of their route.

This week I wrote a story about a woman who was allegedly harassing a mailman -- that was just the start of a colorful incident involving a chase that started in Linton and ended near Mineral.

Then came the comment that the police should not have chased her down for something like driving a doughnut in the police department's yard. I agree a doughnut in the yard probably isn't a good reason for a chase.

But don't forget, before the doughnut, there was that little issue of harassing one of our mail carriers while they were on their route.

Chase away.


Comments
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Good story! Loved it!

-- Posted by CntryGrammy on Sun, Aug 16, 2009, at 10:59 AM

pretty neat story ... I love to read things like this on the greene county daily world paper :)

-- Posted by lakerrunner2010 on Tue, Aug 25, 2009, at 12:42 PM

Actually this is not a response to the current blog, but an experience that my family and I had when we passed through Worthington on August 14th of this year. We felt that we should share this with everyone in Worthington and the surrounding area.

On August 14th 2009 my family and I were traveling home, to Richmond, Indiana from visiting my wife's Mother in Evansville. As we turned on the highway towards Worthington, there was a loud noise under the Van. We pulled into the General Dollar parking lot to see what the noise was.

As I got out to look, a couple stopped and asked us if we needed help. At that time I hadn't even looked yet. The man got out of his van and we both began to look. What the noise was, was the serpentine belt had been stripped. By then the mans son was there and and he got under the van and removed the piece of belt.

There was water all over and we saw that the water pump was leaking everywhere.

By this time there were at least 7 people around offering help, calling people to find more help etc.

The people called a mechanic, who came in just a few minutes, he arranged to get the replacement pump in a short time.

The amazing thing is , the couple, Keith and Bonnie Sapp took my wife and two daughters to their house, out of the heat, and offered them food and drink while the van was being repaired.

They picked me up at the repair shop and took me to their house also.

The mechanic, Dan of Dan's Auto Service, began working on me van before I was even out of it.

Our thanks to all the people we came in contact with. Unfortunately we did not get everyone's name. It was a wonderful experience and it reminded us that there are still outstanding people in the USA and everyone in Worthington should be proud to have neighbors like the people we met when we were stranded.

We often pass through Worthington on our way to Evansville and will always remember Keith,Bonnie,their son (for crawling under the Van, ha) and all the people we met when there and let's not forget Dan and all the people that helped get the new water pump and get us back on the road.

We are convinced that there are some outstanding people in Worthington and we tell everyone we know about this experience.

Thanks to everyone in Worthington.

Dave, Annette, Daughters Anna & Courtney. They enjoyed the puppies.

-- Posted by berrypatch on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 11:15 AM


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