The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


February 11, 2013

Memories of a country mailman

ROCKY MOUNT — There was a time when a business needed one of the larger post office boxes available for rent.

This newspaper was one of them. Our box, 1199 ny number, is one of the very big ones located around the corner from where the copier machine that never worked was located.

We even have a post office bag to use to carry the mail.

We don’t use it any more.

Neither do a lot of other businesses. Even at the end of one month and the beginning of the next, the volume is never so great as to need a container of sorts.

But I know that hasn’t always been the case. It certainly wasn’t before the Internet, when mail or hand delivery were one’s main options.

And now, the U.S. Postal Service has announced plans to discontinue Saturday deliveries to homes and businesses in August.

There have been other methods over the years, such as American Messenger Service — the predecessor of what we know today as UPS.

It might surprise you to learn that, as a company, UPS has been around since 1907.

There were many other messenger services at the time, and there was also Railway Express Agency, which went out of business in the 1970s.

Another delivery company is FedEx, which was founded in 1971 as Federal Express.

There’s a lot of competition out there for the postal service, but none that has taken such a toll as the Internet.

We still mail our invoices, but we receive the majority of ours via the computer — using our own paper to print out our bill.

In small communities, there’s still a level of comraderie with the postal workers.

We know their names and the names of their children and they know when we’ve been sick because we live in small town America.

That’s probably my most fond memory of mail delivery — knowing the carriers.

Pat Walley carried the mail on Route 3 in Taylorsville, Miss. the entire time I was a youngster.

Spending the summer at Granny Walker’s, we would hear Mr. Pat’s car coming up the hill after crossing the old, steel truss bridge over Cohay Creek.

If Granny wasn’t in the garden, or if one our aunts was there, we’d ask if we could go get the mail from Mr. Pat.

He knew every one of us grandkids, even those who lived away and came to Granny’s for the summer, and he called us by name.

If one of us had gotten a letter from our parents, he blow the horn as he came up the hill to make sure we ran out to meet him, bare feet splattering on Granny’s gravel lane.

It’s been many years, because Mom’s been gone 19, but I remember her calling to deliver the message ... “Johnny, Mr. Pat Walley died.”

No one ever calls to tell you that you got an email, do they?

(John H. Walker is editor and publisher of The Daily Southerner.)

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    On July 28, 911 was called because my husband had a bad headache. I was transferred to communications in Edgecombe County, where I spoke to a female operator. I informed her I needed Rescue because my husband had a bad headache and gave her our address and telephone number.

    September 26, 2013


    To the Editor:
    Sheriff Knight’s “guys” may have worked hard on the case concerning Melvin Ray Fox, but did they really? Probably not for the sheriff, but for someone else behind the scenes. Not condoning Mr. Fox for his crime, because he should be punished, but not necessarily in the manner of leaving behind his wife as well as his 3-, 5- 7- and 13-year-old children.

    September 10, 2013


    Concerning the Tarboro High 2013 Vikings football team: They have heart and desire. That was shown Friday night versus Washington. Just like last year’s state championship game, we got behind against a very good team. The Vikings didn’t quit even though they had several injuries throughout the game.  Right up to the last minute we had a chance  but, things didn’t go our way.

    September 5, 2013


    To the Editor:
    It appears Mr. (Garland) Shepheard is shaking up things in our fair city according to a recent Daily Southerner article. Hurrah for him. This citizen, for one, believes the status quo needs a little shake up.
    I don’t know if Mr. Shepheard is disrespectful with his words and/or
    actions at council meetings or not. I don’t attend them any longer. It isn’t that I don’t care that some residents may suggest.

    September 4, 2013


    To the Editor:
    Having just recently read the front page article in The Daily Southerner regarding Councilman Shepheard’s issues with the Tarboro town manager, I was left with more questions than answers.
    The article states that  Mr. Shepheard’s reasons for not voting in favor of extending the town manager’s contract had to do with “deplorable conditions of three town facilities, Thornton’s hiring practices and giving the council what he said was false information.” That’s it.  That’s all the information we were given.

    September 2, 2013


    To the Editor:
    So who are you Mr. Allen Dennie Jr.? I have never heard of you. I have tried to find your voter registration on the North Carolina State Board of Elections website and I can't find it.
    Somebody said that you have an impressive resume. I say and ?
    But what I find interesting is the following. Mr. Dennie the current Sheriff is the following: "The sheriff of any county should be a person who has a personal interest in the citizens that work live and visit their county,"

    August 18, 2013


    To the Editor:
    I am glad that opinions are being expressed regarding my actions at the Town Council meetings,  both by Mr. Walker and Mr. Wooten.
    It is my intention to expose the concerns expressed to me by the taxpayers of Tarboro, and when I find something that causes Tarboro not to be the Town we can all be proud of, I will speak up. I was told by people in Ward 8 when I ran for this office not to be like the rest of the Council and I expressed that to the members. The problems that exist in Tarboro should not have to be aired in public or at the Town Council Meetings and there should not be any discord.

    August 18, 2013


    To the Editor:
    I am writing out of concern about disc golf. We as a town need to consider projects that have been given to (parks and recreation director) Cheryl Gay before this disc golf came along — like a walking trail at Clark Park, repairing the bathrooms, making sure the playground equipment is up-to-date and finding out what happen to the lights on the baseball field before we find money for disc golf. The town needs to consider what we been discussing in these last couple of meetings about recreation. I would love to see the Clark Park baseball field turned into a kickball field, which is a sport that everybody knows how to play, before you consider disc golf.
    Greg Higgs,

    August 15, 2013


    To the Editor:
    Monday night at the Town Council meeting (Aug. 12, 2013), I witnessed some the most disruptive,vitriolic and asinine behavior that I’ve ever seen, in the person of (Ward 8) councilman Garland Shepheard.  For several months, his behavior has grown progressively worse and it seems to embolden him to waste my time, the time of the other council members and the time of other citizens who care enough about Tarboro to attend council meetings.

    August 15, 2013