For more than 50 years, Doris Jenkins has traded shifts between the Topsail Beach, NC, Post Office and the roller skating rink that she and her husband built upstairs.
Jenkins, a contract Postmaster, operates the Post Office during the day and runs the rink every night. Both have been family affairs.
“My grandmother was a Postmaster during the Second World War, and I had several aunts that worked in Post Offices,” she said.
When the Topsail Beach Postmaster retired in 1962, Jenkins applied and got the contract.
She and her husband, Sonny, got into the skating business because it “was our hobby.” He designed the rink in 1964 and built it above ground to protect it from hurricanes.
Today, the rink has its original flooring, signage and disco ball. There’s no air conditioning, and music is played on vinyl 45-rpm records.
Customers routinely comment on the beach town’s “time capsule” venue.
They also praise the beloved “Miss Doris,” who recently became the subject of a local public television report, as well as a documentary short, “All Skate, Everybody Skate,” by filmmaker Nicole Triche.
Between the Post Office and the rink, Jenkins serves more than 400 year-round residents and hundreds more visiting vacationers.
“I enjoy meeting people, getting to know them,” she said of her work with USPS. “Every year there’s new vacationing ones. It’s fun to hear their stories.”