Denny Graham recently ended his 42-year Postal Service career in style.
The Henderson, MN, rural carrier delivered the last few miles of his route in a 1948 Plymouth he restored himself.
“It was something we’ve had in the family a long time,” said Graham, a classic car enthusiast. “I thought it would be neat to end my career with something special.”
What a career it was.
When Graham joined the Postal Service, letter mail came in rubber-banded bundles, and it wasn’t unusual for letters to arrive addressed only with the recipient’s last name and city.
“I got to where I could recognize who [the mailpiece] belonged to by the return address or the style of handwriting,” Graham said.
Other trends came, went and came back again.
“Shopping by mail was a huge deal, then we went through a lull,” Graham said, recalling the days when Sears and J.C. Penney catalogs were stacked to the ceiling inside his Post Office.
“And now those days have returned,” he said. “The internet is the wish book to the world.”
Graham, whose daily 108-mile route dips in and out of the Minnesota River Valley, estimates he went through more than 40 delivery vehicles and too many transmissions, brakes and tires to count.
Through it all, he never had an accident.
“Safety is something I’ve been adamant about,” he said.
What will he miss most about his USPS career?
“The people, of course,” he said. “They’re the best people in the world and I’ve tried to give them the best possible service.”