Drum solo

Chris DeLisa has always drummed to his own beat.

The Los Angeles Processing and Distribution Center mail handler, 62, grew up in White Plains, NY, where he remembers creating music wherever he could.

“I was always banging on pots, pans and anything to pound,” DeLisa said.

His father, Aldo, a 35-year letter carrier, noticed his son’s interest in music and bought him a drum set from a pawn shop on his delivery route.

The gift ignited a love of music that led DeLisa to later start a rock band and eventually play a gig with one of his music idols.

At first, it looked as if DeLisa’s life might take a less musical turn.

Growing up, he worked off and on at the local Post Office alongside his dad. “I could have begun my postal career after [high school] graduation, but my passion was music,” he said.

At 18, DeLisa was playing drums for different up-and-coming rock bands in New York City before forming his own, Living Loud.

The band built a solid fan base and regularly performed sold-out shows on the club circuit.

His dad attended many of his shows.

“Our music was so loud. One time, his ears were ringing for three days,” DeLisa said with a laugh.

In 1995, Living Loud roared into second place among 2,500 bands at the Grammy Showcase, an annual competition that spotlights new and emerging artists.

DeLisa went on to record music with dozens of artists, including the hip-hop band Brand Nubian and Disney artist Shelby Cobra of KSM.

He said the “biggest highlight” of all came on the night he got to play with the late Billy Preston, who recorded with the Beatles, Little Richard, Sam Cooke and the Everly Brothers.

“It was a dream come true,” DeLisa said.

After more than 40 years in the music industry, DeLisa joined the Postal Service in 2002, finally following in the footsteps of his father, who died in 1997.

“My dad was my biggest fan. He was instrumental in my music career and supportive from the very beginning,” he said.

However, DeLisa hasn’t lost his passion for music. He has a new band, Monster Soul, and is grateful for a long music career that started with a used drum set.

Said DeLisa: “I had a blast. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

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Bottom line

April is Financial Literacy Month, a time to learn how to improve your financial well-being.

Sound financial principles can help you prepare for future savings goals and unexpected emergencies while providing you with flexibility to enjoy life.

According to the Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission, the five financial principles are:

• Earn. Understand your benefits. Learn how to read your paycheck, including deductions, taxes and withholdings.

Save and invest. Save each month and invest for retirement, your children’s education and other major items.

Protect. Monitor your credit scores. Watch out for identity theft, fraud and scams. Build an emergency fund for unexpected events. Purchase life, health and home insurance.

Spend. Live within your means by setting short- and long-term financial goals and compare prices, quality and necessity of purchases when shopping.

Borrow. Remember, your credit history affects the annual percentage rate for car and home loans, so always pay your bills on time.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — a federal agency that ensures banks, lenders and other financial companies treat you fairly — offers an online tool to help evaluate your financial well-being.

The commission, bureau and Wellness LiteBlue websites have additional information and resources.

What’s the plan?

“News Quiz” is a weekly feature that lets you test your knowledge of recent Link stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. What is the name of the Postal Service’s new 10-year plan?

a) Delivering for America
b) Post Haste
c) This is US(PS)
d) You’ve Got Mail

2. True or false: The IRS has extended this year’s federal income tax filing deadline from April 15 to May 15 to give people more time to navigate challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

a) True
b) False

3. Where will you find the Counseling At Risk Employees tracking tool, beginning April 1?

b) Safety Blue page
c) Safety Dashboard
d) Safety and Health Management Tool homepage

4. Fill in the blank: Under the Postal Service’s newly reconfigured districts structure, North Carolina District is part of (blank).

a) Atlantic Area
b) Central Area
c) Southern Area
d) Western Pacific Area

5. Match the stamp in Column A with its planned release date in Column B.

Column A
a) Espresso Drinks
b) Heritage Breeds
c) Mystery Message
d) Yogi Berra

Column B
I) April 9
II) May 17
III) June 24
IV) July 14

Answers: 1) a. 2) b. The IRS has extended the deadline to May 17. 3) a. 4) a. 5) a. I., b. II., c. IV., d. III.

Share your feedback at uspslink@usps.gov. Your comments could be included in the “Mailbag” column.