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I am your Colletonian

Editors note:

This is a weekly series in which we will bring you the stories behind the faces that you see every day in our community. Everyone has a story, so look to meet your fellow Colletonians in each week’s issue! If you have someone you would like to recommend feel free to contact  Christie Slocum at [crlatta78@yahoo.com].

David Beals. Photo by Christie Slocum

David Beals. Photo by Christie Slocum

Although the United States Postal Service has no official motto when I think of their carriers an inscription found on the General Post Office in New York City at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street comes to mind. The inscription reads “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”. This inscription was supplied by William Mitchell Kendall of the firm of McKim, Mead & White, the architects who designed the New York General Post Office. Kendall said the sentence appears in the works of Herodotus and describes the expedition of the Greeks against the Persians under Cyrus, about 500 B.C.

The Persians operated a system of mounted postal couriers, and the sentence describes the fidelity with which their work was done. Professor George H. Palmer of Harvard University supplied the translation, which he considered the most poetic of about seven translations from the Greek.

This phrase rings true for our local postal carriers as well. David Beals, one of our local carriers, grew up in Walterboro. David attended and graduated from Walterboro High School in 1973. He has spent the last 38 years living in Round O. He and his wife Vicky, raised two daughters, Michelle and Stephanie. Beals was hoping to be employed at the Charleston Naval Shipyard when someone suggested he take the Postal Exam and work for the local Postal Service. He passed the exam and began working in the Walterboro Post Office in 1982. For the first 12 years, he served as a part-time city carrier and clerk. For the past 20 years, he has been the regular city carrier.

Over his career of 32 years, there have been many changes in the Postal Service. The most obvious change of course would be the cost of a stamp. In 1982 the cost of a stamp was $ 0.20. In 1984, integrated retail terminals automated postal windows were introduced. People could order stamps by phone in 1987. In the late 1980s Postal Stores began opening. In 1990, one could purchase stamps via computer. In 1991 delivery point sequence processing began. Beals feels this has been the biggest change since he has been employed. As the world grew with technology, so did the United States Postal Service. Online services have made it easier than ever for customers to click and ship.

Beals really enjoys delivering mail. When asked what the best part of his job is he simply replied, “The people I have been blessed to meet, so many have become like a second family”. Being a mail carrier is often a thankless job and many of us are quick to complain that our mail is late. The hours are long and the weather is not always 70 degrees and sunny. As for Beals he hopes to work a few more years before retiring. After retiring he hopes to do some volunteer work and go on mission trips.

 

Christie Slocum (589 Posts)