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THREAD: Floyd Martin retires after nearly 35 years as a mailman tomorrow. I went with him on his route today.
He graduated from Marietta High School in 1975 and took the postal service test a few years later. By the time they got in touch he already had a job at a bank, but the USPS offered to double his pay. "I was like, OK when you do want me to start?"
Lorraine Wascher was waiting for him today. She's been a stop on his route for more than 20 years. "He always had a smile, always had a wave."
Lots of the "mail" Floyd picked up today was hand-delivered. "My people are so good to me," he said. "I'm going to miss them."
Kids on his route love, love, L-O-V-E Mr. Floyd. Little Mae Bullington dressed up as Mr. Floyd on the day her school had career day. "I was so flattered," he said. "It touched my heart."
Floyd is a tall, slender, very fit 61. His job involves lots of walking, which keeps him in great shape. But he is done with the heat. In summertime, the mail truck is basically a rolling oven. Last summer, Floyd decided, would be his last.
"He feeds all the cats," said Peggy Corn, who's been on Floyd's route for decades. "They all know him, and they know that buggy!"
"The dogs, too," Floyd said. "The dogs get Milk Bones."
Floyd is the youngest of 4. It was his mom's idea for him to join the USPS. He's sad she's not here to see this send-off. Joyce Hardin's mother is on Floyd's route and said he totes her newspaper to the porch. "Thank you for taking care of mama, after daddy passed," she said.
"This is my friend Jim," Floyd said, introducing Jim Pietrowski. Jim's wife Charlotte recalled when the kids next door were little, they'd wait at the window for Mr. Floyd to roll up. They knew he was good for a lollipop. "When we met Floyd, it was like he was an old friend."
Floyd lives in Atlanta with his dog Gigi. It'll be a little weird to just receive mail and not deliver it anymore. "I'm just going to smile," he said. He doesn't have children, just the 500 houses worth of kids he spends 6+ hours with every day. He hopes to go to Hawaii one day.
Morgan Beatton and River, 18 months, waited for Mr. Floyd today. As always he had treats for their dog, Sage. He said he'll come visit and attend events like Taste of Marietta. "I'll be back," he said. "Y'all are my life."
- 30-
Update! People on Floyd's route decorated their mailboxes to surprise him on his last day
I mean they were *all* into it.
Once his very last shift was finally over, the neighborhood had another surprise for Mr. Floyd. 300+ people came to a covered dish block party in his honor.
Here's a short clip of Floyd next to one of the mailboxes decorated in his honor. He could have taken an easier job at the post office over the years but didn't. "I could have left them a long time ago but I wouldn't, because I love them."
People stood in line all night for hugs and photos. Floyd's known these guys since they were babies. "Now you guys are as tall as I am!"
Doreen Hipps, 87, has been on his route since the beginning. Her granddaughter Amanda Seals spoke on her behalf tonight. "Dementia has set in, and she doesn't see well anymore, but she still knows Floyd."
There was a huge buffet set up with covered dishes people brought but I don't know if Floyd got a bite to eat or not .. he posed for a zillion photos!
Sarah Bullington organized tonight's sendoff for Floyd and invited him to be a celebrity judge at the Maple Avenue Halloween Parade this Oct. 31. If you've never been .. it's something.
Floyd has seen his people through many of life’s changes. Some good, some bad. They’ve done the same for him. “You were there when I needed you, even if you didn’t know it.”
Floyd said tonight’s sendoff was the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for him. His parting words: “Continue to take care of each other, and smile when you think of me.” -30 -
Another update! Neighbors have launched an official Go Fund Me to help Mr. Floyd realize his dream of visiting Hawaii one day. gofundme.com/floyd039s-reti…
Here are some more clips and photos from the party last night. 300+ people came - it was incredible. #MrFloyd
It took forever to #MrFloyd to even get to his own party - people kept stopping him for photos and hugs!
Lots of people took photos with their pets. #MrFloyd is much loved among the canine set, too. He always kept Milk Bones in his mail truck! In this photo, Stella joined her people, the Courtoy family.
So great to see the piece on #MrFloyd on @ABCWorldNews facebook.com/WorldNewsTonig…
in the @people story about #MrFloyd they referred to me as just "neighbor Jennifer Brett," which I think is great. that's a title to aspire to every day, when you think about it people.com/human-interest…
Here's the @foxnews piece on #MrFloyd. They identified me as "friend and local journalist Jennifer Brett." I'll take it! foxnews.com/lifestyle/geor…
It has been a great day in my great little town. Thanks to all who read and shared the story about #MrFloyd. Here are his parting words. - 30 -
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