Neither the snow, nor the rain, nor the heat, nor the darkness of the night prevent these couriers from quickly completing their designated tour –Postal service currency
There’s a lot of mutual benevolence that runs down the west side of town on Perkins’ Garret the Mailman Road, past Pomolita, onto Maple, near the golf course, and around Todd Grove.
Garret Gary has been carrying mail for 38 years, first to Petaluma, then for the last 25 on the same route to Ukiah, doing what he does, delivering letters and parcels to 450 homes 200 days a year.
“My route is my neighborhood, my territory, to protect, to keep safe for children – watch the speeding cars, calm arguments, deter gang fights. It is my joy to protect this area. I know this neighborhood as well, if not better, than the people who live there.
He knows when something is wrong, when someone needs attention or may even need a hug.
He has seen children grow up, see them leave, go home and get married; make sure garage doors are closed; watch for leaking pipes; helps people find homes; and ensures that packages are delivered to secure areas.
Most importantly, Garret generates a lot of care, concern, compassion and kindness towards everyone he meets.
He has been delivering Leslie Kirkpatrick’s mail for as long as she can remember, decades.
“He does his job along his route, connects with people, offers help, speaks kind words. Everyone I know loves Garret. By nature and principle, he helps people in a way that goes above and beyond.
“In a country so divided, Garret is a person who brings things together,” she says.
His work seems to be a vehicle for who he is and what he does; it turns out to be a postman… much like Clark Kent who, disguised as a mild-mannered reporter, is truly Superman.
The buzz is coming from Nextdoor, the neighborhood hub for trusted connections and the exchange of useful information, goods and services, and these are just a few of the more than 70 recently posted comments extolling its virtues: Garret is the best; Garret has been of great help to us for many years through 3 different houses in his region; Garrett is a hero – he helped willingly for no other reason than for the sake of kindness and kindness. I hope he sees the good vibes his actions have had and that spill over to all of us reading this; Bravo to Garret, hero of the postman.
Linda Myers, who was not on her itinerary, received a notification that an expected package had been left on her front door; however, it was not there and the neighbors did not have it. As she was on her way to deliver a magazine that had been mistakenly delivered to her (hoping there was a link), she met Garret and explained to him the missing package and the wayward magazine.
(From these posts, Garret Day was born – a way to express gratitude and appreciation for him in ways that people saw fit – gifts, food, thank you cards.)
After leading the magazine to its recipient, Garret noticed that the package was not there. He made a few phone calls; searched Linda’s yard; spoke with the new carrier who apparently made the mistake; found the package elsewhere; drove there to pick it up; and reported it to Linda.
“He was probably at least half an hour late getting home that night; I am so grateful to him. Thanks, Garret for helping both the newbie hauler and a postal boss who isn’t even on your way. You made my day! “
Tony Wong, customer services supervisor at Ukiah Post Office, says it wasn’t until one day that he went out on the street with Garret, that he realized what a postman meant for a community – having grown up in the Bay Area, Wong had never known someone who had delivered so long on one route.
“Not only did he deliver the mail, but he watched and helped people on the road; played with the kids and gave advice to teenagers. The children loved him and called out his name.
“At Christmas, Garret would leave the office for his itinerary, packages in tow – almost like Santa Claus – and say, ‘This is what we do.
“I have always admired that about him and his attitude towards his work. No matter how long the day was, he would keep his head down and keep walking.
Garret says he’s doing what he’s been taught to do: be of service.
“Everything I did, I recovered ten times; it was a two-way street; my clients took care of me. I appreciate them as much as they appreciate me, every day.
When they see him working late, they bring him dinner; knowing he lives in Laytonville, they offered him a bed for the night.
The pandemic has affected him deeply, not being able to cuddle or share a handful of peanuts with the children of Todd Grove where he has had his lunch, regularly, every day for 25 years.
He says this year, as a postman, has been the roughest and hardest he has ever seen. Election shenanigans, he says, are a regular thing, not a big deal, just as usual, but with COVID and the massive amount of Amazon packages, mail order sales unlike any before, all exacerbated by during the holiday season, letter carriers are operated as a group like never before.
They are short-staffed, work very long hours, some do it 7 days a week, the young porters paying the price, doing the hardest work in the office.
“Young carriers must be recognized,” he says. “I know where I go everyday and I have a hard time, but they do different routes, split shifts, bouncing all over the place.”
He comes home at 10 p.m. or later; gets up at 4 a.m. to arrive at work at 6 a.m. then starts over.
He recommends ordering packages now, giving carriers the option to have everything delivered before Christmas morning.
“We are all struggling right now and everyone is tired; please be patient.