by Curt Kovener
The Times is losing another longtime colleague and friend. I had mixed emotions when told of Postmaster Carolyn King’s pending retirement this Friday.
She has been around having a hand at delivering your weekly newspaper as long as the Times has been in business. She started at the post office in December 1980 the same month the Times began publishing its first issue.
I will miss my friend and news deliverer colleague. I will miss her ever cheerful disposition. She could be having a really bad day, feeling ill, dealing with whatever family thing cropped up at home but you would never know if from her cheerful greeting when you entered the Crothersville Post Office doors.
Believe me, she knew when I was having one of those seemingly all too frequent bad days, and sought to bring a bit of sunshine and humor to try to improve my day.
Her retirement probably breaks a string of locally residing postmasters for Crothersville. When she and the Times began in 1980 Crothersville’s John Dorsey was the postmaster. When he became the postmaster in Brownstown, Crothersville native Cheryl Trisler became the postmaster. And when Cheryl retired in 1998, Carolyn was named the Officer In Charge before officially being named Crothersville Postmaster.
When she said she wasn’t sure what she would do in retirement, I pointed out that both of her preceding postmasters went on to other careers after postal retirement. That caused her to offer a hopeful smile.
I guess you could say that I am responsible for her being named the head of the local post office. Her competence and friendly customer service not withstanding, I wrote a letter of recommendation to her postal supervisor supporting her elevation to lead the local post office.
Well, me and a dozen or so other local businesses that sent letters of recommendation, that is.
Over the years, there have been challenges to how the post office does business with periodical class mail like the Times.
At first we turned in a hand written mail reports monthly making sure a check was delivered the first of each month leaving an account balance sufficient to deliver your Times. Then the postal supervisors said they wanted a report every week. Then they said they wanted the report computer generated using software that they approved. (No, they didn’t provide it, we had to buy it and pay for the updates.) And at one point a couple of postal auditors wanted to argue with the results of the required USPS certified software generated Times report. After two guys each spent six hours one day to find a 12¢ discrepancy, I could quickly figure why the post office was losing money. Fortunately, those guys are retired.
So retirement can be a good thing.
I am disappointed to report that Carolyn broke a mutual promise we made to one another in September 1998. When she was named Crothersville Postmaster—the person in charge of seeing that I abided by postal periodical regulations and seeing that you received your copy of the times each Wednesday—we privately agreed that we would retire together.
Oh well, the Times has outlived three postmasters’ tenure—a remarkable feat in today’s newspaper publishing world. I suppose we can break in a fourth one. But do one count on a fifth. At this stage of my unretired career, I will probably drink it.
For Carolyn, no more getting up at 5 a.m. to be in the office by 6:30. There’ll be spending more time with family in Florida, having more time to do what she wants to do rather than deal with and implement the latest USPS initiative: Retirement can be a good thing.