Post office veterans meet for monthly reunion breakfast
By Sarah Steele Wilson, Newsroom Editor
Nov 29, 2012, 10:35
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Robert Swift, Marion Fred Bollier, Riley Ingram, Mel Pearson, Alvin Flowers Jr., Jack Harrell, Charles Morgan, Dale Brooks, Millard Brickle and other Hopewell post office retirees meet once a month to talk, “politics and health” as Brooks put it.
Although the location has changed a few times throughout the years, retirees of the Hopewell post office have maintained a constant tradition for the last 20 years.
They meet on the fourth Tuesday of every month to have breakfast together and reminisce about their days delivering mail to the people of Hopewell and Prince George.
“We bring back things that happened by memory,” said Robert Swift, who organizes the monthly breakfasts, now held at the Denny’s off of Oaklawn Blvd. “We always joke around with each other.”
Swift, who contributed written reports to The Hopewell News and delivered the paper for several years, worked for the post office from July 17, 1961 to March, 1990. For years, he had a walking mail route through City Point, his childhood neighborhood.
A month after Swift started, he was joined by Riley Ingram, who now sells real estate throughout the area he represents in the Virginia General Assembly.
“We had a good time down there,” Ingram said, explaining why he attends the monthly reunion breakfasts to recall old storeis about a job that took him through the streets of Hopewell and across the rural roads of Prince George.
“The post office business is a people business,” Ingram said.
Ingram said that he had gone on to work in two other people oriented fields, real estate and politics, where he was able to use some of the same skills.
“I engaged with the people that I met and that was one reason I was able to go into the real estate business and do well,” he said, noting that he had formed connections with many people while delivering mail.
Ingram worked at the post office until 1969.
As the postal workers of today gear up for a busy season as people send letters and packages across the country, they may be forming memories that will provide fodder for laughter and conversation over coffee years from now, just as Swift, Ingram and the 10 to 20 other regular attendees to the reunion breakfasts did.
“I enjoyed the fellowship of all the guys and girls we worked with,” Ingram said.