Letter to a Mailman: Celebrating Dick McGurl’s 37 Years with the USPS, 24 on the Same West Bedford Route

December 23, 2016
Dick McGurl, in real life and bigger than life on the the side of his mail truck, delivered his final mail run on Friday, December 23, 2016 – Image (c) JMcCT, 2016 all rights reserved

By Rob Dobson

In every kind of weather
as the famous motto goes,
the mail has gotten through,
thanks to you,
our courier,
our conduit,
our Mercury,
our Paul Revere,
our Santa Claus,
our steady hand on the wheel.
Day after day after day,
you’ve seen it all:
the junk, the bills,
the valentines,
acceptances, rejections,
all the news,
both good and bad.
(Hey, don’t blame the messenger!)
All these years
you’ve known us well;
our names, our habits,
seen us at our worst
in grubbiest gardening clothes,
and never in our Sunday best!
And from our mail
you know us better yet:
our politics,
our causes,
our favorite catalogs
(OMG gay men’s underwear!)
But let’s face it:
it’s a good time to go, huh?
The job must be much less
interesting these days
since e-mail scuttled
good postcards to read
(the mailman’s perk!)
(as if you ever had the time!)
and now not even
a proper post office!
Lucky we’ve been to have you,
our far more than civil servant,
of even disposition
and a thousand friendly waves.
But all good things
and all careers
do come to an end.
Yes, time to retire,
that is, trade the tires
on the boxy truck
for something spiffy
with lots more pep,
and zoom off to pleasures
well deserved.
Leave the route
you could drive in your sleep,
for time with family
and your own pursuits.
Today we raise red flags,
not of alarm,
but of gratitude and celebration.
West Bedford thanks you, Dick!
Take your leave of our village
with our blessing.
Go now.
And enjoy!

Editor’s Note: After serving the United States Postal Service for 37 years – with 24 years on Bedford’s postal delivery route #2 – beloved postman Dick McGurl drove his final route on Friday. He’s headed to an active retirement; he and his wife are expecting their first grandchild in early 2017.


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