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Milton postal carrier Wood
marks 30 years on the route

By Don Ward

MILTON, Ky. (June 2005) – Pete Wood says that after 30 years of carrying the mail, he still enjoys meeting the people on his routes through Milton, Ky.

Pete Wood

Photo by Don Ward

Pete Wood (center), celebrates his 30 years of service as a mail carrier with his son, John Sam Wood (right) and the post office staff, which includes (from left) Lori Webster, mail carrier; Traci Perkinson, Officer in Charge; Kathy Hendershot, carrier; Sandy Heinz, clerk; Cinda Wood, Pete’s wife and a post office employee; and Ceclia Oak, postmaster (in back at right).

It is a job he accepted when his mother, Madalyn Wood, who was then post master, offered him when he was still away at college at Eastern Kentucky University. After a stint in the U.S. Army from 1968-71 and having completed three semesters of college, Wood jumped at the chance to get his foot in the door with Uncle Sam. Only this time, he would be serving in a less dangerous capacity – that is, if you discount the growling dogs, the snow banks in winter and the pot holes on those back country roads.
Wood started working in November 1974 as the substitute mail carrier for the late Elwood Center and the late Dudley Whitaker. Back then, there were only two rural routes in Milton; now there are four.
The late Dodd Jones was another substitute at the time who filled in on occasion. Soon, she was also substituting for Wood when he became a full-time carrier in June 1980.
Other employees that Wood has worked with over the years included Judy Ward, former clerk and later post master from 1984-1993, Glen Hudson, Norman Wright and Marc Meierle.
“The job has changed a lot over the years – it’s become a lot more complicated, with computers and all,” said Wood, 56. “We are tied more closely to Louisville through computers and everything now must be scanned and handled differently than in the old days.”
Wood arrives at the post office at 7:30 a.m. each day and spends the first three hours sorting mail, then four hours out on the road delivering.
“I like getting out and seeing people,” he said. “There are a lot of packages, so I have to go to the door a lot and talk to people.”
In such a small town, Wood says he knows just about all of them personally.
In fact, one day he started reminiscing about all the people on his route who had died over the years. “I got up to about 100 and stopped counting; it was too depressing.”
To celebrate Wood’s 30-year mark, Traci Perkinson, the office in charge at the post office, organized a party on May 18, complete with cake and punch, and presented him with a pocket watch as a gift.
Wood’s sister, Emily Wright and her husband, Gary, traveled from Arizona to attend the brief ceremony.
Wood, the son of the late Rev. Harry Wood, joked that he has another 30 years in him, but he definitely will stick around for at least the next eight, since that’s when he will earn full retirement benefits.
“I can hang on for another eight years, no problem,” he said. “Maybe a few more.”

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