East Memphis mail carrier retires after 28 years on the job, neighborhood says goodbye

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An East Memphis neighborhood is saying goodbye to its mail carrier, who is retiring after 28 years on the job.

Friday morning, youngsters on Walnut Grove Circle put marker to poster board to say good bye to their mailman, Caleb Bartley.     

They’re too young to remember when Bartley first started his job 28 years ago, but they certainly all know what his job entails.

“He rides a mail truck to carry all of the mail and drive at the same time, so he won’t have to walk,” said Henry Grimes.

The adults here know, all too well, he’s brought much more than mail to this close-knit neighborhood.

“He’s a wonderful man,” said Frannie Franks. “He always shows up with a smile on his face, he’s always there to greet us and to help if we need anything.”

Bartley’s brought candy for the kids and even let them honk the horn on his van.

“He brings us Mother’s day cards, Father’s day cards, he’s even attended my son’s baptism brunch afterwards, so he’s meant a lot to our family since we’ve moved here,” Franks said.

When he announced he was hanging up his mailbag–or rather turning in the keys to his mail truck–it was only natural folks here make his last day a special one. They put balloons on every mailbox and held a round of applause when his van showed up for the last time.

It was a big surprise for Bartley, who has been a fixture in this neighborhood since 2003.

“These are nice customers, nice families, nice friends.  These people have been outstanding. Awesome is the word. I just love them,” Bartley said.

Neighbors also contacted Bartley’s supervisor to express their praise for the job he’s done.

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