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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • A déjà vu drive: Retiring postman drives same car on last day of work as he did his first

  • What do you remember from a day 10 years ago? How about 20, or even 30 years ago?
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  • What do you remember from a day 10 years ago? How about 20, or even 30 years ago?
    Hannibal mail carrier Larry Moffitt still has some vivid memories of July 1, 1978. That was his first day as an employee of the U.S. Postal Service. Not only does Moffitt remember the car he drove to work that day, he drove the same 1972 Dodge Challenger Friday to his last day of work.
    “It’s kind of ironic,” said Moffitt of driving the same car on his first and last days of work.
    Only “within the last month” did the notion of accomplishing that feat pop into Moffitt’s head.
    “I began to wonder how many people get to drive off from work on their last day in the same car they first went to work in,” he said.
    Moffitt purchased the Challenger, which features a blue body and black roof, for $3,900 when he still lived in Colorado. The car came with Moffitt when he put the Rocky Mountains in his rearview mirror and relocated to the banks of the Mississippi River.
    As the years passed, Moffitt’s desire to keep the car never waned.
    “I never thought about trading it in. I’ve always liked the car,” he said. “After 20 years I thought I might keep it forever. I’ve already made arrangements so that my son will eventually get it. After I’m gone it will stay in the family.”
    Despite being over 40 years old, the car only has 108,000 miles.
    “I put 24,000 miles on it the first year and a half. The rest have come through the years. I quit using it daily over 10 years ago,” said Moffitt.
    While not a show car at this point, that could change in the future.
    “It’s good, but it needs work. I’ve just not had the time or money. Now I’ll be able to spend some time on the car,” said Moffitt.
     
    Retiring
     
    Car care will not be the only thing keeping Moffitt busy as a retiree.
    “I’ll do a lot in the yard and maintaining my home,” he said. “I’ll also be helping at church (Calvary Baptist) with whatever comes up.”
    And there’s 19 grandchildren – No. 20 arrives in October - to keep Moffitt on the go.
    “Four are close (in Hannibal). The rest live in St. Louis and Iowa,” he said. “They will be a good part of it (retirement).”
    Page 2 of 2 - Like many retirees, Moffitt enters the next stage of life with conflicted feelings.
    “I’m happy, but I have mixed emotions. There’s a lot of new things to adjust to,” he said.
    Moffitt is no stranger to adapting. As the Postal Service changed, so did Moffitt.
    “Casing (sorting mail) has changed over time on how you got your route ready,” he said, explaining that on a normal day he would spent an hour and a half doing prep work and six hours actually delivering the mail. “Automation has changed things. In theory it made routes bigger, which meant you had to spend more time on the streets.”
    Most, but not all of Moffitt’s postal career was spent as a carrier.
    “I started out a couple of months as a clerk and then transferred to a courier,” he said. “I started out as a sub. I did all the city routes as a sub for 2.5 years. The next seven years I worked in a swing capacity. The rest of the time I spent on two routes.”
    During those years delivering mail primarily in northern Hannibal, Moffitt interacted with many people.
    “I liked meeting new people and getting to know them on the route,” he said.
    As with most jobs, there were aspects of it Moffitt didn’t like.
    “The weather was the thing I liked the least,” he said. “I hate ice the most. No. 2  is when it’s 95 (degrees) and high humidity. The rest is OK. Spring is my favorite (season), with fall my second favorite with the colors.”
    And what about dogs?
    “The last 10 years I had dogs all the time, but that’s part of being a carrier,” he said.
    Moffitt, who started off working in a local bank, credits a mail carrier with helping him find his career path.
    “I decided I wanted a job with more money,” he said. “The carrier who delivered to my home told me where to take the test. I took the test, did well and was accepted.”
     
     
     

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