2013-02-22 / Columnists

Slice Of Life

by Beth Hanning

As I mentioned last week, my Uncle Jimmy Walsh retired from the United States Postal Service last month. When he told me he was retiring, I was kind of surprised. I was surprised because he is someone who is always on the go, and always keeping busy. Whether it is coaching basketball and travelling with another group of AAU players, or just working out local players in the blazing heat at the Shore Front basketball courts.

I also thought he would change his mind after the storm. I know how much he loves the people on his route and how he is more than just a mailman. He is probably the only mailman who had children dress up as him on Halloween. Then after little John Courtney dressed up as “Jimmy Mail,” his thank you card from his first birthday had “Jimmy Mail” in the picture with him.

So in January when he retired he got right to work. Right to work driving my Aunt Mary crazy. I had wanted to write an article about how the “Jimmy Mails” of the country are slowly phasing out. I have lived on Newport for two years and I do not even know my mailman’s name. But Aunt Mary texted me that she had a great idea for an article, so I changed the course of the article.

After receiving the text I immediately called her to get the scoop. She told me he is trying to build cabinets. I say trying because according to Aunt Mary they are not coming out too good. Nothing fits correctly, he has to add wood and there are always pieces left over. I asked her if this construction was taking place in the basement and she said, “NO, I won’t let him down there. I have yellow tape up, he is not allowed to touch anything down there. Yesterday he took his new hacksaw down there and cut the only pipe left. He struck oil and oil was squirting all over the new basement. I am going to send his picture to Lowes and Home Depot with a caption, ‘Please do not sell this man any tools.’”

In his defense he was the only person in the last storm to have a snow blower. He bought it in September and for two months Aunt Mary asked him to bring it down into the basement. So the snow blower survived Sandy and Uncle Jimmy was strutting down Beach 91st Street very proud with the only snow blower.

I called Aunt Mary for permission from Uncle Jim to include him in this week’s article. I called for permission because after last week’s article I received a bit of flak from my dad regarding me writing about him. My dad thinks that people are going to think he is cheap and that is the exact description about my dad. When my daughter Marianne left for Manhattan College two years ago he gave her an American Express card for emergency expenses. Every semester she charges some textbooks and last year one of the emergencies was a Halloween costume. Dad did not blink an eye in covering the expenses for his first grandchild.

Thanks Dad and Uncle Jim for the material and keep the stories coming. Love ya!

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