Rich Adams and Ron Barnwell have been delivering letters to the Maple Drive and Salt Springs neighborhoods in Fayetteville for years. On April 3, they will retire after 31 years of service to the village.
continued The day begins at 7 a.m. for Fayetteville letter carriers, who meet at the post office to sort the day’s mail. Mail has to be first divided by route, which is done by the clerks, and then the letter carriers must put those letters into separate racks, one for each home. This usually takes anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours, and then each letter carrier delivers the mail to homes, which usually takes six or seven hours.
But when Adams and Barnwell first started, they’d normally spend anywhere from four to five hours sorting the mail. Thanks to new technology and the fact that people aren’t sending as many letters as they used to, they are able to get out on the streets much earlier.
Adams’ route covers all of the neighborhoods off of Maple Drive, which is better known as the neighborhood across from Wegmans and right around Jamesville-DeWitt High School. Even though those houses are in both the town of DeWitt and the J-D School District, they have Fayetteville mailing addresses, he said.
And Barnwell’s route contains all of the buildings on the right hand side of Salt Springs Road, including Immaculate Conception School, Churchill Lane and Dawley Farms and runs all the way up the hill to Pine Ridge Road.
Both have amassed many stories over the years – and several of Barnwell’s have to do with dogs he’s encountered on his routes.
“There’s one dog that jumps right in the truck with me,” he said. “He runs out of the house, I give him a biscuit and then I rubber-band the mail together and he brings it right into the house. One of his owners is in a wheelchair and her husband taught the dog to do that.”
And Adams once helped to save a Fayetteville house from a fire – which is something he won’t soon forget.