Two Penn Yan letter carriers head toward retirement route

Gwen Chamberlain
Letter carriers Dan Maroney and Laurie Rogers have seen many changes in their years on the job.

First class postage stamps cost 15 cents when Dan Maroney started working for the U.S. Postal Service, but the gradual increase to 42 cent stamps isn’t the only change he’s seen over his 29 years in blue and gray.

Maroney and fellow letter carrier Laurie Rogers are leaving their routes behind later this month when they each take early retirements, but they’re also taking several fond memories of their years on the Penn Yan routes.

Rogers, who has worked 23 years for the Postal Service says, “I want to thank my postal customers for making my job fun. I’ll miss them all very much.”

She and Maroney are taking early retirement, mainly because they feel the physical demands of the job are increasing beyond their capacity. Rogers says she wouldn’t have seen herself retiring now if she’d been asked five years ago, but the demands of the job have grown, and the idea of kicking back at a cabin in the Adirondacks became more and more attractive.

When cutbacks slashed one route in Penn Yan, the carriers existing routes grew to take in the dissolved route, explains Maroney, who shakes his head at the thought of the number of injuries he’s had on the job.

Maroney, whose father was a postal worker, is leaving his daughter, Stacey, behind in the Penn Yan post office. And he still feels its a good career path, but, like many others, one that’s misunderstood.

While the Internet has contributed to a decrease in letter mail, since more transactions are made electronically rather than through a paper trail, the two letter carriers agree the Internet has led to an increase in parcels.

“Certain people get a lot of packages every day,” says Rogers.

While the Christmas season used to be one of the most difficult times of the year for letter carriers, the two agree that there’s been a decline in the letter mail during that time of year.

Both chuckled when asked to describe the most unusual incident in their career, and after a couple of minutes it was clear they both had the same experience - encountering a naked customer at the doorstep.

But Rogers says she was also surprised by deer and turkeys while delivering mail in the Walnut Hill apartment complex.

While Rogers will be spending time in that cabin her husband Dave has spruced up for the couple, Maroney has plans to visit warm places, like Hawaii, Arizona and Florida, and to play lots of golf.

And they both have some good advice for other letter carriers: Good luck and stay strong.

“I want to say ‘hats off’ to my fellow workers. I’ve enjoyed working with them so much,” said Rogers.

“It’s a great bunch,” adds Maroney, who credits the others in the Penn Yan office with being professionals on the job. “We all know what we’re doing, but it’s just not like it used to be,” he says.