If you’ve used the Wellington Post Office over the past decade, it’s been hard to miss Derrick Walker.
The longtime clerk has decided to retire and his last day will be this Friday.
Walker has worked in Wellington for 11 years and for the U.S. Postal Service for 42 years. Most of that time was spent in Cleveland as a mail carrier but an injury while on the job forced him to switch departments.
“My leg went right through the floor of a front porch and I tore ligaments in my ankle and foot,” Walker said. “It was hard at first to only sit behind a desk but it’s also let me meet a lot of good people in Cleveland and here in Wellington. There’s a very nice atmosphere out here and a nice attitude among people. It’s a lot more laid back and family oriented.”
Leading up to his time with the post office, Walker served in the U.S. Army and took part in boxing matches.
He said it’s hard to pick out one or a few of his favorite memories in Wellington but he knows there will be a lot to miss.
“I don’t want to leave anyone out,” Walker said. “Everybody has been very kind and it’s been a beautiful endeavor. I’ve made a lot of friends and met a lot of beautiful, generous people.”
The soon-to-be retiree said he hopes people remain wary of new efforts to privatize the post office.
“Mail is a big money making machine and everybody wants to get their hands on it,” Walker said. “As long as there’s some people in Congress to fight for us, I don’t think it will ever happen. They’ve been wanting to privatize it for a very long time. There’s a value of keeping it in the public’s hands. People say we’re part of the government but we’re our own, separate entity.”
“There’s been some big changes in my time,” he said. “We’ve gone from mostly being a letter service to a package service. I think that’s the bulk of our revenue now, especially in the past five years with the rise of Amazon. We had to reconstruct and change our whole outlook for a lot of things.”
Walker’s plans include traveling to Las Vegas to visit his son and newborn granddaughter.
“I haven’t traveled or been on vacation in 25 years,” he said. “I look forward to just relaxing and taking a breath.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.