Credit: Grant Blankenship/GPB
Macon Neighbors Declare A Holiday For Beloved, Essential Mail Carrier
Add “Tony King Day” to the list of celebrations this holiday season.
That’s the holiday declared around the mail route Tony King works daily in Macon’s Ingleside neighborhood. In observance, it looked like about a dozen neighbors cheering a somewhat surprised mail carrier on his daily rounds.
Why was this tradition born? It's in recognition of the essential work and long hours postal workers are still putting in during this pandemic in December.
King has been delivering mail for the U.S. Postal Service to Susan Cable on Vista Circle and the rest of his route for 20 years as of this month. That was why there was a pile of gifts for him left on the walkup to Cable’s front door Monday.
“This is awesome,” King said to the cheers of neighbors. “Awesome, awesome, awesome.”
Before she handed him a certificate she’d put together to officially mark “Tony King Day” in the neighborhood, and before he received a tray of generously frosted cinnamon rolls, Cable read comments left by neighbors for King.
“He’s more than a mailman.”
“Tony is joy personified.”
“Tony is a beloved part of our community.”
That’s a lot of love even before you get to the sacrifices King has been making during the pandemic. Cable said she knew King had been working overtime the last few months, too.
“At one point he worked 21 straight days with only one day off,” she said.
King said those have been very long days.
“Last two weeks, I worked 153 hours and 35 minutes,” King said.
King said he got the last two days off to rest up from days that routinely stretch into four miles on foot, and so Monday he was glad to have that tray of cinnamon rolls.
“I love sweets! They ain’t gonna last that long,” he said with a laugh.
King couldn’t stay long, either. With the clock ticking, he loaded his gifts in his mail truck and, with a honk and a wave, got back on the road to do the essential work of the holiday season — and all seasons.