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37 years of letters

Cassatt postmaster retires from hometown post office

Posted: August 3, 2012 6:54 p.m.
Updated: August 6, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Cassatt Postmaster Barbara Smith retired Tuesday, July 31 after 37 years with the U.S. Postal Service.

Smith has worked 40 hours a week for nearly four decades by herself in a small mail room on U.S. 1 in Cassatt.  

Raised in Cassatt, Smith worked in quality control for Kendall Co. in Bethune for seven and a half years. Six months after she left the company to take care of her children, Keith and Chuck Smith, in 1975, former Postmaster Christine West asked for Smith’s temporary assistance as a clerk in the mail room. After six more months had passed, the position became available permanently and Smith was hired after she took a civil service test. She worked for three years as a clerk and was hired as Cassatt’s postmaster in 1978. In 1990, she went to work as postmaster of Bethune’s Post Office, but left after one year and returned to Cassatt’s post office.

“This was my hometown and I had a desire to come back to my hometown,” Smith said.

In Cassatt, Smith and clerk Earnestine Anderson -- who has worked two hours a week each Saturday, in addition to any days that Smith needs off during the last 22 years -- said they still do a lot of things manually that bigger post offices do not. Good customer service is their primary goal, however. Over the years, Smith said her post office has seen a decrease in volume with the increased dependence on computers and email, but they “do well” she said.

“I’ve enjoyed my job, I’ve enjoyed my customers and they are like family,” Smith said.  “I’ve had a long-term career, now it is time to spend time with my family and do things I enjoy.”

Smith said she has loved her job at the post office and that she has enjoyed working in general, but she is happy to spend more time with her husband of 52 years, G.W. Smith, and on hobbies such as antiquing for Victorian-era items and decorating her home.

She said the plus to being a Cassatt resident is that she can visit the Cassatt post office as a customer and still talk with her friends.

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