In 1995, Gabriel’s good friend suggested he join his post office team. Gabriel did exactly that, working six years on the second or third shift at the Eastgate location in the encoding system. This time-consuming process entails entering every piece of mail by hand into the computer.
Gabriel desperately wanted to get on a first shift and thought that the Lookout Mountain branch would be a good fit for him. He applied for the first shift at our branch and, in 2001, after waiting almost two years, was finally accepted for a part time position. He filled in but didn’t have a regular route until 2006, when he began his full-time position and started his route.
I asked him about some of the more unusual things that he has delivered, and he said that there were fish from Japan, birds and TVs that were bigger than his truck. He said the increase in packages through the years has been astonishing. At Christmas he delivers at least 200 more packages per day, and he is just one of the six or so other postal workers who do the same on different routes.
Gabriel is known for always having a smile on his face, no matter how tired he is or what he has to do. He says it is because he loves his job and he loves his customers. Of course, he has gotten to know his coworkers very well and considers them all to be great friends and part of his postal family.
He lives in Higdon, Ala., where one of his ancestors served as postmaster, so Gabriel says it must run in his blood. He doesn’t plan to retire anytime soon because, as he says, “Why would I retire when I love it so much?” His family, wife Denise and their two children, Isaac, 17, and Canaan, 15, are very proud of Gabriel’s 25 years. We hope, selfishly, that he gives us another 25 years on our little mountain!
by Gwin Tugman