When the neighborhood that Mailman Floyd Martin has served for decades learned that he was retiring, there was a fullfledged effort to make sure he knew how much everyone loved him and that to say that he would be missed would prove to be a complete understatement.
Thanks to social media and a neighborhood friend who is also a reporter, his story has gone viral and even those who do not know Floyd want to honor him for his 35 years in public service. This GoFundMe account will help him achieve his dream of going to Hawaii on a well deserved vacation.
From Jennifer Brett, AJC on Twitter:
Floyd Martin retires after nearly 35 years as a mailman tomorrow. I went with him on his route today.
He graduated from Marietta High School in 1975 and took the postal service test a few years later. By the time they got in touch he already had a job at a bank, but the USPS offered to double his pay. "I was like, OK when you do want me to start?"
Lorraine Wascher was waiting for him today. She's been a stop on his route for more than 20 years. "He always had a smile, always had a wave."
Lots of the "mail" Floyd picked up today was hand-delivered. "My people are so good to me," he said. "I'm going to miss them."
Kids on his route love, love, L-O-V-E Mr. Floyd. Little Mae Bullington dressed up as Mr. Floyd on the day her school had career day. "I was so flattered," he said. "It touched my heart."
Floyd is a tall, slender, very fit 61. His job involves lots of walking, which keeps him in great shape. But he is done with the heat. In summertime, the mail truck is basically a rolling oven. Last summer, Floyd decided, would be his last.
Floyd is the youngest of 4. It was his mom's idea for him to join the USPS. He's sad she's not here to see this send-off. Joyce Hardin's mother is on Floyd's route and said he totes her newspaper to the porch. "Thank you for taking care of mama, after daddy passed," she said.
Floyd lives in Atlanta with his dog Gigi. It'll be a little weird to just receive mail and not deliver it anymore. "I'm just going to smile," he said. He doesn't have children, just the 500 houses worth of kids he spends 6+ hours with every day. He hopes to go to Hawaii one day.
Morgan Beatton and River, 18 months, waited for Mr. Floyd today. As always he had treats for their dog, Sage. He said he'll come visit and attend events like Taste of Marietta. "I'll be back," he said. "Y'all are my life."
Once his very last shift was finally over, the neighborhood had another surprise for Mr. Floyd. 300+ people came to a covered dish block party in his honor.
Doreen Hipps, 87, has been on his route since the beginning. Her granddaughter Amanda Seals spoke on her behalf tonight. "Dementia has set in, and she doesn't see well anymore, but she still knows Floyd."
There was a huge buffet set up with covered dishes people brought but I don't know if Floyd got a bite to eat or not .. he posed for a zillion photos!
Floyd has seen his people through many of life’s changes. Some good, some bad. They’ve done the same for him. “You were there when I needed you, even if you didn’t know it.”
Floyd said tonight’s sendoff was the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for him. His parting words: “Continue to take care of each other, and smile when you think of me.”