After dedicating a huge chunk of his life to delivering mail, US mailman Floyd Martin finally retired from his longtime role.
He was known to many in the neighbourhood where he served since 1985. He was lucky enough to witness generations of families growing up, having grandkids and even, sadly, moving from the area.
“He’s really part of our family," Sarah Bullington, who has lived in the neighborhood for 11 years, told BuzzFeed News. “He’s just really special.”
When locals learned the news that Floyd Martin was planning to retire, they knew they had to send him off in style.
“I knew we had to do something big,” said Becky Poole, who has known the postman for about 25 years. “I had no idea it was going to be this big.”
Around 500 people live on Martin’s route, and the group decided to invite every single one of them to be part of the celebration, Buzzfeed News reports.
The group asked people to decorate their mailboxes for Martin’s last day and to come for a potluck party.
The group said it was fitting send-off for someone who has touched their lives through generations.
“He gave every one of my kids a graduation gift. Whenever one of them graduated, he would put $20 in the mailbox,” said Poole. “It was just him, he loved our kids.”
He also loved the neighborhood’s animals, feeding the cats and bringing treats for the dogs.
“When one of our dogs died,” said Poole, “Floyd cried. He loved that dog.”
Over the years, the neighborhood came to rely on Martin for more than just mail.
“I’ve had a rough few years, and he would just look at me say, ‘Uh-oh, tell Floyd what’s wrong,'” said Poole. “We would stand out there and he would give me that huge Floyd hug and I would be better.”
Martin was especially kind to the elderly people on his route. Poole says that when her mother was suffering from multiple sclerosis, she would fall frequently, and on two occasions Martin was there to help her back up.
What an extraordinary mailman!