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Snakes, singing employees mark retirees’ fond memories at P.O.

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

After 32 years and seven months of service to Carrollton’s Post Office, Harold Oder punched his time card for the last time Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Postmaster Sandy Ellegood and the rest of the staff celebrated Oder’s retirement with food and fond memories, along with Doug Terry, who retired Nov. 30 after working there 29 years.

Terry’s primary job was maintenance of the building, which was built in 1902. But, when necessary, he also carried the mail and worked at the clerk’s desk.

“We all did whatever they wanted us to do,” he said.

Nowadays, Terry said he is spending as much time as possible playing golf, going to concerts and “staying warm” this winter.

Oder, who has mostly worked as a clerk at the post office but also was a carrier on some of the city’s auxiliary routes, said he has no specific plans for his retirement. “I’m going to take it one day at a time and see what comes up.”

What he’ll miss most about work are the folks he’s worked with and met along the way, he said. “I like the crew and the customers, that’s what I enjoyed the most.”

“I feel very lucky,” Terry said of his career as a postal employee. Some of his fondest memories are of prankster James Fred “Flugie” O’Neal, who used to sneak up on his co-workers and try to startle them.

“He was always a lot of fun,” Oder agreed.

Oder said the most excitement he had at work was “getting a snake out of the collection box” located in back of the building, with help from Terry and former employee Alf Renschler.

“That, and Herbie Hancock singing Bob Dylan songs,” Terry recalled. “He did sound like him, and he knew all the lyrics. … I liked it more than anyone else, though, I think.”

Ellegood said she and her staff “already miss Doug,” and she believes the public will miss Oder even more than his co-workers will, adding that he already has received congratulatory cards from many of his customers.

“People always asked about him when he took a day off,” she said. “I don’t know how we’ll do without him.”