LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- They're the people who get your mail to you every day-- even on cold, rainy days like Thursday and one Louisville letter carries is celebrating 50 years on the job.
“Through rain, snow, sleet or hail, some fool will deliver the mail. I'm one of them,” James Thomas, United States postal carrier, said.
For 50 years Thomas has battled the elements to deliver the mail.
“I had a route in Shively for 16 years then I came down here for the last 25, 26 years,” he said.
Thomas, who is now 71, started as a carrier in Louisville in 1965, walking nine miles a day in Shively. He said he watched children grow up and move away, and witnessed changes in his business like the creation of the internet. One thing he said hasn’t changed is taking time to talk with customers.
“They respond quicker to a smile than they do to a frown,” Thomas said. “So, I'm always smiling. Of course I’ll tell them where to go too!”
Louisville postmaster Steve Kirkland joined coworkers, Thomas and Thomas’ family to celebrate his half-century of service.
“It's invaluable. You can't put a dollar on it because they know what we used to be and they know what we are now, and they look into the future to help us design how we're going to deliver mail forever,” Kirkland said.
Kirkland said Thomas is so full of life and is love by coworkers and customers alike.
It's a proud moment for Thomas who said he is sure the longer he stays, the more jokes he's going to hear.
“When you've been around as long as I have, everyone gets to know you. You see they joke that Benjamin Franklin was the postmaster, you hear all this,” Thomas said.
He is eligible to retire, but said he doesn’t plan to anytime soon.