Longtime Dawsonville United States Post Office mail carrier Joyce Bryson says a lot has changed since she first started making the rounds in April of 1982.
For 35 years she commandeered Route 3, one of the longest routes at 69 miles and 46 hours a week.
“I start off right outside Dawsonville,” Bryson said. “It was mostly dirt roads then, and I’ve still got a lot of that too.”
The changes have been drastic, some for the good and some not so good, Bryson said.
“Basically what we're becoming is a package delivery service,” she said. “But we’re thankful because if we weren’t getting them, we’d be going out of business.”
The one thing that has stayed constant is her favorite part of mail carrying- her customers.
“I love my customers, you get so attached to them,” Bryson said. “They’re your extended family.”
Bryson, 66, retired last week after 35 years of service.
Her fellow carriers, past and present, as well as family and friends gathered at the post office the morning of Aug. 31 to wish her well in her retirement.
Andrea Phillips, postmaster, addressed the crowd and commended Bryson on her years of government service, with five years as a sub and thirty years as a full time carrier, and never taking any sick leave.
“We thank you for all your hard work,” Phillips said. “You have been an awesome worker. I just wish that I could run half the circles that you do. You’re a good person.”
Phillips read a certificate to Bryson from the United States Postal Service recognizing her dedication to her profession.
“It is a pleasure to award you a certificate from the United States Postal Service in recognition of your devotion to service,” Phillips read. “The postal service’s success is due in large part to the dedication and hard work of its employees such as yourself.”
Tiffany, Bryson’s daughter-in-law, said that she will especially be sad about the retirement because Bryson was her mail carrier.
“She’s just so good at what she’s done all these years,” Tiffany said, handing her mother-in-law a bouquet of flowers.
“I just want to thank everybody,” Bryson said, looking out at her fellow retired mail carriers and loved ones. “ I love all of ya’ll.”