Newspaper Archive of
Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
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Mason County Journal
July 31, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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July 31, 2014

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I Page A-14 - Mason County Journal - Thursday, July 31, 2014 OF A K ND George Vocke has been delivering the mail-door to door for 30 years, much of it in Shelton. His route carries him past many of the businesses downtown. ONE OF A KIND is a series of profiles of Mason County people, each unique, and each with a story to tell. LI She/ton carrier has spent three decades handing out mail for USPS hrough rain, sleet, snow and shine, ,George Vocke has delivered the mail door to door for 30 years -- much of that time in down- town Shelton. "I like being outside. I like routes where you get to see people and talk to people," he said. Five days a week, Vocke 55, walks through downtown --let- ters, bills and packages in hand -- stopping to chat for a moment or two with people at downtown businesses. He started working for the U.S. Postal Service in 1984. Before testing to become a mail carrier, Vocke was in the Navy. "A huge majority of people who work in the post office are ex-mili- tary," he said. Because of the Veterans' Preference Act, which passed in 1944, ex-military members are eligible to test for government jobs that were hiring when they were serving. Vocke took advan- tage of this opportunity to apply for his job in the U.S. Postal Ser- vice. He worked at the Shelton post office for 10 years, then trans- ferred to the Aberdeen post office STORY AND PHOTOS BY NATALIE JOHNSON for 12 years. While in Aberdeen, Vocke worked a residential route. He drove to a set location, parked and delivered mail by hand, then drove to another location to start the process again. ' rou get to know people very well because you get to go up to their front door," he said. "It's much more time consuming... (but) once you know the people, it's impossible to make mistakes." In 2005, Vocke came back to Shelton after moving from the Dayton area to Lake Limerick with his wife, Janice, and has worked the downtown route ever since. Vocke also has three adult sons. While many people now get mail and pay their bills online, Vocke said people still appreciate door-to-door mail delivery, "I think there is value to the way it used to be," he said. Being an old-fashioned mail- man has sometimes led Vocke to go above and beyond the call of his postal duty. "I had a lady in Aberdeen, every day I had to change her remote to get (the TV) back to 'The Price is Right,'" he said. "Every day it was the same." Through Vocke's 30 years as a mail carrier, he said his job hasn't changed much, but what he deliv- ers has. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE