Happy Retirement Bev!

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I haven’t written a blog in several months, but this blog is a tribute to the men and women who serve the public every day, following the motto: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Yes, we are talking about employees of the United States Post Office. But this blog is dedicated to one very special person, Bev Hughes, who will be retiring from the Thomasville Post Office in York County on Friday, April 1, 2016 after nearly 38 years of employment in the postal industry!

DSC_0091Bev has her very own story of Hollywood coming to the little town of Thomasville, and the evidence is on the wall of the post office…but not for long!

In the 1990’s, Eddie Albert, actor and activist, but primarily remembered by me and many others as Oliver Wendell Douglas on the television series Green Acres that aired originally on CBS from 1965 to 1971 started showing up in York County.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Bev about how Eddie Albert was connected to Thomasville and in particular, the Thomasville Post Office.

EddieAlbertBriefly recapping the story, Eddie was on a P.T. boat in the Pacific during WWII when he took the initiative to rescue 47 U.S. Marines, and carried them back to a nearby destroyer for safety. He was never officially recognized by the U.S. government for his heroism until a friend of his, George Thomas (from Thomasville) went through the Navy to find Eddie and had him presented with a medal for his bravery during the war. Bev said the medal was given to Eddie in a ceremony at the VFW in East Berlin during the 1990’s.

As a result of their friendship, Eddie would occasionally visit George in Thomasville, stopping by the post office, Bev’s church, and walking the back roads near George’s house, saying hello to neighbors…who never recognized him!

Bev had her picture taken with Eddie, but after one particular meeting in June 1997, upon returning to his home in California, Eddie sent a personally autographed picture back to the post office in Thomasville where it has been proudly displayed on the wall by the customer service counter since its arrival nearly 19 years ago.DSC_0097

However, that’s about to change. When Bev retires on April 1st, the autographed picture of Eddie Albert goes with her. Bev has served as sales and service associate (window clerk), and on several occasions, acting Post Master for the facility in Thomasville since her career with the government began in 1978. Out of all those working at the post office when the photo arrived, Bev is the only one still working there…at least for another week.

If you have the time, please stop by to see Bev Hughes the morning of Friday, April 1st between 8:00 AM and 12:00 Noon to wish her well in retirement, and if you can’t make it, please send her a card. Address it to:

Thomasville Post Office
c/o:  Bev Hughes
5285 Lincoln Hwy W.
Thomasville, PA  17364

Now, since this is a “music” blog, in tribute to Bev, here are a few post office/letter-related songs….

GreenAcresIn memory of Eddie Albert, let’s start out with the opening theme song to the television show, “Green Acres”.
(Click on the picture to link to the tune.)

 

 

MarvelettesThe Marvelettes – “Please Mr. Postman”
This was their first hit record in 1961 and shot all the way to #1 on the charts.
(Click on the picture to link to the tune.)

 

 

TheCarpentersThe Carpenters also had their version of “Please Mr. Postman” which also topped the charts in 1975.
(Click on the picture to link to the tune.)

 

 

 

Both The Box Tops (1967 #1) and Joe Cocker (1970 #7) had hits with “The Letter”.
(Click on the picture to link to the tune.)
BoxTops-TheLetter

JoeCocker

 

 

 

 

 

ElvisReturnStamp
Who can forget the King of Rock and Roll? Elvis hit #2 in 1962 with “Return to Sender”, featured in the film “Girls, Girls, Girls”.
(Click on the picture to link to the tune.)

StevieWonderStevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” peaked at #3 in 1970.
(Click on the picture to link to the tune.)

 

 

BrothersJohnsonIn 1977 The Brothers Johnson took “Strawberry Letter 23″ to #5 on the music charts. According to the story I read, singer/songwriter Shuggie Otis was so moved by a girlfriend’s strawberry-scented paper that he wrote this song.
(Click on the picture to link to the tune.)

RBGreavesRonald Bertram (R.B.) Greaves was the nephew of the legendary Sam Cooke. Although R.B. Greaves  only had two records hit the Top 40, “Take a Letter Maria” went all the way to #2 in 1969. The song was kept out of the top spot by “Wedding Bell Blues” by The 5th Dimension, which held onto #1 for three weeks in a row.
(Click on the picture to link to the tune.)

 

allan_shermanIn 1963 Allan Sherman came up with a novelty song about a kid’s letter home from summer camp called “Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh! (A Letter From Camp)” The song climbed the charts to #2 before it stalled out and held the second spot for 3 weeks. The melody was adopted from Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours”.
(Click on the picture to link to the tune.)

BradPaisleyA country tribute to letter writing came along in 2007 when Brad Paisley recorded “Letter to Me”. In this song Paisley is imagining he is writing a letter to his 17-year-old self.
(Click on the picture to link to the tune.)

FatsWallerNow let’s go way back to 1935 for the Fats Waller version of “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter”
(Click on the picture to link to the tune.)

 
And finally, going full circle back to where we started, I think it’s interesting that Eddie Albert was born on April 22, 1906, and ironically, he participated in the creation of Earth Day and spoke at its inaugural ceremony on his birthday, April 22, 1970. Let’s do something in honor of Eddie Albert on his birthday this year to help sustain this beautiful planet we live on.

(Click on the picture to link to the Earth Day website.)
EarthDay

I will wrap up this blog with something special for Bev Hughes and her retirement from the Thomasville Post Office. Here’s a video clip from one of my favorite and most influential television personalities.
(Click on the picture to link to the video.)
RogersMcFeely

 

 

 

 

 

Bev, always remember this: 1 – 4 – 3.

 

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