By Chelle Delaney
Retirement for postal worker Phil Liles will be like going back to the future.
Although he retired Friday after 30 years with the the U.S. Postal Service, he’s going back to work today.
From Tucumcari, he’s going to Logan where he first started working for the USPS.
Liles said he’ll be doing something similar, except this time around he’s only going to work two days a week.
He’ll be a postal carrier on a rural postal route in the Logan, where he first started three decades ago as a postal cler, Liles said.
Liles was honored Friday just before starting out on his last rounds as a mail carrier on the streets of Tucumcari.
Postmaster Robert Roark said two words came to mind when the thought of Liles, “consistency” and “regularity.”
What better compliment than that for the men and women who prevail – despite sleet and snow and snakes.
And snakes? Liles said, he once went to collect letters from a mailbox and found a dead snake inside.
Out of the corner of his eye he also saw two smiling young boys peering around the corner of a horse.
To this day, he said he still wonders what their mother thought when she got her a mail and found a snake, too.
Changes he’s seen in the postal service, Liles said, are that mail processing and delivery is more automated now and dependent on bar codes.
Liles was honored with a service pin and two cash awards, each for $300.
Others staff members of the Tucumcari Post Office were also recognized. Certificates of achievement were given to Peggy Jobe, Roseann Mendez and Gordon Runyan and recognition for customer service was given to Toni Haymaker.