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Two postal carriers servicing the Whigham Post Office share a special honor for their skills on the job. They have each driven one million miles without any accidents, and the U.S.P.S. recognized them recently for this feat by inducting them into the Million Mile Club.
Jane Harrison and Terry Harrison, no relation, have both worked for the U.S.P.S. since in the 1980s. Jane Harrison, 60, started in 1986, and Terry Harrison, 52, started in 1989.
“My sister had worked for the post office and talked about the good benefits,” Terry Harrison says.
He started in Bainbridge as a substitute carrier and later moved to the Climax area when a route became available. He also farms with his father, St. Elmo Harrison, in Whigham growing peanuts and pecans and raising cows.
Jane Harrison says she started work in Cairo as a part-time postal carrier when Frank Jones was postmaster. After a year-and-a-half, she transferred to Whigham where she remained part-time until 1996.
“I’ve been running the same route ever since,” says Harrison. “It’s a 130 mile route each day.”
Terry Harrison’s route is a little over 123 miles each day. Both Harrisons deliver mail on mainly rural routes.
Jane Harrison says her customers are like her second family, a lesson she learned when she had to miss work for a short time.
“I just thought I was somebody that stuffed a mailbox, but they reached out to me,” she says. “People in Grady County are just wonderful people.”
In turn, Harrison is concerned about making sure people get their mail.
“It bothers me when they don’t get their mail or a (Cairo) Messenger. I know who gets a Messenger on my route,” she laughs.
Terry Harrison knows his customers, too, and became concerned recently when he noticed one man had not collected his mail in a few days. Looking closer, Harrison saw water coming from inside the home, so he drove nearer to the house.
“I pulled up and honked the horn and no one came out. I called the law, and they found he was deceased,” Harrison says.
Both carriers recall stories of being chased by animals while doing their job, and the constant wear and tear on their vehicles’ brakes and tires.
Both contend, though, it has been a good career.
Jane Harrison sums it up by saying, “It’s been a good ride. It wasn’t my dream job, but it became my dream job.”