The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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Good Neighbors - Willie Wood

By Bob Heafner © 1983-2012

Issue: June, 1983

willie woodWillie Wood, Postmaster at Meadows of Dan, Virginia and sacks of The Mountain Laurels.Each month I look forward to writing the GOOD NEIGHBOR column simply because it gives me an opportunity to say thank you to acknowledge people that normally don’t get the acknowledgment or the little extra thank you.

This month, it’s a double pleasure. Our good neighbor of the month for June is Willie Wood, Postmaster of the Meadows of Dan Post Office.

If I live to be a hundred, I’ll never forget the first day we mailed the Mountain Laurels through the Meadows of Dan Post Office. I had been going in and asking Willie’s advice for the month prior to our first mailing about how we should package them and should they be wrapped, or different questions regarding mailing the papers.

When the morning finally arrived for me to carry the papers out, I went into the post office and there were a couple of people standing there. Willie was back behind the counter getting ready to start separating out mail for the day and I said, “Willie, I’ve got the papers ready. Where do you want me to put them?” He just sort of nonchalantly patted the counter top and said, “Just bring them on in.” I said, “Willie, I don‘t think you want me to do it that way.” Well, what Willie didn’t know was I had every paper in my car that I could pack in my car. It was loaded to the brim! Sack after sack, almost 5,000 of them, being sent all over the country, as well as locally.

Willie really didn’t have an idea of what a pile of papers we were going to be bringing out there, so that first morning, I knew they just wouldn’t go in the front door, across the counter. Willie said, “OK, bring them around to the back door,” and he met me there with a cart they have to roll things around on. I started unloading papers out of the car on it. Every time I took another bag out, Willie’s eyes would get a little bigger. First thing you know, we had the cart full and we had to start setting them in the corners in the post office.

By the time we got through unloading the papers, I had shut the back door and was back in my car leaving, Willie has some idea what a “pile” of papers looked like.

Well, I forgot that I had another letter to mail so I drove on back around to the front of the post office and stopped again, walked through the front door and as I went in, Willie was bending over the mail sacks. Benton Reynolds, Route 1 mail carrier here at Meadows of Dan was standing there looking down at them too. Willie was looking up at Benton saying, “This might be a good time to retire.”

Well, Willie, we’d sure hate to see you retire, because without you in these first months of getting started and your advice and assistance in leading us through the maze of the Post Office regulations and requirements before we could mail, I don’t know what we would have done.

We are really proud to live in an area where there are people like this and along with proud, we’re thankful for people like Willie Wood at the Meadows of Dan Post Office who take the extra bit of time and give that extra smile and go that extra mile to help you when you need it.