30 years: through rain, sleet and snow

By on July 13, 2016
After her final delivery, Cindy Swisher’s co-workers bid her farewell following 30 years at the Lititz Post Office, where she delivered mail on the Brickerville route.

After her final delivery, Cindy Swisher’s co-workers bid her farewell following 30 years at the Lititz Post Office, where she delivered mail on the Brickerville route.

For Cindy Swisher of Manheim, delivering mail in all kinds of weather, including through during some of the most treacherous snow storms in Lancaster County history, was all in a day’s work.

And now, after 30 years on the job with the Lititz Post Office, she has decided to retire.

But Swisher’s career didn’t always involve her being on the road.

“Originally, I had heard of a casual position doing distribution, passing mail out to carriers who were at the post office,” she said. “I probably did that for a year. Then, one of the employees who worked there asked if I’d be their substitute, and I said yes.”

During her first three years, she gained valuable experience as a sub before serving the next 28 years on the Brickerville route, originally delivering mail via the right side of a left hand drive of her 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle. Now that’s dedication.

Before retiring, her most recent route (Route 7) involved making 675 deliveries per day; and when asked what the biggest change she has seen over the years has been, she mentions the increasing amount of items now being ordered online.

“These days, we’re filled with packages from Amazon. Sunday deliveries have now become a reality. We used to have more letters and magazines. Now it’s the other way around,” she admits.

And naturally, serving 30 years as a mail carrier comes with its share of memorable stories.

“I could write a book!” she exclaimed. “I’ve seen calves being born. I’ve found snakes in my mailboxes. I’ve also delivered things like beehives, live animals, and cremated remains.”

Even precious letters addressed to Santa Claus for delivery to the North Pole were in her trusting hands over her many years of service.

Swisher was also one of three Lititz postal employees that started a training academy in the late 1990s, taking enormous pride in teaching new recruits the tricks of the trade. New carriers were taught how to handle problems and overcome obstacles, and during her 10 years as an instructor, she trained hundreds of employees who would go on to deliver all over Central Pennsylvania.

She also had the fortune of being based out of the same office as her daughter, Jody Weidman. Weidman had decided to take the same career path as her mother, and has been a carrier for almost 20 years.

“It was wonderful to see her follow in my footsteps,” Swisher said. “I got to see my daughter every single day.”

Now that she’s retired, Swisher looks back on her career with a sense of pride, joy, and lots of fond memories of her customers.

“When you’re there every day, you’re a part of their lives. I feel very fortunate to have had that job, and I loved them,” she says.

And folks along her route loved her right back — often times, they would place snacks and other goodies with Cindy’s name on them in their mailboxes.

So what does Swisher have in store now that she has hung up her mail bag for good?

“I’m going to let it unfold as it comes,” she said. “I’ll spend time with my family and grandkids, and maybe do some volunteering. I also plan to spend a lot of time in my flower garden.”

Cory Van Brookhoven is President of the Lititz Historical Foundation and has authored several books on topics involving Lancaster County history, including Lititz. He welcomes your comments at coryvb@hotmail.com.

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