Most of you never pay any attention to the little white truck that drives your street six days a week.

The man or woman that delivers the mail goes about their work connecting you with the rest of the world (and its bills and solicitations) every day without much fanfare.

They don't ask anything of you except to not block any mailboxes and an occasional knock on the door asking for your delivery signature. Sometimes we even make fun of these workers and 'going postal.'

Last week, however, I did notice a change on my street. Ken Egbert silently and without fanfare stopped making his daily rounds. After 32 years the alarm clock alongside his bed did not go off at 4:30 a.m. Oh sure, the mail still arrived - but it wasn't the same.

Over the past thirteen years Ken and I got to know each other as he outlasted seven West Linn postmasters and saw the West Linn Post office nearly quadruple in staff.

At the same time we went through a loss of a daughter, the marriage of another, the forming of the MLD Foundation (which seems like it's daily putting something into our mailbox), an increased involvement in local politics, and seven companies I either founded or worked for out of my house.

No matter the spelling of my name or the forever-changing company name on the address label, the mail arrived.

We always waved and occasionally shared brief moments of conversation at the mailbox. As he read the addresses on the letters I am sure that Ken always wondered what my next adventure would be.

Of course, he would never say anything confidential, but he did put a pleasant face on the institution we call the Postal Service.

On behalf of all of us here in West Linn - thank you Ken for your many years of faithful service. We hope many of you will attend the community farewell party for Ken from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Adult Community Center.

We won't be able to be there so I guess it's fitting that we'll have to mail our thank you card!

Dean Suhr is a West Linn resident.

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