by Neoma Foreman

Raymond Crain presented Larry Buckles a 50-year certificate and Pin at the Bolivar Retiree luncheon of Rural Carriers recently.

Larry began his career in 1964. He was drafted into the Army in 1966. Twenty-one months later his company was ordered to Viet Nam but because of his discharge date being within 90 days, he was discharged. A year and a half later he was appointed as a substitute carrier for the United States Postal Service. His regular carrier paid his union dues in order to get him actively involved.

When Larry made regular carrier, his route was 60 miles with 110 boxes and his salary was $23.50 a day. When he retired in 2000 his route was 115 miles and 430 boxes. From 1992 to 1998, his route was the longest in the state.

Larry was active in QWL and created a float on his own trailer that he pulled in many parades. Larry also served as an Academy Trainer and Defensive Driver Trainer.

Larry, and his first wife, who passed away in 2009, had two daughters. At one high school football game three of their four grandsons were on the field at one time.

Following his retirement, he drove a school bus for local school districts. From 2010 to 2016, he drove a bus for the music department and traveling college teams for Cottey College. Larry, and his second wife, Vicki, enjoyed many trips with the college teams.

A story that might have set a record involved Larry using five different vehicles on the rural route in one day. His route was 145 miles long. The first breakdown was his personal truck. The postmaster and clerk were both gone (this was pre-cell phone days). His daughter came to him and he loaded mail into her vehicle to take him to his house only to discover his wife had taken the only other vehicle that worked. Then he took his mother—and—her car for her to handle the mail because of a console in her car. His second daughter got home and he switched to her truck and ran most of the rest of the route until his wife got home. His wife met him and they switched to their Blazer and finished the route. Believe it or not—he made dispatch.

LARRY BUCKLES HONORED – Larry, retired rual mail carrier from Walker, received his 50 year pin. Shown are (from left) Daughter, Kerry Jennings; Larry; wife. Vicki; and daughter, Kim.

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