UPDATE: Local letter carrier retires after 50 years of service - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Local letter carrier retires after 50 years of service

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USPS letter carrier Clarence "Dennis" Holland. USPS photo USPS letter carrier Clarence "Dennis" Holland. USPS photo
United States Postal Server letter carrier Clarence "Dennis" Holland (at left) is honored Tuesday. WRCBtv.com photo United States Postal Server letter carrier Clarence "Dennis" Holland (at left) is honored Tuesday. WRCBtv.com photo
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Dennis Holland has been delivering mail for almost 50 years but Friday he drove his final route in East Brainerd.

Holland, who turns 73 Sunday, says he'll miss his coworkers and friends he's made along the route.

"I've got several who say come back for coffee, come to just visit and see how they're doing and I plan on that," Holland said.

Whether he's dodging dogs, battling bad weather or patching up paper cuts, Dennis has always finished the job.


PREVIOUS STORY: Bitten by four dogs over his 50-year career, and delivering the mail in all sorts of weather, United States Postal Server letter carrier Clarence "Dennis" Holland has seen a lot.

Much has changed in the five decades Holland has worked for the Postal Service, from the way mail is sorted, to the number of packages he now delivers.

On Tuesday, Holland was presented with a 50-year Federal Service Award for his work and a letter from the Postmaster General.

Holland first became interested in the Postal Service as a boy, according to the USPS.

“The Post Office had Postal Inspector assistants who worked with boys in youth groups. I remember a gentleman by the name of Clyde O. Cooper stressing to children to get involved in the civil service. So I took the test when I was old enough,” said Holland.

“The first couple of weeks it was hard getting accustomed to the driver's seat being on the right side of the vehicle.”

“I've always been a letter carrier. I started off downtown as a floater. Outlying stations would call when they needed carriers and that's where I was sent to help out. I've worked in East Brainerd for the past 22 years.”

Clarence Holland was  awarded a 50-year Federal Service Award by Chattanooga Postmaster Pete Dechelle during a short ceremony at Eastgate Station Tuesday.

“The first couple of weeks it was hard getting accustomed to the driver's seat being on the right side of the vehicle.”

“I've always been a letter carrier. I started off downtown as a floater. Outlying stations would call when they needed carriers and that's where I was sent to help out. I've worked in East Brainerd for the past 22 years.”

“I've always enjoyed carrying mail. I make over 400 deliveries each day. My route is both walking and mounted. It's not so fun delivering in the rain, and be careful where you step when there's ice.”

“During my career, I've been bitten by four dogs – three Chihuahuas and a border collie. Customers say, ‘My dog won't bite.' Who are they kidding? Dogs don't bother me. I will go into a yard with one dog but no more than one.”

“We've always had the same blue uniform. I've delivered in all kinds of extremes, from the single digits to well over 100 degrees. That's why I wear a hat in the summer and a toboggan in the winter months.”

“Before I started working at the Post Office, my father-in-law offered me a job as a route salesman at a lumber sales company making $2.60 an hour. Starting pay at the Post Office was $2.62; I went for the money!”

Holland will turn 72 on Easter Sunday, continued “As my wife would tell you, I had planned on retiring at 55. I kept thinking I was going to be able to do it but you can't continue to bowl, play golf and raise a family. We raised three kids and helped raise our two grandkids. We've been there for them which wouldn't have been possible without the Postal Service, or as Mr. Cooper used to say, ‘The civil service would be a good retirement.'”

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