If the Village of Fayette ever had an unofficial ambassador, the most likely candidate for the job would have been no other than the Village Postmaster, Mr. Rick Davis. On the job or off, his upbeat and cheerful personality is inescapable. The person that coined the phrase, ‘Going Postal’, never met this dedicated employee of the Postal Service as he is the antithesis to the negative connotation.
After announcing his upcoming retirement after 28 years as the Fayette Postmaster, Rick took some time to reflect on the past, as well as look ahead to the future. The father of two and grandfather of two has always been a busy man. “I like to golf,” he said, “…golf is my hobby. So instead of going one day a week, maybe I can go three days a week…any day I want. I’ve got no real plans to start out, but eventually I may want to get back by doing something part-time…just to keep me busy.”
Although Rick lists golf as his hobby, it is not the only iron that he has in the fire…far from it. “I like to paint,” he added. “I’ve done some paintings, artwork and stuff like that. I like model trains. I have two setups in my basement. Stuff like that, golfing with the guys and just having fun at first, then maybe getting back into something else.” What kind of part-time position would get Rick’s attention? “I did my first application in 40 years the other day for Ironwood Golf Course in Wauseon. “I told the guy one time, ‘Boy, that would be something neat to do after you retire. Just go back and mow for a golf course.'” Talk about working at what you love, that would be it for Rick.
Looking back, Rick cannot recall anything profound that stood out about his time on the job. It is, after all, Fayette, Ohio, and his presence and time in the Post Office had an almost ‘Mayberry’ ring to it…without Andy Griffith. When it came to off the job though, there was a big event that is going to remain with him forever.
Rick served America as a member of the United States Air Force. As the former flyboy recalled, “Back years ago when we still had the Fayette Review, the local newspaper here in town, that guy and I were both in the Air Force. I used to go with him to places like the Toledo Air Show at the airport. One time, he asked me if I’d like to go for him…take my camera, and do a story for him. So he got me a press pass, and I felt like a big wheel with the press pass! We were able to go down there, get in and go to the press area, and the VIP area where they had food and drinks. The press got to take a ride on an old Flying Fortress; the ONLY ones who got to go up in it were the press…and I got to go! They flew us up and out over Lake Erie, made a great big swing around, then came back in. You talk about awesome!” Rick spent most of the flight in the waist gunner post, but he was also allowed to climb into the bubble turret, and go up into the top turret as well. His smile was radiant as he recalled the event. “It was just about the neatest thing,” he said.
“I’d like to say that I’m going to miss all the people in the community,” Rick said, “…and all the relationships that I’ve gained through the years. I’m going to miss those people the most…that’s the part that I’m going to miss the most.” Of those relationships, he said, “I have a lot of customers. Dealing with all of their family stuff, you feel just like a part of the family community. I’ve seen a couple generations in my time. I’ve seen the grandfathers and the grandmothers, and then their kids, and their kids’ kids. Over the course of all those years, you meet a lot of people and you gain a lot of friendships and acquaintances. You know a lot about people in general. On the other side of the house…back here with my employees, I’ve been to all the weddings, graduations, the birth of children, grandchildren. Again…that’s the part that I’ll miss the most.”
Just about everybody who has been successful has had some credo or motto by which they live. Rick is no different. “With the job aspect, it comes back from my Boy Scout days,” Rick said. “Do a good turn, daily.”
After 28 years, anyone who has had the pleasure of dealing with Rick would have to agree…mission accomplished.