Miles of smiles


Journal photo by Stephen Sears

Gary Merrill made his final appointed rounds Tuesday as a letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service, virtually all of them in his hometown of Union City. Merrill’s career began Sept. 29, 1973, and covered more than 38 years until his retirement. During that time, Merrill estimates he has walked about 120,000 miles while delivering mail to his customers along his well-traveled routes in the borough. That translates into about 4.8 trips around the circumference of the Earth. After all that walking in all kinds of weather, Merrill remains upbeat. “I want to be known as the smiling mailman,” he says.

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