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August 22, 2013

Million-mile mailman earns national honor

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — A Oneonta postal carrier with an impeccable safety record received a pleasant surprise Wednesday morning.

Lynn Baker, who has been working at the site since 1975, received the National Safety Council’s Award for Safe Driving from Postmaster Laurie MacCracken in a brief presentation. The award recognizes driving one million miles without an accident.

The secret to his success was being cautious all the time, Baker said. His route is on Oneida Street, and for more than 27 years he covered River Street.

“It’s a great job,” with the opportunity for exercise and meeting people, he said. “I just enjoy it.”

Being a postal carrier literally means delivering in the rain, sleet and snow, Baker said.

“It’s not bad if you dress for it,” he said. There may be nine days of the year when “it (seems) like 30 below or its raining cats and dogs. The rest of the time its not an issue.”

Besides delivering mail he likes the fact that people count on their postal carriers sometimes for such things as having someone to say “hello” to.

MacCracken said in her 20 years in the post office, this is the second time she has seen someone receive this award. “It’s kind of unique,” she said.

Besides a plaque, he received a safe-driver certificate. Baker always has a positive attitude, she said, no matter the weather or circumstance.

“It’s a nice part of the job” being able to present the award, MacCracken said.

While the award was unexpected, she said, Baker seemed to take it as if it were a routine occurrence. Carriers are used to surprises, MacCracken said.

“While they go to the same houses every day,” she said, “no two days are alike.”