After 42 years, beloved postman still delivering to same Anchorage neighborhood
There aren't many people who can say they've held their job for more than 40 years and still enjoy doing it day after day, but Charles Seamans is one of them. He's a postman who's delivered mail to the same Turnagain neighborhood for 42 years. He loves the job, but more than that, he loves the people.
Seamans doesn't think of the people on his route as customers as much as friends, and many of them he's known for decades. Families with last names like Mystrom, Marston, and Hickle. Seamans says he's watched their children grow up and, often times, move back into the neighborhood where he delivers the mail to the next generation.
Former Governor Bill Sheffield is one of Seamans' long time customers who considers himself a friend. He said he's asked Seamans to house-sit for him on occasion and regularly invites him to his parties.
"He knows everyone," Sheffield said.
Sheffield said when he moved into the neighborhood decades ago, he noticed his mail didn't always arrive at the same time.
"I said, Charles, you know on your day off the mail gets here a little earlier? He told me he had kitchen privileges all over Turnagain." said Sheffield.
Seamans admits he likes to visit as he makes his way around the neighborhood. He calls that one of the best parts of the job. And when he isn't there, he's missed. In 2000, Seamans was diagnosed with colon cancer and spent a brief time in the hospital. Mary Ann Swalling, a longtime friend on his route, tracked him down.
"So I went over to Providence and I asked what room and they told me," said Swalling. "Then the nurse at the nursing station said, 'That would be nice if you could go on up there but there are so many people up there you may have to wait your turn."'
The nurse asked if the popular man was a politician. Swalling explained that he was the mailman. The people visiting were neighbors on his Turnagain route.
Now, at almost 75, Seamans said he is in good health, both in body and in mind.
"My whole day is always positive, no matter what the weather," he said. "But that's just me."
He could have retired years ago, but Seamans said he loves his job too much. Clearly, his customers love him too. They're glad he plans to keep delivering.