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“They caught me by surprise” Beloved Buckhead mailman signs off after 36-year career

ATLANTA — A friendly and very popular mailman in Buckhead just ended his last shift after 36 years on the job. The neighborhood he served gave him a send off he never expected.

“Last day, last day! I just want to tell you how much I appreciate you,” Edward Smith said.

Smith has been with the United States Postal Service for 36 years and serving his Buckhead neighborhood for 20 of those years.

“I am going to miss most about my job are my families, the people. I’m going to miss that the most,” Smith said.

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He knows most people on his route by their first name and always made sure they knew his.

“I say, ‘Hello, I am Edward Smith and I am your regular postman and I’m always glad to be at your service.’”

But on this day, his last day, his families were at his service. Banners, balloons and homemade signs decorated mailboxes.

There were honks from cars and handshakes from walkers.

“When you receive feedback of appreciation for so much time you’ve been doing, that’s just an awesome feeling. It’s something that will be with you forever,” Smith said.

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The surprises on his last day started early.

“All of my fellow carriers lined up as I drove out blowing their horns and giving me the thumbs up. I was shocked that occurred. They caught me by surprise.”

The final gift to this beloved mailman: a plaque from “his families” to remind Mr. Ed how much his kindness has always been appreciated.

“It reminds us how to be a human and how to be nice to each other. And just to care,” neighbor Mamie Dayan Vogel said.

Inside a letter that Smith was told to keep and not mail was something to make retirement a little sweeter: More than $2,500 in cash.

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