COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A neighborhood gave its beloved mailman an unforgettable sendoff on his last route.
Floyd Martin put the brakes on his 35-year career Thursday in Marietta. Martin graduated from Marietta High School in 1975 and took the postal service test a few years later. By the time they got in touch, he already had a job at a bank, but the U.S. Postal Service offered to double his pay.
"I was like, 'OK, when you do want me to start?'" he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jennifer Brett.
He didn’t have the “postal pace” at first, and thought about quitting at times. It was his mom’s suggestion that he apply, and her encouragement kept him on the route. He was sad she’s no longer here, but said she would have been so touched at the hundreds of people who showed up to wish him well.
“Thank you for caring about me. We’ve gone through good times and bad times together,” he said. “You were there when I needed you, even if you didn’t know it.”
When Martin pulled up to deliver mail in the neighborhood Thursday, messages of love and well wishes were scattered throughout. There were mailboxes decorated with balloons, people wrote messages on the sidewalk and posters were hung in front of homes.
Lorraine Wascher was waiting for him Thursday. She's been a stop on his route for more than 20 years.
"He always had a smile, always had a wave," she said.
He's had such an impact on the neighborhood, a young girl dressed up like him for her school's career day.
"I was so flattered," he said. "It touched my heart."
Martin doesn't have children, just the 500 homes worth of kids he spends more than six hours with every day.
"My people are so good to me," he said. "I'm going to miss them."
Floyd lives in Atlanta with his dog, Gigi. He told Brett it'll be a little weird to just receive mail and not deliver it anymore.
"I'm just going to smile," he said.
As for his plans post-retirement? He hopes to go to Hawaii one day.