In the Atlanta Post Office when I worked there were 8000 employees. I think about half of them worked at the mail distributing facility, The Federal Annex, in Atlanta. And that is where most of us time keepers worked.
In the basement was where the parcels were primarily distributed. The big conveyor belt was about 30 feet from the elevator doors. I remember the many times I got on or off the elevator and saw the same people at the conveyor belt throwing parcels to into canvas tubs or gurneys.
It seems like always a certain goofy looking character was standing there throwing parcels and always smiling as he talked to his co-workers. He was a tall guy, probably in his mid 40s, with a pot belly and buck teeth. He reminded me of the Disney cartoon character Goofy.
Once I was waiting at the elevator with Chuck, a co-worker of mine, who used to work in that area and seemed to know everybody. I mentioned the Goofy looking guy, how happy he looked and Chuck said that was Billy so and so, and they called him “Billy Boy”.
I mentioned that I saw him in the break room several times and he was always reading a paperback western novel. Chuck didn’t know Billy Boy liked western novels.
As we rode up to our office on the elevator Chuck told me Billy Boy was single and lived with his mother and they had strange past time: They looked daily in the Atlanta Journal or Constitution at the obituaries and decided what stranger’s wake to visit next.
They paid their respects to at least two families a week, sometimes more, considering holidays and annual leave days. Here is the clincher: Either Billy Boy or his mother would pull out their small camera and snap a picture of the deceased.
They had a photo album of dead people lying in caskets with flowers around them.
I wonder why some young lady didn’t come along and grab Billy Boy up?