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Postmaster retiring

Thursday, August 30, 2018

TERRY GIBBS

Hamilton Postmaster Terry Gibbs will hang up his hat Friday after a 31-year career with the postal service.

Gibbs has been in Hamilton for six years and says he has enjoyed the community and the people he has worked with. His temporary successor will be Officer in Charge Lori Stafford, who will be coming from Gatesville.

Gibbs said when he was about 30, he tried multiple times to get a post office job.

“I always thought the post office would be a neat job,” he said, “but getting on is tough! They say most people stay until they die, retire or transfer – in that order.”

Back then, potential employees had to apply to take the postal exam at the office where they wanted to work. Gibbs applied to test at Cleburne, Arlington and Weatherford.

“When I went to Weatherford in 1987, it was the last day to fill out the card to apply for the test. And they locked the door behind me.”

After the test, he went back to his job in a machine shop and waited more than a year, and then got a letter offering him a part-time flexible job.

“It was exactly what it says,” Gibbs said. “Part time and flexible. I would get a call at 5 or 5:30 a.m., and the supervisor would say, ‘This is your postal service wake up call’ and tell me where I was needed.”

As a result, Gibbs learned all 14 of Weatherford’s city routes. Sometimes he drove auxiliary routes, which are not eight-hour routes, but then pick up hours from routes that were going into overtime.

His first full time position was as a “T-6,” which meant he delivered five routes to cover days off for regular route deliverers.

“If anything was mis-delivered, they said Terry did it, even if it had been days since I did their route,” he said.

After working in Weatherford for 15 years, Gibbs transferred to Stephenville, where he lived, and eventually became postmaster at Desdemona before transferring to Hamilton.

He says he’s tired of driving for work, but looks forward to traveling to trace his roots.

First on his traveling bucket list is the Grand Canyon. And then he will look for long-lost relatives.

He already has collected more than 4000 photos of generations past and after a trip across Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana learned that he had come within 35 miles of his great-great-great-great-grandfather’s grave.

“I will have to go back there and find the grave,” he said. “I didn’t know it existed. He was in the Revolutionary War. I would love to go back.”

In addition to traveling and genealogy, he and wife Tammie live on 100 acres “in the middle of nowhere” and raise cattle, which he says will keep him just busy enough not to miss working.

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