Langdale neighborhood celebrates retiring postman Marty Holland

Published 9:00 am Friday, August 18, 2023

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VALLEY — Thursday was the final day on his delivery route for postal worker Marty Holland. He has been with the U.S. Postal Service for almost 25 years, the last 11 of which have been in the Langdale neighborhood. Many of the people he’s been making deliveries to along 26th Avenue, Laurel Drive and 64th Boulevard made it a point to see him and to wish him well in retirement. Others left thank you notes in their mail boxes.

“He’s been such a good postman for us,” said 26th Avenue resident Judy Bledsoe. “He’s the kind of guy who likes getting out, stretching his legs and talking to people along his route.”

Judy’s husband, Henry, gave him one of the big Ledmon watermelons he grows his his patch on Red Dirt Hill. It was a way of saying thank you on a great job for our neighborhood for a long period of time.

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Holland enjoys serving the public and has no plans of slowing down. “I will stay busy.” he said. “I’m the sort of person who needs to have something to do. I will probably be doing some interior painting.”

He is originally from Phenix City and worked in the Southern Phenix Mill before becoming a mail carrier.

“I consider Valley my home now,” he said. “I love the people I work with and the people along my route.”

In addition to delivering letters, he also delivers packages. One day this past week, he delivered over 130 of them. It’s not unusual for him to tote a 100-pound bag of dog food to someone’s house. There are other, big and bulky packages for him to deliver as well.

That can take a toll on the body over time. Holland will be having shoulder surgery next week.

“Marty was really good to us during Covid,” Bledsoe said. “There were times I would need to mail a package. I would leave the money with him and he would bring me back the change the next day.”

Danny and Joellen Berry commend him for his energy and efficiency. “He was always so friendly and went beyond the call of duty to accommodate people on his route,” Danny Berry said. “He would always come by, rain or shine, in sleet and in snow. You could always count on him coming by in his mail truck.”

Terry and Carole Bishop, who live next door to the Bledsoes, left a thank-you note for Holland in their mail box. “We just wanted to express our thanks for the excellent service he always provided,” Terry Bishop said. “We always appreciated the personal care that was in the job he did. He will be missed a lot.”

“If everybody did their job as well as Marty has for many years now, this would be a better world,” said Mike Spear.

Kathryn and Clay Garmon said their children see Marty as a hero. “He came by every day, and they knew him by name,” Mr. Garmon said. “The children would sometimes make cards for Mr. Marty.”

Trammell and Grace Smith said that Holland was someone they could always count on. “He has been a good friend to us,” said Mr. Smith. “He was always so dependable and reliable.”

The Bledsoes have lived on 26th Avenue since 1986. “Javis Williamson was the first postman we had,” said Judy Bledsoe. “He used to walk by the house making deliveries.”

The Postal Service has made a lot of progress since then. Mailmen have delivery trucks that get them to residences much faster. A new service of the Post Office lets you know in advance if you are going to get mail that day. There’s an app on your smart phone that lets you know if mail is coming to your house before it gets there.