Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Georgia community gives beloved mail carrier an incredible send-off

Over the years, the people on Floyd Martin's mail route came to be like family.

He spent almost 35 years delivering letters, cards, bills, and catalogues to residents of one Marietta, Georgia, neighborhood. Last summer, he decided it was time to retire, and Thursday was his last day. Jennifer Brett accompanied him for one final trek through the neighborhood, documenting it all on Twitter.

People waited for Martin outside their homes, shaking his hand and offering their well-wishes, and several decorated their mailboxes with balloons, banners, ribbons, and photos. Lorraine Wascher told Brett that Martin has delivered her mail for more than 20 years, and "always had a smile, always had a wave." Martin was known for passing out treats to dogs and lollipops to kids, including Mae Bullington, who dressed up like him for her school's career day. "I was so flattered," he said. "It touched my heart."

Martin lives in Atlanta with his dog, Gigi, and told Brett that one of his retirement goals is to take a trip to Hawaii. He was surprised to see how many people stopped to say goodbye to him along his route, but was stunned at the end of the day when he realized they were holding a giant block party in his honor. More than 300 people attended, and Martin was invited back to judge the neighborhood's annual Halloween parade. "You were there when I needed you, even if you didn't know it," he told the crowd. "Continue to take care of each other, and smile when you think of me." Catherine Garcia