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Mail Time in Glady

Calvin Shifflett and his Post Office

Text and photographs by Carl E. Feather

Glady post office
Calvin Shifflett passes mail through one of two windows at the post office in Glady, Randolph County. Calvin has been assistant postmaster here since 1976. Photograph by Carl E. Feather.

The highlight of the day for most Glady residents occurs around 2 p.m. on weekdays, 90 minutes earlier on Saturdays, and not at all on Sundays. That’s when Calvin Shifflett hollers “Mail’s up!” from behind the wall of brass-and-wood mailboxes that have served the people of Glady since September 14, 1886, when this Randolph County hamlet first got a post office.

Calvin is assistant postmaster of Glady. His wife, Frances, is postmistress. But it is generally Calvin whom the postal patrons of ZIP code 26268 see and deal with when they stop at the post office/general store, a few hundred yards south of the crossroads of Bemis and Glady roads, about 10 miles south of U.S. Route 33.

Serving as assistant postmaster is just one of Calvin’s interests. He’s also a musician, tavern owner, landlord, and proprietor of the general store; Calvin and Frances also run a little store in nearby Bemis that mirrors the Glady store’s product line, except the Bemis store also sells beer.

“I can’t sell beer here in the post office,” Calvin says. “I get people who ask for it, and I got a ready answer: ‘Did you ever see any post office that sold beer?’”

Calvin’s not opposed to the sale and consumption of beer. Far from it. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, he works as bartender at his own 50 seat tavern, known to patrons as “Calvin’s.” As if all that’s not enough to keep him busy, Calvin picks up a guitar on Saturday nights and entertains the Bemis bar crowd. “I’m on the job seven days a week,” says Calvin, age 74. “I don’t have no days off.”

You can read the rest of this article in this issue of Goldenseal, available in bookstores, libraries or direct from Goldenseal.