Richard Huddleston is celebrating 30 years as a U.S. Postal Service employee. He currently works at the Soldotna Post Office.
Huddleston first joined the postal service in Texas. In June 1973, he became a letter carrier in Corpus Christie, Texas.
Huddleston, his wife and three daughters moved to Alaska in 1977.
The following are some of Huddleston's most memorable moments in the past 30 years:
As a carrier in Texas, Huddleston was delivering mail to a house where a dog already had bitten one carrier. The dog was believed to be back at the residence, so Huddleston approached carefully, looking for the dog. When he reached the top of the steps, he sighed with relief, only to have a spider monkey jump into his arms. Letters -- and the monkey -- went flying. The monkey quickly scampered to the porch railing, shaking its little fist and scolding Huddleston.
The Soldotna position carried benefits, Huddleston said, including fewer dogs and monkeys. But there were still dangers. In the spring of 1979, he remembered one day he walked through the back swinging doors and was met by several thousand honey bees flying around. He found that the post office had six containers of honeybees in racks sitting on the back dock. Two of the racks were broken open and bees were flying into the workroom. Huddleston estimated that the post office had received more than 1 million bees. The post office now ships only queen bees.
During the summer of 1986, Huddleston stopped at a young girl's lemonade stand, hoping to help the child raise money. He asked for two cups, but the girl only had enough for one. She ran back to the house and came out with another and Huddleston drank both down, chuckling at the strange taste. Days later, the girl's mother finally told Huddleston that the second glass had been hers and was spiked. Huddleston had just assumed that the little girl didn't know how to mix up lemonade.
Margaret Merrill works for the U.S. Postal Service in the Soldotna Office. Jenni Dillon contributed to this story.
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