Changing of the guard/Bluemel stepping down as mail carrier

Craig Bluemel is pictured sorting mail for his routes at the Fort Bridger post office just a few days before his official retirement from service through the U.S. Postal Service. COURTESY PHOTO/USPO/Polly Hysell

Bluemel family delivered Valley mail for over 60 years

BRIDGER VALLEY — Craig Bluemel traced his family’s involvement with mail delivery in Bridger Valley back to the 1950’s as he looks to retirement next week.

Bluemel’s last day on the job will be March 30. And true to the motto attributed to the delivery of mail:

"Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Dark Of Night Shall Stay These Couriers From The Swift Completion Of Their Appointed Rounds,"

has been a lifestyle Bluemel signed on to in 1974.

Bluemel said the system for mail delivery in Bridger Valley started under Vernon Walker in the 1950s. After five or six years, Bluemel’s grandfather Frank Twitchell took over the contract for mail delivery. This contract was passed on to Bluemel’s father, Ivan Bluemel in 1974. Ivan had the contract from 1961-1974. In 1974, Craig returned from a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and went to work for his father via a sub-contract delivering mail in Bridger Valley, a job that requires duty six-days-a-week. A duty that Bluemel has handled, “going on 44 years,” he said Tuesday afternoon.

Bluemel said when he initially started working with his father, they had to pick up the mail at Carter as it came in on the train to the Carter Post Office.

In reflectingon his life’s work with the Post Office, Bluemel said, “It has been a good job. I never had a lay-off. Some people can’t say that. It has been good to us over the years.”

“I’ve met a lot of good people over the years,” Bluemel said. “I’ve worked with a lot of great people through the postal service.”

A retirement party will be held for Bluemel tomorrow March 23, from 2:30-5 p.m. at the fire station banquet room in Lyman. Friends and family are invited to stop by to visit with Bluemel.

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