Mail carrier, coach a constant in community

Published 9:50 am Friday, September 4, 2015

Seven different routes, approximately 10 jeeps and trucks, and more than 35 years  no matter how you look at it, carrier JC Conerly has delivered a lot of letters and packages during his tenure with the United States Postal Service.

The veteran mail carrier’s current route includes most of Porters Chapel Road, Bellmeade, Audobon, Woodlands, Chapel Hills, Lakewood, Savannah Hills, Charleston, and the 5000 block of Indiana and Enchanted Hills.

The day Conerly went in to interview for his job is a day he’ll never forget.

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“It just so happened my wife was pregnant, and she went into labor the day of the interview,” he said.

While at the hospital, doctors told Conerly his daughter wouldn’t be born until the afternoon, so Conerly decided to try to make his 11 a.m. interview.

“I was asked during the interview if I had any kids, and I said, ‘I will come 1 p.m., and that’s why I need a good job,’” he said.

Conerly said he thinks the postmaster thought he was lying but he did check up on Conerly’s story and gave him the job.

“Everything happens for a reason,” he said. “The interview was August, 24, 1979, her birthday.”

Conerly said he’s seen a lot of things change during his tenure with the post office.

“We scan the mail now, and we have the automated mail where they sort it by barcode,” she said. “When they first told us about automation and the computer sorting, I said it would never work.”

Conerly said he was wrong, and the new system saves a lot of time.

“In the old days we had to sequence all the letters,” he said. “We still sequence about 10 percent of the letter mail.”

Conerly said he gets to know a lot of the people at on his route.

“If I’m delivering a package to the door, I’m going to take the mail with me and check on everybody and see how everybody is doing, especially the elderly people,” he said. “A lot of days you’re the only person they’re going to see all day. You’ve got to listen to what they’ve got going on.”

Conerly said it was through his job that he was first asked to volunteer as a coach.

“It was probably about 1980,” he said. “It wasn’t long after that the Vicksburg Little League Baseball Board was formed.”

Conerly served as one of the original members and served as president for four or five years.

“I coached YMCA basketball and football for a while,” he said. “I did a lot of it when I was younger, and maybe when I retire I’ll get back into it.”

Conerly, a Warren Central graduate, has volunteered with the WCHS chain gang for 24 years.

“I think little league and sports make a difference,” he said. “I think kids will always remember two things, their teachers’ names and their coaches’ names.”