WILSON: Rural postal carrier stays on job, healthy at 84; welcomes chance to contribute

Posted: Sep. 23, 2011 6:18 am Updated: Nov. 29, 2014 5:15 am

Forrest Logan doesn't know how many miles he's put on vehicles since 1975 when he started delivering mail near Taylor, Mo.

At age 84, he drives about 70 miles a day.

"Some days are longer, if I've got more stops," Logan said.

U.S. Postal Service officials say he's either the longest active-service rural postal carrier in the region or the oldest still in service as he approaches his 85th birthday on Oct. 3.

Those kind of records don't mean much to Logan. He just keeps working at the job he knows so well.

His wife, Georgia, sometimes marvels at her husband's good health.

"He had never been checked into a hospital until last year. He wasn't born in the hospital and he had not been sick," Mrs. Logan said.

"He told me he felt better when he's out there working."

And it gives him a chance to contribute, to help others.

Mrs. Logan said a older couple that lived up on a rather steep hill found it difficult to get down their lane to get the mail. Logan would drive the mail up the hill to them and often bring a trash bag back down to the foot of their driveway, since the trash hauler would not climb the hill.

Logan has benefitted from the help of others as well. He's ended up in ditches when roads are especially icy. Someone has always come along and helped him get back on the route.

Northeast Missouri is known for some long-serving rural mail carriers.

Leland Ewalt of Knox City, retired in 2007 after carrying mail for 60 years.

"It's just a guess, but I probably drove about 2 million miles" and wore out 25 vehicles, Ewalt said.

During Ewalt's tenure, he saw road conditions get better and rural residences decline in number. Now 87, Ewalt also believes staying on the job helped keep him healthy.

Like Logan, Ewalt has maintained good health and had "more sick leave accumulated than anybody in the country" at the time of his retirement.

Both men served in the military before becoming rural carriers.

George Keller, 85, Palmyra, is one of Logan's longtime friends. They often drink coffee and visit with other friends at the FastLane Convenience Store at the junction of U.S. 61 and Mo. 6.

Logan's work ethic makes Keller feel young -- or at least that's the story he tells with a smile when he's with the coffee crowd.




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