Southern Utah News Articles
Harris retires from Glendale Post Office after 27 years
Thirty years ago, a new post office was built in Glendale, Utah, to accommodate the people. It was built by Cloyd Chamberlain and has been leased from Chamberlain since that time.
Bonnie Harris began as an assistant to Ila Jean Esplin, who was the postmaster in the 80s. Later, she was an assistant to Richard Spencer. After Spencer died, Harris became the official postmaster. Others who have worked with Harris through the years include Debbie Robinson, Nola Harris and Gay Brinkerhoff, who is taking over as postmaster for Harris.
Time does not stand still. Harris has experienced the postage stamp hikes from five cents when she was first married in 1963, to the recent postal prices that continue to rise over the years. Other changes include the hazardous material precautions that now are in force, since the post office was contaminated with life-threatening chemicals placed in envelopes intended for certain individuals.
The tragedy of 9/11 also affected the way the postal service would do business, as more precautionary measures were implemented to protect citizens from possible harm due to the transport of explosives.
Possibly the largest adjustment was the introduction of the computer. Before the Internet, all of the business was done by pen and paper. Harris spoke of the change; “When the computer was first introduced, we hated the idea. It was new and change was not something we were willing to do. However, after we learned the system, we also learned to love the new way of doing business.”
The Glendale Post Office has close to 200 post office boxes. The original ones, before moving into the new building, were opened by combination locks. Then keys came into existence, making it much easier to get your mail (unless you lost your key).
Harris commented on one of the most interesting stamps issued; the Forever Stamp. It was good for the postage, even when the postage changed and was raised to a more expensive price.
All types of stamps have been created throughout the years – the Elvis stamp, James Dean, and Martin Luther King to name a few. Patriotic stamps and some created by artists were a welcome change when stamps of your choice were made available. One of the more interesting moments in the little Glendale Post Office was seeing the new stamps available for purchase.
The postal system is changing and will continue to change as new demands arise. One thing we hope will never change in Glendale is the hometown atmosphere, where people can meet, enjoy the social exchange, get in on the daily news, and maybe meet a friend you haven’t seen for a few weeks.
Harris said it best, “I have enjoyed serving the people and helping with their needs. I have enjoyed the visits and will miss seeing everyone. It has been a very good job and has served me well.”
Harris will also be missed. She has always been helpful, friendly and gone the extra mile to make people happy with the service of the Glendale Post Office.