The year was 1985 when local resident Kari Wiskow began her duties as a sub mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in Greenbush.
“Glendora Novacek was postmaster at that time,” Kari said. “Annette Bergsnev was clerk, and Kenny Johnson and Manvil Dvergsten were the full-time mail carriers.
“I subbed for my dad (Manvil Dvergsten) until he retired from the postal service on January 2, 1993, and continued as a sub until 1998 when I became a full-time carrier. The mail route averaged 115-125 miles a day with an average of 225 stops, and consisted of working five to six days a week.”
Kari officially retired on February 28, 2020, after 35 years of employment with the U.S. Postal Service. Cake and coffee was served in her honor at the Greenbush Post Office that day.
She mentioned that back when she first started, there were no cell phones. When your vehicle got stuck, and if no one came along, it was to walk one or two miles for help.
“I remember my vehicle having three flat tires in one day. At first I was able to change them myself, but the tires kept getting bigger and became more and more difficult to get off. The vehicles going thru many, many sets of brakes and whether the windows were roll-down or automatic, the mechanisms just plain wore out from all the use.”
“When I got my first phone, it was a bag phone. I felt like I had another person with me (on the route). Help was within a phone call away!”
Kari said what she enjoyed the most about her job was her customers. “I enjoyed the people on the route. You pretty much knew what was going on if they hadn’t picked up their mail in a while. Either I would check on them or I knew where they were.
“I enjoyed talking to my customers when I had time to talk to them along the route. They would sometimes ask if so-and-so was in the field, how much rain (or snow) did we get, or how are the roads today? I pretty much lived in my vehicle.
As for having a ‘what to do now that I’m retired list’, she shared the following … “I just want to kind of relax, do my thing – like having coffee with my husband in the morning and playing a game of cards. I will be able to attend my grandkids’ activities without taking a whole day off work; reconnecting with my friends; spending precious time with my mom. I want to spend more time at the lake, do scrapbooking, and whatever else a retired person wants to do.
In closing, Kari stated, “I’m grateful, thankful, and blessed to have had this job for the past thirty-five years. I’m also thankful to my dad for encouraging me to apply for this opportunity.”
Happy retirement wishes to you, Kari Wiskow!
To see the full story, read the March 11 issue of The Tribune.