Hillsborough mail carrier busier now than ever - WFLA News Channel 8

Hillsborough mail carrier busier now than ever

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Gary Stone says packages are the big thing now Gary Stone says packages are the big thing now
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - Gary Stone has been delivering mail for the last 40 years. He started when he was just 23 years old. He has mixed feelings on the mailing rush during the holiday season.

"The first few weeks I don't like it," Stone said. "As it gets towards Christmas, it starts winding down, and I really do enjoy it. It's a good time of the year."

A lot has changed since he's been behind the wheel of a mail truck, including the truck itself.

"I used to drive a Jeep," Stone said. "Then it went to an electric car for a little. I didn't like that."

Stone drives from the Forest Hills Station, and operates what the carriers call the "retirement route." He delivers mail on the "route of the stars," meaning, the ritzy Avila neighborhood. But don't think he's slacking off. The holidays are busy for every mail carrier. Even though fewer people are sending letters, Stone says, more people are shipping packages.

"Packages are the big thing now," Stone said. "Plus now people want to know where the package is from the moment it leaves until the moment the person gets it. That means more scanning for me but I don't mind. I understand it."

The 63-year-old isn't worried about mail carriers getting replaced by technology. He believes there will always be a place for human contact when it comes to delivering the mail.

"Bringing gifts to people from grandma and grandpa, you know the little kids, they love to get those packages and those are always good stories no matter what."
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