|6/27/2017 11:33:00 AM|
Longtime-mail carrier retires
Fifi Bailey brought the old saw about mail delivery in rain, snow and dark of night to life for 38 years, working six days a week across Sisters Country.
|Fifi Bailey is retiring after 38 years on the road, delivering mail across Sisters Country. photo by Jim Cornelius|
The day she got the mail delivery contract, she gave birth to her daughter, and nothing has slowed her down since.
She brought mail from Bend in a pickup truck with a tall canopy, delivered it through the area, then returned with mail to Bend.
"I've been through three post offices in Sisters," she noted.
Her routes got trimmed back several times, and so she started operating Fifi's Hauling Service, hauling yard debris, during her afternoon layovers. She'll continue operating that business, because clients depend upon her.
And clients is what it's all about for Bailey.
She cheerfully acknowledges that, on paper, her job wasn't the best.
"It's a lousy job," she told The Nugget. "No benefits, low pay. So - ask me why I've been around for 38 years? It's the people... It's been fulfilling because of the people."
The people she grew to know and to love on her route supported her through a dark time when her son Brian suffered kidney failure at 16, and required a transplant. He continues to deal with after-effects of his kidney malfunction.
Sisters Country itself has kept her content on her route.
"I am still awestruck by the fall colors, by the winter after a snowstorm," she said. "Seriously, I'm still awestruck."
It's a long way from her native Iowa, where she got her degree in English and journalism and trained to be a teacher. But she'll tell you that life takes you in directions you don't expect.
Now her direction is pointed toward raising awareness for organ donation. She's working on several ideas for a major Sisters fundraiser for that cause.
"I've got all kinds of ideas, I just need help pulling it all together," she said. "I want to make what happened to Brian happen for a reason."
Her many friends on her route will host a retirement gathering on Thursday, June 29, from 9:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Camp Sherman Post Office. The public is
Those interested in helping her with raising awareness for organ transplant issues may contact her at 541-419-2204.
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