Postmen don’t let blistering heat stop mail delivery

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 27, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. – Neither rain nor sleet nor, it turns out, blistering heat can keep the Ferriday postman from his appointed rounds.

At about 11:30 a.m. Friday, letter carrier Buddy Rouse could be found suffering through high temperatures to deliver the mail to customers along Kentucky Avenue and adjacent streets.

Along for the ride was Ken Knight, who has been training with the Ferriday Post Office for two weeks now.

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And both were unanimous in their vote for the best, and perhaps the only, way to really keep cool in August in Louisiana — large bottles of water, refilled often.

&uot;Drinking plenty of water is the key. Other than that, I&160;don’t know … we just bear it,&uot; Rouse said.

During a very short break from his work, Rouse wiped his brow with a small hand towel as Knight, back in the truck, did the same.

The only air conditioning their U.S. Postal Service truck has is a small fan clipped to the dashboard, &uot;and it only blows hot air,&uot;&160;Rouse said.

However, Rouse did say that his mother bought him a small air conditioner that sprays a mist of water — which might not be a bad idea, given temperatures well into the 90s, with 97 degrees the high on Friday.

But fancy air conditioner or not, postal carriers are among the select few occupations whose members have no choice but to brave the elements each and every day.

From 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., five days a week, Rouse can be seen delivering mail on a route that covers downtown Ferriday and surrounding streets.

Knight, who just moved from Jackson to be closer to his family, will take over Rouse’s route on Saturdays.

But next time, he might do well to wear shorts instead of long pants — and fill a cooler full of water before starting out on his appointed rounds.