A happy retirement for Kip the postmaster
This week, in fact, today, Kip Fogarty, our Glen Ellen postmaster since 1992, is retiring. Kip doesn’t plan to leave his little house in Glen Ellen, but he won’t be around our post office very often. “Oh, I’ll occasionally get called in as a substitute … but no more administrative duties,” he says with wistful relief.
Kip has been an exemplary postmaster, the best, actually. The first time I met Kip was likely his first day on the job. That brand new floating sign had just been installed in the front lobby and it announced, “Welcome to your Wine Country Post Office.” I immediately rang the bell to talk to our new postmaster. Kip listened quietly to my complaint. By the next morning it was changed to “Welcome to your Glen Ellen Post Office.” Wow! What a quick and satisfying response.
That introduction to Kip has proved to be true of all of my dealings with him. Kip is a kind and generous, quietly thoughtful man who works hard, keeps his staff smiling and happy, and is alert to all customers needs. Kip’s been known to schlep customers’ packages, not merely to their cars, but all the way home on several occasions (I can personally testify to that). He’s also apt to open the door to any customer at any time he’s in the office. He’s even come forward as a judge for our Glen Ellen Village Fair.
Kip spent most of his idyllic childhood in Marin County, graduating from Redwood High School in Larkspur. He claims, “… back in the day when a slide rule was required in math class.”
After high school, Kip went to college at University of the Pacific where he studied political science. Kip says he still maintains an interest in politics. He says he got a good education with good professors. At the time, the school was only about 4,000 students with very small classes.
After college, Kip applied to United Airlines for a management training position. While awaiting word on that, he stopped in at the local post office and asked about work. It was available. Kip did well on the test and was hired in San Rafael for $3.50 an hour. Even surprising himself, he enjoyed post office work. Kip praises the U.S. Postal Service as a great employer. They have been honored as one of the top government agencies and are known for diversity among their staff.
After several years working as a craft employee, he applied for a supervisor position. Kip was appointed manager of retail services at the newly established North Bay center. Later, he worked retail services in Fort Bragg, also in Belvedere and Tiburon, in the Victorian Village of Ferndale, and in the outpost of Garberville among the beautiful redwoods, finally being assigned to Glen Ellen. He immediately knew he liked our community, our town and the people of Glen Ellen. “We’ve got great customers here,” Kip notes. He likes the small office where they emphasize personal service to all of their customers including the canine ones (who received a plentiful supply of dog treats).
His work in Glen Ellen has certainly been busy, but Kip would not have it any other way. “It’s been a pleasure,” Kip says, “as well as an honor and a privilege these past 14 years, serving this unique community of Glen Ellen.”
What’s Kip’s dream for retirement? He definitely plans to stay active. He enjoys golfing, water and snow skiing, and hiking, anticipating longer and more frequent walks with his dog Isador, a Brittany spaniel/terrier mix. The dog is a devoted companion and keeps Kip in good shape. Kip is looking forward to seeing more ball games, including Giants, A’s and Warriors. He’d also like to travel a bit more, back to Florida and North Carolina as well as visits to museums in Washington, D.C., and Civil War sites.
Kip has two daughters, Jessica a wound-care specialist nurse at Sutter Hospital in Santa Rosa; and Colleen, an actor and dog groomer, with a beautiful voice and plenty of talent. Kip is proud of both girls, adding, “They are the light of my life and I feel very fortunate they both live nearby.”
This evening, beginning around 5:30 or 6 p.m. Kip’s friends, neighbors, co-workers and customers will be celebrating his many years of service at the post office by gathering at the Jack London Lodge patio. Everyone is welcome. See you there.
• • •
Share your good news with friends and neighbors in Glen Ellen. Call or write me at 996-5995 or P.O. Box 518, GE 95442. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Glen Ellen chatter rarely requires timeliness; however, if your news does, please be sure to contact me at least three weeks before the run date.