Just like Gap Creek Elementary School and Johnson University, the Post office of
Kimberlin Heights has been part of the community for many years. But, despite the long history of the post office, it will soon close its door forever.
The last Postmaster to serve the community is Buster Smith, 88, who took the position in 1988. He did so after his wife, the previous post master, passed away that same year.
“I started really in 87 just working in here letting some else do all the other book work,” Smith said. “Then she passed away, and I had to do it all, so really 88 was when I really started work.”
During his time at the post office, Smith has had many opportunities to serve the faculty and students of Johnson University. Both have become very fond of Smith.
“…I was going over to buy some stamps… I encountered Buster,” said Matthew Shears, a junior at Johnson. “…He was very friendly.”
“He offered me gum, we chatted for a little bit, talked about Kimberlin Heights, and how he had been here for so long. It was a neat experience to get to talk to Buster.”
Smith shares a fondness of the students in turn.
“…Students come in here about everyday… they’re really good. I don’t have a thing to say against them at all,” Smith said.
Even though Smith has enjoyed his time as Postmaster, he has still had to deal with the many problems that every post office worker has encountered, paperwork being one he will not miss.
“ Whenever I was making out my 14/12…sending in all the money… a dollar had stuck together I reckon… The lady down at Wisegarber post office called and said ‘Buster you’re over a dollar…’ I said ‘just put it in your pocket, and I put one out over here to make it even,’ and she said ‘…I can’t do it that way,’” said Smith. “’So she told me to get my 14/12 out and she’d tell me everything to put down… and then she said ‘tomorrow I’ll fix it.’”
But regardless of these challenges, Smith has still enjoyed his time as Postmaster. He will miss working and talking to his customers.
“There’s a lot of them over there (at Johnson University) that told me they’d miss me,” he said. “I’ll miss them too, but it just can’t be helped. I’ll miss them.”
As for Smith’s plan for his retirement he said that he does not have anything special planned.
“I haven’t got no plan or nothing, but mowing the yard. I got nothing in mind yet,” he said.
Regardless of how Smith will spend his retirement, those who know him will miss him.