(Editor’s Note: Kent Ackerman, who’s been delivering packages to the Old Mission Peninsula for 18 years (38 years total as a UPS driver) is retiring at the end of January. Thanks for all your hard work in all kinds of weather, Kent! And for hoofing up my driveway in the dead of winter! -jb)
I am going to miss my Old Mission Peninsula family!! After 38 years working for UPS, I am going to finally retire at the end of January.
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For the last 18 years, it has been an incredible journey delivering out here on the Peninsula. The friendships that have developed will always hold a special place. Some memories I will never forget and some I really don’t care to remember…
Like the time two adult females had been doing some day drinking and suddenly decided they should moon the next vehicle that comes along…. You guessed it — I blew the horn and howled at the moon. (Editor’s Note: Hey, Day Drinkers – I dare you to reveal your identities in the comments below! -jb)
I cannot fully explain how much it meant to me when a hot thermos of cocoa suddenly appeared at a stop on a cold and windy day. My customers are the best. I’ve had people pull me out when stuck in deep snow in the winter, and let me sit on a dock, rest for a minute, and cool off or even swim for a while in the summer.
Stop by stop, I have racked up some crazy statistics over the 18 years delivering out here. I’ve walked 58,600 miles (two times around the world), delivered 1.3 million packages, driven pretty close to 600,000 miles, and climbed Mt. Everest 140 times!!
Everyone wants their house on the top of the hill or down on the beach so I have climbed 4.2 million feet in elevation. I think that’s only two trips up Jane’s driveway if I really needed a signature in the winter and had to walk it. (Thanks for hoofing up my driveway, Kent! -jb)
I went through four package cars, countless pairs of boots, and nearly lost fingers handing out dog treats! I nearly killed myself by falling on the ice — herniated disks, a concussion, a torn rotator, and nine months of recovery, only to get back in the truck and keep delivering for 10 more years.
I love the physical activity, but it is the people that make it all worthwhile. All the waves and smiles make a day bright again. I’m gonna miss my family out here!
I did find a cousin while delivering out here, but sadly, he delivers for USPS!! It seems like everyone knows Dennis. Only on the Peninsula can two cousins pull up, completely block the road, and catch up for a few minutes.
You’ll likely see me around — flying a drone taking aerial pictures for a landowner or mapping some acreage for a crop map. Feel free to get ahold of me if you want some drone footage or just a picture of your property ([email protected]).
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, it is always rewarding to be delivering out here on the Peninsula. Thank you for a great career and so many memories.
P.S. I challenge you to make sure you have an address post with 4″ reflective numbers, or a mailbox with reflective numbers on both sides.
-Kent Ackerman, UPS Driver on the Old Mission Peninsula
A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb