The Longest Mail Route In The Country

Jim Ed Bull is a 72-year-old letter carrier in rural Oklahoma with the a 187.6-mile route — longest in the United States. Bull talks about his route with host Rachel Martin and the truck that carries him across those long stretches of open space.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We'd like to leave you today with an image: a long road, an open sky and a guy in a truck with a mission. This past week, a story caught our eye. Seventy-two-year-old Jim Ed Bull has what the postal service says is the longest postal delivery route in the country. Five days a week, Bull delivers mail along 187.6 miles of road in rural Oklahoma. We called Mr. Bull up to see what those long drives are like.

JIM ED BULL: Well, it's pretty wide open, wide open spaces, you might say. I deliver to in town and Duke and El Laredo, but then I have all the countryside outside those two towns.

MARTIN: He makes about 200 deliveries every day and he knows everyone on his route.

BULL: Oh yeah. If they're outside, you know, close to the mailbox. I'll talk to them a minute. Or if some of them in are trouble, need some help, I'll stop and help them if I have enough time. I mean, one day, a lady was trying to get a horse in her trailer and she couldn't get him in, so I stopped and helped her get the horse in the trailer. And sometimes people be having a flat, and I'll stop and loan them a jack or something to get their tire fixed.

MARTIN: You might be surprised to hear he doesn't drive an official white truck with the Post Office logo on it.

BULL: I have a little Ford Ranger. This is my third one that I've driven, and I've got 285,000 miles on this one I'm driving right now and it's still going strong. If I've been at it long enough, they all know who's coming when they see that little red truck.

MARTIN: Mail man Jim Ed Bull. His postal delivery route is the longest in the country.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

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