STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
OK, on this Thanksgiving morning, we have a special installment of StoryCorps. It's a recording that comes from The Great Thanksgiving Listen. Every year, StoryCorps asks people to interview each other over the long weekend using their phones and the StoryCorps app. Mike Kochar teaches eighth grade at Onteora Middle School in Boiceville, N.Y. Mike sat down with another teacher and shared this story about his grandfather, William Weigal.
MIKE KOCHAR: My grandfather for a very brief time worked at the post office. He was just a mail sorter, kind of like a clerk. One day, the postman who delivered the mail called in sick. And he asked my grandfather, he said, Bill, will you deliver the mail today? And he said, yeah, sure, no problem, I'll deliver the mail today, thinking that the job was not too tough.
And needless to say, he lasted one day as a delivery man before he said, I can't do this anymore. You know, he said that he almost had a heat stroke trying to deliver the mail one day. So my grandparents then, you know, because of this experience, were very, very respectful towards their mailman. His name was Bucky, the mailman. Whenever Bucky would come to the door, they would invite him in and they'd give him, you know, a glass of iced tea and a sandwich.
And I can remember being there one summer and we were going to go run an errand or something like that. And my grandfather was all, like, shaky and, you know, a little bit nervous. And I was like, Gramps, what are you nervous about? And he's like, well, I'm afraid that Bucky is going to come to deliver the mail and we're not going to be here. He won't get his glass of iced tea and his sandwich. What did he do?
He got out his cooler and made him his glass of iced tea and his sandwich and put it in a cooler on the porch so that Bucky could have his sandwich and his iced tea even if they weren't there. And they did that, you know, every day when he came to deliver the mail. And when my grandmother passed away, we were at the funeral home and this gentleman came up to us. And I kind of looked at him and he looked somewhat familiar. And I introduced myself.
And he said, hey, I'm Bucky, the mailman, and I'm here because, you know, your grandparents cared about me. And that's how my grandfather was - always cared about people.
INSKEEP: Mike Kochar interviewed by his fellow teacher Denise Multis (ph) using the StoryCorps app on the phone. Their eighth grade students will be recording this weekend as part of StoryCorps' Great Thanksgiving Listen. And if you want to participate and have your conversation archived in the Library of Congress, go to greatlisten.org.
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