Passing of a Daily Acquaintance

June 13th, 2011 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

Charming, scrawny, engaged John Abany is dead. It’s not a death in the family, but not that far off. He was our letter carrier for our two year here on Fairmount Hill. His obituary says he was a letter carrier for 38 years. Today’s notice from the HP post office said he’d been on our route for 28 years.

I knew John from regular conversations on the doorstep and in the polling place. He had that rare in-the-moment presence that delights us all. He paid attention to others.

John never missed an election — preliminary, primary, special or general. As a clerk or warden down at the Roosevelt School, I recognize and appreciate the regulars, those who say voting is a privilege. Moreover, he always sought me out and we’d chat there too.

He’d tell the poll workers that ours was the last house on his route. He’d often get there late and see through an open window by the mail box that we’d be setting the table or preparing a meal together or even having an early dinner. He said not too many families he knew ate together and he liked that we did.

When I didn’t see him for a couple of weeks, I figured he was on an early vacation. Eventually, I walked up to a substitute carrier’s truck to ask about him. She said he got a sudden diagnosis of a serious disease and retired immediately.

He never too me up on my invitation to eat with us.


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