By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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When Linda Dillard, 62, began work at the Forks Post Office in 1974, first-class stamps cost 10 cents each, and “snail mail” was the only way to send a letter.
“I've seen a lot of change,” Dillard said.
Much of that change has been in the turnover of clerks who have worked for her over the years, she said.
Many of those clerks moved on to become postmasters of their own post offices in Beaver, Forks and Neah Bay, and some have preceded her in retirement.
In 2005, she was named Postmaster of the Year by the National Association of Postmasters of the United States.
Her friends and postal customers are invited to a potluck retirement party at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Clallam Bay-Sekiu Community Center, 42 Rice St.
Her departure will be marked by a retirement ceremony at noon Monday at the Clallam Bay Post Office, 17203 state Highway 112 in Clallam Bay.
Dillard, who is known for instituting community holiday parties and cookie contests and for posting friendly photos of the Clallam Bay postal customers inside the post office, said she doesn't yet know who her replacement will be.
The strangest item Dillard remembers seeing come through her post office was a coconut mailed from Hawaii with the address and stamps affixed directly onto the shell, she said.
She also said she collects postcards from customers, who send them “from all the places I'll never go.”
The most unique of those was from the island of Hell in the South Pacific.
“I don't know why they called it Hell. It's a beautiful place. It looked good to me,” she said.
Dillard said she doesn't have plans to visit those places during her retirement.
Instead, she plans to work full time at Olson's Resort during the summers and golf and spend time at casinos each winter.
She has worked part time at the resort in the summers and will shift to full time when the summer season at the resort opens July 1, she said.
Dillard is married to Darryl Dillard, who retired from his job as a timber cruiser last year.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at email@example.com.