Moffat County Locals: One of Craig’s longest-serving mailmen looking forward to retirement
If you live or work near downtown Craig, you’ll see him.
He parks his white mail truck in an inconspicuous area of town, gathers an armful of envelopes, then shuffles off at a brisk pace to make some 600 deliveries in a single day.
But don’t let his slight limp fool you. Crag mailman Chris Wilkey, 57, can out-walk lots of men his age. As he walked the streets delivering mail downtown on Black Friday, Nov. 29, Wilkey said he walks a lot.
“About 8 to 10 miles,” Wilkey said of a typical day. “I’ve had a couple knee surgeries and I shattered my ankle in a snowmobile accident. It takes a toll on your body.”
He knows almost every small business owner in downtown by name, and they know him. He says the people of Craig make his job fun.
“I like knowing everybody in town,” Wilkey said. “It’s a real friendly community and they seem to pull together when there’s problems. Everybody’s willing to help.”
But the job isn’t always happy smiles and gleeful grins. The ice in Craig can be treacherous and sometimes those grins have sharp teeth.
“Three years ago I slipped on the ice and broke my hand,” Wilkey said. “I was mauled by a pit bull once. It was pretty bad. It was really bad. Normally they don’t stitch a puncture wound… It’s not always pretty.”
Now, more than 20 years after he started delivering mail in Craig, Wilkey is retiring from the United States Postal Service. His last day will be on or about January 31, 2020.
Wilkey said he’s looking forward to retiring, “More than I thought I would.”
He’s looking forward to spending time with family.
“The closer it gets the more I look forward to it,” Wilkey said. “I got a lot of things I want to do. I got a wood shop and my daughter and wife and grandson are here. I’d like to do some camping and some fishing with them. You know — whatever fun stuff comes my way.”
Wilkey said he won’t miss the job as much as he’ll miss those whose homes and businesses he frequented.
“I’ll really miss the people,” Wilkey said. “You kinda look forward to see them like you’re seeing your friends everyday…I’ll miss them. I’ll still be around, but I’ll miss them.”