COARSEGOLD — Anyone who lives in the Coarsegold area and has ever been to the post office probably knows Al Flory.
If they’ve ever been there on a holiday, they also know his penchant for entertaining his customers with the costume of the season.
This week, Al is celebrating “Christmas in July” as he prepares to bid farewell to all his friends and coworkers at the Coarsegold Post Office after 19 years of service.
Al has worked for the United States Post Office for nearly 39 years. His career began in Southern California in Burbank, and in 1984 he moved his family to North Fork.
He has worked at post offices in Madera, Oakhurst and Bass Lake, with the last 19 years in Coarsegold.
Over those nearly two decades, Al has built true friendships with the people of Coarsegold, and those relationships are what he will miss the most.
“Being with people when they are sharing something happy, and being there for them when there is something not so happy, has meant so much to me,” says Al, who will be sorely missed by the community.
After Al bids farewell on Friday, he plans to start celebrating his retirement the very next day with a backpacking trip to the high country. This annual pilgrimage over the past 20 years has taken him to the mountains of Yosemite, Sequoia, and a host of other spectacular places including sections of the John Muir Trail.
Al’s wife Robyn retired at the end of the school year from North Fork School after 30 years, and they are both are looking forward to finally having some time to “get stuff done” around their house and property.
Best of all though, will be the time for traveling, spending time with family and friends, and each other.
They both will continue their community involvement with the Squirrel Cage Theatre Co., and the Boosters’ Loggers Jamboree. Al and Robyn were recognized as North Fork’s 2016 Citizen of the Year, which they say was such an honor and very humbling.
This last week at work, Al, in honor of his customers, is celebrating “Christmas in July” and wearing his Whoville Santa hat at work. Stop in and say goodbye.
We wish Al the best of luck on his new adventure, and the next chapter in his life.