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Long live the postman! A humble hero shows why mail carriers are more important than ever

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Rolando Ramirez, the best postman in the world Photo by Katie Oxford
News_Katie_Rolando Ramirez holding “Purple Flash” (left) and his best friend, Norbert Olshove
Rolando Ramirez, left, holding "Purple Flash," and Norbert Olshove Photo by Katie Oxford
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"Purple Flash" Photo by Katie Oxford
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Rolando Ramirez bringing gifts Photo by Katie Oxford
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Best friends Norbert Olshove, left, and Rolando Ramirez Photo by Katie Oxford
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Houston police car
News_Katie_Rolando Ramirez holding “Purple Flash” (left) and his best friend, Norbert Olshove
News_Katie_“Purple Flash.”
News_Katie_Rolando Ramirez bringing gifts
News_Katie_Norbert Olshove (left) - Rolando Ramirez
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Rolando Ramirez is the best postman you could possibly have and more!

He delivers mail, smiling. When there’s a package for us, and no one’s home, rather than leaving it on our front porch (signaling that no one's home) he drops a handwritten note in the mail slot saying “Left package on your back stoop.”

Rolando and I have enjoyed conversations from what’s growing in my yard — and his — to animals and the latest news.  I have never known him to be anything but grateful and happy to be in this world, well, and doing his job.

 In a world of technology and many preferring “paperless,” I’ve wondered if someday soon the postman may vanish too. But as this day proved, there will never be a substitute for people. 

During his vacation time last June — he knocked on my front door bringing more gifts. A few weeks earlier, he had mentioned a plant he’d grown that he thought might look great against the color of my house.  Rolando now stood at our door holding two. One, an ivy plant, the other he called “Purple Flash,” potted in a plastic trash can that he’d purchased at a garage sale, he told me.

This is all to say that Rolando’s our friendly postman and our friend. Recently, however, he became our hero.

Rolando was walking on the sidewalk towards our house one afternoon when he heard our alarm sound. He noticed a car he hadn’t recognized before parked in front. Then, he saw three guys running from the back of our home.

Meanwhile, a neighborhood patrol officer had just turned onto our street in response to a phone call from a housekeeper who had reported seeing three suspicious men in front of another house on a street nearby.

Rolando continued toward our house, where he saw the three men now hunched down around the parked car. When he approached, they jumped in the car and sped off. Rolando quickly spied the patrol car coming his way and waved the officer down.

After hearing Rolando’s report, officer Roy Eveline immediately made a U-turn over the esplanade and began chasing the car. He also radioed other police units and a police helicopter, which fortunately, was already in the area above. 

Minutes later at 288 and Binz — several police units stopped the car and arrested the three guys. Four police cars, the burglars and their car, then returned to our home, where they stayed parked for hours sorting things out. The burglars were put in separate vehicles.   

Rolando stayed too. He was able to identify the burglars as each one, handcuffed, stepped out of the car. Afterwards, amazingly, he walked on and delivered the mail.

There were a lot of things remarkable about that day. The housekeeper following her hunch, Rolando’s vigilance, the police work — individually as well as a team. But in the end it is a tribute I think to two things working together — Community and Individual. 

Whether Community or Individual — Choice is the most powerful thing we do.  That day, Rolando made a big one — in seconds time — all by his lonesome.

I’m grateful to everyone who helped that day but mostly, to Rolando. In a world of technology and many preferring “paperless,” I’ve wondered if someday soon the postman may vanish too. (The news this week that the U.S. Postal Service is looking at closing as many as 3,700 post offices — including 219 in Texas, the most of any state — is hardly encouraging on this front).

As this day proved, there will never be a substitute for people. Those boots on the ground, who walk door-to-door delivering mail and a caring heart. Sometimes, a hell of a lot of courage too.

Long live the postman (and postwoman). Especially, Rolando Ramirez — and all those just like him.

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