Lantana’s first full-time mail carrier retired last week after 20 years of delivering mail on the land where he used to hunt rabbits and ride horses.
Rick Hill, 70, moved to the Argyle area in 1969. The open land that would later become Lantana was a great place to hunt and ride, Hill said.
“The land owner didn’t mind,” Hill said. “That all changed when he passed away and the land was sold and developed into Lantana.”
By the late 1990s, Hill was still living in Argyle and running a small business in Dallas that sold helium wholesale. Due to an increase in competition and other reasons, Hill chose to close the business in 2000 and seek a new line of work. Some friends talked up their jobs as mail carriers, so he decided to give it a try.
“I knew at my age, I could stick with it,” Hill said. “I thought I’d try it out, and it turned out to be a good fit.”
Hill got the job at the Argyle Post Office as Lantana’s first full-time mail carrier, which was new and had houses spread out across the southern part of the property. As more houses were built, eventually more carriers were added to take a load off Hill’s plate. Upon retirement, he was delivering to more than 550 homes.
Hill said being a rural mail carrier is one of the best USPS jobs you can get.
“As long as you do your job, you’re pretty much left on your own, and I enjoyed that,” he said.
He said many people are surprised to learn that the hardest part of the job is sorting the mail and getting it ready to deliver.
“People think you’re given the mail already sorted, and that’s not true.”
Hill said it took between three and five hours a day to sort and prepare the mail for delivery. His route was evaluated to take nine hours a day to sort and deliver, and he got paid for nine hours a day regardless of how long it actually took.
“If you’re good at your job, you’re going to be able to get it done in seven-and-a-half to eight hours,” he said. “That was good for me because I could pick up my kids from school.”
In retirement, Hill will spend more time with family and work on his house and yard, with fond memories of his time in Lantana.
“It was a lot of fun,” Hill said. “I love Lantana and the people in Lantana.”