|By Dennis Brown
It's been more
than five decades since Pauline Applegate started helping out her grandfather at the
Trinity Post Office, and she plans to continue to stay involved in some postal
Applegate's last day as postmaster at the Vanceburg Post Office was Friday.
Applegate got interested in postal work in 1948 when she started out helping her
grandfather, William Henry Holton, who was postmaster at the Trinity Post Office.
Applegate was appointed Tollesboro Postmaster in 1965 and was there when the new post
office was completed in 1965. She said a grand opening for the new office was held in the
Tollesboro High School gymnasium and tours of the new facility were given. In May 1987 she
was appointed as postmaster of the Vanceburg Post Office.
Applegate has lots of hardware to show for her "above and beyond" efforts
during her time as postmaster.
Among them are "Postmaster of the Year" in 1999, six coveted "Benjamin
Awards" for outstanding public and community relations activities promoting the US
Postal Service, a national leadership award, and she was the Kentucky winner of a National
Newspaper Association award after being nominated by the Lewis County Herald.
Applegate has also been involved in numerous community activities. She has been a
member of the Sand Hill Christian Church since 1943 and transferred membership to the Pine
Valley Christian Church when she married her husband, Harold. She has served as Sunday
School teacher and secretary-treasurer.
She has been in Eastern Star for 25 years,
holding an office the majority of the time. When the Applegates' children were in school,
she served as PTA president, Band Boosters president, 4-H leader, cheerleader sponsor and
president of the library sponsors.
During her years as Vanceburg Postmaster, Applegate gave tours to school groups,
hosted students interested in job shadowing, and has talked to many school groups.
She has been involved with the Adult Literacy Council since its inception in 1989 and
is also involved with Relay for Life. She and her husband are both survivors.
The Applegates live in the home her great-grandfather built in 1870 at Wilson Bottoms
on the western edge of Lewis County near the Ohio River.
Applegate says she plans to do some traveling with Harold and remain involved with some
of the postal organizations she's belonged to for many years.
"I've had a wonderful career," she said. "I've been privileged to work
with good people. It always woks out all the way. And I really appreciate all the great
customers I've had."
One of her most memorable moments as postmaster? "One time I had a customer call
and ask how much it cost to mail a watermelon to Hong Kong!"