By KAROLYN GEPHART
The Manvel Postmaster is retiring May 31. Landa Harris became Manvel Postmaster in 2002 and she has had a front row seat to see Manvel grow.
“When I came to Manvel, it was only 30 percent populated,” Harris said. “What a difference it makes to a post office to have big growth that is happening now.”
Prior to Manvel, Harris had been the supervisor at the Alvin Post Office for almost 10 years. When she heard about the Manvel position, she applied.
When she started, there were only four routes with four workers handling them. With substitutes and two ladies up front selling stamps, the post office had 10 employees.
Now the post office has 31 when fully staffed. She has seen changes to the post office services too. She said the letter business is declining but the package business is booming.
“We partner with UPS and DHL and others to help with deliveries. Amazon contracted with the post office system to help them deliver on Sundays,” Harris said.
Before Harris leaves, she will train an interim postmaster. At a later time, the job will be posted.
Her job in Manvel has been such a part of her life, she has no complaints. She has enjoyed all of it. The only thing she will not miss about the job is the continued growth of the city that will require post office changes and additions.
“I have loved my job, and loved the people here and in town,” Harris said. “It’s only a 25 minute commute from my driveway to this one so travel has not been a problem and with 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. travel time, I am against the traffic so no problems there.”
After 40 years of post office service, Harris will now have a new journey to make. For a few months she plans to travel. First, she will join her sorority sisters for a convention in New Orleans and then two other friends who are retiring, along with one working friend, will join her in Barcelona to take a cruise to France and Italy.
“It’s our retirement trip,” Harris said. “When the third friend retires in two years, we can all take another retirement trip.”
After travel she sees herself doing something part time in a high energy environment. One such place might be her alma mater, UH Central Campus. She is already a Cougar season ticket holder for football and retirement might allow her to be a basketball ticket holder as well.
But for now she is busy making this month her best and planning her trips. On May 31 the public is invited to stop by for punch and cookies at the Manvel Post Office, 6925 Masters Rd. On June 1, Harris is giving herself a party for her birthday and retirement, both May events.
“I want to get a chance to be with so many I have met over the years and giving myself a party is a perfect way to do that,” Harris said. “Retirement will be a transition but I am ready for the new journey.”