By Nadine Cafaro
Keeping a job for one year is difficult, let alone 50, but former Walden Mayor and Army Veteran Andrew Uszenski Jr. enjoys the everyday routine of work.
Uszenski is celebrating 50 years at the United States Post Office this Wednesday, March 15, but mentions that it doesn’t feel any different than the first day. “It’s special to me. Obviously not everybody does 50 years in the job, but I’m just taking it day by day,” said Uszenski.
In March 1970, Uszenski began his time with the United States Army. “I spent four months in training, basic and AIT [Advanced Individual Training], and 14 and a half months in Vietnam. Seven months was in artillery and the last remaining seven plus months was in a protocol job,” Uszenski stated. He finished with the Army in October of 1971.
After moving to the Village of Walden from the Hamlet of Slate Hill in 1971, he started his time with the post office in Walden in 1973. For 20 years he walked different routes delivering mail, even having his own route for twelve of those. The past 30 years, he’s been delivering mail out of the Grumman Long Life Vehicle, otherwise known as a LLV. To the general public, it’s the blue, red and white vehicle they see every day, except Sunday, filled with packages and letters.
In the middle to late eighties, Uszenski became heavily involved in the local community.
“I got involved with the usual things, like having kids in Little League and things like basketball. Walden had a basketball program, well, still does, and at first I started coaching and refereeing. Then the recreation department director John Howland and a friend of mine from the Little League convinced me to become the director of the basketball program for a couple of winters,” Uszenski mentioned.
Throughout that time he also served as an umpire for Walden Little League and an announcer for the Montgomery Youth Football League.
This involvement led Uszenski to run for village trustee, and he sat on the board for six years. After that he served four terms as village mayor.
Uszenski resides with his wife, Stephanie, in the Village of Walden. He has four sons, a daughter and 11 grandchildren.
When asked about any kind of celebration, Uszenski mentioned having a lunch put together for him last year. “They did something for me a year and a half ago when I had 50 years of government service because I also served in the Army. So, when it came up they had a little lunch,” noted Uszenski.
In terms of retiring, Uszenski said it’s up in the air. Not even he knows when it’ll happen.
“That’s it in a nutshell. You get up, go to work, come back home, do your odds and ends, and get back,” said Uszenski.