Josh Bootsma’s news highlight of 2019

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The Carriers

Editor’s note: It takes a team of professional writers to cover Lansing news and contribute articles to the daily online edition as well as the monthly print issue. We asked our contributors to choose a favorite story from the past year and explain what made it special for them.

by Josh Bootsma
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In the summer of 2019, the Lansing Journal staff agreed that we should write something about the Lansing post office. I agreed to take on the story, and got in touch with Aldo Sulli and Paul Schultz, both Lansing residents who had given decades of their lives to the United States Postal Service. As I called and emailed contacts at the USPS (most of whom were very helpful), it eventually became clear that they did not care to be part of the story. In hindsight, I’m glad it turned out that way because the piece became less about the work of delivering mail and more about Aldo and Paul.

The Carriers” is a long read—I think the longest story The Lansing Journal has ever published. But it takes more than a few words to summarize some 60+ years of combined service. Learning some of the history of the Post Office, the average day on the job, how the vacation worked, how the job changed over the years—all of these details aren’t just interesting for their own sake—they were the daily reality for Aldo and Paul.

This was my favorite story of 2019 not because of the facts I learned about the post office but because of the lives I was able to step into. And I hope readers do the same, because at the end of the day, it’s not just some nebulous, complicated system that delivers your mail. It’s a person.


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