By JULIE E. GREENE
9:25 PM EST, January 10, 2011
Eric Baldwin was conducting an audit for the U.S. Postal Service’s Baltimore district when he visited Funkstown for the first time in the late 1980s.
Baldwin recalls Jack Smith was Funkstown postmaster at the time. He also remembers how much the town impressed him.
“I just really liked the town,” said Baldwin, who became acting manager for the Funkstown Post Office in April 2010 and was officially named postmaster July 31.
“I had my eye on Funkstown for a really long time,” Baldwin said of wanting the job as Funkstown postmaster. “Funkstown is everything I thought it was.”
It’s small-town America with strong community pride and spirit, he said.
In addition to meeting residents at the post office on Frederick Road, Baldwin got to experience Olde Tyme Christmas as a judge for the house- and yard-decoration contest.
Baldwin admitted he headed into the judging thinking the job would be easy, but found it difficult.
He was amazed at the Christmas event, which drew a large crowd and showed how involved the mayor and council are in town, he said.
Baldwin, 60, grew up in Glen Burnie, Md.
He started working for the Post Office Department — before it was the U.S. Postal Service — while a student at Anne Arundel Community College 41 years ago.
He was a mail carrier in Severna Park, Md., and Pasadena, Md., getting his first job as postmaster in 1985 in Jefferson in Frederick County, Md. After about 20 years as postmaster there, he served as postmaster in Myersville, Md., for about three years before coming to Funkstown.
He succeeds Funkstown Postmaster Helen Downs, who retired, Baldwin said.
He and his wife, Debra, live north of Hagerstown. She is a rural mail carrier in Jefferson.
Baldwin oversees three employees, Sherryl Shriver, Tammy Staley and Joan White, the latter of whom is based at the Fairplay Post Office.
“They’re the true stars of the show,” Baldwin said.
As postmaster for a small town, Baldwin’s duties include just about every job at the post office, including helping sort the mail and helping customers at the “window,” or counter.
Funkstown does not have home delivery, so the post office has approximately 750 post office boxes for residents and businesses, Baldwin said.
“We know sometimes things go wrong. We just hope that we always have the opportunity to fix that,” Baldwin said.
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