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North Salem Daily Voice serves North Salem, NY

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At Your Service in North Salem

NORTH SALEM, N. Y. - Peter Donoghue has worked for the United Parcel Service for 31 years and 25 of them have been in North Salem.

“To make 25 years in one town is really big,” he says. “I’ve had customers who were pregnant in the beginning and now the kids are in college or married.”

Donoghue describes North Salem as a “good town.” A side benefit to working here is that he lives in town, so he gets to go home for lunch now and then. He makes daily stops at the library, the town hall and the post office. His job has gotten even busier in recent years because of the Internet. “Everything is so easy. All you have to do is click and it’s delivered to your front door.”

He delivers a lot of clothing, especially from JCPenney and L. L. Bean , and lots of boxes. Pottery Barn furniture is popular because, “you can have it shipped and you don’t have to put it together when it gets there.”

He got through last year’s dreadful winter by counting on “good boots and long johns. UPS trucks are good -- the tires, and chains. You can drive in snow. This town does a good job of plowing. About 10% of the packages didn’t get through on the right day because of snow or ice, but they got delivered the next day.”

One of his unusual deliveries was made to Jill Murphy on Wallace Road. It was “chickens that came in little boxes with air holes. I deliver a lot of overnight fish, too.” His most unusual delivery, though, was, “a load of bugs that were going to be fed to some exotic animal. They were grubs, not supposed to hatch, but they did. They were crawling all over the truck. It was really gross.” Donoghue said he delivered them anyway, but offered no explanation of how he rounded them up.

When he is not driving up and down our roads he likes to kayak in the local creeks. “You’re right there on the water with the ducks and turtles. It’s so peaceful.” He also goes camping and cycling on the rail trail.

Summarizing his career as a UPS man he said it has been, “years and years of 30-second conversations with people. It just adds up to a whole lot of talking.”

What about the house here and there where he has never made a delivery? “I always assume they’re in witness protection.”

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