More UPS than downs in 40 years

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Buckley’s last day will be Christmas Eve

By Kate Darnell

The man in brown won’t be delivering packages around town any longer.

After 40 years delivering UPS packages to Harrison County residents and businesses, Al Buckley plans to spend more time fishing with his grandson.

Buckley’s last day on the job will be Christmas Eve.

“When I first started nobody even knew what UPS was,” said Buckley.

Born and raised on a farm in Lexington, Buckley said he instantly felt at home when he began his route in Harrison County in 1969.

“A lot of farmers would help pull me out of snow on the bad days,” he said.

Buckley said he remembered in particular a snowy day in 1974. It took him four hours just to get to Cynthiana from Lexington.

Buckley, at the time, was the only UPS worker delivering to Harrison County. Now, four workers have routes in the county.

“Our business has really picked up from the Internet,” said Buckley, who said he has seen many changes in Cynthiana.

With the entrance of factories like 3M and Bullard, and the construction of shopping malls, Buckley said he saw the booming downtown atmosphere spread elsewhere.

“It takes away from the small town feel,” Buckley said about the growth of business away from the downtown area.

Overall, Buckley said Cynthiana’s growth was an improvement.

Buckley said he still remembered his first day of work. Instead of brown, the driver had to wear a bow tie. He still has the bow tie, along with his first clipboard before they were replaced by computers.

“He told me then, ‘You’ll like it, cause they’re good people,’” Buckley’s predecessor, Donnie Shepherd told him.

Buckley said Shepherd had been correct.

“I haven’t got anything bad to say about any of them,” said Buckley about the people of Harrison County.

“I’ve met a lot of good people,” he said.

In fact, Buckley said he was often given food and drinks.

“People are always wanting me to eat with them,” he said. “You can get fat easy on this job.”

Buckley said he will miss the job and the people, so many of whom he’s seen grow up.

“It will be hard getting used to retirement because this job has been my life for 40 years,” he said. “I’ll miss the people, I won’t miss the work.”

“Learn to like your job,” Buckley said, “it makes it a whole lot easier.”

Buckley said he will spend his retired years with his family, fishing, and showing his refinished tractor.

Buckley is married to Priscilla Buckley. They reside in Lexington.

The couple has two children, Jennifer and Chad, and two grandsons, Charlie, 7, and Jack, 2.

Harrison County native Mike Ritchie will replace Buckley’s route.