This is Floyd Martin. He has been a postman in Georgia since 1985.
For the past 20 years, Martin was working in downtown Marietta on the same route, and everyone on his route loved him – REALLY loved him.
"He's part of our family," said Sarah Bullington, who has lived in the neighborhood for 11 years, to Buzzfeed News. " He is just something very special. "
Martin told BuzzFeed News that the best part of his job was all the people he met and made friends over the years.
" They would invite me for dinner. [On] During the holidays, they would try to make sure that I'm not alone. They bring me presents. If my truck broke down, they came out to check on me. They were there for me, "he said.
When some neighbors learned that Martin was retiring a few months ago, they knew they had to send him off in style.
"I knew we had to do something big," said Becky Poole, who has known Martin for 25 years, "I had no idea it would be that big."
Around 500 people live on Martin's route and the group decided to invite each and every one of them to attend the celebration.
The group asked people to decorate their mailboxes for Martin's last day and come to a potluck party.
"I had a little meeting on my porch one night With some ladies, we have worked out a plan," said Sarah Bullington, who has lived in the neighborhood for eleven years. "We have zoned our neighborhood and have our dogs and Mailboxes with a flyer telling people what we did.
They did not know how many people would attend, and on Thursday morning Morning Poole worried that it might be smaller than she had hoped.
"You're not sure how many people will decorate their mailbox. When I was traveling early, I thought, taking part in our road is not that great " she said.
But When they drove back the road two hours later, everyone had decorated their mailboxes.
The group said it was a fitting retreat for someone who touched their lives for generations.
"I remember not the moment we met Floyd the first time, "Bullington said," but probably in the third year we were there, he had enough influence over our family that my 3-year-old daughter turned out to be Mr. Floyd wanted to dress up the day at the school, and then he came to her birthday party. "
Martin celebrated a number of other birthdays – and births, holidays, sports wins and promotions – with the people on his route.
"He gave everything one of my children a graduation present. Every time one of them graduated, he put $ 20 in the mailbox, "Poole said. "It was only he, he loved our children."
He also loved the animals of the neighborhood, fed the cats and brought treats for the dogs.
"When one of our dogs died," said Poole, "Floyd cried, he loved this dog."
Over the years, the neighborhood did not trust Martin to just mail.
"I've had a tough couple of years and he just looked at me and said, "Uh-oh, tell Floyd what's going on," Poole said. "We would stand out there and he would hug me with Floyd, and I would feel better."
Martin was especially kind to the elderly on his way. Poole says when her mother suffered from multiple sclerosis, she fell frequently and Martin was there twice to help her get up.
Another neighbor, Amanda Seals, now 45, said her grandmother had signed Martin's praise since she was in college.
"My grandmother has aged," said Seals. "She has dementia and her eyesight is very, very bad, but she knows who Floyd is."
Seals says a photo they took together on Thursday will help her with her long-term memories. "
Martin told BuzzFeed News that four more postal workers had helped him on Thursday to complete his route.
Despite all the help, he was still late for the party because so many people wanted to talk to him.
] When he finally arrived, "everyone burst out in cheers," Bullington said. "No dry eye."
"Made me cry," said Martin. "I'm a crybaby, I'm showing my feelings."
Bullington estimated that around 350 people of all ages had turned up.
"You see this group of grumpy teenagers standing by when Mr. Floyd passes by. "She said." They do not like to do anything, but they all turned up for him last night. "
Martin's story became viral this week after Jennifer Brett a reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, tweeted about it when he followed Martin on his last day.
Martin said BuzzFeed News was not a simple postman, but the relationships it built made it worth it.
"It's a very tough job. I did not have the postponement when It took a while and I was frustrated, "he reminded himself." I called my mother and said, "I can not do that." She said, "Stay tune, baby."
"Every time if I wanted to stop, I heard those words, so I did it and it all came together, I just went full force, 100% I said, 'I want to be good at it, I want to be the best' ; "
And for those on his route in downtown Marietta, this was revealed.
"We are very grateful for his years in public service," said Seals.
"Many people can leave that behind and go to the private sector." an air-conditioned office and so on, "she said. "It takes someone with the heart of a true servant to do what he has done as long as he has, and we are grateful for that."