For a decade, Lisa Taylor of Decatur has delivered smiles, bills and a fair share of odd cargo as a mail carrier.
“I usually don’t know what I’m delivering, which can be an odd thing alone. But I know I’ve delivered homing pigeons and colored chicks,” she said. “When I was on the rural route, I also had to deliver a wedding ring. I got it to the bride an hour before her wedding, and she was just panicking. But when she got the ring, you could see the relief. It was really neat.”
With the exception of an eight-month stint in Denton, she has delivered mail in Decatur all 10 years.
“I was a rural carrier substitute in Denton for a year, a clerk for two years,” Taylor said. “When it came up, I decided I’d take the opportunity to go back out on the streets as a mail carrier.”
That opportunity came when Jackie Boyd approached her about being his relief.
“I was doing in-home care for a couple of families,” she said. “Jackie delivered the mail to those homes, and one day asked if I would be interested in taking his routes Saturdays when he wanted to go play golf. And I did. Slowly, I came on board fulltime.”
As a part-time, flexible city carrier, her hours and routes differ weekly.
“Every week is crazy,” she said. “But I love all of my customers. They say the hairdresser knows everything. Nope, it’s the mailman.”
The California native has called Wise County home since 1993, after her husband, the late Hank Taylor, brought her and her daughter, Laura, here.
“This is where his parents retired,” she said. “Once you have a job and kids, you’re stuck – not that I mind. It’s nice because I know everybody. I love the sense of community.”
Taylor was working trunk shows when a job brought her to Dallas, where she met Hank.
“I was down here working a giftware show at the World Trade Center (I was living in Vegas at the time),” Taylor said. “My cousin took me country-western dancing, which I had never done, and we met there.”
The couple dated for a few years before marrying and relocating to Wise County.
In addition to Taylor’s daughter from a previous marriage, Laura Tanner, now 23, they had two other children – Mary Taylor, 15, and Michael Taylor, 13.
Hank lost his battle with cancer April 8, 2009. And despite losing the anchor that grounded her here, she couldn’t imagine living elsewhere.
“Sure, my family back in California asks me to move back. But people here have been good to me,” she said. “People that we know through the kids being in the school system, people at our church and people that I’ve met delivering the mail – they are all such wonderful people. I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.”