HALLSVILLE — The stops have become more frequent over the years for Alan Austene. A Hallsville postal worker for 32 years, Austene used to drive farther between the sparser mailboxes on his rural route.
“We’ve had a pretty big growth spurt the past few years,” Austene said. “You see a lot of new subdivisions now.”
Austene and his two fellow mail carriers, Angie Bruce and Marcus Crossgrove, deliver to Hallsville’s 1,353 mailboxes. The landscape transitions from Route B, passing farmland and horses, to newer subdivisions with decorated mailboxes in front of modern homes.
For an average of 8½ hours and 64 miles, Austene uses his own vehicle to zigzag on and off dirt roads, stopping momentarily to deliver birthday cards, catalogs, bills and anything else people might send.