On Thursday, with dozens of people filling the Main Street firehouse to rail against the closure of Setauket's little post office branch, its primary employee said he felt gratitude for all the support.
Marty Donnelly, who has lived in Setauket more than 40 years, said the past 17 years he has been assigned to that post office have been the best assignment he's ever had. Previously, he worked at the Baldwin post office in Nassau County. Residents at the meeting raved about Donnelly's commitment and character.
In response, he said: "These people are wonderful. They deserve to have a post office like this. It's a place where everyone meets."
Postal officials representing the Long Island district said employees whose offices are closed will be reassigned elsewhere so no one loses their job.
Donnelly, whose wife underwent surgery on Thursday, rushed to the meeting from St. Francis Hospital and, with Thursday evening's snowfall, even got into a minor fender bender along the way (he's OK).
"In the other office, they have customers," he said. "In my office we have friends."