By Mark Eckert
Who is the one person who knows everybody in our neighborhood? Why Bennie Cain, Jr., of course, who has been the postman for the Burch Ave area for nearly 15 years. He can tell you who lives where around here.
Born and raised near Mt. Olive in Wayne County, Bennie joined the Marine Corps after high school. After serving four years, he left the corps and moved toNew Jersey. In 1988, Bennie started as a part-time employee of the postal service but was encouraged to apply to become a carrier. Bennie returned to North Carolina and settled in Durham in 1990. Bennie and his wife Rachel have three grown children and three grandchildren ages 18, 12 and 10. He enjoys working on old cars and owns a 1979 El Camino and 1971 Chevy pickup.
Bennie said it was his first supervisor at the US Postal Service in New Jersey who encouraged him to apply to be a mail carrier. “I think he knew that I like to meet and talk to people,” Bennie explained. He also takes his job seriously. “I deliver the mail the way I want my mail delivered.”
Bennie said he got his biggest thrill as a mailman the first time he had a customer sign a “3849” – the form used for registered delivery. “I knew then I was really a mailman,” he said.
Bennie delivers mail in our neighborhood and to some apartments across Duke University Rd. He is one of the few carriers in Durham who walks his entire route. Bennie estimates he walks about 12 miles a day delivering the mail.
Bennie retires this year after a long and distinguished career. We’ll miss you Bennie!