Whistling NJ postman hanging up his mail bag

PEMBERTON, N.J. - December 31, 2012

For over four decades Dave Bohn of Southampton has happily been delivering mail to the residents of Pemberton. But he has now decided it's time to retire.

"I'm 65," he said. "I've had this career for 43 years. It's been a great career, and I got to meet so many people and got to meet a lot of friends."

Dave started whistling as a way to warn dogs that he was in the area. But it's people who like to hear him.

"He whistles every single day," said Fred Gower, "and brings joy and happiness to us. He's just the best, I'm telling you what. We bought a place in Cape May, and he sings 'On the Way to Cape May' every time he sees me."

But whistling isn't the only thing that makes Dave Bohn different. This mailman always dresses in costume for holidays.

"I thought it it'd be fun just for the kids around Christmas time to put on a Santa hat and have a red mailbag," he said.

It grew to leprechauns for St. Patrick's Day, a pilgrim for Thanksgiving. In honor of New Year's he walked his last route dressed in a gold lame jacket given to him by a former mummer.

"Every birthday for all the children around here he's always there for them," said Peggy Mosher. "He takes dollar bills and makes them into rings for them."

After decades of delivering along the same route in Pemberton, Dave Bohn has become a fixture, a legend in the neighborhoods here. And his customers are sorry to see him go.

"He's just always pleasant," said George Inge. "Always happy to have him here. We're going to miss him a lot."

"I walk 6 miles a day," said Bohn.

"It's a long time to walk the streets," said Jean Mosher. "We're going to miss him terribly."

"I take care of people the way I would like to be taken care of," said Bohn. "And it seems like that made the difference through the years."

And it explains why so many people will miss the mailman who whistles while he works.

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