SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio - Sticky without wind. That was the best way to explain the weather for Wayne Chaney on Thursday.
He's a 14-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service and while it was hot enough to slip into naptime on a hammock in record-time rather than deliver mail, he was on the job Thursday. And he was right on time. Shaker Heights customer Amy Kerr Thome is thankful for that.
"I can always count on him being here between noon and 1 p.m., so I know when he's going to be here. He always has a pleasant word, even if the weather is really miserable," said Thome.
As Chaney worked his way through yard after yard, around fences and overgrown shrubs, he barely worked up a sweat.
Wearing shorts and a short-sleeve shirt, his safari-style hat kept him cool and away from damaging sun rays.
"It's my sombrero, my postal-issue sombrero," said Chaney.
When asked if Chaney rather have the humidity of summer with which to deal, or the snow, he didn't mince words. "I'll take this any day."
Shaker Heights resident Karl Greene noticed NewsChannel5 cameras following Chaney up to his brick home. His unique stove pipe-looking mailbox accepting the latest bills and junk mail. "What is this, honoring Wayne day?," said Greene.
"He's one of the best people we've ever seen and that's the honest to goodness truth," said Greene.
By 1:30 p.m. Chaney was on his way to another Shaker Heights street trying wrap his daily route, a water bottle waiting in the back of his 100-degree U.S.P.S. truck. The up-sliding delivery door hiding only a few letters left.
"Whew" is about all Chaney said before he hopped in the front seat of his right-hand drive truck. A few dogs bark, but all are inside their owner's homes. None are loose Thursday afternoon.
Cooler days are coming, according to Power of 5 meteorologist Mark Johnson. For veteran postal carriers like Chaney, it's all relative.
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