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July 22, 2014 | 05:04 PMHe might be the most popular man in town.
In a city known for controversial figures, Mike Huml stands apart.
He’s the friendly face behind the counter at the Lake Geneva post office where he has worked for the last 45 years.
One of those people you can’t help but like.
If there is anyone who qualifies as Lake Geneva’s mailman, it would be Mike.
When we asked for an interview, he wondered what all the fuss is about.
Apparently, the post office knew the importance of such a consistent presence in the community as they sent out a press release celebrating his anniversary.
“I’ve always liked serving people and helping them out,” Mike said.
This desire to serve goes way back for this Lake Geneva native.
Mike delivered the Milwaukee Journal when he was young, back in the day when Milwaukee actually had two newspapers.
When he started at the post office on June 14, 1969, a new house averaged $15,500, gas was 35 cents a gallon and a new car a little more than $3,000.
When he started, the post office fleet was composed of one truck.
His longevity at his current job is a surprise even to Mike.
“I didn’t think when I started I would have been here that long,” he said.
And he has no intentions of stopping.
“I’m going to keep working as long as I’m healthy,” he said. “I have a great bunch of people that I work with, and we all make a great team. It’s almost like we’ve been married to each other we’ve been here so long.”
In his nonwork time, Mike volunteers at his church, St. Francis, and raises tomatoes and green peppers.
The years have seen a lot of changes in his job.
According to the press release, he initially unloaded postal trucks and sorted all the parcels for the delivery routes.
He also made special deliveries and refilled relay boxes for letter carriers delivering on foot.
When he started everything was sorted by hand, he said. There was no air conditioning, he said. “Only fans and skylights, which didn’t help much.”
As the years passed, Mike went through life’s cycle — he and his wife have two daughters and two grandchildren, a boy, 4, and a girl, 2.
He’s watched a similar life cycle of people show up at his post office window.
“I’ve waited on three generations of families,” he said. “I’ve had customers that have gone away for 10 years,” he said in a post office publication.
“And they come back and say ‘are you still here?’”
Yes, he is — and the city is better for it.
Keeping some things the same in a world of turmoil is part of what a small town is all about.