Home News Local News MR. ROGERS SELECTS NEW NEIGHBORHOOD
MR. ROGERS SELECTS NEW NEIGHBORHOOD
By Ray Linker
Observer Staff Writer
Want to become a postmaster? Go to a place no one else wants to go.
Thats what Dick Rogers, the new La Grande postmaster, did to get the experience he needed to advance.
An opening went unfilled for two years in remote Bethel, Alaska, a town of 4,500 that is 400 miles west of Anchorage on the Kuskokwim River. Its almost as far southwest as you can go in Alaska unless youre on the Aleutian Islands.
Rogers took the job before going on to other Alaskan communities.
It paid off in the long run, he said from his office in La Grande, which he has occupied for about a week. He replaces Don Magee, who retired.
Rogers stayed in the Bethel position for 31/2 years before advancing to a similar post in Sitka, Alaska, a more southerly location, where he stayed for 15 years.
He comes to La Grande from Anchorage, where he spent two years.
He was born in Seward, Alaska, but he has lived in Oregon before. He lived in Columbia County between Rainier and Clatskanie while doing a six-year stint as a letter carrier in Longview, Wash.
I had a walking route, and also used a bike some, he said of the Longview job.
He enlisted in the Marines, serving for four years, including 15 months in Vietnam and a similar period in Japan.
Rogers visited La Grande about four weeks before his interview (in Portland) for the job here.
He said he would be active in local activities and events. In Sitka, on Baranof Island, there were basically two groups going the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. He was president of both during the same year. He was on the chamber board for 10 years.
Tuesday and Thursday were pretty busy days for me, he said.
As for any changes he plans to make in La Grandes operation, he hasnt put together any specifics.
Im just observing right now. The employees know better than I what needs to be done.
There are 32 employees in the La Grande operation, he said, compared to 14 in Bethel.
Rogers and his wife, Debbie, are looking to buy a home in La Grande and have a real estate agent looking. They have a daughter at home, Cristina, 13, who was adopted from Romania. She is in middle school.
An older daughter, Amber, a graduate of Arizona State University, lives in Reno. Another daughter, Heather, is attending the Washington State University branch in Vancouver, Wash.
Rogers wife gave up her job with
Alaska Airlines but is confident of finding employment here, he said. She does accounting and bookkeeping.