Oral Histories: N

Railway Post Office Clerks

Jack Nally

After joining the Railway Mail Service, Mr. Nally ran out of Atlanta, Georgia and all across southeastern cities such as Jacksonville, Florida, Hamlet, North Carolina, Nashville, Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, Montgomery, Alabama and Birmingham, Alabama. His time with the Railway Mail Service ended 1961.

Jack Nally (JN) Interview Transcript

INTERVIEWER: What made you decide to go to work for the Railway Mail Service?

JN: This was shortly after the war in 1944, I believe. And it was just needing a job. So that, that’s the reason that I went into the mail service.

INTERVIEWER: Do you remember what lines you went on? Where you went to?

JN: All over the entire southeast. I kept a duffel bag packed, small satchel. In fact all postal clerks carried a bag and we ran, I ran from here to most of the run was into Florida. From Atlanta to Jacksonville, Florida on the coastline, okay? I ran Atlanta to Nashville, Atlanta to Knoxville, Ham Atlanta, Hamlet and Atlanta. I been, I don’t know, just have to guess at it, situation. But I have been Atlanta to Birmingham. And one of the best days I had, enter into my thinking was one night when, here in Atlanta we’re fixing to pull out, going to Alabama at that time. Montgomery. Alright? They selected three men; one’s name was Eldora George. He was a black man, he was senior man and he was the foreman that night. They made us unload all the mail out of the car at the Post Office and then begin loading on money. It was a shipment, we were selected. Now there was Eldora George was foreman, alright? And I was on the left hand door and Morgan was on the right hand door. We all was given guns and told that it was a money shipment going through. We didn’t have anything, any work whatsoever to do, they made us cut the lights out, and they went to loading on money in that car. We had a carload of money from the bank, what is it, Federal Reserve bank in Atlanta, going to New Orleans. And we were told that night right there, they made us cut the lights out, we were going to travel without lights, and everything is going to clear. The line, railroads going to be clear all the way through. And the first stop will be Montgomery, Alabama. And any movement that’s made, you lock these doors and keep ‘em locked. Any attempt to get in there, you’re ordered to shoot and shoot to kill! Afterwards we found out how much money we had. 43 million dollars, cash. And I jokingly kid folks right there, how do you think I got into the hardware business [laughs]? But anyway, that was a very good trip. We traveled in the dark, just sitting there at the door, okay? And that night I guess would be considered a highlight. Numbers of instances I could talk to you I guess, all day. And come up with these things right there. I have made no note or anything whatsoever. Now you see when I left, it was in around 1961 so, that’s been some time ago.