Years ago I read the book “Molder of Dreams” by Guy Doud. The book came to mind again recently as bus driver Danny Mitchell retired (Ellsworth American 6/14/18). Mr. Doud received the Teacher of Year Award in 1986 and was honored by President Reagan at the White House. The story tells of his insecurities as a young boy and how the influence of certain teachers and adults had shaped his life. I couldn’t help but think back to the early 80’s and my own dream of becoming a postmaster. To this day, I credit Danny Mitchell and his late wife Charlotte for helping me achieve that dream. They welcomed our two young kids, Chris and Autumn, into their home at the crack of dawn as the bus warmed up. My PTF (part time flexible) schedule was sporadic and the 15 minutes I needed to leave prior to the kids’ pick-up time did not warrant hiring a sitter. Yet, habitually being late those same 15 minutes would have cost me the job! “Molders” give of themselves and are present in the lives of others — that was Danny and Charlotte. Upon entering the warmth of their living room, memories were made and many fishing and hunting stories were told.
Our grandson, Cove, didn’t have Danny as his regular driver but was always excited when he was going to a friend’s house and would make it onto Danny’s bus! He picked up right where his dad and auntie had left off — story-telling with bus driver Danny. There clearly was a bond between them and Cove had a respect and admiration for this steadfast, caring and kindhearted man who had touched the lives of generations before him.
So, while this is just one letter to tell of how Danny gave of himself and was a constant in our ever changing lives, I’m sure there are many more out there. I encourage others to take the time to write their own story or short note and mail to Danny Mitchell Sr. (Gouldsboro, ME 04607). I have seen first-hand the joy a simple letter can bring and can’t think of a better way to brighten the day for our very own “Molder of Dreams.”
Gail Nelson, retired postmaster