Rhinebeck Village business owners said good-bye June 21 to someone who has served them well almost every day for the last 25 years: their UPS guy “Steve” was moving on to a new route in Pine Plains.
Lila Pague of Winter Sun & Summer Moon told The Observer that she learned Steve was leaving from Colleen Cruikshank, executive director of the Rhinebeck Chamber of Commerce.
“It was a huge shock, everyone was crushed by it because he’s just the nicest guy. He’s very easy to work with, goes all out. For 25 years — and we’ve been here for 25 years — so he’s been our guy,” Pague said.
Pague estimated that at least 20 merchants participated in the celebration, which she, Cruikshank, and Vicki Haak of Ameriprise Financial had coordinated.
Signs that read “Dear Steve, The Rhinebeck Community thanks you for 25 years of dedication to helping us run our businesses! We miss you already!” were posted in many village businesses’ windows.
The business owners also collected money to give Steve a gift certificate to the local restaurant Liberty and an engraved sterling silver pocket knife from Hummingbird Jewelers, which bears his initials on one side and “Rhinebeck will miss you” on the other.
Steve, who seemed vaguely embarrassed by all the attention, gamely opened his gift and posed for a picture with several business owners. “People in Rhinebeck are spectacular, they always help me out,” he said, after thanking the business owners. Per UPS policy, Steve’s last name was not given.
“It’s a mutual admiration society,” Bruce Lubman, owner of Hummingbird Jewelers, who engraved the knife, said.