I first met Brian in the early 1970’s. I was a recovering letter carrier who fell on the ice while delivering my route, breaking my ankle, and needing surgery. When I was well enough to come back to work in a light duty status, I reported to Injury Compensation at the G.P.O. Brooklyn Division of the U.S.P.S. Brian was an Injury Compensation clerk assigned to my case. We hit it off right away because we shared a lot in common. We both liked sports, rock-n-roll music, wrestling, boxing, collecting old baseball cards, signatures of sports idols, and mostly, old-time movies. After returning to work, I used to run into him occasionally.
I was promoted to Supervisor of Mails EAS 15 Tour 1 in 1976. I was also the President of the Columbia Association in Brooklyn N.Y. As luck would have it, Stanley Michaelson, Brian’s father, was the timekeeper on Tour 1. Stanley told me straight out, if you want to get paid properly, please take care of Brian. When I transferred from Tour 1 to Customer Service Rep, I made sure Brian got a detail and a job in Customer Service. The rest was history, the Brooklyn Division led the country in sales, first class presort, Express mail/custom design, and naturally, The Ben Franklin Stamp Club. We were both natural salesmen.
In 1981, I decided to go back to my first love, the Stations in Brooklyn, serving the public. Brian eventually went to Staten Island in a support role in retail sales. He was also doing the Master of Ceremony duties for the Staten Island Postmaster, a job he loved. We were both officers in our local Naps branches in Brooklyn and Staten Island N.Y. We both eventually became Presidents of Branch 68 Brooklyn N.Y. and Naps Branch 110 in Staten Island N.Y. We took our branches to new all time highs in membership and revenue, Brian’s branch was at 100% membership.
Vince Palladino who was a friend and mentor to both of us asked me to run for New York Area V.P. in Naps, and Brian volunteered to be my campaign manager along with another legend, Frank Spatola. I am now entering my 20th year as a National Officer, keeping the legacy of Vince Palladino alive.
Brian has always reminded me the Naps building, which Vinny broke his back to buy, should be named in his honor. I am happy to report that in March of 2020 the ceremony renaming the building will take place. Brian also served the State for many years as President of N.Y.S. Branch 935. He was always doing something to raise money to keep the State solvent, another job well done.
At his funeral services on January 23, 2020 in Ephrata PA, the real Brian Michaelson came to light. We in New York always knew that Brian would help anyone , that he would go out of his way to do some good, like volunteering for programs in Hospice, Feed the Children, Meals on Wheels, ASPA, fostering animals, among others. There was a segment which the funeral home called sharing, where anyone who wanted to say something about Brian could go to the podium and share. It was astonishing to see and hear the local people from Brian’s new church saying how helpful he was, even when not asked he would volunteer. I was so proud of him that day. Rest easy my friend, your work here is done, I am sure Stanley, Kris, Vinny, Ruby, and Evelyn welcomed you home.
Tommy Roma N.E.R.V.P.