THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES FRANK SPATOLA
I first met Frank Spatola in 1968 when he was a Shop Steward for the N.A.L.C. in HOMECREST STATION..I WAS A SUBSTITUTE CARRIER from Blythebourne station who was loaned out for the week to Homecrest. To cover vacation vacancies. At first I was intimidated by the presence of this man who everyone at Homecrest respected. I wondered at that time why he was not part of Management because nothing happened at Homecrest unless Frank was involved. Even the overtime desired list was handled by this man. After working at Homecrest for a few days Frank approached me and said ,KID, I like the way you move mail, do you want to transfer to Homecrest. I thanked him for the kind words but stated, it was much easier for me to commute to my home station because I did not have a car. He said ‘If you ever need help for anything call me at Homecrest.
I ran into him on the picket line the N.A.L.C. formed at the G.P.O. in Brooklyn during the Postal work stoppage in 1970. Frank was leading the workers INCLUDING ME across the Brooklyn Bridge to meet up with our N.Y. Postal Brothers and sisters in SOLIDARITY. The USPS and Police Department considered this illegal and detained Frank and others as ring leaders. They all were later exonerated of any wrong doing and the rest was history. The U.S.Postal service was born and my friend Spats had a lot to do with it. Frank went on to management a job he was born for. I met up with him again when he was on the route examination team testing routes in Blythebourne station. He advised me that being a carrier was a good honest job but being a supervisor meant more in retirement benefits. He kept after me to join Management and I FINALLY MADE IT IN 1976. My first assignment was a supervisor in mail processing on tour 1 at the Brooklyn G.P.O. The first one to congratulate me was Frank. He was now an Area Mgr and asked me to transfer back to the stations. My first assignment was Williamsburg station and guess who was my Area Mgr.? After a tour in Customer services I returned to supervision in Kensington Station. My friend Frank treated me like his son and guided my career all the way up to Manager of Ryder Station, a position I STILL HOLD TODAY. He then advised me to get active in Naps and helped get me elected New York Area V.P. NAPS in Alaska in 2000. Even in retirement he would call me and say T, whats happening in D.C. always interested in the Postal Service and its survival.
Frank was a powerful force with Postal legislation and was instrumental in getting the Postal reorginazation act enacted by changing the mind of Senator Jacob Javitts N.Y. to vote for the act instead of against it. That was no easy task. He held the deciding vote.
The Hatch Act HR20 would never have come to fruition if not for Frank Spatola. Then Senator Al D’Amato threw both Frank and myself out of his office because we asked him to Support HR20 when he opposed it. Frank made him an offer he could not refuse
And 2 weeks later the Senators office advised us that he would back the bill if the I.R.S.
And F.B.I. were exluded from it. The rest is history.
I could go on an on about all the things my friend and mentor accomplished for the Postal Service, NAPS, N.A.L.C. and Narfe but I WOULD NEED TO WRITE A BOOK. Everything I KNOW ABOUT THE Postal service and NAPS I owe to my friend Frank. While he was a father figure to me I could always go to him for advice about anything.
As his health was failing he asked me for one more thing, help keep NAPS the respected organization it always was under Don, Ruben, and Vinny. Make me proud of you and remember I Love you like a son Tommy. Right back at you Frank, Rest in Peace.
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