Over half of a century ago Rev. Henry Koepchen started the in East Setauket. Since then he has bought his stamps, sent packages, and met with his neighbors at the local post office on Main Street.
Now retired, Koepchen is sad to see his local post office in danger of being shut down.
“The reason we’ve had a box for 54 years is that I could not get a mailbox at the end of my driveway that would hold all the junk that I get because of the church, it just wouldn’t fit,” Rev. Koepchen said.
When the post office on Route 25A opened in East Setauket, Rev. Koepchen was asked to say a prayer at the ceremony, and he did. He even opened a P.O. box at that location to receive the church mail since it was so close by. But he and his wife Louise never stopped going to their favorite neighborhood post office on Main Street.
"Sometimes you don't see your neighbors," Louise Koepchen said. "In the winter you're not out gardening, so sometimes you see them at the post office and find out someone in their family is ill, maybe you can help them."
The environment of the post office, the location, and the service are all reasons the couple has kept the majority of their business at the post office on Main Street for 54 years.
“So I’ve been enjoying a box, I enjoy almost all the people I meet there everyday,” Rev. Koepchen said with a laugh.
With their only computer still sitting in the box, the couple has no plans to jump on the technology train and take to emailing instead. Even if the U.S. Postal Service shuts down the post office on Main Street, Louise Koepchen has made it clear that she will not be going to the location on Route 25A. A combination of dangerous roads and an always-crowded parking lot have turned her away – along with many other members of the community.
“Now if you want to get involved in closing a post office, I think you’re picking on the wrong one,” Rev. Koepchen told the post office operations manager for the U.S. Postal Service's Long Island district.