Galabasa retires after 34 years of postal service in Winters

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Celestino Galabasa, Jr. is looking forward to expanding on his passion for art in his retirement. (Courtesy photo)

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After 34 years of rain, freezing and 100 degree-plus Northern California temperatures, Celestino Galabasa, Jr is finally retiring from the post office. Although he’s ready for the next chapter in life, he reflects fondly on his decades of service to 95694.

While Galabasa is known as a mail carrier, under the blue uniform has always been an artist/graphic designer. Creativity fills his heart, however, decades ago it wasn’t quite filling the bank account enough to support his family. That’s when he decided to apply for the Post Office and got started on July 2, 1988.

“When I first started, I used to help unload the truck in the morning, then we’d sort all the mail to all the carriers and then we’d sort the packages. When it came time to train for the window service, one of the carriers had quit and I’d decided I like being a carrier better,” said Galabasa. “So, I used to sort all the mail to the carriers, and when I was done with that I had city route three, which was a baby route at the time. Now it’s got the most deliveries of all the routes — 811, I believe. But I became full-time at the Post Office within two years of starting.”

Originally from Vacaville, Galabasa came to Winters when he married his wife, Kim. He applied to post offices at bigger cities thinking Winters wasn’t going to consider him due to its size and lack of work availability, but Kim encouraged him to apply anyways. As it turns out, listening to his wife was a good call as Winters was the first city to call him back for work.

Despite some of the challenges that come with the job, Galabasa has immense gratitude for the community and the opportunity to work in it.

Now that Galabasa has that 34-year career out of his way, he’s looking forward to focusing solely on art in his ‘retired’ phase of life and exploring some new skills and techniques.

“All the art I’ve done since I was little has been freehand. I’ve helped one of my friends illustrate a book called ‘The One Slap Rule.’ It’s a humorous book for adults, and I just did some funny illustrations for it. But in retirement I want to apply for some graphic design classes because I want to learn the computer side of graphics,” said Galabasa. “I’ve done a lot of work I consider professional stuff, like some of the murals around town. They snuck me on the mural on the side of the Post Office and that was a surprise to me. I was humbled and embarrassed, but also honored to be up there.”

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