The Man Behind the Mail

Everybody knows OJ, the mail carrier for the Old State Capitol Route! But how MUCH do you know about OJ?

Harry Crowder AKA “OJ” delivers mail and packages to many of us in the downtown area. But mail is not all he brings with him — we are also the daily recipients of his generous and warm spirit! No matter what kind of day one has, OJ’s standard good mood is sure to brighten it. With his big smile, warm heart, and listening ear he is always a joy to see.

OJ was born and raised in Chatham, and graduated from Chatham High School in 1990. He got his nickname from his Mom, who didn’t want to have him come running every time she yelled for his Dad, who he shares his first name with.

From Chatham, he went on to join the Air Force, where he worked as a Fuel Systems Specialist. When his Air Force base closed in 1992, he decided to join the postal service. That means that OJ has worked for USPS for 24 years. During that time, he has been gifted with three children; Jordan 23, Kaitlyn 20, and Braiden 14.

OJ also is the proud bearer of a bowling record that still stands six years later: 34 out of 36 strikes during a game at Laketown Lanes for a score of 886.

What does OJ like most about downtown Springfield? It’s definitely the festivals. One event, especially, holds a special place in his heart: Old Capitol Blues and BBQ (which DSI ran for many years). OJ was there at the very first Blues & BBQ Festival in 2004 to cook up some delicious barbeque. You can still find him at several downtown festivals, volunteering to serve you a cold one at the beer truck.

OJ also loves downtown during the Christmas holidays and is a fan of too many local eateries and bars to mention. “I’d like to see more growth in local tourism, and hope that word will continue to spread about all that downtown Springfield has to offer,” he says with a grin.