New village postmaster returns after decades away

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

It’s like riding a bike: Bill Van Dyke, Altamont’s new postmaster, sells a book of stamps to Wendy Pollard. 

ALTAMONT — Bill Van Dyke was 6 years old when he learned Altamont’s ZIP code.

Van Dyke’s aunt had brought him and his cousin to the post office in Altamont.

While there, she asked the kids a question: “Do you know what the ZIP code is?” 1  — 2 — UH — OH — 9,” she said, answering her own question.

“So, when I was a little kid, the first ZIP code I knew was Altamont,” Van Dyke said.

Now, decades after that post office visit and 25 years since he first began with the United States Postal Service — as it happens, as a clerk in the Altamont Post Office — Van Dyke has returned to Altamont to bookend his career with the USPS, this time as the village’s postmaster.  

This is Van Dyke’s first postmaster job; he took over the position on Dec. 23, after Bob Bailey retired.

Van Dyke began working as a clerk in the Altamont Post Office in 1993. After five years here, he moved on to Middleburgh. He then had a number of stops along the way, he said, learning the ins and outs of the USPS, before landing on Jay Street in Schenectady four years ago.

A lifelong Knox resident, Van Dyke is married with two children, and two grandchildren.

“I care about the town, I care about the people,” Van Dyke said of Altamont and its residents. He said Altamont is where he always wanted to end up. “A place I plan to retire from,” he said.


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