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Down to a science

Post Office serves lab’s employees

Two Upton, NY, Post employees assisting at retail counter
Upton, NY, Retail Associate Bill Lofaro provides a specially canceled envelope to Lanny Bates, director of campus development at Brookhaven National Laboratory, while Postmaster Kelly Guerin watches.

Every Post Office’s customer base is special, but the Upton, NY, office’s clientele includes some of the world’s top scientists and researchers.

The office serves employees at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, a Long Island facility that has almost 3,000 scientists, engineers and other employees, as well as more than 4,000 visiting researchers from around the world.

It’s a unique crowd.

“The customers here in Upton are extremely interested in stamp collecting,” said Postmaster Kelly Guerin. “Several of my box holders are always among the first to purchase newly released stamps.”

Before it became a laboratory, the facility was originally a fort: Camp Upton.

In 1918, Irving Berlin, who wrote “God Bless America,” also composed “Yip Yap for Yaphank” while he was an Army recruit stationed at Camp Upton. The town of Yaphank is nearby.

The Upton Post Office has served the lab and its employees since 1947. Because public access to the lab is restricted, the office’s only customers are the lab’s employees and visitors.

In addition to working closely with the Brookhaven mailroom, the office provides PO Boxes and other postal services.

But more than anything else, the stamps seem to keep customers coming back.

One example: The office canceled more than 260 Total Eclipse of the Sun stamps during a recent special dedication hosted by the lab.

“The employees at the lab have been very enthusiastic about [that] stamp,” Guerin said.

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