Don’t text Gerry. This retired postman is happy never owning a computer or cell phone – Daily News

You meet some unique people in this job, and Gerry Cohen ranks right up there with the best of them. He is a 70-year-old funny, fast-talking, retired postman who has managed to survive the technological revolution without succumbing to his two main addictions – a personal computer and mobile phone.

He never emailed, texted, tweeted, yelled, youtubed, googled, bought anything online or learned to type with his thumbs. He survives with only a landline to communicate, and still collects stamps to pay his bills.

Bill Gates and Apple didn’t get a buck from businesses out of his wallet, and neither did Elon Musk. If he needs to know something, he stops at the local library or asks a computer savvy friend to look it up for him.

If you need to reach him, leave a message on his landline and he will get back to you when he gets home.

“I live my life according to the Peter Pan principle,” he explains. “Just pick the best time of your life and stay there. I’ve lived the last 50 years when I was still in college, when there were no personal computers or cell phones.

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Gerry Cohen a retired mail carrier who has never used a computer or cell phone Friday November 18, 2022. Not on a desktop but Gerry knows where every folder is.  (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Gerry Cohen a retired mail carrier who has never used a computer or cell phone Friday November 18, 2022. Not on a desktop but Gerry knows where every folder is. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Now that’s a new way of looking at life. Choose the best time and stay there. I would still be in Little League.

It drives him crazy, he says, to go to a restaurant today and see people at every table with a cell phone in one hand and a fork in the other. There should be a rule that everyone has to put their cell phone in the middle of the table when they sit down, and the first person to use theirs has to pay the bill.

Cohen retired from the Post Office 14 years ago when they offered early buyouts, and now spends much of his time representing postal carriers and clerks facing disciplinary hearings for violations they allegedly committed.

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He works for free because he doesn’t need the money and because his opinion about the postal administration is in line with that guy standing in the restaurant with a cell phone to his ear.

When he needs background information on a case, he has friends with computers who will look it up for him. He doesn’t miss what he never had.

“It blows people’s minds that I can exist without a computer and cell phone, but it doesn’t phase me. I spend a lot of time on the (landline) phone, so when I go out my door is when I have peace and quiet.

Peace and quiet, remember those things? We would walk down the sidewalk and actually make eye contact with people, maybe even smile. We were not always in a hurry. Sometimes we even stopped to smell the roses. Cohen stopped and smelled them a lot.

“I promised my sister when I retired I would get a computer and cell phone, but I never did,” he said. “It’s become a challenge to see if I die without ever getting them.”

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He admitted that it is getting tougher, especially with the loss of public payrolls. How do you call AAA when your car breaks down without a cell phone?

Things might have been different, he admits, if his job required computer skills, but it didn’t so he chose peace and quiet over Google.

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