Sheri Samson New Mineral County postmaster Kerrin Duff, center, with post office workers Steve Waldon (left) and Dan Collier.

Sheri Samson
New Mineral County postmaster Kerrin Duff, center, with post office workers Steve Waldon (left) and Dan Collier.

After dancing professionally as a ballerina with the Metropolitan Dance Company out of the New York and hailing from New Jersey with deep family roots still there, how could our new Postmaster Kerrin Duff wind up in Hawthorne?

“I’ve done a lot of things to get here, but the easy answer is that I was brought to Gabbs in 2011 by a boyfriend that didn’t work out. The Gabbs post office had an opening and I worked really hard for my one manager, who was the only other employee there. Once she retired, I had already shown myself to be competent and hardworking, so I got the Postmaster job in Gabbs. I also helped out at Hawthorne, becoming familiar with the area and the people, so it was a natural fit for me to put in for it once it opened up. Really I fell in love with the open area and I love the small town atmosphere.”

As a newlywed, Duff has a wonderful sense of humor and a sense of self. “I miss the water, since I grew up being a life guard and I actually moved to Hawaii to give surf lessons. It was during that time that 9/11 hit, which was a devastation to someone who was raised in that area. My brother worked in the downtown area, but luckily he was not at work when it all hit. He called to tell me he was fine and then I didn’t talk to him for another three weeks while he volunteered at ground zero. “

In speaking about the qualifications of a Postmaster Duff admitted that having a crew of three can be a strain, but everyone chips in to get things done. The compliments she gives to her Hawthorne group are warm and positive, because in her words “it’s tough to run a small post office under the same expectations as the Reno facility that employs so many.”

Raised in a home filled with the arts, she was the only ballerina in the bunch of six talented kids. “I wanted to dance forever, because I started when I was six years old. By age 16-18 I was doing professional dance in performance level choruses. Then I went off and majored in social work. It sounds odd, but I’ve pulled some wonderful traits from dancing. I learned discipline; perseverance -because it didn’t come easy for me; competition and routine. Now those same traits help me in a job I totally enjoy. When you add in working with people, I am really happy here.”

Duff and her new husband are looking at relocating to the area, but bringing along her two large dogs, (who are much like her children) makes the task more complicated.

“Once we can find a local place to settle down, I won’t have that long commute time, so I can take the dogs out into this great area and explore.”