‘His Last Job on His Last Day’ by Gunn Lee will be donated to the Longport Historical Society Museum.


LONGPORT – The borough’s former Post Office is being razed for potential future development, but its memory will live on at the Longport Historical Museum on Atlantic Avenue for posterity.

The building located at 4 S. 27th Ave. that served as the borough’s Post Office since the 1930s, and as a gas station before that, was being demolished on Monday and Tuesday. However, a painting of the building and one of its most dedicated workers will be donated to the Longport Historical Society Museum.

Former Letter Carrier Jeff Fusco approached the Board of Commissioners Thursday, March 20 to ask if the borough would accept the painting as a gift to preserve the memory of the Post Office and its significance to the community.

Fusco, who is currently in the process of moving to Margate from his home for the last 25 years in Hammonton, was a letter carrier in the Downbeach area for 35 years, 16 of them delivering mail from 30th Street to Longport Point, alongside co-worker Gunn Lee.

Lee of Galloway Township, who delivered mail to households between 30th and 36th avenues by day and made artwork at night, created the painting titled, “His Last Job on His Last Day,” which depicts Supervisor John Snyder lowering the American flag in front of the building on the day of his retirement.

“What happened was that one of the clerks, John Schneider, was retiring and so dedicated to his job that he went out to take down the flag at the end of his last workday,” Fusco said. “That so impressed Mr. Lee that he made that the subject of his painting.”

Gunn Lee and Jeff Fusco in front of the Longport Post Office.

Lee then submitted the painting for the U.S. Postal Service’s nationwide calendar contest for 1995. It was accepted as the entry for the month of June, and the 12 winners of the contest had their artwork placed in a traveling exhibit in government buildings around the country, including at the FAA Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township.

Lee graduated from Hongik Art College in Seoul, South Korea where he was born. He made art for pleasure and never for sale, but for the enjoyment of his family, especially since most of his pen and ink and watercolor paintings depicted nature.

It was the first time he ever submitted artwork for a contest and he was excited to learn that he won on his first attempt.

Fusco, who has kept in touch with his former coworker over the years since they both retired, said he recently spoke with Lee at a recent National Association of Letter Carriers union meeting about the building’s demise. Lee told him about his wish to donate the 12- by 12-inch hand-drawn painting to the Historical Society so others can remember simpler times in Longport when the homes were small summer cottages compared to the McMansions of today.

Fusco said he would continue his search for artifacts and on Tuesday went to the demolition site to retrieve a brick from the building. The brick contains an inscription noting it was manufactured at the brickworks at what is now Birchgrove Park in Northfield, he said.

“So much of the stuff in the building was sent to the main Post Office in Bellmawr,” Fusco said.

He said with the owner’s permission he would use a metal detector at the site to see if he could find any old PO Box keys or other metal artifacts that may be buried in the ground to donate to the museum.

Lee will make the donation at an upcoming commission meeting for display at the Historical Society Museum. Solicitor Michael Affanato said he would prepare a resolution to accept the painting.

A page from Michael L. Cohen’s book, ‘Longport: The Way We Were.’


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Categories: Downbeach

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.