Mike McManus likes his toys: motorcycles, boats and cars.
When McManus, who looks too young to be receiving the gold watch, retired after 19 years as Pine's postmaster, he is now able to indulge his passions to his heart's content.
"I pulled a picture of me from 1988. I look the same," McManus said. "My grandfather was 70-some years old before he started to change. I've got good genes."
"I'm still young enough..." McManus' voice trails off and a faraway look comes across his face. "My sister-in-law ... told my brother she was going for a ride. She turned right at Canada." McManus said with a smile. "So, that's my goal sometime within the next two years, to completely circle the entire United States."
He sold his 2000 Heritage Harley Davidson motorcycle and bought a cabin cruiser and his brother's Ultra Classic Harley with the long trip in mind.
While he is still at home, McManus enjoys his lifelong hobby: cars.
"By the time I was a senior in high school, I had already owned 50 cars --ought and sold. I've got a 1955 Ford Sedan Delivery and a 1957 Chevy Bel Air I'm working on," he said.
His career with the U.S. Postal Service began in Humboldt, Texas in 1979.
He went on to work in Huntsville.
When his mother became terminally ill, he transferred back to Arizona, working in the Sierra Vista post office as a delivery supervisor and station manager prior to his appointment as postmaster in Pine.
McManus will still visit the post office in Pine, but now as a customer.
"It's time. I plan on going on to the next career," he said.
He has opened a new post office box for a home construction business he named One House at a Time.
"What that means is I only take one client at a time," he said. "I build that house until it is turnkey (ready for occupation) and the customer is happy. I don't take any other clients until I finish with them."
Mike's last day was January 31, 2005. His coworkers threw him a party. "I am extremely sad to see him go," said Traci Moore, Pine's interim postmaster. "Mike's been great."