The mail never stops and neither does Fred Blaylock.
According to the pedometer he always wears, Blaylock walks six miles a day delivering mail and other documents throughout the Aviation Authority.
“I see just about everybody every day,” he said. “I like talking to people, and I think the airport suits me for that. I’m kind of in my element.”
Over the years, his friendly demeanor has earned him a couple of nicknames. When he began work at the airport 10 years ago as a traffic specialist, his coworkers dubbed him Big Dog.
“I guess they could see me coming from far away.” said Blaylock, who stands 6 foot, 4 inches tall.
And Police Chief Paul Sireci gave him the nickname “Mayor” because of his popularity.
“The chief is a funny guy, man. I guess it’s ‘cause I’m always talking to people,” Blaylock said.
Born and raised in Tampa and a graduate of Plant High School, Blaylock said he never left the city until 1987 when he went to nearby St. Petersburg to get married. His horizons expanded considerably after that. He and his wife, Robyn, used to enjoy coming to the airport to eat ice cream and watch planes take-off and land.
Eventually, Robyn, got a job with Continental Airlines, and the two started traveling, visiting such places as Madrid, London, Paris and most major American cities.
“My wife really got me to love traveling. Now my kids have grown up with it and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said.
Blaylock has three daughters, ages 16, 19, and 29. When they were growing up, he ran a business out of his home.
”It was called Fred’s Furniture repair,” he said laughing. “I loved it, man. I spent a lot of time at home with my girls. They’re my pride and joy. I’m not big into clichés but my most important jobs are husband and father.”
At the airport, Blaylock now works in Central Records, a department he joined six years ago.
As an Office Assistant, Blaylock’s airport primary duties include delivering mail and other documents. He also assists with archiving records.
“My role is a small part of the big picture,” Blaylock said. “I’m proud of the airport and I take my job very seriously as a result. I love the people I work with and the people I interact with on a daily basis. I believe that everyone that works here bears some responsibility for the reputation of the airport and anything I can do to help the system be more efficient, I will gladly do.”
Regardless of what he’s called – Big Dog, Mayor, Office Assistant 2, or mailman -- Blaylock takes it in stride.
“My role here is to get a smile out of everyone I see,” he said. “I feel like as long as I can do that, I have a cemented spot in this community. I’m a simple guy, that’s all I need.”