Volume One Special Coverage: Pulling Together While Staying Apart


Questioning the Locals | Corey Grotte Sr.

V1 Staff

WHO: Corey Grotte Sr., 32
WHAT: City letter carrier
LIVES: Eau Claire’s north side
IN THE CITY FOR: 2 years (Chippewa Falls before that)

For the past decade, Corey has worked for the United States Postal Service, currently serving Eau Claire’s downtown. The outgoing man in blue is married with three children, and is the local president for the Chippewa Valley Letter Carriers. He’s also the muscular dystrophy coordinator for the CVLC and the Wisconsin State Association of Letter Carriers, and is on the service’s ergonomics team.

Do you prefer the politically correct title “mail carrier” or the old standard “mailman?” I find that the title “mailman” is quickly fading. I don’t mind being called mailman as long as you are younger than, let’s say, 12 years old. Otherwise most of the carriers prefer “letter carrier” or their name.

How often do animals chase you? Any specifically terrifying instances? Not often you do run into that protective K-9. Recently I was pinned on a porch by what I thought was a stray dog. I called animal control and they took care of the situation and even found the owner of the dog and fined them over $200 for no license and no leash.

Shorts or pants? Shorts!! Long pants make me feel confined. When the snow is higher than my shoes or temps are below 20, then I will wear my long pants. Until that time comes you will see me in shorts.

Walk or drive? I prefer to walk. I like the face-to-face interaction with all of my customers. I enjoy walking and will continue as long as my body allows me to.

What is your typical route? I spend about two hours sorting the mail in the morning. Then about 5 ½ hours of delivery on the street. My route is made up of about two and a half hours of downtown businesses, then about three hours of residential delivery. It is a great mix of delivery for me. I have businesses, collage rentals, senior and assisted living apartments, and single-family homes. It’s great, I don’t know if I would ever leave this route.

What place considers you a regular? The Mousetrap, I think, or maybe they think I am irregular.

What frustrates you about the Valley? The only thing that comes to mind that I could dislike about the Chippewa Valley would have to be the lack of consideration drivers have towards pedestrians. Of all the cities I’ve lived in, Eau Claire is the least considerate. If you see someone standing on the corner waiting to cross the street at an uncontrolled intersection, stop for them.

What was the best cultural experience you’ve had here? My best cultural experience in the Chippewa Valley hands down was Juneteenth 2008. It was a great time spent outside with great music and such a diverse crowd. For there to be that diverse of a crowd and with no incidents or protest was amazing. Hats off to the Chippewa Valley for that.

Death bed, one meal from a local restaurant, what would it be?  A double peanut butter chocolate ice cream from Acoustic Cafe. Yes, ice cream is a meal.

Describe your last encounter with the police. Vroommm Vroooommmm! Need I say more?

Water Street or downtown? Downtown. I am more into live music than dance clubs, although I do enjoy Water Street once in awhile so I can get my groove on.

Favorite Oakwood Mall store? Scheels. I love the outdoors and all it offers. I like fishing, camping, skiing (both snow and water), and whatever else Mother Nature throws at me.

What part of town have you never visited? West side. Is there anything over there? I know there is a Menards and a Mega, but what else is there?

If you could rename Eau Claire a different French name, what would it be? Endroit Heureux. It means happy place. Eau Claire has a lot of friendly, outgoing people. So if someone tells you to go to your happy place just tell them you’re here.

Lasker Jewelers
Lasker Jewelers

Pulling Together Partners

The following organizations are currently supporting Volume One’s work in the community during the pandemic:

Lasker Jewelers

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

Downtown Eau Claire Inc DECI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Pablo Group

Wisconsin Independent Network

Middle West Management

Bon Iver

Royal Credit Union

Silver Spring

Evergreen Surgical

Charter Bank

Chippewa Valley Technical College

The Murty Henriksen Family

The Larry and Marie Past Family

The Dan and Kerry Kincaid Family

Anton and Rae Schilling-Smets

Brady and Jeanne Foust

If your organization is interested in supporting Volume One during this difficult time, nick@volumeone.orgcontact us.