The plaque honoring Hendrix legacy at the Renton Highlands Post Office will be on display in the lobby. Photo by Haley Ausbun

The plaque honoring Hendrix legacy at the Renton Highlands Post Office will be on display in the lobby. Photo by Haley Ausbun

Highlands Post Office honors Jimi Hendrix

Postal Service connected Hendrix to family during his Army service.

Before Jimi Hendrix became Jimi Hendrix, the legendary rock artist, he was tested as a teenager.

Law authorities had twice caught him riding in stolen cars before he turned 19. Given a choice between jail or military service, he chose the latter and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1961.

Hendrix wrote letters home to his father and family during his military days. Today, those letters and postcards are fondly kept by Janie Hendrix, Jimi’s stepsister, who has ownership rights to much of the late musician’s memorabilia. The letters and postcards, she said, were among the most precious possessions belonging to Jimi’s father, Al Hendrix.

“I believe that were Jimi here today, he would thank the (U.S.) Postal Service, not only for this honor, but for keeping him connected to his family all those years ago,” Janie Hendrix said.

That connection between the Hendrix family and the Postal Service was publicly recognized last Friday, when dignitaries gathered to honorably rename the post office in the Renton Highlands, at 4301 NE 4th St., the James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix Post Office, at a dedication ceremony.

A plaque honoring Jimi Hendrix will be placed in the lobby. The office will retain the Renton Highlands Post Office name, with the Hendrix designation coming as an honorary measure, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

Darrell Stoke, Postal Service district manager, said Renton was only the fourth post office in the state to receive an honorary name since the program began in 1967. He also mentioned the limited-edition Jimi Hendrix Forever stamp that was released in 2014.

The honorary naming was possible, thanks to legislation sponsored by U.S. Congressman Adam Smith, D-WA, who spoke at the event. He thanked post office workers and spoke about how diversity is making the region a better place to live.

“It is incredibly important that in South King County we respect and embrace the diversity of our region,” Smith said. “The Ninth Congressional District has over 160 different world languages spoken.”

Renton City Councilmember Ryan McIrvin said the honor is significant for Renton, Jimi Hendrix’s final resting place. Hendrix’s grave and memorial can be found at Greenwood Cemetery, about a mile from the post office. Thousands of people visit his memorial each year. The iconic guitarist died back in 1970 at the age of 27.

McIrvin spoke about Renton’s diversity and how the post office, tucked near a historically black neighborhood, makes it a fitting place to honor Hendrix and the area’s history. Renton was recently named the third most diverse city in the country.

McIrvin joked about trying to learn how to play Hendrix’s rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” for the dedication ceremony, until, he said, he remembered he can’t play guitar.

At the ceremony, Chief Andy de los Angeles, of the Snoqualmie Tribe, delivered the invocation. Smith and Janie Hendrix unveiled the plaque.

“Today we celebrate another esteemed acknowledgement,” Janie Hendrix said, “and dedicate the post office in his honor.”

More in News

Turtles tagged with bright swastikas were spotted at Gene Coulon Memorial Park Beach on Tuesday. Courtesy photo Mindy Doty.
Turtles tagged with swastikas prompt rally against hate in Renton

“We hope as a community people will show up and strongly say this isn’t OK.”

Courtesy of VFW Post 9430
                                Left to right: VFW Department of Washington Jr. Vice Commander Chad Hassebroek, Buffalo Soldier, life member of Skyway VFW Post 9430 and current post Guard Clyde Robinson, post Auxiliary President Cheryl Scheeler and post Cmdr. Larry Weldon.
A humble thank you for a life of honor

Buffalo Soldier presented honor quilt for Veterans Day

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Girl Scouts from troops 46754, 41126 and 41170 put together 400 sandwhich lunches on Saturday, Nov. 9 as part of Vision House “kids serve” event. The lunches then went to people experiencing homelessness in Seattle via Union Gospel Mission Search and Rescue.
Scouts work to help homeless in Renton, Seattle

Vision House welcomes troop volunteers over the weekend

Calling all movie buffs

Seattle Film Summit ready for Renton

Renton students honor veterans

Courtesy of Renton School District. Students honored veterans in their lives and… Continue reading

Political activist Tim Eyman campaigns for Initiative 976 on Nov. 5 in downtown Bellevue. The initiative promised $30 car tabs while functionally eliminating the ability of agencies like Sound Transit to raise taxes for its projects. Photo by Aaron Kunkler
Election analysis: I-976 vote casts South King County against Seattle, Eastside

Preliminary precinct counts show support for the initiative split by region.

Renton man shot in the face, police investigating

A Renton resident suffered a shotgun wound to the face and is… Continue reading

Courtesy of Renton Police Department
Naked man shot by officer in Renton

Police say the man raised a gun at the officer, as well as people in businesses. The incident also shut down an exit on I-405.

A King County judge found the company misled customers into thinking it was a charity. Photo courtesy of the state Attorney General’s office
Judge rules Value Village deceived customers

The King County judge found the company misled customers into thinking it was a charity.

Most Read