It’s possible that a lot of people don’t know their mail carrier — they don’t know his or her name, interests, whether he or she is married, has kids, etc.
However, not only did everyone on Dan McMains’ route know who he was, they loved him so much that over 50 of them attended his retirement party at Begonias Lane Park on June 23.
McMains worked for the United States Postal Service for 38 years and kept the same route in Canyon Country, near Begonias Lane Park, for 22 years.
“Same deliveries every day and I got to know a lot of people and everybody knew me,” said McMains. “I’m gonna miss them like family.”
Tammy Klinger, who was on McMains’ route, said he always went above and beyond what was expected of him and as far as mail goes, nothing was ever out of place.
“(McMains) is one of a kind as far as the mailman goes. He goes above and beyond. If we are gone on vacation, he’ll take the newspapers, put them aside and he’ll hold the mail for us and then when we come back, we got the bucket of mail,” said Klinger.
As a thank you, Klinger would always leave out Cactus Cooler, McMains’ favorite soda, for him each day he delivered the mail.
McMains’ retirement was bittersweet because of the people on his route he won’t see as often, but the job can have its toll on the body, especially when enduring the blistering Santa Clarita Valley summers day-in and day-out.
“Yeah, it’s a little bittersweet. I’m not going to miss getting up early and going into work, fighting the traffic every day, but I’m gonna miss all my customers and, like I said, they’re like family … and that’s the hardest part, that’s the part I’m gonna miss most,” said McMains.
McMains became a USPS mail carrier when he was 25, allured by the good benefits and pay a government job can provide. McMains grew up in the San Fernando Valley but relocated to the SCV because of its safe and family-oriented reputation.
McMains’ daughter, Breanna, said her friends growing up were always excited when they found out her dad was “Dan the Mailman,” and that every time they would go out to dinner or to a local shop, everyone knew who he was.
“He’s the coolest guy ever. I mean, actually. I’m not just saying that because I’m his kid,” said Breanna. “I’m so proud of him.”
McMains’ wife, Patti, was also celebrating her retirement as a school teacher. However, she was certain most of the people at the party were there for her husband.
“(McMains) is very dedicated, very helpful … One time we had a gentleman fall in his garage and he helped him get up, He was an elderly gentleman,” said Patti. “Another time he called in one of the fires when he saw smoke … so he’s very aware of what happens in the neighborhood and he makes an extra effort to watch out for everybody around here.”
As for who McMains’ replacement will be, Klinger’s husband, Jim, said no one can be a real replacement for McMains.