Delivering mail on Mt. Washington would seem to be a thankless job. The streets are steep, sidewalks are few but dogs are plentiful. What mail carrier wouldn’t be happy to give up this challenging route? Not John Ayala. For 23 years, Ayala has trekked up and down the streets of Mt. Washington, delivering letters and packages to more than 500 addresses on his route, which included such streets San Rafael, Avenue 37 and Rosewood. Over the years he got to know the residents, watched children grow up and became part of the community. “I have never seen anything like it,” he said.
But Ayala was recently reassigned off Mt. Washington as part of a budget cutting move by the U.S. Postal Service. Ayala’s fans on Mt. Washington miss the carrier, who on Tuesday was honored at the Mt. Washington Assn. meeting with a certificate of appreciation from Councilman Jose Huizar and a standing ovation from the audience.
Ayala misses Mt. Washington, too. His new route in Cypress Park includes far more stops – 635 – than he served in Mt. Washington, leaving him little time to meet residents. Said Ayalya: “I don’t have time to talk to anyone.”