Carriers epitomize a blue-collar work ethic, and like characters in a Norman Rockwell painting come to life, they frequently step out of the frame and touch our lives. They witness the growth of our children, take part in annual block parties, and deliver cards of sympathy after a death in the family.
But what do our neighborhoods look like to the workers who walk the routes? And who are the people beneath those powder-blue uniforms?
Walking in the land of Oz
Ozzie Williams may have the toughest mail route in Ann Arbor: off-campus student housing. Wedged between State Street, Packard, and Hill and in the shadow of the U-M Law School, his route is a hodgepodge-fraternities, sororities, 1960s-style apartment complexes, older homes now chopped up into apartments. Most of the residents move out at the end of the school year in April, to be replaced by new faces each fall.