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Much-loved Yosemite postmaster who started in 1978 retires after more than 40 years of service

He was first offered a summer job at the Yosemite Post Office after a casual visit to his mother at work in 1978 as a college student.

Much-loved Yosemite postmaster who started in 1978 retires after more than 40 years of service
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Yosemite National Park

How amazing it is when one gets to work in the same organization for more than 40 or 50 years? It shows the commitment and dedication one has to the workplace and the community. John Reynolds, who was the postmaster for Yosemite National Park, recently retired after more than 40 years of service in the Yosemite and El Portal Post Offices. 

Reynolds was born in Yosemite Valley and both his parents worked at the park. He was first offered a summer job in 1978 as a college student at the Yosemite Post Office after a casual visit to his mother at work. He went on to take up different roles at the post offices in the area. He first worked as a clerk and then later became the postmaster for the neighboring town of El Portal in 2004, reports NPR


It was in 2012 that he got his dream job of becoming a postmaster for the Yosemite Post Office and that is the job he is retiring from now. While he was working for the post office, he and his wife raised their children in the area and also lived in the postmaster's house, which is a facility available in a few U.S. post offices like Yosemite, Yellowstone and The Grand Canyon. 


Reynolds is considered an important member of the community and has touched many lives through his work. Micole Mccarthy, a Yosemite local and a family friend, shared her story. She said that when she was 17 years old, she was feeling the isolation that comes with growing up in a remote area. One of her only respites was the release of J.K Rowling's final book in the "Harry Potter" series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows." However, she did not realize that the delivery date was on a Saturday and the post office was closed for package pickups.

"So imagine my surprise when I woke up on Saturday morning to a call from John, telling me he was opening the post office for a couple of hours, so the handful of locals who'd ordered the book could come in and get their copies the same day that everyone else in the U.S. was getting theirs as well. I was so excited I jumped out of bed and immediately ran down to the post office. He said he knew how important this day was to some of us and he was happy to do it," said Mccarthy. 


Talking about his job, Reynolds said that one of his first memories working as a clerk with the then-postmaster was going to Highway 140, the main entrance to enter the park. There was a rockslide so the mail truck came to the closest road and then "we bucket brigaded across the roads." He said, "I mean, handing the bags [of mail]. We were jumping across the rocks."

According to him, that's what he takes pride in. Reynolds said, "Mother Nature, and overcoming, and trying to get mail into the park because people count on their mail. People look to the post office and their mail as a normalization."


Sharing what he has learned in all these years, he said: "When Mother Nature does kick in, it stresses people out and gives a great anxiety. The Post Office and having their mail gives the sense that I've learned over the years, a sense of anchor, a sense of normalcy. So I think that's the biggest pride that I took in my job, is doing that, getting the mail in such an isolated place."

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