Postal Carrier, Tina Chew, Bay Area Proud, Garvin Thomas
There are yellow ribbons atop almost every mailbox on Sausalito's Buchanan Drive. It is just one way neighbors here are saying they miss Tina Chew. Chew, a mail carrier for the past twenty years, was seriously hurt in a car wreck in San Francisco in September.
A post office is, by definition, a way station and not a destination.
Still, among the hundreds of thousands of cards and letters that have passed through the Sausalito Post Office these past few weeks, a precious few now call it home.
And they have Jocelyn Eustaquio a bit choked up.
"We are usually just in the background," say Jocelyn, holding a stack of cards, "but they notice. They notice when we're not there. They notice she is not there."
"She" is Jocelyn's co-worker, Tina Chew. For the past twenty years Tina has delivered the mail along route nine in Sausalito.
For the better part of the past month, though, Chew has not been delivering her route. She has been in a coma in a San Francisco hospital.
On September 27th while driving her children to school in San Francisco, Chew's minivan was rear ended. The driver that hit her, witness allege, was traveling 80 miles per hour down a city street at the time of the accident.
Chew's sixteen year old son, a Lincoln High School student, was killed. Her daughter was also injured.
Chew's customers along her route say they are deeply saddened by what happened.
In a signla to the outside world that Tina is missed by her customers, yellow ribbons sit atop almost every single mailbox on one street on her route.
Then there are the cards and letters.
"Every day," says Tom Leksen, who has been delivering Tina's route in her absence. Leksen says the stream of cards and letters left in people's mailboxes with Tina's name them has been unending. Many have included donations to help Tina's family through this difficult time.