HAYWARD — It was a match made in Hayward’s Post Office more than 30 years ago. Ron McMahan spied Peggy standing at the time clock, ready to begin work. “Would you go out sometime?” he asked. “I would if someone asked me. You can call me,” she replied. “That stopped him for a moment,” Peggy recalled, “because it was a long–distance call. I told him he could call collect.” Ron called. But not collect.
Fast–forward three decades. The couple, both letter carriers at Hayward Post Office (Ron has 43 years of service, Peggy 36), have decided to hang up their mail bags and deliver their appointed rounds for the last time when they report to work at 7:30 a.m., on Friday, July 2, 2010.
After dating for nine months, Ron popped the marriage question at Columbia State Park. “Let me think about it,” Peggy said.
Their first retirement plan is to head for the Caribbean on the Oasis of the Sea. After that, “Guess we’ll have to go fishing,” Peggy grumbled, good–naturedly. “She likes to fish, but only when they’re biting,” Ron explained.
Ron said he’s ‘worked’ for the post office in Hayward since he was nine. “My dad started as a postal worker in 1957 at the Cypress Annex. I’d hang out in the swing room and play, waiting for him to get off from work. Then, in 1967, I joined him working here.”
Between the two of them, the McMahans have over 80 years of service credit, including sick leave hours. They are both Million Mile drivers, a prestigious driver–safety record denoting zero motor vehicle accidents while driving over a million miles respectively during their postal careers. Together, they have driven the equivalent of driving coast–to–coast 668 times without ever leaving the city limits.
They are the only known married couple in the Postal Service to achieve a million miles of safe driving, and to retire on the same day.
They agree that their customers are like family. “We’ve watched as families have grown, as children have been born,” Ron said. “And we keep an eye out for whatever is going on in the neighborhood.” Peggy works in a residential area with many retirees. The McMahans have heard the same refrain from customers: “Please don’t retire! ”
“Our customers share their lives with us,” Peggy said. “We’re all one big family,” Ron added.