Jaime Escalante, inspiration for Hollywood film "Stand and Deliver", dies at age 79
"He was such a nice guy, but geez Louise, he took a million breaks. You'd look for him and always find him sitting down somewhere on his route. Under a tree, on the lawn, on top of his truck, under someone's front porch. Anywhere but up delivering the mail. Man, Jaime hated to deliver mail, but he loved people, that's why he kept at it all those years," said Tom Corcoran, a retired co-worker.
Escalante was beloved by his customers even though most times they received their mail days or even weeks late, and some times not at all.
"You couldn't get mad at Jaime, no matter how hard you tried. He delivered bills to my house ten days after they were actually due, which ruined my credit and almost my life, but when I looked into those watery brown eyes of his I just couldn't stay mad," said Henry Bumstead.
Escalante was fired over 100 times during his 40 year career as a postal carrier, but his customers and co-workers always rallied around behind him and got him his job back.
Ironically, Escalante died of cancer, after his doctor mailed him his test results, which were found unopened in a pile of mail.
"If he would have come in as soon as we mailed him the news he might have had a chance. I don't think he ever opened his mail," said Dr. Tim Mehta. DD