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In the Wake of Tragedy, a Photographic Ode to San Francisco’s UPS Workers

After a horrific act of violence, UPS workers return to the neighborhoods they serve.

SLIDESHOW

Dennis D’Ambrogio

(1 of 9)

Walter Gilliam

(2 of 9)

Alvin Tang

(3 of 9)

Don Crabtree

(4 of 9)

Phil Javier

(5 of 9)

In memory of Wayne Chan, Michael Lefiti, and Benson Louie.

(6 of 9)

Angela Hernandez

(7 of 9)

John Rodriguez

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Sal Medina

(9 of 9)

See all the Affinities photo shoots here.

After a UPS deliveryman opened fire at the Potrero Hill UPS warehouse on June 14, killing three fellow drivers—Wayne Chan, Michael Lefiti, and Benson Louie—and wounding two others before turning the gun on himself, there was an outpouring of grief within the San Francisco neighborhoods the victims servedNotes, flowers, and photos amassed at makeshift memorials, a poignant reminder that UPS drivers aren’t just friendly strangers in brown—they’re fixtures of communities.

Dennis D’Ambrogio, who lives in Lower Pacific Heights and has several UPS logos tattooed on his right arm, has been driving in the city for nearly 30 years, long enough to befriend countless neighbors and observe “several dog lives.” Once, D’Ambrogio interrupted an armed robbery and was tied up; after a mailman freed the hostages, he finished his route. He was driving when the 1989 earthquake hit and made two deliveries and pickups afterward.

D’Ambrogio, who wears a black ribbon to commemorate his fallen colleagues, remains philosophical about the job and life’s unpredictability. “You just gotta keep rolling,” he says. “And try to stay safe.”

 

Originally published in the August issue of San Francisco 

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