Friday, September 4, 2009

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

It's Newspaper Carrier Day! I don't know about where you live, but where I live, most newspapers are delivered by an adult driving around in their car or truck flinging newspapers somewhere near where they're supposed to be delivered (hopefully). Times have changed, I guess!

When my parents were growing up, you bought your newspaper at the corner newsstand - and yep, those rapscallion (I love that word!) young boys would do everything in their power to entice people to buy the latest news. When I was a pre-teen living in Chicago during the late 60's, most newspapers were delivered to your doorstep by young boys (and an occasional girl or two) riding their Sting-Rays (those bikes with the banana seats and the high, wideset handlebars), and a bag full of properly folded and rubber banded papers. Since Chicago had both a morning and an afternoon paper, and because most neighborhoods also had their own local papers, young newspaper carriers could be seen at all hours of the morning before school and immediately after school getting their "routes" completed. And like the mailman, neither rain nor snow nor gloom of night would keep them from their appointed rounds. Maybe it wasn't a sense of duty, but rather the promise of a good tip, that made so many of the newspaper boys do such a great job, but they did it - gladly and proudly!

One of the carriers in our neighborhood, Chuck (who ended up being my first boyfriend for almost 3 years) had an afternoon route. Since he came from a large family - nine kids, 6 of whom still lived at home - and because his father had died when he was about 7, having a newspaper route was a great way to make money for all the things he wanted. On any given day, you'd find two or three of us sitting on his front porch, waiting for the truck that delivered the papers, and then keeping busy for the quick 1/2 hour it took to get them rolled, rubber-banded and stuffed in the sack. Doing it as a group made it fun - and besides, helping him out got him back quicker to do more fun things like playing ball and listening to music and all the other things kids our age did back then. And then he would be off and running. There was an art to flinging those papers -especially if you didn't want to have to stop and get off your bike to retrieve a misplaced paper in a rose bush... and Chuck was a pro. He could deliver 150+ papers, always hit his mark on the front porch next to the door and almost never have to stop his bike, all within the space of about an hour... like a fine tuned machine, he'd pedal at a moderate rate down the block, grabbing a rolled paper out of his bag, tossing it underhand on the porch, grabbing the next paper, and so on. Needless to say, he made pretty good tips!

I kinda miss newspaper carriers - just another little piece of Midwest Americana memories, I guess... one that will probably become completely obsolete in the not too distant future, sadly. There's something to be said for trying to manipulate those large newspaper pages, and reading the Sunday funnies, and even trying to come up with a way to reuse those huge piles of paper... although, as you can see from these great Etsy finds - newspapers, newsboys, and their place in history and culture are still popular and trendy! Thanks to the following shops for allowing me the privilege of promoting their items to illustrate my mental musings... Take a moment to stop and visit them for these and other great items!

Cat Art- Newsboy Print - amberalexander
Black Newsboy Cap Hat with Off White Stich Stripes - ModusHats
The Daily Prophet Reporter - badge - celestefrittata
Terra Cotta Recycled Newspaper Bead Ring - buddabootieboutique
Recycled Newspaper Fun and Games Wallet - CheekyGreen
World News Basket - Art2SueClark
The Newspaper Sale Page Bracelet - giandpindo

1 comment:

Baroness Bijoutery said...

It really is a shame that so many of the things we remember from our youth are disappearing..I remember helping my brother deliver his papers...Of course he had to pay me but that was only fair...Have a great weekend

Related Posts with Thumbnails