National Newspaper Carrier Day
September 4th is National Newspaper Carrier Day. My very first real paying job, not including shoveling snow, raking leaves, selling kool-aid, etc. was as as carrier for the Aberdeen American News in Aberdeen, S.D.
My memories of those days have obviously faded some. I do remember during the summer months, we knew who all had paper routes by who left the local swimming pool at the same time.
It was a time where latch key kids were normal. A time where kids left the house at 10 in the morning and didn’t come home until the street lights came on.
Delivering the newspaper was fun. We were responsible. We made sure our readers got the news they wanted. We rode our bikes hard. If we forgot it was Wednesday, we might freak out when the tornado alarms sounded. I remember one time staying in the basement of an apartment building scared to death for about 20 minutes before I realized it was Wednesday.
Back then, we were also responsible for collecting from our customers. We had to knock on their doors and ask them to pay. There were the really sweet people who saw a cute kid working their buns off and would give you a little extra. There were the grouchy people who scared me. Finally, was the customers you could never catch at home.
Obviously times have changed. Children don’t go to strangers houses alone on a daily basis. Children don’t even go to the community pool alone on their bicycles anymore. The evening newspapers have been replaced by morning newspapers. I don’t think I know of a single evening newspaper anymore. We rarely see our newspaper carrier face to face and it is almost exclusive that we pay for our newspaper on-line.
That is if we still read a physical newspaper. I generally only get the weekend newspapers. I simply want the tv guide, the local event calendar and coupons. Yes, I said it, Coupons. This girl is a coupon queen.
Looking back in history, news paper carriers were often children. The Disney movie The NEWSIES went on to become a Broadway play. The Newsies took place during a time that homeless boys “newsies” sold newspapers on street corners. The movie Chronicles a rivalry between Hearst and Pulitzer in the 1890’s.
So when you go out to pick up the paper from the driveway in the morning, take a moment to be appreciate your news carrier regardless of their age. Rain or Shine you get your daily news. Behind the scenes are people working tirelessly to bring it to you.