DELIVERING THE PAPER

Hi there, fellow readers. Hope all of you are doing well & in good spirits.

For this post, I had to reach way back into my minds eye & memory. It comes from the early 60’s when I was a teenager around 13 yrs. old. It was a good time for me back then. I started to learn some responsibility delivering a morning paper in my ole’ town of Fleetwood, PA.

I really don’t quite remember just how I acquired the paper route, but my Mother thought it would be a great thing to take on to give me some money to spend and have to earn it, instead of being handed something. I was told that the morning paper’s would be delivered to a place named Bucks Hardware Store ( which is no longer there anymore ), and placed on the front steps all bundled up for delivery to about 40 customers along a route that I had to follow. Rain, snow, wind, or cold weather the papers would be there. My job was to put the papers in my bag and stop at each home that subscribed to it. Some customers wanted the paper in-between the front door, or placed in the mailbox so it didn’t get wet. I had to do all this on my bicycle that I rode from my home down into town, which was about 1 mile away. I had to ride there even though the weather was good or bad, cold or snow. The paper must get there! The papers were delivered around 3 o’clock in the morning. I had to get up before that hour and ride down there. Then come back home, go back to bed for a short time, then get back up, catch the school bus at around 8 a.m. and go to school.

Close to the bicycle I had at that time, but not quite as fancy as this one.

I delivered the morning paper, named the Reading Times, each & every morning. Peddling this type of bicycle from one house to another in the rain, cold, snow, or wind. It didn’t matter. It took me about 2 hrs. to do all this. Back then the paper was a whole 15 cents per paper per day! The Company made 10 cents per paper. My profit was 5 cents per paper!

Back in those days milk was still delivered via the Milk Man driving a truck stopping at each place to place the milk in a metal box on the front porch of each home.

One cold morning while peddling up Franklin St. to my next stop, I noticed that the Milk Mans truck was parked at the spot where I always parked my bicycle. So, I just parked my bike right behind the truck and started delivering my papers. The next thing I heard was a “crunching sound”. Went out to the place where my bike was and found he had backed over my bike and bent the front wheel & frame! Oh Crap! The bike was not in good condition. Could not ride it. The Milk Man was up-set that he hit it and apologized for doing that. He could not see my bike behind the truck in his mirrors! Not really his fault. It was mine for parking my bike too close to the trucks back end. He told me that the Company would make good for what was done. So now I had to walk with my broken bike, deliver what I had to, and walk back home in the cold! I told my Mother & showed her what happened and she called the Reading Times about it. They did make good. I got a whole new, better bicycle than I had before!!

This is about as close to my new bicycle as I can find.

It took a few days to get my NEW bicycle from the Reading Times and in-between that time, Mom had to drive me around for my route. She was not happy getting up at 3 am! This bike was a great improvement from what I used to have. It had 2 speeds. My other one had only 1 speed. To change speeds, all I had to do was “back peddle” and it would change into a more smoother gear. To stop, it was the same as the other one. I loved it! I would say that I made out on this one!

I used this bike until I stopped the paper route, but still had it for quite some time. Don’t remember what happened to it as I got older, but it was a good bicycle.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

Published by Les

I am 73 yrs. young and now retired. I worked in the Machinist Trade for 24 yrs. Served in the US Navy with a Tour of Duty in Vietnam. Being retired I do enjoy playing Golf, Photography with my Nikon and Pentax Camera's, snooping around in Historic and Abandoned places, using my Scroll Saw, Reading, Travel, and what-ever else will interest me at the time. Come with me and see where I go, where I have been, and my Life surviving Retirement.

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