Grandfather says when he was 13 or so, he got his first job: a newspaper boy for the Detroit Free Press. They distributed newspapers to homes through the 1950s.
Each boy had his own route, about a mile along a street, and his papers were delivered in a bundle on a street corner, where he picked them up and rolled each paper into a cylinder with the end tucked between the folds so it would stay that way. The paperboys would converse the way boys do (or did, 70 years ago) while they waited for their paper bundles, and then folded their papers.
Delivery was an acquired skill. Grandfather rode his bicycle along the sidewalk and pitched each newspaper from a canvass bag over his shoulder up onto the porch of each subscriber’s house. Grandfather had to kind of calculate the trajectory required to hit the porch with the newspaper from his moving bicycle.
Good thing young people have strong hips – Grandfather sometimes landed on one his when snow covered an ice patch on the sidewalk in the winter time and his bicycle scooted sideways out from under him.
Those days are gone, in all kinds of ways. For example, a few years ago Grandfather fell on a hip and just lived with the pain for three weeks, but that wasn’t the end of it, like it was in years past. The family doctor referred him for am MRI and the hip turned out to be broken.
No worry – four fancy woodscrews fixed it. Some things are better, these days.
About the Author: RD Blakeslee is an octogenarian in West Virginia who built his net worth by only investing in that which can be enjoyed during acquisition and throughout life, as opposed to papers in a drawer, like stocks and bonds. You can read more about him here.
Photos: Courtesy of the Blakeslee Family