The hard copy newspaper model of delivering news is coming to an end. I wonder what kind of jobs kids can get these days.
I come from the golden age of paper boys walking up and down the streets of
I don’t remember girls out there. It probably wasn’t such a golden age for them. In fact, I remember my mom complaining about woman making 1/3 what men made even though they did the same work. There’s still a disparity but things are a lot better. I bet single moms raising kids forced the issue.
I used to walk right down the center of the street with total immunity to cars. It didn’t matter how early in the morning or late at night. I’d lift my hand to my face and yodel into the sky as loud as I could, “Morrrnin’ Galobe Papurahhh.”
It reminds me of a time when I was a young adult. A bunch of friends and I were leaving an evening movie. Instead of going home we drove west. We had a bottle of whiskey. We stood under lamp posts in subdivisions and sang Christmas carols at the top of our lungs. Christmas gave us immunity from public disturbance charges.
I had to collect money from my customers at the end of the week. I was quickly educated about deadbeat adults. Customers I'd seen all week were suddenly not home. It’s amazing how many people will take advantage of kids. I guess anyone in a weaker position really. Maybe this was the beginning of my loss of faith in people.
The weekends were supposed to be more lucrative. Instead of the one or two pennies per copy I got a nickel. I also had a stand across the street from the Shenandoah Theater on Grand. I didn’t have to drag that box up and down the hilly streets.
There was a problem though. My boss always short changed us at pay time. He was also a bad drunk. This got to be really down heartening after throwing away your weekend.
One night we were supposed to go to a movie with my dad. We saw my boss’s station wagon parked at a paper stand. He was yelling at the paperboy there. “Is that the guy?” my dad asked. After we said yes my dad jumped out of the car and threatened the guy to within an inch of his life. My dad was a heavy drinker but even he was shocked at the how drunk the man was. The paper boy confirmed our boss was stealing from us.
I remember my mom getting pissed that my dad didn’t take us to the show. We were supposed to see True Grit. My dad gave us a much better show.
One afternoon I was walking home from my weekend paper stand through the alleys of
A word of advice here… I was attacked by a rottweiler the other day when I was rollerblading. Stand your ground and yell NO! This has saved me twice. My girlfriend Valerie delivers mail. She was bit last week. There wasn’t enough time to whip out her mace. Unless they’re rabid, dogs respect authority. Showing fear gets you bit!
After that, I discovered selling subscriptions paid a lot more. Man did I have adventures traveling the back roads of
Speaking of my dad, my grandfather owned paper routes for a large portion of
These routes were lucrative enough that when my grandfather did retire, he sold them and bought a motel.
My grandfather was blessed with the same bad judgment all Udells seem to share. He could have bought a motel at the new
These memories were brought back to me because I was training a driver at my work the other day. He had two Post Dispatch routes but had to sell one because business was drying up.
I hope they figure out an internet news model that can pay for good investigative journalism. CNN is going down because their attempt to be non-partisan doesn’t generate viewers. Fox News is going gang busters though.
I’m worried about the ignorance and misinformation that’s becoming so prevalent.
Pics are: my grandparents at their newspaper truck; my grandma, brother Patrick and me in front of a Udell’s Motel unit; and a postcard from there. There’s a great photo of my mom posing in front of a Udell’s Motel billboard before she met my dad but I can’t find it.