Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving Memory

One recollection comes to my mind this Thanksgiving.

When I was in the 5th and 6th grade, I had a paper route in Hobart, Indiana, delivering the Chicago Tribune to customers in the downtown area.

All the paperboys, about a dozen of us or so, would head up to Kroskey's News Agency on Main Street, head for the back room where tables were set up along the perimeter of a large room. There, the papers for each paperboy were waiting on the tables for us to assemble, fold and place in our canvas paper bags.

After folding them all, I would take the bag out to my bicycle placing the bag on the front fender and securing it to the  handlebars. We had to deliver those papers and get home in time to go to school.

Being a paperboy was a great experience. The responsibility of delivering the papers, collecting money from customers and paying my bill for the papers taught me a lot.

Most customers were really great, and tips from them could be counted on. Two of my best customers were Abbott's Restaurant and the Oasis Tap. Mr. and Mrs. Abbott would give me free breakfast and the Oasis Saloon would let me belly up to the bar and give me several shots of Ginger Ale.

I had some lousy customers as well. Some always had a complaint of some sort and there were some who just wouldn't be able to pay their bill giving this excuse or that reason and I even had one that just wouldn't come to the door. One had a bill so large that after bringing it to the attention of my Dad, he came with me to give the customer some encouragement.

Of course because some customers wouldn't pay on time, after paying my bill for the papers, I never knew how much profit I would make.

I dreaded having to handle and deliver the Chicago Tribune on Thanksgiving Day. It was a well know fact and expectation that the Thanksgiving edition had more pages than any other during the year requiring me to go back to the Agency a couple of times to reload my bag.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

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