Monday, December 3, 2012

Icy Tracks

I was taking a short walk along the Presumpscot River yesterday and came across these bike tracks in the icy snow. As some of you know, I had three different paper routes during my formative years. Not all at one time mind you, but enough to keep me out of any serious trouble. The longest running one was the afternoon delivery of 75 Portland Evening Expresses, since 1991 no longer in publication, and the Portland (now Maine) Sunday Telegram. My trusty JC Higgins with the silver fenders was my constant companion on my daily trips down Forest Avenue. In rain, sleet, snow and harsh sun (hey, what do expect, my Dad was a letter carrier), I kept my appointed stops. Snow always made the trip a real adventure. As long as the sidewalks were clear, my bike ruled. However, when it got to a heavy 'snow event' (gosh, I hate that term) and my bike was out of commission, I hooked an old banana crate to my flexible flyer with wires, and that got the job done. Remind me to tell you sometime about the afternoon I set the 'birdman record' for fastest delivery of 75 papers. I think it still stands!

14 comments:

  1. my husband had paper routes too when he was a kid...he's always telling our kids how he's been working since he was 2 years old, yada, yada, yada lol....although his was much easier than yours, delivering papers in sunny san diego, never had to contend with snow. kids were hard core back in those days! sad that the newspaper gig isn't something do anymore. and please tell us the story!

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  2. Yep, I can see you whizzing through town flinging those papers. Lucky customers - to have such a dedicated paper boy.

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  3. It's so sad that there are so few jobs such as these for youngsters these days. Build character and you certainly were a little character!

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  4. WEll I never knew you were a world record holder Bird. Bravo! Now that photo is a fine one. Love the leading lines, that lead one into your image.
    V

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  5. All season paper delivery! A character building profession if ever there was one. I gather from your self portrait you are still a paper lover.

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  6. This is the second photo I've seen this morning with snow in it. You easterners and northerners are a hardy bunch.

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  7. what a cool photo! and i always love your the memories you share.

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  8. We were a hardy lot us kids. I didn't get much pleasure out of my paper round though. And every paper had to be pushed right through the letter box! I liked the Christmas tips though.

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  9. Love your shot and your story!

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  10. It was my paper routes in Los Angeles (The Hollywood Citizen News and the Los Angeles Times that provided me the funds to buy my first car - a 1937 Chevy that cost the princely sum of $150.

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  11. This is bad snow for bikes. Not enough to persuade the rider to leave the bike at home, but definitely slippery.

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  12. During the years I might have had a paper route I lived out in the country, so I had no opportunity. I had to ride my bike a mile of gravel road to get to the closest asphalt street. When the snow got too deep for the bike, I just took one of our horses. They didn't seem to mind the snow.

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  13. I love the part where you are hooking up a banana box to your wagon, little boys are such wildly resourceful people! Once a little first-grader neighbor knocked on my door and he asked me if I had a six foot ladder and 20 feet of rope he could borrow. I happily told him no, but would have loved to have seen what his plans were.

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  14. I love this photo and the images you shared of your paper-delivering days. As I just finished reading HENRY HUGGINS to second graders, he comes to mind also.

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