I don’t feel that old (26) but back in the day when I was a kid I had the traditional job of a young boy: paper carrier. I was well prepared.
I had inherited the route from a neighbor and another kid down the street took over from me and one more after him. This last neighborhood descendant left the job over 10 years ago. Since then the paper has been delivered by a series of adults, by car, rather than bike. This was an afternoon paper Monday through Friday with weekend editions to be delivered by 8 am.
This is just another example of the massive transition our country and economy are undertaking. I like to think of the paperboys as a cut above today’s “car full of papers” though. Quality was essential. You couldn’t just throw the paper onto the lawn – every paper was put into a box or brought to the door. I knew the customers and they knew me.
While newspapers themselves are facing challenges and many are phasing out “paper” altogether, it’s sad to think about the missed opportunities for those kids growing up today.