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Was Anyone Else a Paperboy?

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Was Anyone Else a Paperboy?

Old 03-31-06, 01:35 PM
  #26  
jazzy_cyclist
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Northern Virgina Sun for a year, and The Washington Post for about 3-4 years. The last couple years I had a high-rise apartment building route - had an elevator key and just ran up and down the halls delivering about 100 papers in a half-hour (except on Sunday when I had to do "inserts"). I don't recall which bike I used before that - I think it was one of those English three-speeds (although mine never shifted all that well most of the time).

I still have occasional nightmares about forgetting what houses were on my route
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Old 03-31-06, 01:58 PM
  #27  
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Blue schwinn varsity. At that time, I thought a 10 speed was the cat's meow. Only gear was an Army/Navy surplus poncho for the rain. Bike had a luggage rack, yeh that hasn't changed, and one of those honker 3" diameter mechanical speedometers. Sacramento Bee saddlebags are now called panniers so we can assume the traditional snotty french attitude. Yeap, Sundays were about 120 papers, and took 2 trips. The neighborhood didn't have any big dogs. Couple snappy 15 lb things was the worst. Not like today with the 90 lb monsters you need spray for.

Best time was collecting before Christmas. One lady always had a fresh batch of divinity and fudge walnut ready for me. Forget money, give me the chocolate fix. Actually had to go buy some chocolate fudge because you raised this issue.
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Old 03-31-06, 05:04 PM
  #28  
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I had an evening round while I was still at school. Near the end of my round I used t see a girl coming home who I really fancied. On one occasion I was crossing the road to deliver a paper and she was there and was trying to attract my attention by waving at me and she seemed to be shouting something. I thought my luck was in, but when I turned round after delivering the paper I saw that she had been trying to tell me that all of the papers had blown out of my bag and I had to chase them along the road!!
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Old 03-31-06, 05:16 PM
  #29  
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The Buffalo Evening News, suburban /country had 30 customers, about 5 miles start to finish
An hour to get home from H.S then load up and try to get finished before dark. Had a junker bike my father paid 5$ for it, I saved 54.50$ for RED Monarch with tank and horn, knuckle guards.mud flaps, fox tails, speedometer and a siren , the local ploice officer told me to remove it
Customers were the greatest,Saturday which was collection day took hours but ARMY football was my thing back then, a neighbors son played 1/4back then, and they all would have the game on so I could sort of listen as I delivered and collected.NEVER got stuck by a non payer. Christmas was manna from heaven. I'd get money gifts, cookies and one old German farm lady in her 80s always made me something called Lepkuchen(sp.), a hard molassaes flat cookie.
Got bit by a German Shepard one time, but the HUGE geese on a Catholic nuns farm were the worse. Those devils would see me coming closer, I had to pedal up an incline drive to the door and then they would attack in a flock. A dog bite was minor compared to those critters, they would open the beak close it then twist and pinch, but the food they always gave me was great
Had my first H.S. date with the daughter of one customer
Some blizzardy wintry days my father would drive me in his car

My younger bro got the route when I left for boarding school, my bike too,trashed it
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Old 03-31-06, 05:20 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
I think that any entry level mtn bike would be great. I think you should be able to get by for $300 or a bit less. Whether or not that is "reasonably priced" is up for debate. A good used one should run about $100.

I hated the folks who couldn't come up with the $1.25 per month charge. If I got a dime tip a month I felt I was really making money!
I wouldn't want to deliver papers in all weather conditions on a bike with no fenders and questionable wet weather brakes. I suspect it might be difficult to mount a sizeable front basket and carry a bag full of papers and avoid interference with brake and shifting cables of a typical mountain bike. The fat tires would be good though.
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Old 03-31-06, 06:03 PM
  #31  
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Sure. Waterbury Republican-American, in Woodbury, CT. The pay was OK, but the Christmas tips were amazing.

Huffy makes a perfecly reasonable looking "beach cruiser" for chump change -- $100, $200, whatever. It might be the only Huffy that is a good value. If there were still any paper boys/paper girls, they could do fine with it.

"Real" bikes have gottem much easier to find in the last few years.

Paul
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Old 03-31-06, 06:54 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by BroMax
I remember the 23--Germantown to South Philly. I think it's still running. When did PTC have that paint scheme? Or is that the "Philly Cream Cheese" style that looks more like powder blue and white on my screen?

Unfortunately the 23 trolley has had all but a stake through its heart. The tracks and wires still remain but it has been a bus since 1992. Only the subway surface trolleys running out of the Market Street Subway into West Phila remain in Phila; BUT the RT 15 has been revived on Girard Ave with all new air conditioned cars. It had also stopped running as a trolley since 1992.Many of the old SEPTA cars can be found all over the world in both museums and running on the streets. The dummies in Phila almost gave them away for nothing. A couple from SF still decked out in SEPTA colors were recently featured in a Dockers TV ad.

Bicycle content? Those tracks were a devil. I used to visit my grandmother by bike when I turned 12. She lived a block from where the picture with the white 47 trolley was taken. It was a 10 mile ride each way, much of it on trolley track streets as pictured.

I lived a half block from where the 52 trolley picture was taken and spilled my newspapers on the 52 trolley tracks.

As you can see Trolley came in many color schemes but the Green and Cream was the standard. Click on the pictures below to enlarge:





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Old 03-31-06, 09:34 PM
  #33  
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For me it was Newsday in Levittown, NY. About 60-80 papers with a Schwinn 26" balloon tire tank of a bike. Had a huge basket on the front and used plastic bags to cover the papers in the rain. Like someone previously said...a dime tip and I thought I was rich. I recently went back to visit the old neighborhood and the "long steep" hills which we rode on (and sledded down) were actually more slopes than hills.
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Old 03-31-06, 09:37 PM
  #34  
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Love those streetcar and trolley photos!
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Old 04-01-06, 12:36 AM
  #35  
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I delivered the Herald Examiner on a Schwinn Sting Ray back in the days. Sure did get good at tossing the paper from the sidewalk to the front door or 2nd floor while riding along; ah yeah the good old days.
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Old 04-01-06, 12:49 AM
  #36  
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I delivered the Auckland Star here in New Zealand for many years as a kid. I remember Saturday evening the day JFK was assassinated (it's nearly one day ahead of the US here) and people eagerly waiting at their letter boxes for the paper. Distinctly remember the headlines and the two pics on the front page - one of a police official holding the alleged assassination rifle above his head and the other of the Dallas book depository with an arrow pointing to a window where the alleged shots were fired from. Overseas pics were all by wire in those days and they weren't very sharp.

I had a great boyhood and the paper run helped pay for things like fishing rods and the like. Tree huts, slingshots, home made bombs, trolleys made from soap boxes and old pram wheels etc. Seems like kids these days just don't do those things anymore.
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Old 04-01-06, 02:13 AM
  #37  
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Sure was. St. Louis Post Dispatch or Globe Democrat. Still remember the time when I was collecting payments at a swank apartment complex, and a woman opened the door with her nightgown spread open on the bottom. I was all of about 12 years old, and just stood there and stared. It was hard to get on the bike after that
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Old 04-01-06, 04:40 AM
  #38  
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Bet you fantasized about that for years.
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Old 04-01-06, 10:02 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by oilfreeandhappy
Sure was. St. Louis Post Dispatch or Globe Democrat. Still remember the time when I was collecting payments at a swank apartment complex, and a woman opened the door with her nightgown spread open on the bottom. I was all of about 12 years old, and just stood there and stared. It was hard to get on the bike after that
I'll leave this one to Big Paulie...
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Old 04-01-06, 12:13 PM
  #40  
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Yep, I used it to finance my first 10 speed, an Allegro Speciale that I paid a whopping $125 for at 13 years old (1955). The bike I delivered the papers on was a CCM coaster brake single speed that I brought down from Montreal, Canada to southern California in 1953. Delivered 60 papers using the front and back pouch bib type bags. Pretty flat route though.
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Old 04-01-06, 12:14 PM
  #41  
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Yep, I used it to finance my first 10 speed, an Allegro Speciale that I paid a whopping $125 for at 13 years old (1955). The bike I delivered the papers on was a CCM coaster brake single speed that I brought down from Montreal, Canada to southern California in 1953. Delivered 60 papers using the front and back pouch bib type bags. Pretty flat route though.
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Old 04-01-06, 04:54 PM
  #42  
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If you ever visit San Francisco ride the trolleys on the Market St route from the Embarcadero out to Castro. They don't go fast

You may see one or more of those old trolleys from Philly, they buy and restore from all over the world.The one from Turin Italy is my fav

Really adventurous?? ck the schedule at the Castro Theater go before the show starts when the GRAND old organ is played, not sure but it may be a Wurlitzer
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Old 04-01-06, 06:28 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee
HOW do you guys remember the brands of your bikes you were riding way back when? All I remember is mine was RED. And I wouldn't swear to that one, even.
Easy DG, our brains weren't encumbered with raising kids, keeping a boss happy, paying bills and figuring out how to juggle the family finances as our kids go off to college. All we had to do when we were in school was remember when our next test was and what homework we had.
By the way, I had a 26" Baronia, Maroon and white with white rims and black tires. It was made in West Germany and was on sale at Bamburger's. My mother was always looking for a bargain and the 'Baronia' was lower priced than a Schwinn.
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Old 04-01-06, 07:15 PM
  #44  
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Indianapolis Times, News & Star

I delivered the Indianapolis Times (weekday afternoon, weekend morning), Indianapolis News (Mon-Sat afternoon), and the Indianapolis Star (7 days/week morning) for about 6-8 years in the early sixties. One of the best educations I had. You were an independent business man; you got customers, delivered papers, collected money, and paid your manager. Good customer service got you good Christmas gifts. But I do remember my Dad getting up every Sunday morning to help me deliver the Sunday morning papers. God bless him! Good memories. Thanks for raising the subject.

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Old 04-02-06, 08:05 AM
  #45  
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Hmmmmm- This sure takes me back. I get my news off the radio and internet these days which is probably why I never see enterpreneurial young boys building character with a sackful of newspapers over their shoulder. I had a 60- customer route for the Greenwich (CT) Times back in '72-75 and I had just gotten my sky blue Schwinn Varsity. At first I wasn't aware of what a cool and powerfu; tool I had between my legs, but I did know that it beat walking. Then I got a stick caught in the rear wheel and broke a few spokes. I took it to the shop where I bought it and they wanted $12 to fix it. TWELVE BUCKS?!?!?! A lousy paperboy can't afford those absurd prices. So I hiked myself down to the library and checked out all the books on bicycling and repair I could get my hands on. I bought or borrowed the necessary tools, even a freewheeel-taker-offer. I was more often than not sitting in the middle of the garage floor with a pie tin of gasoline and a toothbrush and tools and parts strewn widely. I soon learned the limitations of a Varsity so I set a goal of getting a "real bike" someday. I am sure my initial investment was more than $12, but I parlayed that into a career of sorts. Between delivering papers and college and careers as carpenter, short order cook, antiques restorer and shipbuilder I could always fall back on working in a local bicycle shop. That paper route was the beginning of my character building.
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Old 04-05-06, 12:51 PM
  #46  
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Those were days single speed carrying 137 papers, having a front basket and two rear baskets, and for wednesday and sundays the canvas shoulder bag. Yep, the Long Island Press. Smoked my first cigarette on a chilly morning in the doorway of a deli. Had both fenders fill up with ice so that a couldn't ride my bike I had to drag it. (those fenders came off the next day). Being a paperboy was my first job and I did it until I got my driver license. I still fold the papers at work or at home to the amusement of others. Well thanks for allowing me my trip dowm memory lane
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Old 04-05-06, 01:24 PM
  #47  
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Detroit News 7 days a week and 3 times on Saturday from 1962 -1967. I had a collection of old broken down bikes. Thanks God the only hill in Detroit was my driveway! It took me 37 years to get back on a bike again. Bikes always made me think about the cold, the attempt to collect money and the telephone calls from a neighbor who didn't get her paper or it was wet or I threw it through her front window. The gaul of those people ! And there are the 5 or 6 that still owe me...LEts see $0.75 for 40 years at 6% interest..
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Old 04-05-06, 10:09 PM
  #48  
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Seattle Times in Manchester, Washington. Zig zagged a lot of climbs. Got bit by a couple of digs. Hated Sundays and Wednsdays! Rode a purple Sting Ray with a 5 speed stick shift and a slick on the back. What a job!
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Old 02-18-16, 12:00 PM
  #49  
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I was a paperboy in Metairie, Louisiana from about 1978 to 1981. I delivered 135 copies of the Times Picayune every day rain or shine on my Black Schwinn Stingray. My distributor, Mr. Lopez sold me the basket I mounted to the handlebars. I think it was a Ward Basket and it was huge. When you rode down the street even when the basket was empty, people knew you were a paperboy. The basket was too big for anything else. When I first started the route, I used my Schwinn Speedster, but it quickly began to suffer under the weight of the papers. Spokes popped, and I'd get flat tires all the time. The toughest thing was that the load was so unbalanced, I was catapulted over the handlebars a few times when I ran over an obstruction. Once I'd made enough money, the first thing I did was to go to Pauli's Bicycle and Lawnmower Shop and buy a brand new Schwinn Spitfire. I'd had my eye on it a long time. It had big whitewall balloon tires, no fenders, and it just looked so cool and old fashioned. It was kind of like the "Model A Ford" of bikes. I used to get up every morning at 4:30 and pick up my newspaper bundles from our driveway where Mr. Lopez had dropped them off. I'd fold my papers and stack them like cordwood. Then I'd hop over the porch railing and begin loading them into my basket. It usually took me two trips to deliver them all, except on Sundays which took four trips. On Sunday mornings if I had any leftover papers, I'd ride to MacKenzie's Bakery and sell them in front. Then I'd go inside and buy cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I learned lessons from that paper route that have stayed with me all my life. I learned to manage money, maintain equipment, and treat customers with respect. I still sometimes dream that I overslept and forgot to make my deliveries.
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Old 02-18-16, 01:31 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Gil 5 View Post
I was a paperboy in Metairie, Louisiana from about 1978 to 1981. I delivered 135 copies of the Times Picayune every day rain or shine on my Black Schwinn Stingray. My distributor, Mr. Lopez sold me the basket I mounted to the handlebars. I think it was a Ward Basket and it was huge. When you rode down the street even when the basket was empty, people knew you were a paperboy. The basket was too big for anything else. When I first started the route, I used my Schwinn Speedster, but it quickly began to suffer under the weight of the papers. Spokes popped, and I'd get flat tires all the time. The toughest thing was that the load was so unbalanced, I was catapulted over the handlebars a few times when I ran over an obstruction. Once I'd made enough money, the first thing I did was to go to Pauli's Bicycle and Lawnmower Shop and buy a brand new Schwinn Spitfire. I'd had my eye on it a long time. It had big whitewall balloon tires, no fenders, and it just looked so cool and old fashioned. It was kind of like the "Model A Ford" of bikes. I used to get up every morning at 4:30 and pick up my newspaper bundles from our driveway where Mr. Lopez had dropped them off. I'd fold my papers and stack them like cordwood. Then I'd hop over the porch railing and begin loading them into my basket. It usually took me two trips to deliver them all, except on Sundays which took four trips. On Sunday mornings if I had any leftover papers, I'd ride to MacKenzie's Bakery and sell them in front. Then I'd go inside and buy cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I learned lessons from that paper route that have stayed with me all my life. I learned to manage money, maintain equipment, and treat customers with respect. I still sometimes dream that I overslept and forgot to make my deliveries.
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