Friday, January 15, 2010


I have weathered a "small bout" of some kind of flu. It wasn't SO bad. But now that I am better I find there is not a good layer of snow here in Esopus. I have only been able to snowshoe two times back in December. I guess this is what it means to "not live the rhythms of the earth". Today for MANY people snow is not a delight but a "problem", something to be endured until it can be removed. I have been reading TWELVE MOONS by Charles Frazier. It deals with a Will Cooper who lived with and came to understand the ways of the Cherokee people. Their winters were truly fierce. They only went out to care for their animals and for the basic necessities. BUT IT WAS A GREAT TIME FOR TELLING STORIES. Now TV and Cable have pre empted that. They tell us some great stories, of course. But how much better are our own, especially those we have lived. Let me tell you one of mine. It is a winter story:


When I was 11 till 13 yrs old I carried the Pittsburgh Sun Telegraph. We were called "Paper Boys" because, even there were boys (like the Walshes on Morrowfield Ave) whoes younger sisters often helped them and sometimes even took over on mornings or evenings when their brothers were too tired, girls did not get "paper routes" in those times. Winter was a tough time to be a paper boy. I remember some of the most severe winters when I actually cried as I lugged my 50 or so heavy newspapers on a cold windy evening. My toes would not get warm. (I guess I had carelessly not put on good woolen socks). Yes, I actually cried. It was a bit scary too. There was one spot where I had to cut through an old abandoned property with a dilapidated mansion with broken windows. I wondered if there were some old man in there waiting to pounce upon me as I slowly lugged my paper bag to the other street. But there were some very nice people who would invite me in for some warmth and hot cholocate. I remember one woman on, I think, Beacon St who was very kind to this cold, wearly paper boy.

The Pittsburgh Sun Telegraph eventually folded. The Pittsburgh Press's circulation beat us hands down. And the Press paper boys would have their entire routes in what was merely one of seven our eight streets and three miles that my route traversed. Eventually the only newspaper that survived in Pittsburgh, PA was the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Well, with blogs like this one, emails, online everything most newspapers will probably eventually fold. What will be the benefit of that? Well, even though I am somewhat nostagically said to say it, There will be no more weary and weeping paper boys like I was!