Today our hats off to Newt Wallace, who has delivered the daily newspaper on his route in Florida for 80 years.
I cannot imagine doing anything for 80 years.
Well. Maybe brushing my teeth.
Praying, yes…that’s a daily.
Except neither of those things began at my birth and frankly, I don’t think I’m destined to live to be old enough to do them for 80 years.
I applaud Newt Wallace and his dedication to the Newspaper industry; I fear for the future of newspapers.
Recently The Columbus Dispatch changed it’s format to the smaller size, requiring a single fold; it reads like a magazine. But at least it’s still here!
There’s something about a newspaper. I love the fwap it makes when it hits the porch. The distinctive sound of it opening, like a gift. I like movies that show the papers coming off the press. I like the surprise of not knowing what articles each day’s will contain or what will catch my eye.
The comics and opinion columns near the end: like getting to the chunk of chocolate on the bottom of an ice cream drumstick.
The ridiculous headlines, too big, using the archaic humor of puns…still. We read them in mock horror: No, they didn’t! Yep…they did.
I like walking through my neighborhood, finding the rolled-up papers in plastic bags…so pitchable onto porches with an easy frisbee sidearm; so satisfying to hit the door.
I like the yellowed clippings in my various shoeboxes from glory days of my past: my starch-skirted plaid, first-day-of-kindergarten right there on the front page of the Life section of The Detroit Free Press. The photographer’s daughter now covering The Red Wings on TV.
I would never have known about Newt Wallace if it weren’t for my newspaper, which these days is delivered inside my door daily by my next door neighbor when he is done with it. Twenty years my senior, he. Sometimes, an obituary is cut out.
I loved the few times I wrote for a newspaper…and having people tell me, “I saw your story!” I loved teaching high school students Journalism. I sometimes wistfully wish I had worked harder to grasp the gold ring: a syndicated column.
Still, I can’t complain. Now we have these things called BLOGS. We get followers, just like columnists. But there are no deadlines; a good thing for someone like me who can’t imagine doing anything for 80 years.
And beyond this column? My days begin with sleepy coffee, reading the paper…and grow into reading and writing for awhile until I head out to to make my rounds and deliver The Good News.