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Because I Say So

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The Buckhorn

Copyright (c) 2010
Winters Express
312 Railroad Avenue, Winters, CA 95694
(530) 795-4551
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Oldest paperboy walks away from
his route

After 68 years of delivering the Winters Express on Main Street Winters, the oldest paperboy in America told me that he just couldn’t do it anymore. I’m sure that there were times when someone else did his merchant route, but through the years it has been my father’s job to drop newspapers off around town. There aren’t that many people left in town that remember when he moved here. Most people call him Newt, we just call him Pop.
He started calling himself the world’s oldest paperboy a few years ago, but when you look it up, there is a 100 year old named Walter Sharp delivering papers in Scotland. He didn’t start delivering papers until 1979 when he retired from his regular job. Walter is quoted as saying “ I don’t do this for money – I just want to be good neighbor and help others.” It is hard to argue with that thinking.
We all have our paper routes. I take care of the north side of town, as far east as the news racks at the Arco and Chevron stations. I have a few merchants on my route, but the downtown route has the watering holes on it. When I asked about his ritual of trading newspapers for a beer at the Buckhorn on Wednesdays, he was quick to respond, “I’ll deliver that one.” He also is planning to continue his weekly drive to the Madison and Esparto Post Offices. He said that he could still manage the news rack in the downtown area as well, just not on foot.
It is hard to fathom working for 68 years, and he isn’t done, yet. He started working at the Express almost four years before I was born. I’m having a hard time getting out of bed and making it to work on some days, and I still have 31 more years to go before I catch up with him. It has become the family joke who would retire first in the family. My three older brothers have all either retired or cut back so much that they might as well be retired. I’m working on an exit strategy while my sister is just too young to think about it, and Pop, he just keeps on keeping on.
We’ve been packing up some of the Winters Printing Company equipment and moving it to the old library on Russell Street. I’ve set aside a pretty good size office for my father, who wasn’t that keen on moving, but is getting into the spirit of things. We are still working out the details, but moving presses and lead type takes time, and I’m not sure how much time we have before the excavator hits our buildings. I can feel the rumble from the demolition of the fire department as I write this column.
If you are on his paper route, you’ll have to get used to the change in carriers. I’m not as fast, or timely, as he is, but you’ll get used to me. I may have to walk him to the Buckhorn just to make sure he gets there safe and sound.
Have a good week.