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Here, There & Everywhere

The Buckhorn

Copyright (c) 2010
Winters Express
312 Railroad Avenue, Winters, CA 95694
(530) 795-4551
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In June, 1941, as I graduated from Iowa State College, at Ames, I assumed that I was going into the military. I had four years of R.O.T.C. in field artillery and a commission as a Second Lieutenant.
With World War II going on in Europe and the United States rapidly re-arming, I looked forward to joining the Army.
I went to Fort Des Moines to enlist, but failed the physical exam. The Army didn’t like my heart — something called myocardium damage.
Having four years of journalism, I then looked for a job with a newspaper. Two of my journalism teachers had an interest in the Denison Review, a weekly newspaper at Denison, county seat of Crawford County, and the editor of that paper, also a graduate of Iowa State and a reserve officer, had been called into the service.
I was hired as his replacement at $22.50 per week.
On press day, my job was to go down to the press room, and as the papers came off the press, I was to use a mailing machine called a “Wing” mailer, and address all the papers.
The names and addresses of the subscribers were set in linotype slugs into long galleys, and a proof of the names and addresses were printed on paper about three inches wide.
The mailer had a steel sharp blade sticking out, and I assumed that it was called a Wing mailer because it looked like a wing of a bird. I soon learned that it was a Wing mailer because it was patented by a man named Wing.
Now, 74 years later, I am using a Wing mailer at the age of 96. The Express has two of them so that two of us can be addressing papers at the same time.
The company that made the mailer, Chauncey Wing & Sons, is still in business in Massachusetts, and provides the Express with rolls of address paper, paste, and repairs if necessary.
Subscribers names and addresses now come out of a computer on rolls of paper and are fed through the Wing mailer.




The painting at the Community Center

Vic Mentink, host at the Buckhorn Dining Room, alerted me to the news that the redwood building on Railroad Avenue, across from the Post Office, was for sale for $2,000, and suggested that we each put in $1,000 and buy the building.
The building formerly housed the Winters Dried Fruit Company, prior to that firm building a new concrete building on Abbey Street, and Vic had rented the building and had sleeping quarters in it for those nights when he was too tired to drive to his home in Davis.
One problem in buying the building was that the property on which it was located belonged to Southern Pacific. As I remember, the rent was something like $20 a month, but could be cancelled at any time.
While looking inside the building, we spotted a large painting of orchards and mountains in the background. At that time, the Winters District Chamber of Commerce had a booth in the Yolo County Fair each year, and I felt the painting would be an ideal background for the Winters booth. Whoever was showing the building to us just handed over the painting to me.
Rats had chewed off some of the base of the painting, but those working on the Chamber booth for the fair trimmed off the frayed bottom, dressed it up, and it was used for several years at the fair.
Dick Frisbee, of Frisbee Motor Sales, was secretary of the Winters District Chamber of Commerce, and the painting was stored between fairs, at his business.
The Express ran a picture of the painting in the paper, asking for its history.
W. Irwin Baker, then in his 90s, said that, when he was a youngster walking to Wolfskill School, he observed a painter, on a platform near the railroad tracks, facing the mountains to the west, working on a painting.
I printed Baker’s story in the Express, but then Craig Niemann told me that he didn’t want any publicity, but that his father, Robert Niemann, who ran the Winters Dried Fruit Company in the early part of the century, had commissioned the painting for the Winters Dried Fruit Company’s exhibit in the Pan Pacific Exposition in 1915, celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal.
He said that the painting was done from photos his father provided, and, as far as he knew, the painter had never been in Winters.
The painting was stored at Frisbee Motor Sales between fairs, and when that firm went out of business, we moved the painting to Petersen’s Hardware; the Petersen’s had purchased the business from Everett Fenley.
The Petersens filed for bankruptcy, and before the Chamber could reclaim the painting, the Taylor family had purchased the business, and the painting was legally theirs.
The Community Center was being completed at that time, and the Taylors had a new frame made for the painting, and donated it to the Center.





.Pop doesn't write very often, so here is a story Debra wrote about him.

Oldest Paperboy in the World
in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! book

Express editor
Although the Guinness Book of World Records still hasn’t officially acknowledged Newt Wallace as the Oldest Paperboy in the World (the paperwork is still pending), Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has listed Wallace as such in its most recent publication, “Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Reality Shock.” Ripley’s annual “best of” 256-page publication was released on Sept. 2, and Wallace appears on page 176.
Edward Meyer, Ripley’s vice president of exhibits and archives, explains that Ripley’s has been documenting amazing and unbelievable stories since 1918, and started producing an annual “best of” publication 12 years ago, featuring “the best, most unbelievable stories within the last year.” “Reality Shock” is an all-color publication consisting of 1,000 stories and about 500 photos, including Wallace’s.
“I’m proud to put him in the book,” says Meyer, noting Wallace’s “unbelievable dedication” as a key factor in selecting him as a subject.
Noting that Wallace’s career at the Winters Express began in 1947, which represents nearly 70 years that he has delivered newspapers on foot, week after week. At the age of 93, when the content for “Reality Shock’ was selected, Wallace was (and is) still going strong. Meyer says it’s one thing to do something for 70 years, but delivering newspapers “is not exactly the most glamorous job,” which makes it even more amazing.
All those factors give Wallace’s story “the wow factor I’m looking for as a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! editor,” says Meyer, adding that selecting Newt for “Reality Shock “a no-brainer.”
“It’s like three Believe It or Nots in one!” says Meyer.
He notes that Wallace’s story is quite unique, although it’s not the only one related to newspapers. There are also several stories about long-term, lifelong jobs, but Meyer says many were about dogs. Meyer has also come across some other amazing newspaper delivery jobs, such Hal Wright, dubbed the World’s Oldest Pilot, who delivers by airplane in a remote area and swoops down to make the throw. Then there’s the blind man who has been delivering newspapers for 24 years, with the assistance of a seeing-eye dog. But, Meyer says, none of the stories were just like Newt’s — nothing unusual, just putting one foot in front of the other for all these years. That was what landed him in Ripley’s annual album.
The book is available to the public, and Meyer says “Reality Shock” can be found online at Amazon, bookstores and on the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! website.
Wallace, who is now 95, still packs his canvas bag and delivers the Express every Wednesday on foot to the “downtown” route, which consists mainly of downtown businesses. When he feels like writing his “Here, There and Everywhere” column from time to time, he still types it out on his trusty Underwood.
Wallace’s career in the newspaper industry stretches back before his years at the Express. He was a paperboy with the Muskogee Times Democrat in Oklahoma, and was recognized as one of “Tomorrow’s Future Leaders” by the publication in 1936 when he graduated from high school. He graduated from Iowa State in 1941, majoring in history because the college didn’t offer a general journalism degree. However, he says he took every journalism class they offered.
Wallace married Ida Beck in 1943 and they moved on to California. Wallace took a job in a shipping yard by day and worked a night job in the back office at the Long Beach Independent, working on page layout the old-fashioned way, with letters that had to be set into words and sentences for the printing press. His next position was at the Upland News, where he says he was the “general flunky,” doing back office work and filling in as the editor from time to time.
The Wallaces moved to Winters in January 1947, when Newt became publisher of the Winters Express, turning that job over to his son Charles in 1983. Newt stays on with the Express, with the title of Publisher Emeritus.
Having been featured in the New York Times and scores of newspapers nationwide for his “Oldest Paperboy in the World” title, and receiving accolades and honors from a variety of organizations over the years, Wallace seems tickled by all the attention. When asked how he felt to be honored by Ripley’s, he replied, “If you live long enough, good things happen to you.”