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Here, There & Everywhere

The Buckhorn

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Winters Express
312 Railroad Avenue, Winters, CA 95694
(530) 795-4551
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Newt says
he’s done

Oldest Paperboy in the World hangs up
his carrier bag once and for all

Express editor
It’s been a retirement in stages — beginning in 1983, when the Express publisher, Newt Wallace, turned all the publishing responsibilities over to his son, Charley. As the years rolled by, Newt pruned off a few responsibilities, such as writing his weekly “Here, There and Everywhere” column only on occasion, when the mood struck him.
Three years ago, Newt retired as the official Winters weatherman, and Joe “The Butcher” Bristow picked up the job, monitoring daily temperatures and rainfall. But Newt settled into a comfortable pattern of coming in to the Express office each morning to read his newspapers, empty the trashcans and recycling bins, and collect the “Yesteryear” and “Years Ago” content for Page 2, and type up the weekly Lake Berryessa statistics each Tuesday morning, then collate all the advertising inserts by hand and stack them for the news carriers to insert into the printed papers on Wednesday mornings.
On Wednesday, he’d strap on his paperboy sack and deliver the Express on the “walking route,” taking newspapers to subscribers by hand and, well into his 90s, earned the unofficial title of “Oldest Paperboy in the World.” He also delivered newspapers to a drop-off point in Esparto each Wednesday afternoon, then headed back to the office for the weekly gathering of pool players in the back office.
Last spring, as it became apparent that the Express would move from its cluttered but comfortable spot at 312 Railroad Avenue and move to the old library building at 13 Russell Street, Newt decided that it was time for another transition and decided that he’d give up the walking route, in theory. Once settled into the new building, and almost invisible behind the mountain of rubble in his new office, Newt decided to give up the walking route for real this time and actually had to stop doing it before his son Charles believed him.
As the last “Friday the 13th party” loomed in November, Newt announced that he was retiring for real this time — the whole shebang. The classic Express gathering, which usually celebrates the only day the Express office is cleaned, became Newt’s retirement party last week, and the new office was filled with familiar Friday the 13th party attendees as well as new faces too, as people turned out to wish Newt well.
As always, Newt could be found perched on a tall chair near the front door, watching as guests signed in, and chatting. Newt says that although he enjoyed the party, which was attended by all five of his children as well as many of his grandchildren and even a great-grandchild, he admits that he had trouble hearing all the well-wishes.
“My hearing goes on and off,” he says.
He shares a bit of fan mail he received this week, as news of his retirement was spread out to the larger region via a feature story in the Sacramento Bee, and amid all the fond memories expressed in the letter, the writer expressed skepticism about whether Newt, age 96, would really call it quits — just like everyone else.
However, Newt says this is really it. He didn’t show up at the office on Monday morning for his usual duties, and Charles’ wife, Sherri, stepped in to do the job for now. The Express staff had to pick up the lake level reporting and was set to do the Page 2 content, but Newt slipped in on Tuesday morning and provided it. Going forward, however, the Express staff can expect to pick up all of his duties, because he insists that from here on out, he’ll only come by to read the newspapers.
Besides the obvious — that he’s heading toward the century mark — Newt says he needs to retire for his son’s sake.
“I have to retire so Charley can retire,” he quips.
He adds that he’ll still serve as the Express archivist, when staff needs information from years past, he’ll locate it in his meticulous filing system. But everything else? Staff will just need to figure it out, including getting the newspapers up to Esparto each week.
As for Newt, he says he’s going to enjoy his time off with the three televisions he has going in his house.
“I can watch three programs at the same time,” he says.
In particular, he’ll enjoy having time to watch the PBS news broadcasts on Channel 9. After 67 years of reporting to the Express office nearly every single morning, doing everything from emptying the garbage cans to reporting to literally printing the newspapers, Newt has probably earned a little TV time.
Will Newt’s retirement last? If seeing Charley walking downtown with a newspaper bag slung over his shoulder on Wednesdays is any indication, it seems that this time he really means it.