A Lasting Impact
A paper route became a family affair. Though the child met his daily rounds, Mother and Dad were often involved. On Sunday with extra thick papers and more customers, plus if the weather turned miserable, Dad drove their station wagon along the quiet streets. This reassured customers they would receive the Sunday funnies.
However, Mother was on duty every day. It was Mrs. James who helped paperboy John James rise by 4:30 each morning. And before he rushed out the door, she served him hot oatmeal.
It was Mother who sewed a long tuck in the canvas paper bag strap for eight-year-old Carole. Mothers washed the ink stained shirts and jacket, along with the hand towel smeared with traces of ink stains. When the papers came off the press late, she answered the frequent phone complaints stating, “My paper’s late. Where’s that paperboy?”
Leonard Lair had an appendicitis attack. With the emergency surgery, his Mother and sister took care of delivery for the week. If a responsible substitute was unavailable and her son earned his money to attend the national Boy Scout jamboree or an awards trip, Mother made certain the paper route was covered. Before the start of school, Mrs. Hubbard helped her son, Don, select his school clothes from the Sears & Roebuck Catalog. He bought the items with his profits, as did Jesse, Leroy and other young school children with paper routes.
Mother offered understanding and patience, so paper carriers thought of Mom. They knew she worked endless household tasks for the family day after day. Why not give her a reward for their frequent benefits?
Though competitive to be assigned a paper route in the midst of the Great Depression, Ben Hansen in Wisconsin obtained a ManitowocHerald Times route. Enjoying any money, even pocket change during tough economic times was great. Ben was grateful for this opportunity and more grateful for all his Mother did for the family. Ben saved his weekly earnings until he accumulated $39. He gave her a winter coat.
Rising in the dark morning hours, Joan Kopczynski, along with her two brothers and sister made certain that the citizens of Cottonwood, Idaho received the latest news. Also, they were certain Mom needed a car. Pooling their earnings, the Kopczynski children bought Mother her first car.
In a family of 12 children, Mrs. Montoya managed endless chores along with cooking numerous meals in a busy family kitchen. The Montoya boys believed Mom needed her own kitchen, not just a rental house. Saving their paper route money, pay from picking apples, along with other after-school jobs, Jesse Montoya and his three older brothers accumulated $3,500. Their money provided the down payment for the family’s first home in Wenatchee.
Mother formed the center of guidance, assistance, and encouragement. She was often the Chief Financial Officer helping her young paperboy learn to save money for future plans. Mother was a model of managing daily routines, complaints and challenges.
During the many book presentations for Little Merchants, invariably former paper carriers share the importance of Mom’s impact toward success with their first job.