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Memories of delivering The Day

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We asked readers who worked as newspaper carriers for The Day to tell us about their experiences. We were delighted with the responses we received by email, in the reader's comments and on Facebook. Paperboys and papergirls from the 1950s forward told us about loading their canvas sacks with papers and biking or walking their routes throughout the region to deliver The Day. We heard about the great tips they received and, in some cases, the challenges they had collecting money. Our carriers expecially enjoyed the picnics The Day hosted at Ocean Beach for carriers back in the day. Many said the experience helped them learn valuable lessons about work and money management. We're grateful for their service.

Here are some of their comments.

Saving, and dressing, for rainy days

"Being a Day carrier at such a young age taught me essential values of life. How to work hard and savor the rewards of learning to save for a rainy day, handle money, spend wisely and discover the many aspects of meeting people of all
kinds. Many customers would greet me with a smile as I approached their door. I learned to be ready for the good old New England weather — rain, snow, sleet — trying to keep my papers as dry as possible, inside my canvas carrier bag with a huge flap to help protect them from the weather, along with myself dressed in my rainwear, boots, etc."

— Amy Renaldi

Woolworth's candy counter

"I was a paperboy back in the 60s. I have fond memories: friendly, well-tipping customers, hot chocolate and cookies, good money for a young squirt; and also not so fond memories of rain, snow, cold, dog bites and bike crashes.
I used to pick up my bundle of papers (no plastic back then, and the paper was much heftier) after school for afternoon delivery.
Once a month, I'd take my sack of coins into The Day and put it into the coin sorter along with various debris, such as rocks, nails, lint, etc. Then pay my bill and off to Woolworth's candy counter. What memories!"

— Paul Tombari

From paperboy to postman

"George Tyropolis, my regional collector, was a guy I'm lucky to have known. He taught in the New London school system and worked for The Day as a side job collecting subscription money from The Day carriers in his area. A fine, personable man who always made the time to chat before he'd be on his way. I was The Day carrier until I graduated in 1982. While I was in school, I took the Civil Service Exam, and when I graduated, there was a USPS letter carrier job waiting for me. Right up my alley. I grabbed the opportunity, and to this day, I'm working my 40th year as a letter carrier delivering the south side of the city of New London. I owe it to my family, friends, Fran, George, people along the way, and The Day for all I accomplished to this day. THANK YOU!"

— Russell Rice

Tipped in fortune cookies

"My route was Bank, Truman, Belden, Blinman, Shaw, Reed, Elizabeth, Division streets. Some of these streets are no longer around. Back in those days that I called the "good old days," I packed all the papers in a canvas bag with a shoulder strap and peddled on my bike or at times walked, bringing the newspaper to customers' houses and collecting the money on Fridays. Customers used to leave their doors unlocked. I opened the door, took money off the counters that they left. Some were good tippers, and I always got Christmas tips. One of my favorite stops was Wong's restaurant on Truman Street, where I used to get a big bag of fortune cookies. Those were the days."

— Stephen Linicus

The longest run

"My family had a paper route for 20 years back in the late 50s-60s. It started with my brother, the only boy of ten kids. Back then, it was a afternoon paper. We had our picture in the paper when we stopped delivering, being the longest run."

— Annette LaPietra

Good Day, The Day

"My friend Margaret was our papergirl, and I would occasionally sub for her. I don't know why. None of us ever went on a vacation! I also remember that it was a big deal when we went on a field trip to The Day and got to see the printers in action, the typesetting tools, etc. I wish I could go back in time to really pay attention and take it all in. And much later on in life, my job led me to telephoning The Day on a regular basis. 'Good day, The Daaayyyyy.' #iykyk"

— Janet (Kilpatrick) Belke

(Editor's note: Belke is referring to our longtime receptionist Louise Taylor, whose cheerful greeting of callers, "Good Day, The Day," was well known and loved.)




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