When I was in the fifth grade in 1970 I had a lot of friends who I would also run into at the mall on weekends while our parents shopped for school clothes and such. I started to notice that they were wearing cool shoes and clothes that my mom always told me were too expensive for her to get for me (I had a younger brother and sister as well).
When I insisted that she buy me a certain pair of really cool shoes, she gave me the dreaded ultimatum “If you want to wear the things that your friends are wearing, you’ll need to find a way to pay for them”.
I wasn’t making enough money mowing lawns in the neighborhood to buy shoes, or any clothes for that matter, so I had to come up with a plan. I contacted our local newspaper and sure enough, they were looking for delivery carriers. It was early morning delivery, about a half mile away in our North Hollywood California neighborhood. After a talk with the district manager and my parents, I started my carrier route on my green Schwinn.
I had to get up at 4:30 or 5:00 am to fold and rubber band the papers and put them in my carrier bags which I had wrapped around the handlebars. After consulting my route list, I rode off to deliver the daily news. It was a new world for me, dark with little traffic in the residential neighborhoods, and soon I could get my route done in about an hour and a half.
My mom had noticed that an address on my route was that of a friend of hers from church, and I was instructed to put the newspaper on her porch every morning. So, every morning after throwing a paper onto the driveway of the next door house, I would get off of my bike and walk up to my mom’s friend’s door and place a paper there.
One early morning I was startled, when after placing a paper at the door of my mom’s friend, a voice called out “Excuse me”. I turned and found myself looking at “Larry Tate” from Bewitched!
Turned out he lived at the house next door and wanted to know why I was putting a paper on his neighbor’s porch and not his. I explained to him that the paper on the porch was for my mom’s friend. He said, “I’ll make you a deal. If you would be my friend, would you also put the newspaper on my porch?”
We shook hands and even though the only time we talked after that is when I would go collect, “Larry Tate” aka David White received his paper on his porch every day that I had that route.
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