Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mourning Papers

Hub and I were sipping coffee and browsing our three morning papers. Bacchus was snoozing at our feet. It was still dark. I got to thinking how much I'm going to miss this little ritual of ours.

We're considering whether or not to cancel one subscription because it arrives later and later and though to most 6 a.m. is plenty early, as is 7 on weekends, we're pretty much out of the shower and at breakfast by then. On weekends I'll definitely be on our morning stroll. We like a morning paper but we want it early. By later in the day the news is stale or we've accessed it elsewhere.

As newspapers have an increasingly difficult time staying afloat staff is cut, coverage is no where nearly as good as we'd like and the end result often seems to be the waste of a good tree. It wasn't always this way; before television and definitely before the internet.

Remember when kids had paper routes? Do they still in towns? We have tubes attached to a post. I have never met a delivery person. I wouldn't know them if I bumped into them on the street, I don't know their names yet we always get a Christmas card from them and in some cases it holds a self addressed envelope for the holiday "tip". Humph!

When my brother had a paper route he did very well during the holidays. Actually he did very well all year. Mostly because my folks insisted he take the paper to each and every door and place it between the screen, or storm, door and the main door. Kept it dry. This was long before plastic sleeves were used.

He rode his bike unless the weather was foul to the point of being dangerous, then Dad or Mom would drive him. He delivered those papers before lights began coming on because he had to get home and have a good solid breakfast before heading off to school.

We knew the names of those boys. You could set your watch by them. They were neighbors, classmates, Boy Scouts; the scholars, athletes or members of the band. Just kids. They learned responsibility and earned spending money. Yep. It really was like that.

And those papers. We read them from front page to last and back again. It was how we became informed. The stories were lengthy and detailed. The funnies were funny and the sports pages were filled with actual sports.

They were our link to the world in an age where not every family had a car or a television set; computers didn't yet exist. Maybe we'll hang on to that subscription now that I think about it. Television gives us sound bites, gas is so expensive we go out less and less frequently and odd as it may seem, during that quiet time in the morning we actually talk. Usually about something one or the other of us has read but conversation never-the-less.

Yeah. Family time. Coffee, papers, snoozing pup at our feet.  Not a bad way to start the day. What's the rush anyway?


Betty said...

Remember when you used to be able to rely on your dailypaper to give you unbiased news? Just the facts, ma'am. For that matter, remember when newspaper editors insisted on two sources before running a story? You couldn't get gossip on the front page. Now, you've gotten me started. lol

Word Tosser said...

You are right Betty, and the kid only got 2 cents a paper... delivered in all kinds of weather.. and if the kid was sick.. Mom or dad was the sub.. at least I was.. then there were those low lives who would stiff the kid on the bill