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"When I Was a Paperboy" - - by Rev. Weldon Bares

When I was fourteen years old, I was a paperboy for the Daily Advertiser in Lafayette. It was a coveted job that you had to wait to become open. I jumped at the chance when it finally did.

The route in my neighborhood had 70 homes. The bundled papers came to the driveway of my friend Jules each afternoon around 4:00 PM. The various paperboys in the neighborhood gathered and folded the papers, putting rubber bands around each one. I remember that the folding process left black marks on my hands. Then the papers were put into a specially made bag that would fit over a bicycle. And off we would go, throwing the papers onto driveways or front porches. Rainy days made things a bit complicated.

But that wasn’t the end of the job. Every month I had to go to each home on the route to collect for that month. Sometimes no one was home and I would have to come back. Sometimes the customer said that it wasn’t a convenient time or he didn’t have the money, so I would have to come back. One man always gave me a difficult time, claiming that he had already paid. The language he used was not something for a kid to hear. But sometimes another customer would give a tip for good service. I remember how some of the older people on the route were kind and would ask how school was going.

What a great job that was for a young teenager. It sure taught me some vital lessons: (1) It’s important to do your job right and on-time. (2) Some people will not treat you fairly. (3) Some people are really kind.

May God help us today to be one of the kind ones.

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