Learning Responsibility as a Paperboy
When I was 11 years old, I took my first real job delivering The Charlotte News all over Troy, NC. Six papers, Monday through Saturday, for 30 cents — leaving a dime profit for me! Back then most boys would roll and throw the papers as they pedaled by. But I would stop at each house and carefully slide the flat paper to the front door.
I often stopped by the local Chevy dealer, across from the courthouse, where my father worked. He was always happy to see me. If it was baseball season there would be a game coming from a dusty radio removed from some car long ago.
Sometimes it was cold and rainy, sometimes it was hot, and sometimes it was good weather for playing with friends along the way. But not for long. I had a sense of responsibility that was growing as I matured.
Somewhere in the middle of my route was the home of Mrs. Grant, my piano teacher from second grade. One winter day I got home and noticed I had an extra paper left over. I had no idea why. Shortly after dark, the phone rang, it was Mrs. Grant wondering where her paper was. Daddy took the call and then we got in the car to drive across town to make the delivery. I am sure I apologized as I would to any of my customers if it ever happened again. But it didn’t.
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