Salute to World-Herald carriers and readers
Memories from people who deliver or receive the paper
JoAnne Dinovo Howland
My father was a circulation district manager for many years, back when kids carried the paper. Quoting from a World-Herald news story after a huge snowstorm, "'I was pretty proud of my boys. I heard no griping about the cold weather,' said district manager Joe Dinovo."
From the World-Herald bowling leagues to the hours spent delivering papers, our house has many stories about The World-Herald. I helped my dad with the bookwork sitting at the kitchen table, since the carriers were responsible for collecting the money for the paper.
I have many photos in a family scrapbook, but one of my favorites is my dad's carriers in front of the district station.
My experience with The World-Herald began around 1931 or 1932 when I was 11 or 12 years old. I sold the newspaper on the corner of 16th and Cuming Streets, across from the Ford Motor plant. In later years it became the Tip Top Building and now is part of the north downtown development.
The newspaper cost 3 cents, and I could keep 1 cent for each paper sold. I would normally sell 10 to 15 papers, thus earning 10 cents to 15 cents for a few hours of work, Monday through Friday. At the age of 11 or 12 that was a lot of money. One never received "tips" then.
In 1934 I became a carrier. My route encompassed the Creighton University area from 25th Street to 27th and Burt Streets and from 25th to 27th and California Streets. I delivered about 100 papers each day, and we had to compete against the Omaha Bee News, a competitor to The World-Herald.
I was able to make about $3 a week and could save most of it, that is, if we could collect the 15 cents from the customer. You would be surprised the tales you would get from these subscribers when they couldn't pay their bill or they made you wait two weeks before you got paid.
Delivering papers in those days was not like today. We went to the station, picked up the papers and carried them in a bag on our shoulders. We walked to our route, which could be three blocks to a mile from the station. On Sundays, we had to be at the station by 4 a.m. The Sunday papers were especially heavy.
Looking back, being a newspaper carrier was a great experience. Learning how to deal with people at an early age, earning money and saving a little meant a lot. This helped me understand the business world later in life.
I returned to Omaha in 1955 and started my World-Herald subscription. I'm still a subscriber. In the mid-1930s, I hawked newspapers at 16th and Douglas Streets in front of the Brandeis department store. I particularly enjoyed the newspaper's "green sheet" edition, which had the latest Major League Baseball scores, because I was and still am a loyal Yankee fan. Two stories enabled me to sell lots of papers: The first occurred in 1935 when Will Rogers' plane went down in Alaska. The second story happened in 1937 when Amelia Earhart's plane was lost in the South Pacific when she was attempting a round-the-world flight.
Beverly Balters Stuart
One day in the 1960s it was a cold, snowy, blizzard-like day. My parents waited as usual for their evening World-Herald at 35th and W Streets. It was not like our paper boy to be so late, but the snow was deep and maybe he couldn't make it that day. As the evening drew on and darkness was setting in, we heard a knock on the door. Standing there shivering, covered with snow, was the paper boy. His shoes were wet and his cheeks were cherry red. He handed my mother her paper. She hurriedly brought him into the house, sat him down and gave him hot chocolate and cookies.
Our family knew him and his family because we lived nearby in a South Omaha neighborhood. She couldn't send him on his way without knowing he would arrive home safely. He said he wanted to hand-deliver the papers so they wouldn't get wet (there were no plastic sleeves at that time). He didn't want any subscribers to have to dry out their papers to read that evening.
My mother often boasted how she saved the paper boy's life that day. Today he is His Excellency Bishop Blase Cupich, the new bishop of Spokane, Wash.
West Point, Neb.
My memory goes back to getting the Sunday funnies. As a child we didn't get the Sunday paper, although we did get the daily World-Herald. Our neighbors didn't have a cow, so we would carry a pail of milk to their mailbox where they picked it up in exchange for a rolled-up Sunday World-Herald.
We enjoyed reading Blondie, Little Orphan Annie, Dick Tracy, etc. We've been married 59 years and have subscribed all the while.
>Silver City, Iowa
When I was in sixth grade, one of my younger brothers decided he wanted to be a paper carrier. My dad agreed, but enlisted me to be my brother's helper. I think I may have protested at first, but I went on to deliver newspapers for many more years after this first route.
We had a long, seven-block route that was curvy with a few hills. The Wednesday and Sunday newspapers were especially heavy. A carrier either needed to make several trips or have a good cart to wheel. The really lucky carriers got to deliver from their parents' car. Many members of my family were somehow involved with the World-Herald. Each of my three brothers delivered papers, my sister occasionally would help and my mom ran a paper station for a time.
It was an interesting business for a child to be in. You got money for a few hours' work and it taught money management along with all sorts of ways in which you had to be a responsible person. When my two youngest brothers were carriers, they were so short that the customers knew when the doorbell rang if they couldn't see anyone through the peepholes on their door, they knew it had to be the paperboys.
Sept. 13, 1990, was the most memorable day on my route. Part of the movie "Indian Runner," directed by Sean Penn, was filmed on my route, Poppleton Avenue. In the middle of my deliveries the director shouted through his megaphone: "Everyone inside, please!"
I was invited into one of the residents' homes. All the other neighbors went inside their respective homes and watched the filming from pulled-aside curtains. Eventually, we could come out, so I continued my deliveries. By the time the director shouted, "Take two, everyone inside again, please," I was at another home and was invited inside there.
Papers weren't completely delivered until 5 p.m. that day, but everyone understood why.
When I was a child, I remember having the newspaper delivered to our rural mailbox. At one time, probably in the early 1940s, the paper conducted a contest in which a close-up picture of an object was published, and readers tried to identify it. My parents really examined those pictures, and they even got me involved, which probably is why I remember it.
During World War II, my dad saved and cut out headlines and stories about the war. He made a scrapbook, which the family still has. My parents took the paper for more than 60 years. When my mother had to move out of their home, she moved into an apartment in our home. I told her she didn't need to pay for The World-Herald anymore, as she could share ours. Her comment was: "We have taken that paper for over 60 years, and I am going to continue to take it." How's that for loyalty? My mother has been gone for more than 10 years, and we still take the paper. A family tradition, I guess.
I am 25 years old and my first job, at age 12, was delivering the Omaha World-Herald. I have many memories from the three years that I delivered the paper, but there is one that definitely still makes me laugh. I was approaching a house to put the newspaper on the front porch, when I looked up and there was a rather large dog on the roof looking down at me. I was quite surprised, so I went to the door to see if the homeowner knew a dog was on the roof.
I think the residents were as surprised as I was. Apparently, the upstairs window was open and there was no screen, so the dog decided to go out on the roof. The home's residents haven't forgotten the incident either, and we still joke about it when we see each other. I had many wonderful customers on my route. That is one of the special things I remember as I think about delivering the Omaha World-Herald.