14 February 2011
Carriers Of News
Today I was drifting aimlessly in cyberspace when I really should have been doing other things. And, somehow, I came upon this:
Someone rescued a few sets of bags like these from an old newspaper building that was being torn down. Now he's selling them.
I'll bet that some of you have never even seen, much less used, an old-fashioned newsboys' bag like the one pictured. In cities, home delivery of newspapers is all but gone. And in some cities, newspapers themselves, at least the print versions, are a dying breed.
In fact, I haven't even heard the term "newsboy" in a long time. I wonder if that job still exists. And if it does, is it done only by "newsboys?" Back in my day, it was.
Yes, it was a gender-specific job. I don't think there was any rule against girls delivering newspapers; it just didn't happen. Or so most people think. Little did they know...
Yes, I was a newsboy. At least, that's what I was called. I started delivering papers a year after my family moved to New Jersey, if I remember correctly.
And--again, I'm depending memories not only of a long-past time, but of someone I have not been in a seemingly long time--I was even named Carrier of The Month, or some such thing, by The Asbury Park Press. After I was delivering for about a year, our job titles were made gender-neutral: newsboys became newspaper carriers. I could not show the sigh of relief I felt within me when that happened!
I don't think I've looked at the APP since I stopped delivering it. I've found the online edition, which I've linked. But now I wonder whether they still have a print edition.
If they don't, what are all those newsboys--er, news carriers--going to do? After all, that experience must have something to do with the person I've become!