Carrying on

By on March 12, 2014

Readers deliver fond memories


Most readers have probably noticed the Lititz Record Express’ new look and delivery system.

Well, the “new” delivery method is actually an old one in which a carrier delivers your newspaper directly.

The U.S. Postal Service had slowly assumed that task about 30 years ago.

The switch back prompted Mark Freeman to recall his youthful days as a paperboy delivering in Lititz in the mid 1970s.

“We had a book where we went door to door and collected payment every week,” Freeman said. “We had little perforated coupons we tore off and gave as a receipt. It was a lot of work to collect in the evening and deliver papers in the morning.”

Tom Benjamin said he delivered his route along Kissel Hill towards Lancaster Airport while riding his 10-speed bike.

“It wasn’t too bad, but on Wednesdays when the papers were bigger all that weight made for a tough afternoon,” Benjamin said.

Angela Galgon remembers her days as a papergirl delivering the Lancaster New Era “all through the 1980s.”

She shared the route with her brothers and sisters.

“It wasn’t the money that was most valuable to me,” Galgon said. “It was the feeling that I had something important to do.”

Like Benjamin, Galgon delivered on a 10-speed she won as a prize from Lancaster Newspapers. Newspaper boxes were few on her route in those days, she said.

“I walked into people’s houses and placed the paper on their sinks. I put it into milk boxes, between doors and on inside door steps and washers and dryers,” she said.

Randy Witmyer, who grew up in Ephrata, had several routes between 1967 and 1970.

His first route was delivering the morning Intelligencer Journal and “a few Philadelphia Inquirers and Reading Eagles.”

“There was a sweet old woman… who would occasionally have me in for a cookie and a hot chocolate on a cold Saturday morning,” Witmyer said. “I was 12 then -long gone are those days of innocence.”

Tammy Clair Dube remembers delivering the Ephrata Review in the ‘80s.

“It was a big thrill when I was carrier of the month and had my picture in the paper,” she said.

Dube, like almost every carrier who contributed to this story, touched on what paper carriers dreaded most &tstr; bad weather.

“Weather’s always been a challenge,” she said. “I remember as a kid having to pull my papers on a sled to deliver them.”

Chuck Ganster summarized his experience delivering papers in 1960: “Oh yeah, six bucks for seven days of rain, sleet, hail, snow and dogs.”

Benjamin, who gave up his route when a Saint Bernard bit him, remembers one especially demanding customer.

“I had Judge Wissler on the route and he wanted his paper first, every day &tstr; he would call the route manager if he didn’t and was standing out front when I rode up the driveway,” Benjamin said.

“I rode my 10-speed down Kissel Hill towards the airport, up his driveway to the top of the hill, back down and then back up the hill to start the rest of the route.”

Randy Carnes, who delivered the Intelligencer Journal in 1966-67, acknowledged delivering papers back then “to the homeowner with a smile.”

“Of course (it was) just the kind of kid I was,” Carnes joked.

Witmyer remembers a guy on his route who “liked to bet the ponies.”

“My best tip was five dollars,” Witmyer said. “The worst one was being yelled at for missing a house where the guy was waiting to read the horse track results. He never got missed again.”

Dube noted that nothing compared to delivering papers during the holidays when the tips were large and steady.

“My favorite Christmas tip back then was a box of clear toy lollipops,” she said.

Galgon said the most enjoyable memories were the “interactions with my older patrons” who would leave her candy and drinks.

“Another lovely lady used to invite me in for lemonade and we would enjoy small conversations,” Galgon said.

“Looking back on these days, I realize I might have been the only person that came to visit them on a daily basis.”

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at or at 721-4455.





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