When I was 9 years old I moved to Celina and soon was offered a paper route with The Daily Standard. I kept that job for 6 years leaving it 60 years ago in September of this year. I was 15 years of age then and moved to Kansas City to live with my Uncle Ray and Aunt Edith Moore. As mentioned earlier, Grandmother was failing in health and I needed another place to live for my last three years of high school.
Since I lived at my uncles and aunts parents home, they came back to see their parents as often as they could. Ray and Edith were there in August of 1949 along with their 18 month old daughter, Kathy, and wrote me a letter after they got home asking me to consider coming to their home to live. I still have that letter in my memory box. That was a big decision and one that had to be made quickly. Grandpa said the decision was mine. Whatever I decide was fine with him.
When I decided to take them up on the offer I had to resign from my paper route and turn it over to my substitute Bob Stein. Bob had subbed for me a number of times over the years and was familiar with the route. I don’t know how long he kept it. I also had to resign from my janitor job at the newspaper office. I asked Parker Snyder for a letter of recommendation and he gave me a nice one. I still have it in my memories. Leaving Celina and the newspaper was very hard for me. Practically all my memories were tied up in both of these places.
My paper route was 150 customers and I delivered six days a week. We didn’t have a Sunday paper then. To my surprise, they still do not issue a Sunday paper. I remember collecting each Saturday morning 20 cents for the week from each customer. Sometimes I would be paid $1 for 5 weeks and had to budget my money paying the bill each week. I took good care of my customers delivering their paper to the porch or behind the screen door in bad weather. Rarely got a missed paper call. In fact, I don’t recall one. Christmas was very good to me as many customers would give me extra money or a gift that a boy would enjoy having as a gift.
When this trip came up I knew I wanted to visit the newspaper office as they have built on twice to the original building. I wrote an email to the paper telling them who I was and that I was taking a trip back to my roots. I worked for Parker Snyder who was the owner publisher at that time. The newspaper was family owned. I didn’t know who would be in charge now but I asked them for a tour of the buildings for Brenda and myself and an interview with a reporter. I felt there was a story in our trip back there that they might want to publish. I received an email response from Frank Snyder who is Parker’s son and the current publisher. Frank has a sister and a brother also working at the office. I got to meet his sister but not his brother. Frank said his family would meet us with someone from the news staff. I made arrangements with them to come over around 8:00 a.m. on Monday June 15th which was our last day in Celina.
We arrive at the office at 8:15 a.m. and were graciously met by Frank Snyder and his sister. I brought my autobiography which had a picture of the The Daily Standard newsboys taken behind the original building. Also an article from Reminisce magazine that I submitted concerning the April 12, 1945 issue of The Daily Standard which was the only paper I kept during my 6 years as a carrier. This was the day that President Roosevelt died and Harry Truman became president. Someone in Celina read the magazine article and took it down to the paper in 2002. On the front page of February 8, 2002 issue of the paper there is a story about me and the article in Reminisce.
I also gave them a couple of music solo recordings that I made in recent years as a gift for their time.
Frank then took Brenda and me for a tour of the buildings. When we got to the old original part I was telling him what were in certain rooms at the time I was there. I could see them in my mind and he was impressed that I could remember so well. I told him about his dad’s office and the collection counter and the line-o-type machines on the next floor up. This was the area that I kept clean during my last year with the company. I earned 50 cents an hour doing that! The old press room is storage now and the line-o-type room holds the archives of the papers issued each year going back many years. We toured the new press room and a picture of that is below. I mentioned that the newspaper boys had a room where we prepared the papers for delivery and he showed us the room. On the outside wall I had taken a picture of four of my fellow carriers with my Ansco Box Camera.
I told Mr. Snyder that I was about to learn how to drive on the 1948 Studebaker pick up truck so I could deliver papers to nearby towns to carriers that would home deliver them. He said that is a job he did when he got started with the company. I moved before I could have that opportunity but his dad really wanted me to do it.
Frank turned me over to Betty Lawrence who is a reporter and has been with the newspaper for 41 years. She knew Parker very well and we talked about him. Parker liked me and kept giving me jobs. Betty spent a lot of time talking to me and taking notes. We went outside for pictures by their staff photographer. The article and picture appeared in the June 19, 2009 issue of the paper on page 3. If you would like a copy, just ask. I don’t have room here to write it out for you. Betty did a nice professional job with the story.
Brenda and I left after doing a video of remembrances outside the building. That was included in my DVD that Brenda and Scott did for me of the entire trip. We left about 10:15 a.m. and headed West to Indianapolis. We allowed plenty of time for the trip to the airport and found that we would be able to meet my brother Bob for lunch around Muncie. I called him and arranged for lunch at the Cracker Barrel in a town near Muncie. Bob, Mary Lou and their son, Bobby had lunch with Brenda and myself. One more time to get together. Since we didn’t do a video remembrance when we were with them on Friday evening and Saturday morning we took the time to do it after lunch. So they are included in the DVD as well.
After lunch it was on the road again for the airport. Turn in the rental car and check in for the flight to Dallas and on to Santa Ana. We had smooth flights coming and going. One reason on the way back was the pilot went between two large storms altering his normal route.
This concludes the stories of the trip. We had a wonderful time and something I will never forget. Thank you Brenda for the idea and flight plans. I made up the itinerary as to where we would go. We worked together very well.
Hope you enjoyed the trip. I did.
We woke up to this scene of sunrise over Grand Lake. This was taken from our room.
Dick standing in front of the new office of The Daily Standard.
This is the original part of the building. The bricked in part behind my head was the original door to the building. The window is the original office where Parker Snyder worked.