Ever have a paper route?  I have. Its a good job for early-risers or anybody who’d rather work without a boss or the constraints of an office. It gives you time to survey the lay of the land, get to know your surroundings and the inhabitants therein.  And think.  I used to come  up with some crazy schemes while pedaling through the neighborhood, pelting copies of Grit like I was a big-league relief pitcher.  They rarely hit the mark.  On the after-school route you could make a deliberate errant toss, with the purpose of getting a better look at the cute girl poolside.  “Jeez I’m sorry I tossed your paper over three garbage cans, nine lawn and leaf bags and a privacy fence, I’ll just take it to the porch for ya!  Seeya in chemistry tomorrow, ‘k?”   Right.  Beat it creep was the obvious reply, but I’d be long gone by then.  Casing the location of my next papyrus-sortie.  I tried to keep my deliveries out of the privet hedges and away from the underside of vehicles, but not every pitch ends-up over the plate.  I have to confess (because I was an altar-boy too) that sometimes I placed them inconveniently on purpose.  That guidance counselor who caught me smoking might have to trek to the curb in his bunny slippers for the Sunday edition.  Detention for working-on my standup routine during English Lit?  Well Miss Barfplumpskie, sorry your news is closer to your next-door neighbor’s driveway than yours.  Also sorry that rubber-band broke and the society page is blowin’ in the wind.  Shame!  I take the paper now, along with just a handful of others on my block.  It’s nostalgic mostly.  It’s security in a way, because heading into the on-air studio without a newspaper folded under my arm just doesn’t feel natural.  Sure I have an on-line account, with our own Times and about a half-dozen other outlets.  I love to grab my kindle and have such a wealth of information right there in living color.  But the old-school physical paper is like mac-n-cheese for my mind, comfort-food for the brain. In the interest of total-disclosure, the pic above was staged.  My paper never ends up anywhere near my front door.  But with very few exceptions,  it is always out front, somewhere, wrapped in plastic nice and tight in case of rain or snow.  Most days before 5am.  That’s commendable under any circumstances and a work ethic that should be applauded.  Hat’s off to the paperboy!

-Bobby Cook