In praise of newspaper carriers: It’s your special day
With Sept. 4 being national newspaper carrier day, it’s time to shine a light on those steadfast unsung heroes across the country who rise in the chilly, pre-dawn hours to deliver papers to doorsteps across the land.
Where would we be without them?
The Times Union in Albany, New York, did just that with a profile of Frank Foglia who took up a newspaper delivery route after his retirement as an Albany police officer.
He has assured that the Times Union and the New York Times are on doorsteps and in newspaper boxes on his Albany county route for more than a dozen years.
Foglia distributes about 1,100 papers a week and has never missed a day.
In the 12 years he’s been delivering papers, he’s never called in sick — not once. Sometimes, when the load is a little heavier (ex: on holidays or Sundays), his wife will assist with delivery. Most days, though, he heads out solo at 3:30 a.m. and gets behind the wheel of his Toyota Rav 4 to deliver the news to his customers.
There are no recent stats indicating just how many carriers are out there although you can bet they are a dwindling breed with newspapers vanishing like wisps of wind.
New research shows that over 2,000 newspapers have closed since 2004, a staggering figure given that the industry was once among the largest employers in America.
People like Foglia are become rarer but no less special.
In an interview, he said he started delivering papers to keep busy after retiring as a police officer and then from his landscaping and floral business.
“I have always been a morning person and to some people getting up at 3 a.m. every morning seven days a week seems crazy but you would be amazed at what happens while the rest of the world is asleep,” said the Vietnam War veteran.
Oh, and did we mention? There’s a bonus to the job.
He has always like Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. He treats himself to one every morning. A small reward for a man who has done so much for newspapers.
Hats off to you, Frank, to all the other carriers out there. We salute you on national newspaper carrier day.