Why I have “Rich Memories” As A Retired Paperboy



As a little boy and through young manhood I was a Paperboy. I delivered the Washington Post everyday early in the morning. On many of those mornings my mother would help me by driving the car. It gave me one on one time with her and led to some wonderful conversations and experiences. As the result of that experience I picked up a paper route and did it with my kids for about two years. It was hard but I have fond memories of riding in the van as the kids ran to the doors. Having my little girl ride on the runner of the van as I drove along, hair blowing back with a big smile is one of my favorites.  Her excited exclamation that “Mom would never let me do this” still rings in my ears as she flashed me her beautiful smile. You can’t buy memories like that.

On one occasion, when I was a paperboy,  I was riding along with my Mom when a song from the musical, Fiddler on the Roof, came on. I am sure you all know the song, “If I were a Rich Man.” Back then I thought of Tevye, the father, as an old man. Now I have become him. I sang the song along with my Mom and from then on “Fiddler on the Roof” would always hold a soft spot in my heart as it always brings back memories of her.  I never really liked being a “paperboy”, but the memories that I have are almost all positive. When I think of the time spent over the years of delivering, collecting and putting together papers it wouldn’t seem that such work would hold “good” memories. So I must ask myself “Why, then do I have such fond memories of doing it?” Perhaps the answer is found in a talk given by Carlos Asay in 1989. Said he:

“Memory, according to the experts, often conditions our moods. Those who remember only the disappointing experiences of life tend to become bitter and cynical. Those who recall only their enemies and the forces lined up against them may lose their courage. Those who recall only past injuries may continue to battle with the world. But those who recall the positive and encouraging times, remain bright and optimistic.”

Memories are important to store. All of us have good and bad memories that we choose to hold onto.  I think I have fond memories of my “paperboy” days,  because I have minimized in my mind the work I didn’t like, and stored the good memories of doing it with my Mother and siblings. Carlos Asay ends his thoughts on the matter when he stated:

“I testify of the importance of memory. It does mold our moods. It is associated with testimony. It should include models of righteousness. Of a certainty, it is the product of thoughts. And, in the end, it is you.”

May we choose to always hold sweet memories of the past and try to abandon those that weight our spirits down. In so doing, we will become rich, not with the perishable goods of this world, but in the eternal things of the heart.

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