When I was 12 years old, my younger brother had a newspaper route with the Hollywood Sun Tattler in Hollywood, Florida. Apparently, it was overwhelming to him, and he would cry when it was time to deliver the paper. When he wanted to quit, I told my mom I wanted to deliver the papers. Of course, in those days (1955), no "girl" had ever been a newspaper delivery "boy."
However, my cool mom thought it was a great idea, and I did it! I started with about 70 customers and got it up to over 100! I bought my own bike with a small allowance. The bike had a large basket to hold all the papers! Every year, I would "solicit" by going around to other homes asking if they wanted the newspaper. Being the oldest of six children, it was a great idea to lift expenses from my parents and make money for myself! The paper came out twice a week, and you had to deliver rain or shine. At the end of the week, I would go to every home, knock on their door, and announce, "Collecting!" I even got tips, too!
At Christmas, I got the most tips. With this money, I could pay my own way to the movies and even get a candy bar! As I got older, I became a majorette, bought my own baton, uniform and boots! I only quit the paper route when I bought my own car (for $25) at 16 and was the only one in my neighborhood with a car to drive to school. I drove all my friends to school since the car was a big, old Lincoln Cosmopolitan with four doors and big seats! (By the way, that car, to my surprise, was the same car John F. Kennedy rode in for the inauguration!) Now that I had transportation by car, I found a job working for the Hollywood Recreation Department as their youngest typist/clerk. They even signed me up for the beauty contests they ran every year at the Hollywood Bandshell. I never won, but I guess I was a good fill in for the other girls. Actually, my best girlfriend in high school won the beauty contest. I paid for my prom dress, yearbook and cap and gown for graduation. I graduated high school on a Thursday, and the following Monday became the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Director's secretary at 18, becoming the youngest secretary for a County Director. Another first! All in all, I attribute my good work ethic over the years to my frist beginning as a responsible newspaper "girl."