Most often the paper run was done alone.
On the rare occasions when one had company, the run was a doddle. Sometimes my sister Anne Hoffmann Junior would accompany me on Saturday mornings. During the run I would send her up to a house to deliver a newspaper-when she came back, I'd vanished behind a tree or a wall, only to leap out and scare her. I'm afraid I haven't changed-d'Artagnan (16) and I (56) still do the same to each other!
The other person I occasionally paired up with was Fiona Blades-sometimes it was to learn a new run for which one might have to provide holiday cover for or simply to learn a new run that one was to take future responsibility for.Raymond Carver's poem, Happiness, below, captures some of the feelings of doing a paper round in company.
So early it's still almost dark out. I'm near the window with coffee, and the usual early morning stuff that passes for thought. When I see the boy and his friend walking up the road to deliver the newspaper. They wear caps and sweaters, and one boy has a bag over his shoulder. They are so happy they aren't saying anything, these boys. I think if they could, they would take each other's arm. It's early in the morning, and they are doing this thing together. They come on, slowly. The sky is taking on light, though the moon still hangs pale over the water. Such beauty that for a minute death and ambition, even love, doesn't enter into this. Happiness. It comes on unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really, any early morning talk about it.