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I will be delivering flyers door to door throughout my neighborhood to invite people to a community meeting. Not my favorite activity. I hated it as a kid and looks like I haven’t changed all that much.

Like many boys of my era, my first “work experience” was delivering newspapers. I never made it to the big leagues (The Washington Post was the main paper in my hometown). Instead I was “hired” to distribute a small local weekly. I was tasked to deliver to a four or five block area of fifty or sixty homes. So once a week I hopped upon my trusty steed, (a blue Schwinn if I recall correctly), and armed with a canvas sack filled with thin folded papers I set out on my route.

I tried to emulate the paperboys I saw on tv but the three or four page weekly didn’t have a lot of weight to it so any attempts to throw it on porches usually ended up on the sidewalk or lawn a few feet from where it was launched.

That I didn’t mind so much. Again, with a little imagination the simple act of throwing newspapers could turn into lobbing hand grenades at the enemy or tossing a sky hook over the outstretched arms of Wilt Chamberlain.

The thing I hated was that once a month I had to collect money from the people I was delivering to. What… I was ten years old and I was supposed to demand money from grownups? Even at ten, I could tell they didn’t want to pay it. It’s when I first recognized I was saddled with a conflict avoidance personality. If I couldn’t collect from somebody, instead of escalating the matter, I just took their fee out of my cut and paid it for them.  Most months I didn’t do much better than break even.

I gave up that paper route at the first chance that came along and never looked back. I kept the blue Schwinn though.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit

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