Saturday, May 23, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Share a Childhood Memory

It's Saturday Night - 

time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:

1)  Have you written your memoirs yet?  If so, please share with us one story from your childhood.  If not, then start your memoirs!   The story could be a memory of your family life, your schoolwork, your neighborhood, etc.  It doesn't have to be a certain length - just something you recall.

2)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a post on Facebook.  Be sure to leave a link to your work as a Comment to this post..

Here's mine:

The Paper Route and the Flexies

As a teenager (aged 12 to 16, as I recall), I shared a newspaper route with my brother Stan to earn money. The “San Diego Independent” was a twice a week paper, mostly advertisements and local news. Our route was between Fern Street (east) and 28th Street (west), Fir Street (north) to Date Street (south). Fir Street was three blocks down from our house on 30th Street between Hawthorn and Ivy Streets.  We delivered early in the morning.

Here is a map of our neighborhood in San Diego, with our house at the star and the paper route outlined in red.

The only customer that I remember was old Mr. Stotler, who lived on Dale Street north of Elm in an apartment house. He would give us extra money if we would learn something new – the state capitals, major league baseball team cities and names, National Parks, the alphabet backwards, etc. When we were collecting at the end of the month, he usually had some cronies playing cards with him, and he would have us show off.  I can still impress my kids and grandchildren by saying the alphabet backwards very fast.  We delivered the folded newspapers on our Flexies, carrying them in boxes and throwing them onto the porches.  We weren't allowed to use bicycles to deliver this paper.  We delivered over 100 papers twice a week, but only about 30 paid for it when we went collecting.  

The Flexie (essentially a sled on wheels – low to the ground, steered by handlebars with springs, with hand brakes) was a great transportation device for us, but it was dangerous because it was nearly invisible to drivers. We would go off a curb at a corner, swerve out into the street, and go up the first driveway on the next block. 

One day, while going down 30th Street to the nickel-and-dime store on Beech Street, I went off the curb at Date Street, swerved out in the street, looked behind me, and saw a city bus bearing down about 5 feet behind me. Oops. I crashed on the curb, flipped off the flexie, hit my head, and suffered a concussion.  I woke up at home with a bad headache and the doctor hovering over me.  

Stan also had a close call on his flexie – going down Ivy Street from 29th Street to the park, which is a great downhill ride that ends in a cul-de-sac with a concrete barrier at the bottom of the hill. He didn’t make the curve at the end of the hill, hit the curb, and flew off through the concrete barrier (which had an opening in it) and landed on the hillside below.  


Copyright (c) 2020, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at


Linda Stufflebean said...

Paper routes certainly were a standard job for boys back when we were kids, weren't they? Glad to hear Stan wasn't badly hurt flying through that barrier. That could have been a serious injury! I haven't ever heard of Flexies before today. I found a YouTube video about it. They sure would be hard for drivers to see in traffic. Amazing we all survived childhood with the dangerous contraptions that we played with.

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

Girls didn't get to have paper routes when I was young, though I helped my brother with the Sunday paper (too big to carry on his bike).

Here is mine.

Under the nut tree said...

Here's Mine :)

Janice M. Sellers said...

My memory has nothing to do with newspapers.

M. Diane Rogers said...

Here I am:

Linda Stufflebean said...

Here is my contribution, all about the outdoor activities we did:

Barbara said...

For the first time, I'm inspired to participate in your Saturday Night Fun. Here's my post:

Thanks for the inspiration, Randy!

Debby's Family Genealogy Blog said...

Great topic, Randy, since we often forget to write about our own memories. I recently shared one on my blog about my Easter Memories growing up.

Lacie Madison said...

Here are some of my memories. My post.