A Newsboy Strikes Out
Yet on This Day, Newspapers Still Count
By Edward Shanahan
From the time I started reading the Boston Herald sports pages in the 1940s and later as a paperboy making my daily rounds by bike, delivering the Boston Post, Record-American, Boston Globe, the Traveler and Herald, newspapers have always been essential for me.
And so getting started a little later than usual the morning after Barack Obama’s election as president, I set out to find a copy of the New York Times, which remains necessary reading every day.
I stuck out at Bird’s in Florence, where I was told that the Times had sold out. Well, I figured persistence would pay off and prove them wrong.
I zipped down to the Stop & Shop, knowing they would have a larger supply than most outlets, but a sign there informed me that if I did not see the paper I was looking for it meant all copies had been sold. In fact, the entire paper rack was pretty much bare.
I hustled over to the Big Y, no Times and virtually no other papers either, other than a few Gazettes and Springfield papers.
Heck, I’d stop at the CVS on King Street on my way downtown. No luck.
The I ducked into the Cumberland Farms on King Street. Same deal.
I put a nickel in the parking meter in front of the Seven Eleven on King Street. Waste of money that was.
This was starting to get serious. So I headed back to Florence, stopping on the way at Dee Mart, across from the hospital. Forget it.
Found a parking space in Florence and on foot hit both Cooper’s and Cumberland Farms. Zilch.
About to head for home, I figured who would know that the gas station in Leeds near the back entrance to Look Park carried papers. Arriving there, I found they carry papers, and it was no secret either. I was too late. Busted.
A defeated hunter and gatherer, I went home and confessed sheepishly that Mr. Big Newspaper Man had struck out in his sacred mission.
So it looks as though a post-election copy of the Times was a collectible, given the historic nature of the Barack Obama triumph.
Now this was very good news, both for Obama, and also for newspapers in light of the dreary short-term and long-term prospects of news and information being printed each day on pages of newsprint and offered for sale.
If we can have one of these elections every few days, newspapers will continue to be necessary, even essential.
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