Throwing the Herald

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Billy Chancey

 

                                       

Last modified: Friday January 31, 2014

 

Many a tale has been told by and about those who "threw the Albany Herald" ... and many a lesson in life was learned and not forgotten ...

... here are some of those stories!!!

 

MARION HAY, Class of 1956: Yes. I threw the Albany Herald off of my 1948 Harley Davidson 125 Motorcycle. If my recollections are still right the cost for the paper delivered to your front door was 35 cent plus a penny (36 cents per week) tax for Old Herman Talmadge.  Between Slappey and Palmyra Road along portions of 7th. and 8th., and 9th. Streets. I was given 125 customers at 36 cents each per week. That was seven days per week and I collected my route every Saturday morning. I didn't make doodle squat for the time involved. It just kept me off the streets. It did teach me how to add, subtract, multiply and divide though. The Herald got their money first and I got what was left over. I do remember that I delivered Mr. Rob's paper as well as Steller Mullins father's paper and also Peck Carlton's ( Sister Carlton's Dad ) paper along with a lots more. Richard Harper says that I delivered his paper. It has been a long time ago and I don't remember that. I do remember how cold it was on those freezing and rainy Sunday mornings throwing those papers on the front porches. I could hit a porch from the street going twenty five miles an hour on my Harley 125cc Motorcycle with split accuracy. If not careful I would knock the front door side window panes out. There are lots and lots of memories.

LLOYD GOLDSTEIN, Class of 1956: I worked several routes on the north side of town, beginning as a relief carrier for Gene McCall ('56) somewhere around 1953. I also substituted for the late David Lee ('55) before getting my own route. We all worked for A.J. Nobles (I think that was his last name). Back in those days papers were secured for throwing by wrapping thread around them after they were rolled into tubes. We had paper-rolling speed contests which were regularly won by Winston Owens.

My most enduring memory is throwing the Sunday paper, well before daylight, onto the side porch of a funeral home. Stored there were the shipping crates for recently delivered coffins; I'd throw, then pedal away as fast as I could, afraid to look back.

 

BRUCE GAREY, Class of 1963: Yup, I threw the Herald for nine years. I started with Route 49, which included Sylvandale Subdivision. I later added half of the NEW Turner AFB housing area. I delivered about 700 papers daily for over four years. It put me through Georgia Southwestern Junior College (that was the name THEN.  It also put me through a year at Georgia Tech and my first year at University of Georgia.

Later I worked at the Herald for eleven more years in the retail display advertising department in the heyday of Albany’s retail boom (1971-1982).

My big brothers both threw the Herald. John (AHS Class of 51) delivered Dawson Road in the late 40’s and early 50s. Bob (AHS Class of 53) also threw the Herald in the Mock Road area in the early 50s. John went to work at the Herald in 1951 and worked there in the composing room until about 1974.

Actually, once I started at GSW, I could no longer roll my own papers and get them delivered by the 5 p.m. deadline. My younger sister, Lynn, rolled them daily (I rolled them on Saturday and Sunday). My sister unfortunately (or fortunately depending how one looks at it) was in the first class to go all the way through the new Dougherty Junior High and Dougherty High. So while my sister never THREW the Herald, she enabled me to keep my route and attend Junior College as a non-resident student.

Our family has ink running in our veins.

Also ... the route next to mine (Turner City) was carried by a female (Mrs. Land). She had that route when I took route 49 and she still had it when I left in 1966. She was OLD, she might have been 40 or so. And she delivered in a car while I used motor scooters and motorcycles.

 

My route manager was Billy Houston. His boss was assistant circulation manager, A.J. Nobles. The circulation manager was Mr. Chambers. Mr. Chambers never spoke directly to me (thank goodness) until I came back to work at the Herald in the ad department after college. He was too far above a carrier to ever speak to peons like us. The world would have ended if the assistant circulation manager ever spoke to me. I dreaded just hearing ANYTHING from my route manager. When you were spoken to, it was always bad news. You’d missed a delivery, you were late, you let one get wet, or someone called in a COMPLAINT. Woe be it unto any carrier who ever heard from a route manager. The threat of turning in your green route book was the ultimate punishment. When I delivered the Albany Herald is was $.40 a week or $1.60 a month. I got to keep $.36 a month for each of my customers. All my customers were monthly and I only had TWO pre-paid customers (Folks who paid the Herald by check and I didn’t have to collect from monthly.). The other 698 had to be collected either on the 1st-5th or the 15th-20th  monthly. Air force personnel got paid on the 1st and 15th and that was the ONLY time they had enough cash to pay the paper. If you couldn’t catch them by the 5th you had to wait until the 15th to get your money. But papers HAD TO BE PAID (in advance) at the Herald no later than the 5th of the month. We carriers “posted bonds” that guaranteed we would pay our monthly bills. We were required to post a bond equal to our monthly bill. Once you reached that level you no longer had to post bond. I kept posting my bond until I had enough saved to pay my college expenses for nearly four years.

Thus endeth the lesson on Throwing the Herald Grasshopper. 

 

 FRED HANCOCK, Class of 1956 writes:  ALTON WINGATE, Class of 1958 and I worked together at the C & S Bank. Before that Alton was an Albany Herald thrower. He rode a motorcycle, had two routes. When he came to work for the C & S bank he had to take a pay cut from what he was making as a paper boy. Alton went on to become chairman and president of a bank in Covington Ga. He started the Super Market Banks that were so popular several years ago. Alton died a couple of years ago. My memory is sketchy. Surely someone that worked for the Herald will have a good story about Alton.

 

DAN BROOKS, Class of 1956:  Yep, I "threw" the Albany Herald in the 1950's.  But I got fired.  Several of my friends like Edgar Campbell, Jimmy Bell, Chloe Perry, Raines Wakeford, Kay Reynolds, you know, that crowd, were all going to the Saturday matinee at the Albany Theatre.  I wanted to go with them so I picked up my papers at the Herald and left them on my Harley 125 outside the theatre.  When the movie was over, I rolled and delivered my papers.  The only problem was that about half of my customers had called the Herald and complained that their papers were way too late.  That ended my illustrious career as an Albany Herald paper boy.  But no matter.  Then I got a much better part time job at The Moncrief's Gift Shop. 

 

Betty Dunn Logan, class of 1949 writes: SONNY LOGAN, Class of 1948 sold The Herald at the corner of Pine and Jackson in 1940 and remembers selling Extras! when Germany declared war against Poland.  He later threw papers from a bicycle with "Little Earl" Bullock.

 

  DON (Monk) SHIRLEY, Class of 1956: I had Route 7 until I was a senior in high school. You haven't lived until you deliver the Sunday paper on Saturday at midnight. You cannot see small picket fences, kids toys, and clothes lines in the dark. Then there is the ever danger of dogs. I was bitten only once because the owner assured me that her precious dog would not bite me. I had him housed at the pound for seven days.  I also was run over by a truck. H.T. McIntosh lived on my route. Of course I did not deliver nor collect from him. He was the editor of the Herald. A few AHS  graduates lived on my route. John Miller, '56 and Pam (Tyler) Johnson, '55. I bought my first Herald bicycle at Pat's Cycle Shop.

 

VAN KNOWLES, Class of 1958:  I think that it was a Sunday morning in the winter of 1954 that I delivered the Albany Herald on my bicycle at 6 AM when the temperature was 8 degrees Fahrenheit. I had my ruptured appendix removed by Dr. Frank McKemie the next summer and that ended my career as an Albany Herald paperboy.  

 

TOMMY HERRINGTON, Class of 1956: I do not know exactly when it happened, but I got tired of mowing yards for money, and decided to go into the publishing business. My first job in that business was working as a day laborer for Donnie Poole,  who had a Herald route just on the other side of Slappey Drive from where I lived. He "hired" me to help him with his route on Wednesday and Thursdays and to help collect on Saturdays.  Since I did not have a green card, he only paid me 50 cents per day, and even though it was less per week than mowing yards, I was, after all, still in the 7th or 8th grade, learning the publishing business, and a buck fifty a week was not bad money..

Then, when I felt I had learned all that Donnie could teach me, I interviewed with A. J. Noble, a giant of a man who taught a lot of young fellows about why it was important to be responsible and do a good job if you wanted to succeed in the world of business..  He finally gave me a route of about 140 customers centered on Lincoln Ave on the east side of Slappey. It did not have enough room for expansion, but I was now making big bucks - $2.80 per day..

 

I told A.J. I needed a bigger route, and he said that if I had a motorcycle, he would do what he could, so on my 16th birthday, I bought a new Indian, and he let me have the route that was on the other side of Slappey, (Lincoln, Gordon , Waddell, etc.) which was on the edge of growth in that side of town.

It was not long before I had around 260 customers, and I was saving money right and left.

Sometimes, when the papers were really big (Thursday grocery ads), George Harmon (who had the route next to mine) and I would get all our papers "wrapped" (at the Arctic Bear), and we would load them into the backseat of his car and take turns driving (while holding the homemade headliner up out of the way) while the other would sit on the right fender and fling papers as we drove through the neighborhoods.  (I never will forget the time when I turned a corner too sharply, hitting the ditch with the right front tire, and watching George being launched up into the air in mid throw. I can still see his hip pockets go over his head as he disappeared from sight in front of the now stopped car....) 

What I learned about business was that good customer service was an important part of being successful. I did my best to make my customers happy, and when I collected on Saturdays, a lot of them would hand me 40 or 50 cents, and tell me to "keep the change." Figure this, if you had 250 customers, you were making (gross) $35.00 per week, before tips. If 50 customers let you keep 4 cents, and 50 more let you keep 14 cents, that was an additional nine bucks per week, or almost a 30% increase in revenue without any additional overhead...

 

And, the Saturday before Christmas, a lot of those customers would not only let me keep the change, quite a few also either gave me an additional dollar, or a gift wrapped pair of socks... 

 

I did not have to buy any new socks until I got out of college... 

 

I paid for the motorcycle, all my meals at high school, my dates, my Church donations, my occasional classical 33 rpm record, and put the rest into a savings account. The savings paid for a lot of expenses at the North Avenue Trade School, until I got established as a Co-op, making big money in the oil fields as a "jerb" (sorta like a glorified deck hand) working my way up to a Junior Geophysical Engineer position for a division of Mobile Oil out in the Gulf of Mexico.....

 

I did not have a gigantic social life, but the girls I did have dates with seemed to understand why I could not walk them home, or share a coke after school; however I could pay my own way, and it all set me up so that I could buy my own brand new, shiny red ' 61 Austin Healy 3000 as a self graduation present when I hit my senior year at Tech...

My social life improved greatly at that point...

 For a long time, those were the best of times. But, not as good as now.. ..

 

BRINSON PHILLIPS, Class of 1954 I was one of those who threw the Herald.  I started in the summer before my freshman year and "threw" until just before graduation.  I would ride my bicycle to school in the morning and after school ride down to the Herald  and roll my papers then ride out to where my route started, which was at the corner of Fifth and Slappey.  The route covered Sixth and Seventh from Slappey to the end of both streets and part of Edgewood Lane.  No wonder I stayed so skinny throughout High School, cause that was about fifteen miles a day.  The big paper during the week was on Thursday and I really hated it; on Sunday they brought the papers out to my house so it wasn't as bad since I lived on my route.  Later on I bought a Whizzer motorbike and it took so long in the morning to get it started I could have walked to school and had time left over.  At least it was motorized and I had good time with it. Later had a Harley 125 and in my junior year bought a new Harley 165, one of the first ones in Albany. Sam Pritchard and myself had some great times riding everywhere and to Radium and River Bend, hunting, fishing, and chasing girls and trying to look macho.  I gave up my route to Charlie Foster about two months before graduation and went to work at Penney's in the Receiving Department., but that's another story.

Martha LeSueur Nicholson, Class of 1956 writes: When I was in the 7th grade I would watch for the cute blonde paper boy who brought our paper late in the afternoon.  We lived near the city limits, so were almost at the end of his line.  I would stop him and talk and flirt up a breeze and sometimes take his last 2 papers and deliver them to the last 2 houses up the street.  There were a couple of different ones on that route, both cute and blonde, both AHS alums, but when my father died we moved into town, and though we still had paperboys, they weren’t cute and blonde!  BUT, my best friend in the 8th grade lived in the 800 block of Residence Ave. right where the new Albany High was later built.  I often went home with her after school, and we would play records and gab and watch out the window for HER cute blonde paperboy to pass by!  We never talked to him, we just giggled and oohed and aahed over him from a distance, and watched him throw those papers so they would walk up the front steps, but we never knew his name.  Fast forward to 1957...some more AHS alums introduced me to WILBURN NICHOLSON, Class of 1953 who was just back home from his first hitch in the Air Force.  We had never met in high school, but I was still a sucker for cute blonde guys!  I knew he had once been a paper boy, but it wasn’t until years after we were married that he was talking one day about where his route had been that it dawned on me.....he was my friend’s paperboy that we had been ogling all those years ago!!!!

 

Evelyn Butler Clifton, Class of 1950 writes: LAMAR CLIFTON, Class of 1946 sold newspapers on the down streets in the 1930s and carried both an Albany Herald route and an Atlanta paper route in the 1940s. 

 

KENNETH FAIRCLOTH, Class of 1955:  I did "throw the paper" for Albany Herald from 1949 through 1955.

 

JAMES/JIM CALHOUN, Class of 1950: I carried the Albany Herald - Route 13 (I think) - inherited it from Gordon Couch. 8th Grade - bought my saxophone with the money. Mr. Gore asked me to sell it to the High School when I graduated as I, "wasn't going to need it anymore."  Paid for my first quarter at Emory-at-Oxford with Sax money.

150 papers delivered on Second, Third, Fourth, Hinds and some of Monroe - 50 paper bundle to the Hospital on Sun. mornings as the ambulances rolled in to emergency - fascinating.

One carrier (can't remember his name) said that his church was the only valid Church since it was named The Church Of God - we had a fight over this. Went next door to the Buick place while waiting for papers one day - looked into a huge metal barrel covered with a piece of chicken wire - the 'hugest' rattle snake I've ever seen struck against the wire and I think I wet my pants.

My dear buddy - Billy Chancey applied for a route (Billy was challenged both mentally and physically but I think The Herald was afraid not to give him a route). Some said, "He won't last long because people will take advantage of him and not pay when he comes to collect."  Billy fooled them.... he had a special sense that told him when someone was in a house even when they didn't come to the door. He would sit on the porch and wait - almost immediately the people would run out with the money so he would move on. Billy had the best collection rate of any carrier.

While on vacation with my family in the Smoky Mountains while still in grade school I met Mr. Henry McIntosh - The Editor of The Herald. I was impressed with him and wrote a poem about him when I returned. Got a nice letter from him.

Shakespeare, Virgil, Robt. Frost, Keats, etc. will die of envy when they read this:


            Mr. McIntosh

I go to his school I read his paper,
And all these aren't just vapor.
All around town he's a helping hand,
If you ask me he's a mighty fine man.       

I met him on Black Mountain with a smile on his face,
Greeting every one no matter what race.
He is loyal to his town he is loyal to his State.
In his heart there is no hate.

His job is done before you can count to four,
And when he is through he is ready for more.
He is working for loyalty and citizenship too,
 For he does things that were for someone else to do.

When you go to him you don't need a four leaf clover,
For when you leave your troubles are over.
When you hear his name you won't say 'bosh,'
Because his name is Mr. McIntosh.

Composed around 1942 or 1943
This magnificent piece of verse saved from extinction by Sallie Mae Calhoun
 

FRED SUMPTER, Class of 1956: I was an Albany Herald Carrier (Rt. 29) from the 8th grade until I graduated from AHS.  The paper was 36 cents a week, and we had to collect and pay our bill on Saturday.  Jack Chambers was the Circulation Manager, and A. J. Nobles was his assistant.  My route started at 4th and Madison and finished at 4th and Slappey.  There were some "slow pays" that required going back many times for the money.  One of my Dad's "pearls of wisdom" was "Don't let them ride you, Son."

We tight-rolled the paper with thread we bought at Silvers and packed them in a sack on the handlebars of a bike...was quite a balancing act.  One of the greatest highlights of my route were all the cute girls, especially those in the 900 and 1000 block of 4th Avenue.  Girls, you may be gone, but you're certainly not forgotten.

 

MACK LIPSEY, Class of 1950 I had a Herald route for several years.  I forget the route number but it included the 300 blocks of 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th avenues and the 400 block of 8th Ave.  Jerry Flanagan gave me the route and we threw papers every Sunday morning together.  Others who delivered were the Shirley brothers and Ray Johnson.  The most memorable part of my route was these two beautiful sisters who lived on 6th Ave.  I believe their last name was Mallory.  That may not be right, but to this 14 year old paper boy, they were gorgeous.  I would actually get to talk to them when I went to collect for the paper.  Having a paper route did not make me rich, but it did provide a steady and sometimes quick source of revenue.   

 

DON POOLE, Class of 1956:  I had the joy of throwing the Albany Herald back in the early 1950s.  I think I started in either '51 or '52, and continued until '55.  My route was 9th, 10th and 11th Streets, between Slappey Dr. (Blvd.) and Palmyra Rd.  That was back in the days BEFORE those streets were paved, so navigating sand and ruts was sometimes quite a challenge.  Especially when you are carrying 150+ papers in that canvas bag strapped to your bike's handlebars!  In those days the Herald cost 36 CENTS a week delivered to your house, and I was always amazed at the people who didn't have 36 cents to pay me each Saturday morning when I collected for the paper; and I'd have to come back 3,4 and 5 weeks before they would pay.  I always loved the folks who paid by the month... or the year.  They seldom gave me any problems!  Occasionally the circulation department of the paper would push us carriers to "throw the paper on the porch," but that was a real pain, so I seldom did it.  My substitute on the route was a fellow classmate... Tommy Herrington. 

 

Delivering the Albany Herald was the first paying job I ever had.  It was a 7-days-a-week job, but the pay... at least for me in those days... was okay.  (Although I don't think I ever paid my substitute very much!)  But it was a job that began to teach me money management, people skills, and gave me plenty of exercise.  Too bad that most kids today don't have similar opportunities.

 

HERBERT PAULK, Class of 1952: I had waited my turn for a chance to have a route for several months.  Before that, along with Hambone Hamilton and some others, I hawked the papers on the streets.  Sure earned a lot of money for Hubbles' hot dogs and Liberty Theatre tickets.

Well, I finally got my chance to carry the route that went north on North Jefferson all the way to past my house.  BUT, I only had it one Sunday as I caught the mumps the first day of delivery and halfway through the route my Mother took me, my bike and the papers back to the Herald and then took me home to bed.

    * Needless to say, I lost my route then and there.

    * Never got another chance!

    * Maybe it was for the best, who knows.

 

CHARLIE HANCOCK, Class of 1957:  I was a Herald thrower. I grew up in Acree, and the Herald was dropped from a small plane that flew from Albany to Tifton dropping papers at various places along HiWay 82. I had 32 customers and they would drop 36 papers in a duffle bag right by US 82 in Acree. My route was about 5 miles long and I delivered the papers on my best ever horse. His name was Dan, he was tall, black and real fast. I remember when he died, I was 36 and Dan was 28. Dan knew the route better than I did and my customers always reminded me of that fact. I delivered the paper for about 7 years and every time the plane flew over Dan would always try to run from the plane. I don't know if he didn't trust me or he didn't trust the pilot. I remember the paper was 36 cents per week. Someone told me to put a bell on the saddle and when Dan came by their house they would just go out and get a paper and I could stay home. I didn't do that because Dan wasn't that good with money.

 

Joann Roark Arneson, Class of 1962: Billy Watson ('57) passed thru Albany a couple of weeks ago and we had dinner and reminisced about STEVE (ARNESAN - CLASS OF 1957) When I told him of your "When I threw the Herald" stories, he remembered meeting Steve under a big tree at the Dairy Queen and helping him fold the papers before his route.  I remember his route was the area behind the Dairy Queen.  The streets were Eva, Mary, Julia, Benjamin, Florence and Lucille!  Billy said he had a small Harley that he used for the route.  This was before he started working for Bud Cannon at the service station.

QUESTION from FRIEDA HOWARD RANDALLS ('54):  Do you paper boys remember someone who delivered paper by motorcycle .... perhaps a few years older than us?  I believe he was from Doerun, but not sure.  He also had an antique Ford with a jumper-seat in back.

 

BILL DYESS, Class of 1968: :I threw it for two years, (64-66) my route was AJHS down to the bridge.  I would Leave the JR High, later AHS and go pickup the papers, roll them and then bike back over to the Jr High School and start. Usually took about  2 hours to run the route; in the rain add another hour.  I believe it was 36 cents for a week collection would be on Friday nights and turn in the $$ to the Herald on Sat AM time. I cleared 80. a month that would put gas in my mom's Corvair, date money (when I had a date)and also bought a 20 gauge shot gun to my mom's concern. 


The  Herald changed the weekly collections to monthly that made life a bit easier.  On Sundays around 1 AM we would go down to the paper and help throw the bundles from the Vans on Sunday.  It was a great job for a 15/16 year old kid. Met a lot of good folks on my route, two families I remember always gave out cookies and offered their front porch when it rained. (or down poured) At the age of 15, on Sundays about 3AM I would take my moms car and deliver the route.  I made sure several papers were left for the fire station and the police that would come by. Throwing the paper is still a great job, but U do need a car.

 

Dan McIntyre, Class of 1957: I shared in the Albany Herald culture from 1948  to 1955. I assisted my brother David (1952) for a couple of years before Route 27 became mine. Fred  Sumter, Little Monk Shirley, and I rolled a lot of papers together. Harold McNabb and my most feared teacher (Ms Hudson, Algebra) were on my route. I got fired one time when Mr. Chambers realized I was allowing football practice conflict with a timely delivery—he flagged me when it was getting dark as I was throwing the papers and asked me which was more important, football or the route, and I gave him the wrong answer. Anyway, they knew my Mother needed the additional income, so they allowed me back on the route.

Bo Lewis, Class of 1967: I spent many years employed by The Albany Herald and had the pleasure of working with Billy every day. He was a character! I am a proud member of the Class of ‘67. Thanks,

~ Bo Lewis, (BoBo to my Albany friends) Jacksonville, Fl.

 

Jim Brandon, Class of 1958:  Throwing the Herald.  It was just what we did.  Only later did I realize that it may have formed something of our character.  I wrapped papers behind the Arctic Bear with guys like Tommy Herrington, George Harmon and Dan Sanders.  I carried papers on a bag tied with strips of inner-tube to the handlebars of  a Schwinn Black  Phantom (second-hand from Pat’s Cycle Shop on Pine Street, across from The Herald).  I threw  papers  from the 1200 block of Highland Avenue through the 1700 block, then back to the 1400 block of  Edgerly through the 1200 block.  About 140 papers wrapped in thread bought in large cones from the Herald, and thrown six afternoons a week and Sunday mornings, from a bicycle on sand streets.  Like many Herald boys, I could throw from the bike and hit the front door with good accuracy.  I supplemented my income by mowing yards for many of these customers in the summer, and doing all sorts of odd jobs for them as well.

I began collecting Friday nights so that I could finish Saturday morning in time to pay my bill at the Herald office in town and pick up my papers there for my Saturday delivery.  Television was a novelty in the mid fifties, and a few people on my route had a set.  I remember inviting myself in and watching George Gobel or the Gillette Friday Night Fights at a few houses in which I myself must have been a novelty.  Most people paid by the week – 36 cents – and I ended up with a big bag of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies.  Only once – the first time – did I dump this bag of change at the office window at the Herald.  This was not the thing to do.  I learned to exchange my change for bills at filling stations and stores between my route and downtown.  Once I swapped change at a filling station in town, then went around to use the bathroom.  I opened the door to find a corpse wedged under the hand basin!   I panicked and rushed around to the manager.  He came around and kicked the old drunk who had wedged himself into a sleeping place for the night.  Never have I felt so relieved (he was not dead) nor seldom so embarrassed. 

Moving to earlier times in the late 40’s, I remember listening to Uncle Walt and the Story Lady on WGPC on Saturday mornings.  This was a chance for kids to “do something” on the radio – usually sing a song or something.  You called in to get on, and a friend and I did.  We would sing “You Are My Sunshine.”  We were THERE, in the little studio behind the New Albany Hotel, with the microphone live.  Uncle Walt poured a glassful of milk from a bottle of Golden Glow milk and it gurgled right into the microphone and out to all those listeners.  We were on top of the world.  We were on Radio!

 

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