Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Antique Newspaper Delivery in Wilton Manors

Getting up before sunrise to walk the dog, there are a few things I expect to see.

The six o'clock hour belongs to the dog walkers and the gym goers.  I see the same cars on the same streets every day.  If I don't see them, I'm probably running either early or late.

The tennis instructor in his red Golf.
The neighbor who runs a pool service down the block.
The office workers in their various cars.

Same time tomorrow, CYA Then!

The dog walkers are out pretty much the same place at the same time.

Little petite lady with her tiny Maltese that runs all over the place off leash.
Big burly biker type with his Yorkie puppy that is beyond friendly.
The guy that's overwrought with his pack of rescue dogs.

After rounding the corner, I see Barb most days.  She's a very friendly person who usually knows all the details and wants to share them.  Lately she's been obsessing about her newspaper delivery.  She gets both the Miami Herald and the Ft Lauderdale Sun Sentinel.  The Herald is a national class paper, while the Sun Sentinel I only look at when I have the time.   I haven't subscribed to a newspaper since the 90s simply because I'm inundated and I really don't think I get much value from the Sun Sentinel.

But Barb wants her papers, and lately she has been getting them late.

Newspaper delivery isn't exactly easy work, and for what they're doing it's underpaid work.  Getting up at the crack of 3AM, driving all over town flinging papers at homes, making sure you don't miss any and talking with people who are waiting for them is one of those things that you really have to be prepared for.

When someone is out sick, it means the supervisor has to take over the route.  In Barb's case, the supervisor told her that the guy who did it here quit.

I guess he found a better paying job like slinging burgers.

I've been getting chapter-and-verse about the troubles the paper has been having with trying to keep people working these routes.

This morning, I had a bit of a surprise.

I'm half asleep and a half hour late.  Walking down the street I see a slow moving car, but hear a sound from the past.  A deep rumbling bass note from a car that wasn't one of those mindless resonator "Boom Cars" that was popular a while back, this was the real deal.  A large block American V8 1970s Muscle Car was slowly moving down the street toward me as I was picking up after Mrs Dog.

That's the thing, in Wilton Manors you get used to the quirky and the unexpected.

Here was a young guy, 20 something, with his young girlfriend or just riding partner.  They were moving slowly in a "cherry" 1970s vintage Ford Mustang Convertible, just before dawn, flipping newspapers down the street.

She was half asleep, he was busy doing his job, neither really paying too much attention to me and the dog.

I was amused.  Here was a blue Mustang that was giving me a one car antique car parade.   Rumbling smoothly down the block I half expected a politician in the back seat waving at me and asking "for your support" instead of doing duty as a delivery vehicle.

It passed me and the dog, slowly.  I noticed the smell of an older V8 running a bit rich.  Catching the license plate, I saw the tell-tale blue of a Florida Antique plate and thought to myself it deserved that status.

Even at 6:30 in the morning, before the sun came up, that car was worth the look.  I guess once a motorhead, always a motorhead.

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