The Sunday Paper


I miss having the daily newspaper delivered to the house. One of the problems these days is that the newspaper doesn’t really have as much to do with my life as it once did. I live in a place I didn’t grow up in, and the people who are in charge of things (like the newspaper, f’rinstance) aren’t known quantities to me.

I bet it’s different when you live in the same town all your life.

I grew up reading the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and the San Francisco Chronicle when they were actual newspapers rather than sounding boards for democrat party politics. I guess it’s indicative that there’s no Santa Rosa Press Republican. Far as I know, there never was, but at one time the “PD” was just a local paper. I don’t know what it is now, but whatever the contents are, it has little to do with my life.

The paper here in Cowlitz County, Washington emanates from Longview, Washington—just up the road a piece—We call it the “Big City” when we go there. It’s about 35,000 population, but Castle Rock is only about 2000, so…..Big City. By my current standards. After all, there’s a Safeway there.

And newspapers. Skinny little daily and Sunday papers entitled “The Daily News” (they’re not exceptionally creative in these parts—you know…..loggers, fishermen) that costs $335.00 a year for home delivery. As a result, I don’t really pay much attention to local happenings. And damn sure don’t have it delivered at those prices.

My Dad never had home delivery for the paper. He always wanted to go to the newsstand in Healdsburg and pick it up there. Get the paper…..Get the Racing Form. Shoot the shit with the other guys who worked at the lumber mills and got drunk on Friday nights. Their equivalent to water cooler conversation.

I considered it it big deal when I grew up to get the paper delivered. That’s what our neighbors who I wanted to be like did when I was a kid. Like our next door neighbor, Mr. Beckman. He worked for PG&E and had a big company truck in his driveway. Two pretty daughters, one my age. A spanking new 1959 Impala. And he had the newspaper delivered to his house. Man, what a life……

At that time, my Dad was driving a 1955 Pontiac 4-dr sedan, and was so jealous about that 59 Impala he could have spit on the ground. The very next year Dad went to Silvera Pontiac-Buick in Healdsburg and bought a 1960 Buick LeSabre 2-dr Coupe. A dandy car, but no 59 Impala.

So when I grew up, got out of the Army, and got a house of my own, I had the paper delivered. An indication that I had arrived. A right of passage. And I bought a 1964 Impala.

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