Jerry’s Journal: Papergirls, reader feedback, and Fulton Memoirs

By Jerry Hogan Kasperek 

Do you remember when we used to have paperboys? And papergirls!

According to Gerry Garbus, young ladies back in her day were considered “too fragile” to deliver newspapers. But, they could do the job anyway — if they took a boy’s name — she said, which worked out good for her because of her name being Gerry!

She stopped by the other day with an old newspaper clipping featuring a photo of 23 (I counted them) long-ago paperboys and papergirls holding turkeys in a Thanksgiving give-away.

The distributor at the time was Herald Taylor, she said. It was Nov. 27, 1944.

The newspaper was the Herald Journal. I bet you remember it, the afternoon newspaper that was unbundled and gathered up by ambitious boys and girls, mostly in their early teens.

They could be seen on our sidewalks after school, in all kinds of weather, a big strap over their slender shoulders, toting the heavy Herald Journal bags made of gray cloth and filled with multi-page newspapers that were delivered right to your doorstep so your parents (and you in later years) could catch up with the latest news at dinnertime.

All for a dime or a quarter tip a week — you say, you got to be kidding!

Gerry Garbus was the serious-looking young lady with dark hair, on the right side near the back row, of the photo. She said my late husband Mike Hogan was a newspaper boy, too. But I don’t find his face in the crowd in the clipping.

I did spot a couple of other familiar faces, though: Bob Jones, Fred Sumner — some faces never change — and one of the Misch boys, I think might be Claude.

Mary Ann Buell, Don Quade, and a Lanzafame, perhaps it was Sal, Gerry said, were also in the picture. Who else is lost in memory.

I wish I could reproduce that old and faded news clipping for this column, but for obvious reasons I cannot. It sure provokes a lot of good memories for you and me, anyhow, thanks to Gerry Garbus.

I received a delightful email from Jim Kring who wrote: “Hi Jerry, greetings from Jacksonville, Florida. One of the modes of transportation Walt Carrington did not represent for your March 22nd Journal was ‘bumper skating.”

“Back in the day, when on foot (of course you were) and you wanted to get up West First Street, at the light at Broadway and First you could catch a ride by grabbing at the rear bumper (there were bumpers then) of a turning car, crouching down and skating on your feet.

“Of course, it was easier and safer in the winter,” (Jim included tongue-in-cheek computer generated smiley faces) “when the roads were snow/ice covered, the roads were plowed, but not sanded.

“It was important not to choose cars with chains on because they could get more speed than you wanted, certainly wouldn’t want them to be unsafe,” he said!

“If you weren’t careful, your trip would be part skating, part cartwheels!

“All who have done this, raise your hand. You know who you are!’”

Hey, back at you, Jim, thanks for sharing how it was way back when we were kids! (As I have mentioned in many columns before, my family, the McKinneys, lived nest door to the Krings on West First Street many years ago. But I’m sure Jim doesn’t remember it because he was just a toddler when we moved to the east side.)

I received yet another Internet posting from former Fultonian Walter Carrington as well. He said he noticed in the Valley News the write up about Aldi’s coming to Fulton and pointed out its plus and minuses — which I will leave to you, Dear Readers, to decide for yourselves!

He also noticed in that same issue, a picture of Judge Wally Auser. “In the background is a grandfather clock,” Walt wrote. “I’m willing to bet a used typewriter ribbon that the brand of the clock is Emperor and that ‘da judge’ made the clock from a kit.

“We were neighbors and I liked the job he did with the clock so well I bought a kit and made one too. Me thinks he donated it to the Commons when he moved there.”

Walt concluded his email by asking “if there wasn’t a school named Walradt and the box company named Mengle?”

The answers to his questions are yes, and yes.

The box company was off State Route 481, out in back of McDonalds’s, and was indeed called Mengle’s. Many people were once employed there.

I thank Walt Carrington for his ever interesting, on-going Internet conversations.

As for the old Walradt Street School, its existence was addressed in my last column per an email from Tony Leotta — who has since added to his recollections thusly:

“Thank you for recognizing Walradt Street and St. Mary’s schools in your most recent Jerry’s Journal,” he wrote. “Another star student at Phillips Street School was Eleanor Roach (Ellie Pryor — a sweetheart). I should have mentioned that our classmate Sal Tomarcio attended Phillips Street following graduation from the country school in Bowen’s Corners.

“I’m not sure where Morris Sorbello attended elementary school. Morris, Sal and I paled around together at “Good Old Fulton High, mainly because our families were all muck farmers.

“Sal retired a few years ago as an accountant with the federal government and currently resides at his homestead on Route 176 near Bowens Corners. He reads Jerry’s Journal regularly. Morris continues as a highly successful muck farmer and county legislator from Granby.”

I thank Tony Leotta once again for recounting his memories for us. Upon his retirement soon from City Engineer/Zoning Administrator for the City of Oswego, he says he “Intends to tend his fig tree in Oswego and the chestnut tree in Granby.”

Well, dear readers, before I turn off my computer on this particular column, I want to tell you that I am most excited about taking part of  the Fulton Public Library’s “Fulton Memoirs Project” coordinated by Jim Farfaglia.

The library’s latest project is to “capture the best of Fulton by having people who have lived, worked and attended school here, write a memory or two about their experiences.”

My focus will be on my four years at Good Old Fulton High School and I will tell you more about it next time.

Meanwhile, if you are interested in taking part, please contact Jim Farfaglia at his home: 402-2297, or through his email sjim90@twcny.rr.com.

Now here’s my caveat: Readers beware! I write for fun. I am not a historian, nor a reporter. I write from memory and from what others want to share. Sometimes I look things up; sometimes I mess things up. I hope you have fun reading my stuff.

Your comments, additions and corrections are always welcome. You may contact me at 133 Tannery Lane, Fulton, phone 592-7580 or email JHogan808@aol.com.

Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line. Thanks!

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