Publisher’s Letter: Crazy Days in September

BY BLAINE HOWERTON

Every month has its holidays, days of remembrance, and even some crazy days that someone along the way wanted to commemorate and sometimes even gets designated by the federal government.

This month with Labor Day, a national holiday we all have come to love as a time for family outings and great picnics, I bet you never heard that in September 1698 Russian Czar Peter the Great imposed a tax on beards — if that was levied and enforceable in the modern day imagine just how much that would have changed the face of Colorado (I know, bad pun but I just couldn’t help myself).

But the special day in September that is near and dear to my heart is “Newspaper Carrier Appreciation Day” commemorating the hiring by The New York Sun of the very first newspaper carrier — 10-year old Barney Flaherty on September 10, 1833.

You might ask if I fondly remember throwing newspapers into the bushes from my bike as a kid. But the reality is that in today’s times if a thoughtful store owner calls me to advise that the box in which our delivery people placed over a hundred copies of our publications just yesterday is now empty, often enough, it is “moi” who goes out and refills that newsstand. “Newspaper Carrier Appreciation Day” — look at that! I feel so appreciated!

Now, you may think that I’m wearing too many hats to be doing such reconnoitering. But busy as I am, I am delighted when I get a call from a Walmart store manager in a small town we cover that in 24 hours our box is already empty, strongly suggesting that I come around and fill it again — “Yes, mam!”

The other worthwhile thing about filling in once in a while as a “Newspaper Carrier” is that I get to be there on site to observe the surroundings, note the pedestrian traffic, the condition of our newsstands and just how fast they empty out — very fast in most locations!

You might not be surprised to read that when out driving with my young family, if I should pass one of our stands, invariably my kids roll their eyes as I stop to see what’s on hand in the box.

It all works to support our “hands-on” approach in doing all we can in striving to reach all 800,000 residents on Northern Colorado’s Front Range to provide them with quality local news coverage they not only relate to but have come to appreciate.

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Blaine Howerton

 

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