Odd little bits of life pop up to remind us of earlier years. Today was a Facebook page of remembering a city I used to live in. About sixty years ago, plus a few years. I never respond to FB things as it is usually not worth it and what I add it just a bit of nothing. However, just now, there was a do you remember for something that was long after I left the city. I had several remembrances of times when I did go to that intersection of roads. At the time it was just a four lane and a two lane meeting at a traffic light.
Thinking back, I could smell and taste the French fries and hamburgers, sometimes when the tips were really big, a cheeseburger. At the time I was a newspaper delivery kid. I had a large route and I would wear out my bicycle tires, bearings and parts. This is when I learned the difference between professional and consumer (current terms). I wore out tires and bearings because of how much my bicycle was driven each day. My friends, without routes, did not have the same costs. I went to a bicycle shop on the corner of this intersection to buy parts and occasionally have “tune ups”. The owner showed me the bike I should have and how it could handle the load of the newspapers and the miles ridden every day.
I saved up and bought the bike. It made a difference and it taught me about the difference between price and everything else. A valuable lesson that I owe to someone who knew their products. This was important when I next moved into retail camera sales, but that is for another bit of my life.
Curious as to what the intersection looks like today, I pulled up your ubiquitous map system, Google Maps, to see the change. To my surprise, the bike shop is still there. Over sixty years and it is still in existence. Wow!!!! (yes, the extra ! are worth it) Very few mom and pop shops last this long. And, to my additional surprise the site of the original McDonald’s is still there. But it is now a Wendy’s. Back in the early 60’s a McDonald’s burger and fries was less than a dollar. My weekly income from the newspaper route was about fifteen dollars, depending on tips. (sometimes those dropped if I tossed a paper through some ones picture window or milk bottles). I was making “good” money for a thirteen-year-old.
It is fun thinking back to those years. Paperboys as we were called back then did a major service, we were professionals at a job. Do I lament the passing of this job to those who drive around and toss papers into the muck in a ditch? No. The world has changed. May we accept that life is dependent on Chinese electronic tablets rather than U.S. pulp newspapers now. But, making decisions for my work tools, bicycle, and my life expenses, a burger and fries, was way beyond that which more twelve and thirteen year old do, then and now.