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Geier recalls 'rite of passage' PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, November 06, 2013 9:09 PM

BY STEPHANIE GROVES

Staff Writer

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DELPHOS — When Bob Geier took on the Marbletown paper route in 1941, he was 13 years old and he, like all new carriers, experienced the ‘rite of passage’; he was thrown into the canal for his initiation into the group. He said that all the carriers had a good time and were very ornery.

“Everyone got thrown into the canal,” Geier stated. “I was the smallest kid passing papers and got thrown into the canal twice. I walked home with frozen clothes on.”

 

He said the job taught him a lot of things, like how to make change and how to be responsible.

 

“I had to work hard to get a carrier job,” Geier said. “I put my name on a list and waited on a route.”

Geier said he rode his bike in the snow and passed papers to 120 customers. He recalled the paper cost 12 cents per week and he earned $1.20 when he collected all the customer’s subscription dues on Saturdays.

“There were two customers that gave me a generous $1 tip each week when I collected,” he said with a smile. “Those were the customers who I put papers in their mailboxes for.”

Delphos has changed quite a bit since Geier rode his bike to deliver The Delphos Daily Herald. After giving up the Marbletown route, he distributed papers on Route I on the west end of town, which encompassed Fifth, Sixth, Canal, Elm and Jefferson streets.

“The swimming pool was built in 1939 and the football field was in the front of the pool,” Geier explained. “On Elm Street, from Seventh to North Street, there was only one house and the rest was an open field where we used to fly our kites.”

He said the land off of North Street, where Dickman and Gilliland Avenue and Wildwood Circle are now, used to be where Bill Metcalfe’s old farm was.

Geier said at that time, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) was the U.S. President, there was no television and his family got their first icebox as a Christmas gift in 1940.

“We wore overhauls and tennis shoes,” he said. “We did not wear shorts.”

Later in life, Geier said that he worked for the current owner of the Herald, Murray Cohen, doing some construction and replacement windows in the upstairs area of the building.

Last Updated on Wednesday, November 06, 2013 9:21 PM
 

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