WOODS ‘N’ WATER: The things that we carried

WOODS ‘N’ WATER: The things that we carried


Wow! Here we are heading into March and the weather is still iffy.

We are also heading into a new era of getting your newspapers delivered, now by the U.S. Postal Service.

One only has to look at the many changes that have transpired in the past couple of decades to appreciate the fact that these changes, whether we like them or not, are only the beginning of the many that are in store for us.

How long has it been since you got to talk to a “real” person when calling for some type of service on the phone?

Believe it or not, many years ago I used to be a newspaper delivery boy for what was then the Meriden Morning Record. The Meriden Journal was then the afternoon paper. If I remember right, there was also another newspaper called The Star.

We lived on Hanover Road/Street at that time and my paper route took me around the outskirts of the Village of South Meriden.

If memory serves me correctly, I received 10 cents a customer for a week of delivery, and the weather was never a factor in my making the deliveries to my customers.

My mother would get me up in the dark hours of the morning, made sure I ate breakfast and then off I went.

I would have to walk regardless of the weather to Shonrock’s General Store (now Tom’s Place Diner) to pick up my bundle of papers that had to be delivered.

Back then, our world was a much more peaceful place and a kid out in the early morning hours delivering newspapers on the dark streets of the Village had nothing to worry about.

From Shonrock’s, I would start on Webb Street and proceed to Milk Street. Like I said earlier, my paper route encompassed most of the streets on the outskirts of South Meriden. That meant walking a number of miles each and every morning to deliver the Meriden Record.

Today, with the abundance of autos available, I do not think you would find a
paper delivery person on foot.

My route took me down Evansville Avenue to the Meriden Airport. I can still remember crossing the north end of the airport in snow almost up to my knees to make my next delivery to the Hanlon family.

My route also went up New Cheshire Road to Raven’s Lane, the private road going to the Meriden Rod & Gun Club.

Sometimes, if I was lucky, I would run into the local milkman, Julie Ives of the former Diamond Hill Dairy, doing his milk route. He would graciously deliver any newspapers that went to his milk customers.

As I grew older, I went to work for Ives helping him on his milk route.

As I got closer to our home, I had paper stops on Hanover Road/Street (some folks call it Street; I always called it Road). And after every Morning Record delivery I would get ready for school and, would you believe, even walked a mile to Hanover School in all kinds of weather, including snow storms, sleet and rain.

Wow, I guess life was a bit different back then!

After a while, I passed my paper route on to my brother Pete and then, if memory serves me correctly, my brother Dave had it for a while. Then it was turned over to our cousins, Basil and Marty Roberts.

Now it looks like another part of Americana is fading into the sunset and only time will tell how it works out.

And to my cousin Basil, thanks for giving me this reminder of a different time in our lives.

Ain’t over til it’s over

I hate to say I told you so, but I did! And now I am hearing and reading about a number of tragedies of folks losing their lives after falling through the ice, even on bodies of water like Lake Champlain.

I think most of us had a feeling that we would be getting some winter-like weather before the arrival of spring and, as I pen this column, we getting a winter hit at the end of February.

In our trip around the area last Sunday, I was surprised to see that some of the bodies of water had started to have ice form on them again, but you can put way the icefishing gear for another year.

Regarding the more northern regions of the Northeast, I get an outdoor publication called New York Outdoor News and have found it to be an interesting publication since we still had many New York contacts.

Regarding the safety of the ice, they had an article in it stating that Lake Champlain had claimed the lives of three anglers. It happened on the Vermont side of the lake when three ice anglers lost their lives in two separate incidents in a span of three days.

The first was a 62-year-old icefisherman who perished after falling through the ice on the lake. The other fatalities happened when two brothers were on the ice on a side-by-side ATV and it went through the ice off Lake Champlain.

The article also told of an incident on Saranac Lake, supposedly one of the coldest places in New York. The ice in that area was unsafe and, in late January, a snowmobiler perished after crashing through the ice on Peck Lake in the southern Adirondacks.

This crazy weather pattern has also resulted in many icefishing tournaments being cancelled. Be that as it may, we are now into the fickle month of March, with the calendar promising the arrival of spring on March 20.

With some of the new fishing regulations and IF we get back into warmer weather, why not think about getting in some early open water fishing time? And if you are using a kayak or canoe or any type of water craft, WEAR A LIFE JACKET!

The cold water this time of the year can take your life just as easy as if you went through the ice. I’ll say it again: There is no fish worth dying for!

See ya’ and God Bless America and watch over our troops, police, firefighters and first responders wherever they may be serving this great country of ours.