The Washington Star

TOMORROW – the 07TH of August – is the 39TH anniversary of the end of my very first job. On that date back in 1981 one of the two major daily newspapers in our nation’s capital – ‘The Washington Star’ – published its final edition after over 128 years. It went bankrupt, and most of its equipment was bought out by its longtime rival ‘The Washington Post’.

I was a newspaper carrier / “paper boy” for The Star (and The Post). As a rare afternoon big city newspaper I delivered The Star to the homes around my McLean Virginia neighborhood every day after Junior High School. (I was in the 8TH grade at the time.) That final edition of The Star was a collector’s item, and many of those newspapers that were delivered on that final afternoon by carriers just like me all around the Washington D.C. area were stolen. It was also sold out at all of the stores. An institution had ended.

That was my very first paid job. Very soon after that I was pursued by a local distributor for the competitor – ‘The Washington Post’. They wanted me as their “paper boy” for my neighborhood, and I accepted. I delivered The Post every morning up until a few days before I left home and joined the Air Force right after my 18TH birthday.

I also delivered during the week for The Post’s new competitor – ‘The Washington Times’.

So I delivered a lot of newspapers around my neighborhood from early-1981 until mid-1985. Additionally I earned money cutting some of my neighbors’ lawns during the growing seasons (not winter). I made a lot of money from age 13 to 18. I learned how to interact with customers. I learned how to manage and save money during those critical teen years. I even got my own checking account back then. I got to buy a lot of my own things for fun. I also got to buy my first car to help me deliver newspapers. (That was a major upgrade from my previous newspaper delivery method – via 10-speed bike.)

Nowadays the newspaper carrier is pretty much an extinct job. In fact the newspaper itself is fading fast.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Saturday Night Retro

Saturday November 20TH 2010
Volume 3 / Number 11 / Edition 108

31 years ago in November of 1979 66 Americans were taken hostage in Tehran Iran when the U.S. Embassy was invaded and seized by student radicals. This would begin an International crisis that would continue on for 444 days until January 20TH 1981 when President Ronald Reagan took the oath of office. President Jimmy Carter found opposition within his own Democratic Party, as Senator Ted Kennedy announced that he would seek the nomination for President in 1980.

I was 12½-years-old at the time and living with my Dad, Mom, and 4½-year-old brother on Red Wing Lane in Lanham Maryland. I was a 7TH grader at Robert H. Goddard Junior High School in Greenbelt Maryland – home of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Robert H. Goddard invented the liquid-fueled rocket back during the 1910s and 1920s. Many of my classmates were offspring of NASA employees. That would explain why many of them appeared to be ‘spaced-out’ most of the time.

In FM Stereo one of the hottest pop-country-crossover acts of the late-1970s was Dr. Hook And The Medicine Show out of New Jersey – although they certainly had a distinct ‘Southern Rock’ feel and style to them. As the Disco beat raged on in 1979 country music was quietly entering the pop music scene as an alternative to the club beat. One of Dr. Hook’s greatest hits was this cool track that kind of took on a subtle Disco beat to blend in with its pop chart neighbours. It even crossed the Atlantic Ocean to become a # 1 pop smash on the U.K. chart exactly 31 years ago this weekend. It tells the simple story of what happens “When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman”.