Ann, the little newspaper delivery girl

Submitted by Ralph E. Shaffer

Thursday, 9 November 2017

When I was a kid, in junior high school, one of my classmates was Ann Gelsing, an ambitious, outgoing girl who was always finding ways to make a buck. At one point she had a job usually reserved for boys - she got a paper route, delivering the Herald, a daily paper in L A in those days. Actually, its full name was the Herald Express, one of the Hearst papers, but everyone called it the Herald. Ann wasn't content to simply take over the route with the existing subscribers. She went door to door, gathering more subs so that eventually she had the biggest route in our area. The Herald was an evening paper, and Ann was a regular sight in late afternoon, pedaling her bike, with huge saddlebags stuffed with Heralds hanging from the bike frame over the bike wheel and from the handlebars.

But Ann wasn't satisfied. The paper didn't print on Saturday but it had a Sunday morning edition, and after making her deliveries - she had a great arm and if there had been a contest for accurate paper tossing she would have been the champion - she could be found in front of the big grocery store hawking papers to shoppers as they exited. Her pitch was that she was saving money for college. Whether she was or not we really didn't know, but it worked and she usually had sold her allotment within an hour or two.

Those of us who secretly envied her success, wishing we had that ambition and could rake in the money the way she did, reacted the way kids often do. Though we really admired her and wished we could be as successful as she was, we taunted her. Whenever she wheeled by on her delivery route, or when we happened to go to the grocery store when she was eagerly selling the Herald, we sang a little one line ditty to the tune of a familiar Christmas carol. I can hear it now:

Hawk the Herald, Ann Gelsing, Glory to the Newsgirl King.


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