A Pocket Full of Money

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My Paper Round

It was the winter of 1967; I was 14 years old and here was a chance to earn myself some money.

My paper round was an after school 10 mile round trip and I earnt 15 shillings a week, a small fortune! In todays money that’s 75p sterling and approximately 1 dollar.

It was a particularly harsh winter and I shall never forget how cold my hands use to be. My fingers were so numb I was struggling to push open the letter box to push the paper through.

I’d always avoid making any sort of eye contact with anybody because my nose would be running and my eyes watering!

The biggest nightmare was my bike, it let me down more than once! In those days we didn’t have dynamo lights, they ran on battery and batteries have a habit of running out, many a night I would have to push my bike home in the dark. There were the inevitable punctures and my chain had a regular habit of coming off. After a little bike maintenance, it wasn’t unusual for a few papers to be delivered with the distinct signs of my oily finger imprints.

It certainly felt like hard work for 15 shillings a week.

One day the roads were covered in a sheet of ice, as I rounded a corner, by bike went one way and I went another, looking around I was relieved to see the place was deserted. Newspaper was everywhere, hobbling along I retrieved the newspapers and put the pages back together as best I could and carried on my way. I was so cold that I didn’t even feel the bruises until the next day.

It was the week before Christmas and as usual I knocked the doors for people’s weekly payment, to my astonishment people were tipping me. This came as a complete surprise; I knew nothing about ‘tipping’.

It was dark and cold and I never noticed how much money they gave, we exchanged seasons greetings and I pushed the money into my pockets. When I got home my pockets were full, I emptied them one by one into a big pile of money on the floor. I remember my Gran watching me, she was more thrilled than me, she shouted to Mum, “Vi, Vi, quick come and see!”

I had over £5.00 in tips, in that day to a 14 year old it was a small fortune. I just delivered papers, but people showed their gratitude and appreciation so generously. Perhaps they had noticed me out there struggling with winter.

It’s a special memory that I will never forget.

A Pocket Full of Money
A Pocket Full of Money | Source

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Comments 56 comments

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA

Beautiful and touching. This will be an experience that can never be replaced. The love these customers showered you with through their tips is amazing. It bet through the eyes of a 14 year old you had hit a jack pot. A little hard work does pay off. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story.


marellen 5 years ago

burrrrr, I was cold for you.....I'm glad that people appreciated your hard work. Very touching story, thanks for sharing.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

I love this story. Darn stickers puncturing tires, just when you get going the chain slides off. Oh and the rain. Ah, those where the days. Thanks for sharing.


rmjudkins 5 years ago

Movie Master, in your memory of that cold winter's day in December some decades ago, the people you encountered enabled you to filter and format your experience in a positive light. Each day presents a different set of circumstances to impact someone's life in a positive way. I find your poem quite useful in teaching that lesson. Thanks for sharing. Regards, Robert


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Tipoague, Yes it really did feel as though I had hit the jackpot!

I knew nothing about 'tipping' in those days and nobody had said to me, that coming upto Christmas people might tip, so it came as a wonderful surprise:-)

Glad you enjoyed the story, thanks so much for dropping by and commenting, take care.


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

A beautiful memory about the your paper delivery. The people your delivered loved you very much to give you a tip. Great writing.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi marellen, I will never forget that cold winter!

I'll never forget that wonderful pile of money either:-)

Thank you for visiting and your comments, it's always good to see you, take care.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi mck, ah a fellow paper round person....

That darn chain - what sweet memories!

Always great to see you, many thanks and see you soon.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi rmjudkins, I agree every person can make a difference and have an influence on someone else's life.

I certainly felt a lot more positive at the end of this day!

Thank you so much for visiting and your comments, they are very much appreciated, best wishes.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi writer20, that paper round was over 40 years ago, but I can still feel the thrill of counting that pile of money!

Thank you so much for your comments, take care and see you soon.


Terishere profile image

Terishere 5 years ago

Very touching story....and the customers were so sweet. Some of them you will probably never forget!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Great story! Voted up.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Brings back a lot of memories. That was a fortune. Now I wonder what you spent it on... bike repairs maybe or Christmas gifts for your family and I hope you treated yourself you deserved it.

Loved it thank you for sharing.

Voted up


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

What a great childhood memory. I hope you are keeping a journal. You were very dedicated as many kids would have given up. Your integrity and commitment are admirable.


SusieQ42 5 years ago

Wow, what a lot of work for you! I remember my sister and I babysitting for a whole summer for 5 kids and $10.00 a week. It was about the same time, 1967 or 1968. We shared the money and spent it all on Beatles records or new clothes. (:


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

MM: I hope you will share many more of these stories with us, they are a delight to read and I am learning so much more about you! Voted up, up, UP!

Cloverleaf.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

I loved your story, brought back a memory when i worked detasselling corn one summer. I was so short, i could hardly breathe, but the money was great. Thank you for sharing.

Smiles


Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 5 years ago

A touching childhood memory that I think couldn't be erased so easily in your life...I start imagine the scene that you were in and I can sense your great appreciation towards their gratitude and warmth rather than the £5.00 in tips...thanks for sharing with us your childhood memory, enjoy much.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Teri, I just couldn't believe how generous people were! that was the most money I'd ever had!

Thank you for visiting and commenting, I hope you have a fabulous weekend, take care.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Will, it's always good to see you, thank you for your support and comments, it's greatly appreciated, have a great weekend.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Rosemay, I still remember the thrill of counting that money, I was rich!

Thank you for dropping by and your comments, take care and have a fabulous weekend.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Hyphenbird, sadly I didn't keep a journal, I didn't start writing until I joined HubPages, how I wish I'd kept a record of my achivements and emotions.

Although some memories stay vivid in your mind, most fade with time.

But the memory of people's generiosity and all that money will probably stay with me always:-)

Take care and many thanks as always for dropping by, take care.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Susie, that's a great memory - babysitting for 5 kids sounds more draining than my paper round:-)

Thank you for your great comments, enjoy your day and take care.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Cloverleaf, glad you enjoyed the story, yes there will be more to share:-) take care x


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Ruby, detasselling corn, now that sounds like hard work!

We use to grab any opportunity we could to earn some cash!

There wasn't much money in those days, so there certainly wasn't much pocket money about!

Great memories...

Take care ruby, have a good weekend and see you soon


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi injured lamb, it's a childhood memory that I will never forget, working hard to achieve something never hurt anybody, I learnt a lot from that paper round!

thank you so much for dropping by and commenting, glad you enjoyed the story.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

Great memory and I am so glad you shared it, Movie Master! I bet that bike you had would be worth a lot even with its flaws! It's nice that just as then for you, there are still nice, generous people around today!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Dex, I was amazed at how generous people were that day and your right Dex, there are plenty of good, nice and generous people today.

Always good to see you, many thanks for your support and comments, have a great weekend and take care.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Hi M&M, i had a paper round and a milk round and had to brave those cold mornings. I was lucky as i had the easiest paper round in the shop, twenty six minutes from start to finish. No wonder I'm still playing soccer at my age. My milk round started by having to go into the massive freezer and collect the crates of milk to load onto the milk float. Sometimes the freezer was warmer than outside:) The milkman used to stop at three houses and go inside for a cup of tea.(well that's what he said he was doing) I would just sit in the float and wait. Then one morning i decided to carry on delivering the milk and he was pleased and impressed my my ability to remember who needed what. I remembered the whole round after a while, which wasn't that difficult. I had that cold runny nose and freezing fingers too, so really can sympathise with you. Cheers


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi attemptedhumour, that first job is quite a jolt into the world of reality!!!

I don't expect we will every forget those freezing fingers and runny nose:-)

Thank you so much for visiting and your great comment, I really enjoyed reading about your experience!

Take care and enjoy your weekend.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

Awwwww Movie Master I adored your story! Hard work and dedication earned you those tips. What a memorable memory for you. Thank you for sharing :)


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden

This was a very interesting and great story and you have earned the tips you got that day, struggling in the cold:) Some events in our life is never forgotten and I so enjoyed reading this from you!

Thanks for sharing, it gives us perspective and remind us how life and times has changed.

Tina


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Sunshinem, I will never forget counting that pile of money, I was rich!!!

And I will never forget how kind and generous people were, I enjoyed sharing this memory, thank you so much for dropping by, take care.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Tina, in those days a paper round was the first chance you had to earn some money, I don't think children are even allowed to deliver papers here anymore.

Glad you enjoyed reading, thank you so much for your comments, hope you have a great weekend, take care.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Really neat hub about your experiences that winter. Writing about memories like this helps keep bits of history alive--so important!


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

What a Good Kid you were Movie Master. How nice to read you felt good and rewarded for your efforts that wintery day...Such nice Memories to share. I used to love my bike and would try to ride it in all kinds of weather. Poignant Read my friend!


stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Magnificent hub, and so well written. I enjoyed it so much. What a wonderful challenging childhood you had. What a neat job you had. That was quite the character building job.

God Bless You, and your precious loved ones.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi RTalloni, a growing up experience I have enjoyed sharing, thank you for visiting and commenting, it is very much appreciated, best wishes and have a good day.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi b.Malin, I loved my bike too and use to cycle for hours, I use to do all kinds of tricks on it too, feet up on the handlebars - that sort of thing! great fun:-)

Many thanks for your lovely comments, have a wonderful day.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi stars, it's always good to see you, that little job took me to the first rung of the ladder to the 'real world' I have enjoyed reliving and enjoying my memory.

Thank you for visiting, I value your comments immensely, best wishes to you.


Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi Movie Master,

Thank you for sharing this beautiful memory with us. It is a treasure.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Sue, thank you for visiting and your lovely comments, it's a special memory I have enjoyed sharing, take care and see you soon.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Movie Master,

This is a wonderful story, a true character builder and example of goodness in humanity! I never appreciated a paycheck more than my first PT job when minimum wage was just about $3/ hour.

Voted UP & UABI and thanks for sharing this memory with us, mar.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi mar, it's always lovely to see you, thank you for your comments, vote and support, I so appreciate your visits.


Naomi's Banner profile image

Naomi's Banner 5 years ago from United States

Very touching story. I think we all have memories like this one we can relate to. Awesome.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Naomi, I don't think any of us will ever forgot our first opportunity to earn some money!

Those tips were literally a 'bonus' it was a great feeling counting all that money!

Thank you for dropping by and your comments, take care.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 5 years ago

I can see where all your struggles have carried where you are today.Keep going I am right behind you.You are my blocker as I just run,run as fast as i can.What a joy to read.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Dream On, it's always good to see you, I guess life's little struggles shape us and strengthen us as we trundle on through life.

Thank you for visiting, I love your comments take care and see you soon.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

MM, what a great story. This showed that they respected you very much. A 14 year old working is rare these days, even so back then. This showed great skills early on that was part of your success in life. A young woman that age working is a woman that is going to make a future for herself, as seen here. Look at you now MM. I know I don't know everything, but I believe you are happy and in the end MM, that is all that matters :)


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello TLW, even something as simple as a paper round gives you a taste of the outside world and builds your confidence, I don't think it did me any harm!!

Yes, I am very happy, happiness and good health is everything!

Thank you for visiting and your comments, it's always good to see you, take care MM


Derdriu 4 years ago

Movie Master, What an endearing, interesting, nostalgic look at the classic childhood job of delivering newspapers! It's great that your bravery and conscientiousness were recognized by your satisfied customers.

Thank you for sharing, etc.,

Derdriu


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Derdriu, delivering newspapers was a great experience and those Christmas tips a wonderful surprise!

Thank you for your comments, best wishes MM


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Lovely story, I once found a £5 note on the floor of the post office and handed it behind the counter. The lady who lost it brought 50p to my house as a reward for my honesty (decimalisation had just started so I was 8 at the time), with 50p in 1971 I bought a plastic golf set and a big bag of chews. My mam made me give 10p each to my 2 younger sisters! I felt very wealthy, albeit briefly, happy days! Voted up, etc,etc.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Jools, I love your story also, 50p in 1971 went a long way.... those were the days!

Happy days and happy memories, thank you for sharing yours and your votes!


girishpuri profile image

girishpuri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

very touching story, voted up.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi girishpuri, thank you for stopping by, your comments and votes, they are much appreciated, glad you enjoyed reading.

Best wishes Lesley

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