September 5, 2011
The beginning of Bob Cotter's career as a Newsday paper carrier had two huge surprises
By BOB COTTER
Your bicycle story (September 4 blog post) kicked in a few more memories, and of course one triggers another. I left a comment about my English racer, and paper route. then thoughts of the paper route brought this one back. What I call one of my "Jean Shepherd*" experiences.
It was the summer before my 12th birthday, and Warren (Bobbin) Mcdougall needed a sub for his Newsday route. A two-week adventure to be sure. I proceeded out on Saturday morning to do the first week's collecting My knock on the door of a home on Boat Lane brought a huge woman to the front step. Her breasts were the largest I had ever anywhere encountered in my short life.
They were literally a shelf over my head, with a giant abyss for a cleavage. Remember the caterpillars that invaded every summer? One of them dropped right into that crevasse. Panic ensued....she, because this furry creature was now walking around between her boobs, and I because her next words were for me to get it off! GET IT OFF! Wait, you want me to go, in there? I didn't want to go anywhere near it, or them, but after much shrieking and shaking on her part, your intrepid newsboy rose to the occasion.
I took care of the interloper, said a red-faced thank you very much for the tip, hopped on the English racer and split. So began my career as a Newsday paper boy.
• • •
*"Jean Parker Shepherd (July 26, 1921 – October 16, 1999) was an American raconteur, radio and TV personality, writer and actor who was often referred to by the nickname Shep. With a career that spanned decades, Shepherd is best-known to modern audiences for the film A Christmas Story (1983), which he narrated and co-scripted, based on his own semi-autobiographical stories."
He enthralled many a New York area lad with his tales on WOR radio starting in 1956. Your blogger considers Shep one of the major influences of his early life, especially his commentaries about the human condition. For more information, Google him. Some of his radio broadcasts may be found online.