Vindy paper route answered prayer

Vindicator Route 302 – An answer to my prayer. As a teenager growing up on Youngstown’s East Side in the Great Depression, I wished and prayed for a Vindicator newspaper route. At age 9 in 1933, I signed up for a route and finally my prayers were answered at age 16 in 1940.

I inherited the route from my cousin Ralph Lacivita. A Vindicator route was a crown jewel. As a newspaper salesman, you were your own boss. I always paid my bill on time. My route’s customers were mainly on Oak Street from the intersection of Oak and Himrod to Loveless.

A penny was big money in the Great Depression. The daily Vindicator was 3 cents while the Sunday paper was 10 cents.

My profit on the daily was 1 cent and 3 cents on the Sunday paper. A tip was unheard of in those days. Very few of my customers owned a car.

I do recall a route manager who came from Minnesota who had a beautiful new 1940 Oldsmobile. I would see him weekly to pay my bill. I enjoyed collecting from my customers because there were many beautiful young girls that would pay the bill. Those were the good old days.

Many years ago during an exit interview with the vice president of a corporation I had worked for, he said, “Mike anybody that works as hard as you do should not work for someone else, but you should own your own company.”

Hindsight is 20/20.

Michael J. Lacivita is a Youngstown retiree and member of the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame and the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.

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