In celebration of Carrier Appreciation Week, Riley Forman returned to North Bend to deliver a newspaper to his favourite subscribers.
He became a carrier for The Hope Standard when he was 11 years old, taking over a route that was passed down from cousin to cousin. Delivering newspapers to Cliff and Irene Fisher was a weekly highlight, along with receiving free day-old donuts from the cafe.
“Irene was always home and would give us candy every week when we would drop off her newspaper,” said Forman, who was a carrier for three years. “She always got her newspaper exactly on time because she always had a couple candies waiting there for us.”
Forman shared the route with his cousin, and every Thursday the pair would get off school and head straight to the wood box where The Hope Standard was left. They’d put on their satchels and deliver about 35 newspapers in two hours.
“We loved it,” said Forman. “I never really realized how many hills we had to walk across, how many crazy people we had to deal with, and how many dogs that we had to navigate. It was a lot of hard work.”
Forman always looked forward to delivering the fourth last paper on his route – the Fisher’s house. He remembers one day in particular when Cliff passed them on his way back to work and asked for his paper. Forman and his cousin handed over the newspaper hesitantly, wondering how they were going to get their candy now. They decided to go to the house empty-handed anyways and tell Irene what happened. She gladly handed over their weekly treat.
When the boys were ready to hand down the route, standard protocol involved training the next cousin in line. Forman remembers giving the last three houses to the “trainee” to make sure he was the one to collect from the Fisher’s.
“One day we got to their house, and our cousin, instead of giving a newspaper to one of the other houses, had snuck ahead to give it to Cliff and Irene and wasn’t going to tell us about it,” recalled Forman. “We got our candy anyways, but we chased him down and asked who didn’t get their newspaper. We made him go back to give them their newspaper. We had told Steven that when you get the route, you get the candy.”
Delivering newspapers helped influence Forman’s career path. He combined his love for media and tourism when he launched his own company, Connect Media.
“It’s about conversation and engaging people to form their own opinions,” said Forman, who used to write letters to the editor and run home on Thursdays to see if they were printed. “From a young age, The Hope Standard was a huge part of that.”
Forman’s return to North Bend this week brought back many nostalgic memories. The Fisher’s invited him in for stories and Cliff talked about his days as carrier in North Bend, when newspapers would arrive by train. Forman once again left the house with his fare share of candy and treats.