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Ralph R. Waggener: Being left handed

Or, 'How the Waggener Bros. and Rodney L. Thompson and Hunter Durham revolutionized the newspaper delivery bidness, right here in Columbia, KY'

By Ralph R. Waggener

One of God's chosen few.

That's the way I describe being a lefty. It has its good points and its bad as well. It's a scientific fact that all lefties are, well, just smarter, better looking, and much more talented in most cases.

Now because there are fewer of us, I know some of the not so talented right handers are going to argue their point. I guess they are just not educated enough to understand my point.

Now that I've got that out of the way (something I've always wanted to say being a lefty and having people take pity on me for my affliction).

A recent article about me in my big brothers Columbia Magazine concerning my 10 years as a paper carrier for The Courier-Journal and the late Louisville Times.

I carried two of the 4 Columbia newspaper routes on various Schwinn bikes and had no real advantage over my big brother other than being a lefty, which gave me quite an advantage because everyone knows a lefty can throw a ball or even a rolled up newspaper better than those common right hand people so I had an unfair advantage as being born a lefty and of course I could throw a newspaper much better because of this unfair advantage. Ed and Hunter had to carry the paper to the door.

Later on I started carrying all 4 of Columbia's paper routes - they were always, as far as I can remember: Jamestown Street Route, Burkesville Street Route, Greensburg Street Route, and Campbellsville Street Route, as forever and eternally designated by Elmer Warren - in a Volkswagen Beetle car and that's when being a lefty really paid off, because this is the one place the majority right handers failed to put the stern-wheeler on the right side, not like the right handed people who where the first to right in the English language.

Being a lefty gave me a very good advantage because I could throw a newspaper with my left hand out the left side window, over the top or straight to the left. BUT! When it rained it made no difference because you had to get out of the car and try to get it in a dry place. In a lot of cases you really did not have much of a place to put a newspaper to keep it dry.

I did have customers like my long time friend Grover Cleveland Gilpin who built his house on high ground (looked like a mountain to a young paper boy) and as I later told Grover, his front porch looked much like a postage stamp on top of a mountain top.

On the subject of paper delivery Big Brother Ed was the first to start monthly collections for the large state coverage Courier-Journal and was faced with a lot of flack from the Courier; seems they did not want any changes good or bad.

Later on in life I went to a circulation meeting held by the State Newspaper Association that was hosted by the Courier and had a Mr. Hancock get up and tell of the progress that the Courier had made in collecting for the paper since they had gone to monthly collections.

No mention of where that idea of Ed Waggener's came from. -Ralph Waggener

This story was posted on 2011-02-20 13:53:56
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