Say, I’ve heard it all about the paperboy experiences. For I played the role of the “paperboy’s mom.” Let me tell you, if you’ve never experienced this position, woman, you just haven’t lived!

My son delivered The Morning Sun in the Fieldcrest and Random Acres areas. It all began with much prodding and daily pleading, after which I finally succumbed to a meeting with the retiring paperboy (Chris, age 14) and his fortyish mom at their house on Hobson Drive.

“Piece of cake.” Oh yes, this was just a wonderful way to track our kid’s responsibility and money management as well as develop their personality in meeting people, etc.

So at the age of 43, I became this thirteen-year-old’s paperboy mom. Never mind that I was a single parent, a contracted primary teacher, worked J.C. Penney on weekends, peddled Avon, and was studying for licensure in Real Estate.

After a meeting of an hour or so, the relaxed ex-paperboy mom (Maxine), waved a cheery good-bye. No more 4:30 a.m. awakenings. No more 7:15 a.m. “I didn’t get a paper this morning” phone calls. No more unscheduled 5 a.m. drives in electrical storms, high winds, and hail. No more evenings and weekends taking “paperboy” to collect from that evasive subscriber.

Well readers, my son, Jay Sramek, took Chris Harris’ route in April ... just in time for the rainy season. I swear it rained four out of seven mornings that spring and summer. No alarm was needed. Mother nature announced it was time to get up about 5 a.m. with black rolling thunderclouds, flashing lighting and torrents of rain — impossible conditions on a bike.

As for the evasive subscriber, there was one particular woman who would not answer the door when paperboy rode up on his bike to collect. So I devised a scheme. I’d call, and as soon as I got confirmation she was home, I’d hang up. Paperboy would pedal over immediately … still no response at the door. We finally began collecting on Saturday morning when we delivered the route. She saw me driving and wanted her paper — so she paid up.

There’s more to my ramblings but these are the highlights — the tip of the iceberg of experiences that I survived in the “nurturing and educational development of my offspring.”

Just what happened to the two special ex-paperboys? .

Chris Harris is married with a son and two daughters and now lives and works in Pittsburg as an employee of Golden Sky Systems.

Jay Sramek is maintenance Supervisor at Infinia Health Care in Oswego. He married last July and he and his wife, Charlotte, plan to move into his grandparent’s renovated farmhouse and raise her two sons and daughter.

Maxine, you were correct. We did okay. We both survived as mothers of young entrepreneurs and have every reason to give credit where credit is due ... THE PAPERBOY EXPERIENCE.

— Ann Sramek, 5-24-00

If you have a paperboy story to share, you can send it to me at jtknoll@swbell.net or 401 W. Euclid, Pittsburg, KS 66762. — J.T. Knoll