Joey Isn’t Working Here Anymore
By JOHN M. DERBY
August 22, 2019
Joey was one of our paper carriers when
we still used young boys and girls to deliver the paper.
We had 23 of them at the time.
Our carriers were younger than the carriers for the daily
newspaper, but they were all good kids and very special.
That was before the State of California decided that all
paper carriers needed to be covered by workers compensation
insurance and the rate was higher than we paid for a journeyman
pressman. You may have noticed there are no boys and girls
delivering papers today, and your paper is either hand thrown
from a car, or in our case mailed to your home.
It was around the first of September and school had just
started. Joey not only delivered his papers on his bike,
but he also rode it to school. After school on Thursdays,
he would come by the newspaper office, pick up his papers
and deliver them.
This Thursday, Joey didn’t show up for his delivery.
We were concerned and when his best friend showed up, we
asked what happened to Joey.
“Joey isn’t working here anymore,” his
friend said holding back tears as he said it. “A car
hit him on the way to school this morning.”
We were in shock when we heard the news. Joey rode his bike
everywhere, and we did not believe he was careless.
It was one of those cases where a young boy was in a rush
to get to school and a motorist was in a rush to get to
work. Both were in the wrong, but it cost Joey his life.
Every year at the start of school, we think about Joey when
we come upon the 25 mph school signs; however, children
on the way to school are all over town, not just in school
They are children and therefore not always as careful as
they could be.
As adults, it is important to remember the change from summer
to back-to-school days. Giving ourselves an extra 10 or
20 minutes to drive more cautiously through town just makes
If it helps, think of Joey, our paper carrier who never
showed up for his job that day. We have a town full of Joeys
all going and returning from school.
Let’s be especially careful.
Normally we do not find a playwrite, a singer and an actress
combined in one person in our town; however, Michelle Allison
is all in one.
Her performance last weekend was one of a kind in the true
tradition of “Off Broadway,” and those who were
lucky enough to see it at the Merced Multicultural Arts
Center got a real treat.
Her biographical musical of Natalie Cole was “Truly
Unforgetable,” and worth an “encore.”
Find a full review of the show on Page B-1 of the Free Times
section inside this week’s newspaper.