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Fold, Fold, & Tuck

Fold, Fold, & Tuck

Skip Ford©

       Fold, fold, and tuck! Fold, fold, and tuck! Such an elementary terminology, one would tend to think of a way to fold a newspaper. Yet for the amateur, it always appeared as a feat one could never consummate. Even more humorous was the Wednesday edition that arrived so thick such a feat could never be accomplished. This was the day those oversized bundles of papers lay waiting with all the inserted advertisements offering a variety of sales and services from the local merchants filled the pages for their loyal subscribers. The thickness would forbid you from folding the paper into such a tight rounded form so they had to be hand-delivered. Such stores like Shop-Rite would promote their "can-can" sales with dancing girls on the cover of a ten-page flyer. It was not like the mega box stores of today where you may cross the threshold of their gigantic complexes at any hour of the day. Life seemed simple as my father would get paid on Friday and the weekend was the time to fit in a shopping schedule where you bought food and supplies for the week. It usually was a Friday or Saturday as Sundays were out of the question as stores by law were forbid from selling their wares on what was called the "blue day" for it was considered God's day and not a day to make money. This law only applied to large shopping stores as the "Mom and Pop" corner stores were exempt. However, beer could never be purchased before one o'clock. Mon and Pop stores are a story all by itself and deserve a tale of its own. 

      What it meant for us was additional weight and possibly slinging an extra canvas sack for those with larger routes such as I had. Many times I had to force them in just to be able to carry both routes. Most of the carriers loathed it as they had to walk their papers to the door and sometimes the extra weight would force their bicycles to tumble to the ground when left unattended. I always carried my papers since I was trying to save money to buy a bike of my own. I also was taught that good service would grant me larger tips so I could buy my bike quicker. Most of the carriers would just fold the papers and just heave them up onto the customers' porch. More times than often they failed to even make the porch and it would rest on the steps or even the ground as it hit the bottom of the steps. If it rained the customer had a wet glob of paper with ink running through the pages. Other times if they made the porch the paper would unfold on impact and spread out like a Las Vegas Blackjack dealer displaying his cards on the green felted table. Even though it might have taken me a bit longer to complete my route the benefits outweighed the inconvenience. I always walked the paper to the door anyway no matter how thick the paper was or what the weather had been so my customer received their paper like it just came off the press. I also come to realize the few extra steps of kindness did garner larger rewards on collection day.

     You could say it was one of my first two jobs in my adolescent life. After fulfilling my duties as a paperboy, I would come home, proceed to eat dinner before it came time to stroll down to Delavan's corner grocery store where I would stock shelves and sort soda pop bottles in the array of colorful wooden boxes which they were delivered in so they were ready for the soda man when he arrived to make his deliveries. Soda bottles carried a five-cent deposit so most customers returned their empties. Those were the day of good soda with brands like Orange Crush, Hires Root Beer, and of course the old favorites Pepsi and Coke. My favorite was always the clear birch beer as well as the orange creme. 

     Newspapers were only delivered Monday through Friday as customers had to get the Sunday additions at a local mom-and-pop store and even outside some of the larger churches. When the weekend came that I meant would work longer and harder at Delavan's lugging groceries up from the basement to fill the shelves. On the hot days of Saturday, I hated doing the soda bottles as bees would congregate in the bottles getting the last bit of nectar from the sugar and I had to watch that I didn't get stung. Honey bees would never bother you but those yellow jackets would give you one heck of a sting. It was only a few hours a day but it seemed as if I worked an eight-hour day. At least it put extra money in my pocket every week. I would find that later in life the experience would do me well as I worked for some of the larger corporate grocery stores and I could stock shelves with the best of them and offered quick advancement. Besides's the fact that it was close to home and that I was never really tied down to any set hours as old man Delevan always told me homework comes first. He wasn't all that old but any adult was old to me. He was sort of a strange character but was always nice to me. I could have a soda pop whenever I wanted but it was only once in a while. Soda today is nothing like it used to be. I still say the glass bottle was the trick but I tend to believe today it is way too sweet with too much sugar.

     Whenever I wanted something bad enough I always sought ways of working hard to accomplish it. My true motive was in buying a new bike so I felt like one of the boys I hung out with. Sure I always could use one of their extra bikes but I wanted one of my own. I had seen the one I wanted at the local Sears store in Kingston Plaza. To me, it was the state-of-the-art piece of machinery with its banana seat and purple metal flake-painted frame. At the time they were called a playboy bike and this was the bomb of a bike. They were styled like a chopper which we idolized from shows like "Then Came Bronson" and movies like "Easy Rider."  Whenever I went to the plaza I would go into the store to make sure they still had one. With this bike, I would be able to accomplish something no one had ever done and that was to go down South Wall Street hill with the brakes disconnected. Many have attempted however no one has made it to the bottom successfully. My friend Andrew and I almost made it but crashed at the last turn at the bottom which was almost a hairpin turn and we were catapulted flying into the woods. Being able to accomplish this would place me at the pinnacle of our group. My friends and I all hung out and rode the streets of our hometown. My best friend Mike always had extra bikes and I would use one of them until I could get my own. We were the boys of Henry and Clinton streets and the streets were ours as the six of us rode all over popping wheelies and seeing how far we could extend our front forks.

     My dad worked hard delivering coal for the Kingston Coal & Oil Company on Thomas Street in Kingston to put food on the table and a roof over our heads and I wanted to pay for this bike myself as I knew it would be a hardship to ask him to buy it. His job was hard work as every day he delivered coal with his three-ton coal truck. To this day I wonder what happen to that truck as to me it would be a collector's item. Many times it had to be carried on his back in a thick canvas coal bag to someone's home as the distance may have been too long for the stainless steel chutes to reach. Many of the Kingston City schools heated their buildings still with coal and they would get tons of coal at a time to heat the hallways for the children in the winter so everyone could be warm and have hot water. I think today it would be difficult to find someone to fill the shoes of such men as my father in doing such work as he had done day and day out. I found it to be a bit of Karma as when he retired from the company when coal was beginning to disappear he went to work as a custodian for those same schools. What made his job a joy was when his grand-daughters went to the same school where he worked. Mom most of the time stayed home and kept a clean house and would sometimes iron someone's clothes for the occasional extra money. That was the family structure back in my childhood and even as I look at it today I would take those days any day. Occasionally she would clean houses so they could make ends meet. She would always have supper on the table when dad walked through the door at five o'clock and when I finished my route I was expected to sit down and eat no matter what. It was her task to keep me in-line or all hell would have to be paid if dad had gotten a bad report. Now that I was delivering the paper, life had gotten a bit easier for her. I guess I figured if I kept active I would stay out of trouble more as I did have a rebellious streak and my teaches use to say I was a "Rebel Without a Cause". Besides Dad had always taught me that I would appreciate the things in life I wanted more if I worked for them. I can still remember those words he would tell me that "If you don't have the money to buy it- you don't need it." I believe up to the day he died he never had a credit card. He said it was fake money and only for the rich man to get richer off the backs of the common man. I later grew up to believe those words held the truth whole heartily.

     I still remember the day I became a paperboy and how quickly I got the job. I use to walk with my friend Mike on his route which was a small route near his home and followed somewhat of a straight route from the drop-off point to his house on Clinton street. I would help him fold his papers as he tossed them as we walked by the houses. The only houses he would hand deliver to was the girls we were friends with that we knew from the skating rink. I always thought they would become a thing as we got older but it never happened. It was funny as her daughter became good friends with my daughter just as Mike's daughter became friends with my daughter without knowing me and Mike were best of friends. My other friend Gary had a route also but he delivered in another part of town. Occasionally I would go with him but he used his bike almost all the time and I wasn't running to keep up. 

     After school, we would walk through uptown as we all went to JWB school or "Bailey" as we called it, and would head to the Kingston Freeman drop-off station where they had the delivery office on Fair street. It was run by a woman by the name of Joan who was in charge of all the routes. On this particular day, she had gotten a call that two brothers who had two separate routes were not delivering anymore and would not be in. Mike had talked me into putting my name on the list for a route but there were a few boys ahead of me which was why I continued to work at Delavan's. But as it turned out this was my lucky day as I was there and she was stuck between a rock and a hard place and she asked if I could help her out. I jumped on it as she tossed me two canvas sacks and a payment book for the two routes. She told me she would find someone to take one of the routes, however up until the point I was forced to stop delivering I always had those two routes. The nice thing was that one route blended right into the other route and ended somewhat close to my house. It always seems to be easy except like I said on Wednesdays when I had a profound load of papers. In the winter and on rainy days the routes seem to go slow.

     The drop-off point sat across from the street from what most nicknamed the "glass menagerie" which was the Ulster County office building as it was covered all in glass on the exterior. It more or less was the most modern building in the city. Next door was the Jury Box Cafe which was a hole-in-the-wall eatery with just a service counter, where we would buy soda pop or a candy bar to give us energy after a day at school. It catered to the office building as it made sandwiches to go which was its specialty. We never had to worry about being chunky as we were always outside and on the go. Heck, my walk to school was two miles each way. Most of the boys would sit and fold the papers but I just loaded my cream-colored canvas sacks with the words "Kingston Daily Freeman" printed in blue ink across the fabric and took off with Mike before parting ways as we went in different directions. Mike would fold his papers as he walked from house to house.

     We always hoped the papers were on time but more than often they were always late due to press problems or a lot of inserts. I had later learned that inserts were inserted by hand as they came off the press. Whenever we got them was when our customers got them which sometimes was in the late evening hours. Occasionally they were early and since the office was closed except on Mondays as that was when you turned in your money collected on Friday. Often the papers would be piled high with the route name printed on the top sheet. I always was glad when they were not there as it always seemed people passing by believing they could help themselves to a free paper. You knew that someone was going to be short and you just hoped it wasn't you. It was fortunate that we all would get extras so if someone was short we would help each other out.  When people took papers they would not just take one but copies for all their friends. I suspected many times that the big wigs in the county building would keep an eye out for the papers to get there. If we were short, then somewhere along a route a customer was not going to get a paper. However, it would end up I always saved a paper for my father. Most times if I was short it would be one of the no tippers that had to call the office to have the Freeman deliver their paper. I would always call the Freeman and let them know someone took papers from my bundle when I was short and it was never a problem. More than often we always waited for the papers so being short was a very rare occurrence. Being late always meant having to face irritable customers and smaller tips at the end of the week. Mom always worried and would make dad drive around making sure I was okay and almost done. Sometimes even helping out if the papers had been way over schedule. I never minded being out late as I got to think and I loved the interpersonal exchanges I had with many of my customers. I guess my high school business teacher was right, customer service does pay off in the end as most times being late meant I got to converse with many of my customers.

      I would load up those big sacks and head out onto those lopsided and uneven blue-stone sidewalks. Sometimes tripping you up as you tried to catch your balance. I would look around to see if anyone was watching me as I almost fell and need3d to solace to blame it on the sidewalk instead of my failure to pick up my feet. You would look back in anguish as if looking to scold someone for tripping you up. 

     It was easy to trip up as often my mind would sometimes wander as if maybe today I was walking in the footsteps of some famous person who walked these same streets of days long past. Maybe someday another person will walk the same footsteps that I once did through the rain, sleet, and snow or possibly almost taking a header tripping on the flagstone that now has risen higher from the ice freezing. Heck, you could say I was just like the postman as the paper must go through. If we were early most of our customers were still at work but if we were late the customers were always home from work looking for their papers waiting to read the daily happenings. Many would-be standing on the porch for their paper or tinkering around their lawn and flowers giving them a reason to be ready for when it arrives. You could tell for as soon as you arrived and placed it in their hands they sent inside and the flowers fought for themselves. As I would walk the paper to the door and placed it in the mailboxes by their door I would give the doorbell a ring as I walked off the porch to let them know their paper had arrived especially when I was running late. The action was always rewarded with pleasantry as they just passed a smile and a gentle wave with paper in hand.

     Being a paperboy taught me a lot about life. My route was one of the most diversified routes one could have. It started in the business section of town delivering to doctors and lawyers offices which I called the "never see- ems". By this, I meant the money was always there in an envelope and the tip was always the same and you never got to see the customer only their secretary. It then blended into the rich section of town. If I was short on papers these customers paid the price as most of the time they never tipped but the first to complain. They paid for the paper by passing you an envelope without fully opening the door. I had learned through life that people with money most likely got it by holding onto it. It never mattered to me as they still got the same door-to-door service but that was about it. Leaving them I entered the middle-class section which included Puerto Ricans and blacks or as my mother used to call them the colored people. I use to tease her and ask her what color were they. These were hard-working folks and just great people to talk to. I think if I was to get an education about life it would have to be from many of these customers. The last section and the end of my route were just middle-class and old white folks.

     I got to experience the way people lived in everyday life and how they interacted with their neighbors no matter what race or nationality they were. I got to meet and learn about their families and what they liked to eat for dinner and just how they lived from day-to-day. Many of their children I went to school with and some became close friends with. Many of the older folks would share their stories of life and the history of the city as it was when they were a child. I look back at my childhood as I do in these stories and remember how different it is now from the days when I was growing up and can see myself now in their shoes. I hope someone enjoys this tale the same way I did when these folks told me stories of their days gone by. Some always tipped, some never did, some I think thought they did, but just forgot but it never mattered. Some would give you a dollar and then some only a quarter. Heck, a quarter was just as good as it bought you a soda pop or bag of fireballs. I still buy them today but now they are twenty-five cents each, not as big, and nowhere near as hot. Many of us kids would buy a pack of baseball cards and as we chewed the gum we would clip the cards to our bikes so as we pedaled it would make the sound of a motorcycle. Today those same cards are worth hundreds to thousands of dollars. If we had only known where that collection of sports legends and statistics was going to head. Many offered you a drink, while some could care less. This I learned is just the nature of people and you can't change it. You can only change yourself to become that better person. You need to learn to live with it and accept people as who they are and accept the good points as you work by the bad points. They all have donated something to the meaning of life no matter how great or how small but in the end they made life for what it is and what it was. You just need to take the time to listen, understand and see it from their eyes as well.

     I always liked it when a customer felt like talking as I would take the time to spend a few minutes listening to their story. I especially like to listen to the elderly as they had so many intriguing things to tell of their past and the history of their time. As a history buff, I enjoyed picking apart the tidbits of history they revealed from their past. They would at times be just as interested in me as well, as they would ask how I was doing in school and what I wanted to be in life and always offered their suggestions. Many times as I would gaze at them I would understand that they could have been as old as the trees that lined the sidewalks or at least remembered when the tree started uprooting the sidewalk that caused me to trip and the city never seems to get around to fixing. If only I could talk to the trees I am so sure they have so many stories to tell as well.

     I seemed to form some analogies to people as I see the rich always had people working around their house while the middle-class would do the work themselves. You could always tell the poor or the lonely as the house was always in need of repair or a fresh coat of paint and the landscape was is in disarray. I had this customer a much older lady which I called the "cat lady" as she had so many cats and the house would smell of cat urine as she would invite me in to pay me. Her house was in such need of a paint job and I thought if only that house could receive a fresh coat of paint and maybe put a smile on her face if just for a short moment as it offered her a small sense of being. She was such a kind woman, just lost in a world of loneliness and the onset of age. I went out of my way to try and make her smile every chance I could, sometimes even never collecting for her weekly paper. More than once she scolded me for forgetting to pick up her money.

     My memory fails me how much I made on the paper but I believe it was a buck twenty-five each week of which ninety-five cents went to the paper per customer. You were not going to get rich by any means, but yet things were a lot cheaper and for a kid, it added up. Since the store I worked at was on my route as well I would wait until I deliver to Mr. Delevan and grab a soda while I was there. He always said he would put it on my tab but I never saw a reduction in my pay. I made most of my money on tips and I cough that up to good customer service. If you were a tipping customer and you missed a week paying I put it in for you and collected double the following week. If you were a no tipper and constantly tried to avoid collections I would drop you in a heartbeat. I never had too many problems on my route as most of my customers appreciated my efforts and way of doing business and always went out of their way to pay their bills.

      Collection day intrigued me as I always had to meet with someone that day. The Puerto Rican neighborhood where you would have to come inside as they never conducted business in the street. Their houses were adorned with religious articles hanging from the walls or set on a stand in their living room and often I would inquire about an object and what it meant to them. I would listen to their stories and leave still trying to figure out what they were trying to tell me in their broken English. As always it meant that I would have to sample their rice and beans to see how I liked it and offer my approval to the cook. Fridays were always rough on me for if it wasn't the rice and beans it was a piece of fried chicken or a piece of fish since most often meat was avoided on Fridays. By the time I got home, I had already eaten a five coarse meal and mom had the dinner on the table which if I refused I would have broken her heart. You have had to have a great reason if you passed up on any of mom's food.

     I remember the black family who had two sons and two daughters. I called him Reverend Priest as he was a Pastor of a local church and his two boys were good friends of mine. They were actually in a band we had a few years later. His one son Gene was the oldest and played the bass guitar and his brother Andrew played the drums. Mike played the guitar as well as myself. He would always take the time to ask me if I was staying in line with the Lord and I was always welcome to come to his church. I always thought he was such a calm and collective guy. I could only imagine how the tragedy of an auto accident and the force of lightning that took the life of his two sons later in life had affected him and wished I could have been there to offer him kind words in return.

      I guess you could say it was hard work, but we were the unsung heroes of the newspaper industry time has long forgotten. I just continued to save and save. Cashing all my money in at the store for one large bill and stashing it into a sock and stuffing it into a vacant outlet box covered by an electrical plate in the bathroom.

     Winter had come and I figured I had enough to buy myself the bike for Christmas. I had grown up in a household that followed the religious practices of Jehovah's Witnesses and they never celebrated Christmas. I use to lie and make up stuff I got so I fit in with the other kids but now I could say I got a bike for Christmas. That was until my period of being a newspaper boy came to a quick end. One evening while running lat and in the Puerto Rican neighborhood a driver in a Jeep Wagoneer had other plans for me on that cold wintery night. It had been snowing with about two inches of snow that had already fallen was now being covered with a layer of freezing sleet. As I was heading down the sidewalk I spotted this vehicle swerving all over the road as it sped through the stop sign. As I realized it was heading towards me, I turned but it came up on the sidewalk so fast I was just able to turn as it sent me soaring over these hedges that I later saw were over seven feet tall and tossed me into a back yard. The vehicle then proceeded to run over me again as it came to rest. I was not sure if I was alive or dead as through the shock I felt no pain but yet I could not move as I just looked up at the white sky as now the snow was falling upon my face. I was scared not to know what was in store for me and I hoped someone would come soon as it was getting dark and I was cold and now getting wet. Out of nowhere, my dad was at my side. He was a sight for sore eyes as even though I was so independent he always seemed to be there when I needed him. I guess this is just the trait of a caring parent as I carried the torch with my two daughters and now know what he had gone through both in good times and bad. Before I knew it I was in an ambulance and on my way to the hospital. I later learned that my dad had sought to see why I was late getting home and had backtracked looking for me from my last stop. He had proceeded to finish the deliveries and then came to the hospital with my mother. I could only imagine what had been going through his mind as he took the time to finish the deliveries not knowing what condition I was in.

     After cutting off my clothes and boots and a series of x-rays it was determined I had a shattered bone in my leg. To this day I don't wear steel-toed boots as the vehicle had bent the steel into my toes and they had to be cut off me but luckily no damage was done to my feet. After almost a month in the hospital and constant changes of the cast on my leg, I was allowed to go home. Due to the way the bone had shattered, my leg would be shorter but at least I would be able to walk. That was after a year of being on crutches and constant cast changes. Christmas had come and the task of riding a bike was the last thing in my mind. To my surprise our landlord who I always went out of the way to help bought me a brand new bike and yes it was the one that I had wanted all along. It was a bit weird staring at it while holding myself up with crutches but I was proud of that bike and I knew soon enough I would be able to ride again. My parents had told them about the bike as I had shown it to them whenever we went to the Sears store.

      My parents had tried to keep my route going for me but after hearing I would be on crutches for a year or more they were forced to give it up which I was surprised they kept it up as long as they did. I received many cards from my customers and even Joan the lady from the newspaper came up to visit me and told me that I had been one of their best paperboys and got many compliments from my customers. I had learned that appreciation does not always come in the form of money, but in kindness as well.

      The paper had eventually become a morning edition and the paperboys were slowly being phased out as adults in their gas-guzzling cars started delivering in the early morning with papers now rolled and stuffed in a plastic bag that holds water so well as it sits in your driveway or on the sidewalk just as far as the person could toss it from their car. Our canvas sacks now hang on the wall next to others that will never see the young shoulders of a child again. Someone will end up throwing them out or maybe keep one or two as a souvenir to collecting dust in some attic believing someday they may be a collectible, an antique of the sort. Heck, a few may even find the resting place with the body that used them just because he forgot to turn them in. All I can say is I wish I had done the same. If I could only find one of those bags again just to say I still have a piece of my history. I guess we are all destined someday to be what you would call antique. Next generations onward will only sit and ponder what it could have been used for. The old will die off and the young will never know or experience the aspects of the paperboy which will be forever forgotten. As I write this I tend to wonder if the newspaper may become a thing of the past as news flies over the internet. The sense of community and neighborhoods seems to be fading faster than a pair of denim jeans. However, some of us will always remember those beaten paths we followed every day. The gates we unlatched, the doorbells we rang, and the smiles we left behind. Maybe someday someone will create a small space in a corner to honor those paperboys of yesterday so they shall never be forgotten as so many facets, of our history, have been. It would not have to be much maybe just a hook on a wall so one of those canvas sacks can proudly hang for all to see. I could proudly look down from the heavens and smile as my grandchildren tell their children "your great-grandpa use to be one of those paperboys, come let me tell you the story he told me."

     To add a happy ending to this story I am glad to say I have healed well and life went on. I don't read the paper anymore as I can just sit back and watch the news. Mom and pop bought a house and eventually have passed on. I can proudly say I was by their sides just as they had always been by mine. Dad went quickly with a heart attack and I know just seeing and enjoying the end days with his grandchildren made his end-times enjoyable. Mom had it a bit rough and had many illnesses but destined for a nursing home my wife and I brought her into our home in Florida and she lived a happy life before laying to rest with her husband back in Kingston. I had gotten a little bit of money from the accident but nothing like I would have gotten today as the driver of the vehicle had been drunk but laws and viewpoints were different at those times. But it was enough to help out mom and pop living their dream of owning their own home. The funniest part of this story was that I was sitting one day in the new house, and as I gazed at the electrical outlet on the wall the thought had come to me that I had forgotten something over the years. I stopped by the old landlord. She had aged so fast since his husband's passing, however, she recognized me right away. The old apartments were vacant and run down as she no longer had the energy to keep them up. I spent a bit of time with her but she rambled on about her Bill and when he owned the Greenkill Tavern just down the street. I asked her if I could go to the old apartment and she told me to be careful as she now used it for storage. 

     As I had looked around the apartment and it brought back memories. Memories of getting knocked on my ass while wiping an outlet with a wet cloth, memories of me lying in my bed on a Saturday morning with a hangover after going out drinking all night, and mom beating eggs in a metal bowl. And yes the memories as a young boy that snuck out the small bathroom window so I could meet a girl name Debbie that I had such a crush on. We would play a game called "Slip" which was something like "Hide & Seek" but each side had a jail. Most of the time we would play it in the same graveyard where my father and mother now rest. I was in the bathroom for one reason and that was I had forgotten all that money I had saved. I had brought a small screwdriver as I figured the old plate was painted over a few times, at least I hoped as if they removed it they would have surely found my stash. Sure enough,  it had been painted over and after scoring the edges the plate came off easily. As I removed the sock I stuffed it in my pocket and replaced the cove. On the way out I said my goodbyes and gave Nellie a hug and kiss which I knew made her day not just to remind her of the old days but to once again feel the embrace of a man. I knew she had missed her Bill dearly. I know the feeling as I lost my girl just a few years ago and would give anything just to hold her in my arms again.

After I had gotten home I was anxious to count the secret stash that I had saved. The bike lasted awhile and I never did conquer the hill. After counting the money I had saved over five hundred dollars. It was funny as I had seen this 72 Nova that I fell in love with and the lady only wanted five hundred for that. I guess things happen for a reason. I had that car for many years and fixing her was one of my hobbies as I was an auto mechanic or "motorhead" as some called us. I turned her into quite a street machine and even had it when I met my wife. Yes, dad, I work for it and I can say I earned it.

     The days of the paperboy are long gone and I am quite sure many of my customers are long gone as well. The cat lady's house rest in shambles probably lost in an estate battle where family bonds are at the end of a dollar bill or she was the last of the family tree and the state could care less. I know the feeling as my grand-fathers house was lost because of greedy relatives. Maybe by placing that old canvas sack on your shoulder could bring back memories of the routes it once took. It was the only symbol left of our profession to show that we once existed. It went to many places and seen many people. Many times it would hang from a chair while I was asked to sample a Friday night meal. It might smell of the aroma from the Spanish rice from the Puerto Rican neighborhood or even the fried chicken a block over in the black neighborhood. Sometimes a cup of cocoa on a cold blustery day from an elderly woman who thought it was just awful I had to deliver in such conditions. Today it's all been replaced by plastic or metal boxes that line the landscape with papers from our newspapers to real estate offerings, some free while others waiting for some coins to drop where patrons can still reach in and take copies for their friends thinking they have the right. Many times I see those bulky boxes tipped over like a dead horse either by vandals or bumped by vehicles that have misjudged their distance. Today you get delivery from a metal gas-guzzling vehicle that traverses our city streets in the wee hours of the morning. We awake to the sound of a paper hitting the end of the driveway dressed in a plastic baggy so when it rains it allows the water to collect in the bag as if bring fish home from the pet store. The days of the paperboy may be a thing of the past but it will always remain a small part of my history that will stay with me and everyone that has done it. I guess it is all in the name of progress but I think in the back of my mind we have lost not only a valuable icon but a way for many children to learn a life lesson. Well, I must get back to it "fold, fold & tuck- fold, fold & tuck."

The Coming Civil War

According to a recent poll, American patriots are getting ready for a Civil War and this could be the current outlook for America. If we look at the current state of the Union there is no clear positive outlook for the current COVID problem and Americans continue to stockpile their survival needs. According to three separate poll groups Engagious, Sports and Leisure Research Group and ROKK Solutions 61% of Americans believe the United States is heading for a second Civil War with 41% strongly believe it and 52% believe it is just around the corner especially after the elections.

Engagious is a well-established research firm while the Sports and Leisure Research Group is a major research group for the sports and marketing research field. ROKK is a full-service, bipartisan public affairs firm that works with clients to design communications solutions aimed at influencing public policy and opinion.

The study stated that the political extremist are the readiest for war with 52% being very liberal and 52% be very conservative which completely divides the nation extremely which could lead to a potential war. Add in the VOVID virus and the possibility of a spike again leading to food and other essentials leading to a shortage will only test the nerves of the public. Rich Thau the President of Engagious stated: "this is the single most frightening poll result he has ever been associated with".

As the Presidential elections near tensions are rising while at the sam time the BLM (Black Lives Matter supporters and rioters are increasing with violent protest across the cities of our nation. Many major food chains such as Sams Club and Costco are already placing limits on popular products. ROKK has already made recommendations to the industry so as they may make decisions.

The plan has already been placed for such a Civil War of which if you look at it from a true perspective we are already at the pre-start of the action. It has just not gone full speed ahead certain criteria need to fall into place. Some say it is not aimed at Donald Trump but rather at the people that support him. They already tried to take him out and that failed so all that is left is to rally against those that support him. They despise us for what we believe and our hatred for their communist views. Their leaders are already in place as we see them every day in the news. Over the past four years, the Democrats have removed their mask and revealed their real agenda and just how low they will go. This has been proven and I think once they lose and the facts are revealed about Biden it will present nothing but a deep hatred in the deep state to proceed with increased riots and assaults upon the citizens of this country. I tend to believe why there is this closet Trump movement as the citizens already fear retaliation and their true feelings will b at the polls. I also see many Democratic states turn tail and changing giving us complete control. It will then be up to the government to squash the uprising. If not then citizens will have to take matters in their own hands.

If we look at the reality of the facts there is no way it can turn for the better. The hatred is so intense on both sides that no matter which side wins the uprising will come about. I know for a fact that if those idiots tried to do what they do to citizens in Seattle and New York City they would have their heads bashed in. I am from New York state and trust me people are leaving the state faster than the geese that leave in the fall. People are turning on the Democratic party and they know it which is why it is not going to go well as their hatred is so deep they will go over the edge after the election results. People in the Democratic Twin Cities are turning toward Trump after the riots ignored by their Democratic leaders went on deaf ear. It also doesn’t help that they feel the Democratic Party establishment that has ruled Minneapolis and Saint Paul for decades, including Mayors Jacob Frey and Melvin Carter, has completely bungled the response to the wave of civil unrest. And these folks are proud black business owners. Again we see it is not about BLM and George Floyd but rather just the spark for what they were planning all along. They are eating their own and it never tasted better as they feel they are winning. I hate to tell them that they will lose and it will be the bloodiest battle they have ever seen. In Vietnam, the torture and senseless killing created a hatred that went above what the average mind could handle and villages with women and children were just wiped out from this form of hatred which the left has brought about as it continues to run rampant. I use to vote for who I thought would be the best person but with all that the Democrats did this term, I just voted all Republican across the board without even looking at names and seeing what their views were. My thinking was my deep hatred for anything Democratic. I am just happy none of the Democratic candidates came to my door as they might not like what I got to say. Here in Florida, the only ones voting for Biden are the Snowbirds that come down from the Democratic states but the majority of the true southerners are voting for Trump. I tend to believe he has Florida by a landslide and if not the ballots need to be verified.

The war has already been started. Many just do not want to admit it. I know I will never accept Biden as President and will refuse any such order to wear a mask as I have up to this point as it is. He can wipe his ass with his mask. There is no possible outcome where people start loving one another and singing Kumbayah! Yes, we are already at war and it could go as far as deep Republican states with citizens demanding to succeed. It was already mentioned during the Obama presidency so I am sure it will happen under smuck Joe Biden! We must remember Hillary and Soros are still in the background pulling the Democratic strings. If we are to win the communist ideals and the people promoting it must be gone. It's a win-lose situation. They have indoctrinated our youth and they succeeded in having us pay for it. Many just turned a blind eye not wanting to believe it but it happened and now we are faced with the end result.

All across America, there are FEMA camps set up for the political purpose to incarcerate dissidents and as the Democrats call the deplorables and let me be the first to tell you they will not hesitate to use them. Many people called it a conspiracy but they exist and have been proven to exist. If we fall under the Democratic rule they will come for your guns as well as your money as that is the communist way as you work for the state. If Trump loses this election we will see a Democratic purge of this country within a year especially with all the left-wing extremists calling the shots.

You see the concentration camps were a communist plan to re-educate the citizens to conform to the agenda they chose. If you did not fall in line then you were terminated. The question always arose that would the American military act on martial law against its own citizens. I will try to post a paper I wrote a while back called the Unconstitutionality of Martial Law as it made some valuable points. So the question will be will the troops fire upon their own citizens. The answer to that will be that it will not be necessary as the Democrats are so far into the Communist pockets of China and Russia that they will use foreign troops under UN control as they do not even trust their own military. This evidence is already in government files as the procedure.

The Democrats take over these camps will become slave labor camps, death camps for those that resist and run by the UN troops that will do what the American troops will not be trusted to do. Remember the current agenda of the Democratic party is to take America into communism. The Nazis chose to establish slave labor camps and is already part of a current Army document:

Appendix J

J-20 FM 3-39.40 12 February 2010


Commanders must organize and manage detainees in such a manner as to permit the proper and ready employment of each detainee. Establish and maintain a current occupational skill record for each detainee. Include new skills as they are acquired.

Assigning individual detainees to a work detail or job on a regular or permanent basis.

Establishing vocational training projects and encouraging detainees to study and develop needed skills to the maximum extent possible.


Detainee labor may be used to perform the following:

• Camp administration and installation maintenance.

• Agricultural work.

• Public works, public utilities, and building operations that have no military character or purpose.

• Transportation and handling of stores that are not military in nature or purpose.

• Domestic service

This material can also be found in Obama’s Executive Order 13603. Both Obama’s Executive Order and FM 39.4 are public records and as such, are irrefutable in these claims. The fact that Obama’s 13603 EO is almost identical to this part of FM 39.4 demonstrates the resolve of the globalists to carry out this plot.

From Executive Order 13603

Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution states: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” The key phrase here is: herein granted. Those powers granted to Congress by the States and the People are delineated in Article I, and primarily in Section 8 of the same. Nowhere does the Constitution say that federal agencies can “allocate” all food, energy, water, food, and all labor. However, this is precisely what EO 13603 calls for. This EO would be concerning enough. However, this EO turns every American into a slave through the stroke of Obama’s pen, or whatever liberal would follow Obama into the White House. I am of the opinion that Obama was to be followed by Clinton and she would have executed this EO. According to EO 13603, the President, or the head of any federal agency that he shall designate, can conscript “persons of outstanding experience and ability without compensation,” in both “peacetime and times of national emergency.” The Democrats will call you crazy and they will never fo that so my reply then why was it written Well, here it is, you can read it for yourself.

Sec. 502. Consultants. The head of each agency otherwise delegated functions under this order is delegated the authority of the President under sections 710(b) and (c) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2160(b), (c), to employ persons of outstanding experience and ability without compensation and to employ experts, consultants, or organizations. The authority delegated by this section may not be redelegated.

Obama made it possible for his fellow communist successors to seize any resource, property, or person at any time for any reason, including being able to force that person to perform assigned labor without being paid. Forced uncompensated employment is plain and simple "slavery". Isn't this what Black Lives Matter and Antifa fighting against? President Obama effectively repealed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Section 601 of the act specifies, in part, how far the government can go in terms of making you their slave.

Sec. 601. Secretary of Labor. (a) The Secretary of Labor, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense and the heads of other agencies, as deemed appropriate by the Secretary of Labor, shall: (1) collect and maintain data necessary to make a continuing appraisal of the Nation’s workforce needs for purposes of national defense; (2) upon request by the Director of Selective Service, and in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, assist the Director of Selective Service in development of policies regulating the induction and deferment of persons for duty in the armed services; (3) upon request from the head of an agency with authority under this order, consult with that agency with respect to: (i) the effect of contemplated actions on labor demand and utilization; (ii) the relation of labor demand to materials and facilities requirements; and (iii) such other matters as will assist in making the exercise of priority and allocations functions consistent with effective utilization and distribution of labor; (4) upon request from the head of an agency with authority under this order: (i) formulate plans, programs, and policies for meeting the labor requirements of actions to be taken for national defense purposes; and (ii) estimate training needs to help address national defense requirements and promote necessary and appropriate training programs.

If the above section was merely going to be a military draft, then the Secretary of Labor would not have to be involved. However the Secretary of Labor with the Secretary of Defense and heads of other agencies, as deemed appropriate by the Secretary of Labor, shall: …assist in the development of policies regulating the induction and deferment of persons for duty in the armed services;… formulate plans, programs, and policies for meeting the labor requirements of actions to be taken for national defense purposes; and (ii) estimate training needs to help address national defense requirements and promote necessary and appropriate training programs…”. Refer back to section 502 of sections 710(b) and (c) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2160(b), (c); these are the people that the Secretary of the Labor will conscript in order “to employ persons of outstanding experience and ability without compensation and to employ experts, consultants, or organizations”. This is civilian conscription and this is why the Secretary of Labor is in charge instead of the head of the Selective Service! Under these provisions, the government believes that they can send you anywhere, to work on anything of their choosing and without pay.

Throughout periods of history concentration camps are notoriously known for being institutions of murder. The Army concentration camp manual entitled FM 3-39.40 Internment and Resettlement Operations has only scant reference to the subject of deaths in the concentration camps. This document painstakingly describes interrogation processes, food preparation, the transport and care of detainees, but they barely mention how they are going to deal with dead bodies? People will die in captivity as a facility filled with a variant population with disregard for age, health status and physical conditioning there will be loss of life. Should not the operations manual have discussed this in more detail. Let me tell you why not.

From the references, this is how the Army plans to deal with the subject of death as it is related to the concentration camps:

5-69. When a detainee in U.S. custody dies, the attending medical officer will immediately furnish the detention facility commander or hospital commander (or the commander of the unit that exercised custody over the detainee if the death did not occur in a facility) with the -Detainee’s full name. -Detainee’s ISN/capture tag (mandatory). -Date, place, and circumstances of the detainee’s death. -Initial assessment as to whether the detainee’s death was, or was not, the result of the deceased’s own misconduct. -The initial assessment as to the cause of death.

The interesting fact is 5-69 is that the cause of death is not categorized in any meaningful manner except to say that there is a conscious effort to determine if the death of the inmate was due to “their own actions”. Furthermore 5-72. …the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner is responsible for completing a final DD Form 2064 that will include a statement that “death was (or was not) the result of the deceased’s own misconduct” in the block labeled “Circumstances Surrounding Death Due to External Causes.” Notice in the above (5-72) that only meaningful categories of inmate death are (1) the detainee’s own misconduct and (2) death due to external causes with nothing about natural causes. 5-73. The NRDC will notify the ICRC of all detainee deaths. The NDRC will maintain detainee DD Forms 2064 for the period of hostilities or occupation, for the duration of any other military operation, or as otherwise directed. When authorized, the NDRC will archive detainee DD Forms 2064.

Did you catch the key phrase which is “The NDRC will maintain detainee DD Forms 2064 for the period of the hostilities or occupation…” In other words, there will be no Nuremberg trials for genocide because the records will be not be permanently maintained and most likely will be destroyed one thing the Democrats are so well known for as in destroying evidence. Just ask Hillary!

The conclusion is that the forces have little concern over dead bodies or the disposal thereof and that many citizens will be exterminated at another location. It begs to reason why converted Walmart's are located near railroad tracks. The possibilities are endless and even though sound beyond belief but years ago would we have believe what is happening today in our country. Do you think that they will present humane medical treatment to those that reject them? Former FEMA official, Celeste Solum, has stated that this is unquestionably true.

Recent statements coming out of the George Soros sponsored Antifa terrorists, occupying the former American city of Seattle which they called Chaz and the so-called “autonomous zone” were very disturbing. The spoke of rounding up all white people in the occupation zone and strongly implied that all non-compliant people, with regard to Antifa policies, will be beheaded.

Biden is clearly in severe cognitive decline and will not make it past a few months in the White House. His recent comments reflect the fact that he knows this is true. He recently stated that he wanted a woman Vice President who was ready to become President on day one. I believe Biden was unintentionally signaling the plan that he will take the oath of office and quickly resign.

According to a poll by YouGov with 1,999 registered voters, 47% felt that the election will not be fair or honest and 51% felt that the presidency will not be legitimate. Much of this is due to the so-called mail-in voting and the mass mail outs that have occurred.

As I have stated many times in my writings we are no longer a nation but rather an empire and history have shown us that no empire has ever succeeded. We as a nation have become so divided that we no longer strive for the same purpose. We have those that seek to have the Freedoms the Constitution provides and our forefathers fought for and those that want to erase all the memories of our forefathers from our existence and place us into the slavery of a select few mostly with a communist regime. This can be seen with the rioters across America as they attempt to destroy the statues of those that were part of our history. It's not about black or white or past slavery but rather the left's desire to erase all history from our thought. They do not want us to remember the past but rather to accept their future which they have in store for us. Nancy Pelosi provided us a view of we the peasants serving them while they sit in their mansions with commercial high priced freezers storing holding they're custom made ice cream while we accept the daily rations of food placed in our mouths. The Jews professed it best as they said, in the end, every Jew would have 2800 slaves (Gentiles). We are the slaves!

In Portland, Antifa destroyed the statues of two famous Presidents as they attack the city. One whom they claimed freed the slaves of Abraham Lincoln and the other Teddy Roosevelt which I am still trying to figure out the relationship. The fact is it has nothing to do with race or law enforcement but rather the reason why Antifa is in existence and being funded by big wigs who finance umbrella organizations to progress their cause. They profess that they were colonizers and that they have stolen the lands but what they fail to realize is they are doing the same thing they profess to hate. Did they not attempt to establish a colony by the name of "Chaz" and other zones they called theirs. This is colonization. And as far as stealing the land you cannot steal what is not yours. The Native Americans fought each other over territory we just came into the fight as a third party. I wonder just how many would take a parcel of land if given, oh yes did they not take "Chaz" or does that not count. Their battles are just a facade of what the real intentions of the left want to do to this country. Those choosing their side feel they will have a piece of the pie but they will find in the end they are just as expendable when they achieve power.

Rioters are even ransacking history as they devour these cities while the most left leaders sit in their mansions protected by their security paid for by those with who they care little about. The whole agenda is laced with the destruction of the past and to erase the memory so we all comply with their agenda. Those that don't will feel the wrath. Two men have been arrested and charged with felony offenses over the incident. Malik Fard Muhammad and Brandon Bartells allegedly participated in a riot that was organized by a Portland Antifa organization. Neither of them appears to have Native American roots, nor are they from Portland or even Oregon. Why is we do not receive more information on these jerks? We can find out the life history of a felon but when people defame and riot and steal we know little. I happen to find out Bartell's who hails from Washington was released on his Own Recognizance. I thought we were trying to find out where they are getting their funding from. Muhammad was from Indiana and faced multiple counts

There is no compromise but rather both sides we wish they were dead. In this present conflict, there can be no negotiation or compromise between the two factions, for the dividing factor is too vast, and the chasm too deep. The outcome of the present civil war will be profound and will determine the Nation’s social, political, economic, and legal contours for generations to come. Today we are getting punched either literally of fugitively but no matter it is still a hard blow. If we try to defend our lives or property we are arrested and must prove our innocence rather than the state prove us guilty. meanwhile, the other side vandalizes, riots, kills, hurts, assaults, and degrades without any repercussion almost being rewarded by their democratic run states and jurisdictions. When threatened they almost present the fact that they will start a Civil War to progress their cause. There will come a time when we will have to say do what you must as it will come to a head.

Our society today has gone from an expression of peace and love to a hate-filled country with the help of social media where expression is absent, music that promotes degrading, sex, drugs, and violence not to mention hatred. Our schools rather decide to teach teachers views rather than the facts but yet they protest their position. Games are no longer constructive and use of the mind but rather the enjoyment of spilling blood and leading an imaginary life of crime and violence. The family structure has been broken for some time and those that wish to enjoy our freedoms went out of their way to destroy those same freedoms to fulfill their own agenda. No, I do not think there is a turning back of the clock just how we plan to move forward. I know which side I am on and if the call comes I will gladly serve to protect the freedoms this empire chooses to eliminate

Our Forefathers were willing to die for the rights espoused in the Declaration of which they crafted and signed at their own Peril. This document boldly proclaimed our Right to Live in Freedom, freedom to be protected, not threatened, by the rule of the government. The fundamental rights and freedoms enumerated in the Declaration of Independence included the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. These rights were God-given no matter what God you choose and could not be eliminated. The far left with their communist despise this and will go to any means to take that away from us. I believe it’s time for us to pledge our Lives, Fortunes, and Honor, to provide a better future for our generations to come. Our country is done as we know it and our actions will decide on what the future holds for us. The Second Civil War will make the first one seem like a walk in the park but we must pick the side we wish to follow and chose it wisely as our future depends on it. It will b the most brutal and bloody war history has ever witnessed. I don't see another course. It would be great if there was but I don't see a different course of history. I have loved ones and know the cost will be great but their future depends on it and their future depends on it and just as chose to die for my country once I will do it again no matter what the cost or cause. How do we want our children to answer their children when they ask why we let the Republic slip away.


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Lines of Distinction

Lines of Distinction

Skip Ford©

I was just sitting there gazing at him as I studied his face. He must have known I was watching him, but would not give me the satisfaction of acknowledging it. It was just that sort of a person, hard to the bone, but caring at the same time. There was no room for pleasantries or emotions in his life. As I watched him I think sometimes we judge our elders as appear and not for the qualities hidden beneath.

The passing of time has taken its toll without any sort of consciousness. His hair gray as the ashes of a burnt-out wood fire once thick and stunning was now thin and took up very little real estate on his head. I still profess it was from wearing that metal bowl they called a helmet on his head for years during WW2. He never reflects back about the war as he still has dark memories that still force him to sleep with a light on so it does not bring back the vivid nightmares. After learning about his heroic deeds my respect for him had grown even stronger, but he still reminded me that his Bronze and Silver Stars would not even buy you a cup of coffee.

His skin pitted from the flames of a raging fire in a barn when he was a young boy. Even before his service to his country, this man as a young lad put his life on the line to save the animals in a barn. The only thing that saved his life was a watering trough that sat just outside the barn. I could only imagine what it must have been like to feel the nurses peeling the flesh off your body as they lifted your from the liquid-filled vat you slept in or at least tried to sleep in..

The lines on his face resembled a page out of a road atlas never really going in a meaningful direction. If you stand close to him sometimes on a warm day, you can still smell the years of working in the coal industry as it had embedded itself into the creases and crevices of his leathery skin. His back now unnaturally curved with muscle from years of carrying coal baskets on his back just to keep his fellow man warm. As he wiped his face the loss of his fingertips revealed the offering to the sawmill he had to pay as a young man for getting too close to the large buzz saw as they called it.. Even when he tells, you the story of his parents buying him a wagon as a young kid a sense of at least some sanity of his childhood still exists. That is until he reminds me that the wagon only meant a way to collect rocks from the pasture so he could continue building the wall that surrounded the old homestead.

We look upon our own lives and profess we are facing the hard times and we are just making it. However, as I look at my father I question myself if I could have gone through what he went through, and actually, in truth, my life really had been easy. With all the trials and tribulations of his life, I can still sometimes see the faint lines of smile shine through it all, but he will never admit it. Therefore, as we look upon the lines of the face of growing old we must not look upon them as lines of age but rather lines of distinction.