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Sunday, March 17, 2013
A passing glance at a headline in the online edition of the Sunday New York Times conjured up a 45-year-old memory.
Instantly, I remembered Mr. Hardy delivering the afternoon Roanoke World-News up and down Wycliffe and Avenham avenues.
In warm weather, my mother and her friends might be sitting on the side porch, while my fellow neighborhood rascals would roam the backyards, just as Mr. Hardy would come bearing the day's news.
Distilled as the news was then onto newsprint from a wide array of bureaus and first-person accounts, crisply written and edited, it was something people talked about and trusted, unlike, say, what passes for news today.
The morning paper, too, was always at the front door as the household came alive, delivered by a nameless and unseen carrier. Mr. Hardy, however, was a fixture.
My mother recalls he kept the job for health or exercise reasons, and when he was late or missed a day, the calls would go into the circulation desk about his status. He held the job for years and years, possibly up to and until the afternoon paper ceased printing. It surprised and delighted me to recall this memory.
And that story from the Sunday Times? When I went back to read it, the headline evoked another surprise: "Hardy Survivor of a Vanishing Print Era is Still Delivering the Newspaper at 93."
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