After more than 33 years, Virginia Rand has folded her last newspaper.
Rand, 76, who retired last week, delivered the Star Beacon to the city’s business district.
“Believe it or not, I miss getting up early,” she said. “I missed only one day of work in all those years and that was because of a blizzard.”
With the wind howling and snow blowing, Rand’s husband, Everett, started to drive her from their westside home to the Star Beacon but a police officer stopped them at Main Avenue.
“He told us to go home,” she said. “’No one is going to expect a paper in this weather,’ he said.”
Rand started at the Star Beacon in 1979, after her son, Kevin, broke his leg. It was his route but he couldn’t do it with a broken leg, she said.
Come to find out, Rand loved the job.
“A 9-to-5 job was impossible because I needed to be home with our older son, Fred, who was disabled,” she said. “Fred helped out by being my answering machine. If a customer called, he answered the phone or he called customers if I was running late.”
Rand said she had the greatest customers.
“If something happened and I was late, they didn’t care about the newspaper, they worried about you,” she said. “My customers were wonderful, especially years later, when (Fred) passed away.”
After Rand spent 15 years on the job, Everett Rand joined his wife on the paper route. He had retired from Ashtabula Bow Socket Co. and an extra set of hands made the job a little easier, his wife said.
Over the years, Virginia Rand saw many changes, including:
- Carriers didn’t deliver on holidays;
- Children outnumbered adults when it came to carriers;
- More people subscribed to the newspaper;
- Carriers collected the money in little envelopes, and
- Gas prices were about 65-cents a gallon when she started with the paper.
Rand takes many happy memories with her as she retires, including those associated with her co-workers.
“Over the years, my biggest helpers were the mailroom and the guys in the circulation department,” she said. “They kept us on track and if there were any problems, they backed us up.”
Rand took pride in her work.
“(My customers) got their paper delivered the way I wanted it delivered to me,” she said.
Now that Rand is retired, she plans to spend more time with her granddaughter, do a little gardening and walking on the Greenway Trail.