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Thank you, Carriers

THUMBS UP: Every day more than 53 million newspapers are delivered to readers. Those compendiums of news and community information arrive on doorsteps all across our land as if by magic. Nothing magical is afoot, of course. Hundreds of thousands of newspaper carriers spread out across the nation each day to bring daily newspapers to homes everywhere.

The hard work and dedication of the men and women – and a not insignificant number of youngsters – who bring newspapers to homes in America and many other countries deserve recognition. The Newspaper Association of America sets aside one day – today – as part of National Newspaper Week as a time to celebrate these important workers.

Newspaper carriers are excellent examples of service and dedication.

While most of today’s newspaper carriers are adults, many youngsters get their first exposure to work responsibilities by delivering newspapers. For any young person who undertakes this responsibility, it quickly becomes clear that success requires consistent, dependable performance. Newspapers must be delivered on time and in all but the most extreme weather. In the case of dailies that means being up to the task 365 days per year.

The self-discipline and drive needed to succeed in the newspaper delivery game is good preparation for many other pursuits. Consequently, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many high achievers in a wide assortment of fields were at one time in their lives newspaper carriers.

The roster of former carriers is long and impressive.

It includes such giants as businessmen Warren Buffett, Walt Disney and H. Ross Perot; Bob Hope, John Wayne and Willard Scott from the entertainment world; former presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower; and sports icons Wayne Gretzky, Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays. And that’s just a sampler. The list could go on and on.

It may well be that the person who delivers your newspaper has come and gone long before you rise to face the day. The next time you see those carriers, however, take a moment to thank them for their efforts. They perform a service that many of us take for granted, but which makes our lives much more convenient.


THUMBS UP: New Ulm is celebrating Oktoberfest, German-American day and all things German this weekend and next weekend. The German-American parade today celebrates New Ulm’s German heritage by inviting local families with ties to the beginning of the town to march. The music, dancing and food are all in the German tradition of hospitality and friendship that is encapsulated in the word gemtlichkeit.

We hope everyone enjoys the celebration the next two weeks.

Mall of America

THUMBS UP: The last few years “Black Friday,” that huge, unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, has been creeping and spreading from the Friday after Thanksgiving into Thanksgiving itself. Stores that once planned to open at 5 a.m. on Friday moved that to 1 a.m., then midnight, then 10 p.m. on Thursday, or 8 p.m. Each year some major merchandiser decides to open earlier to get the jump on the competition. The encroachment is a threat to the family traditions that make Thanksgiving so special.

This year, however, a major player in the retail market is pushing back. The Mall of America announced this week that it would be shutting down on Thanksgiving Day. All non-essential services will be shut down so the mall’s employees can go home and enjoy the holiday with their families.

This is a bold statement by the Mall of America against creeping capitalism. We hope it has a ripple effect throughout the state and the country.