GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Imagine never missing a day of work in 57 years.
Ever since there were newspapers there have been paper boys, but never quite like the one that CBS2’s Steve Overmeyer recently had the chance to meet.
He’s an ordinary man, but his extraordinary story of dedication can inspire us all.
Mel Rulison is a man of few words, but the small town of Gloversville relies on him to give them their news.
Since 1960, Mel has been the town paper boy, and he’s not one for taking days off.
“Yeah it keeps me in shape,” he said.
Ever since the invention of the newspaper there have been paper boys. Intrepid souls who rise early to bring the latest news to our front doors.
Traditionally the paper boy is an 8 to 10-year-old boy holding the paper, yelling ‘extra, extra, read all about it.’
“I used to do that when I first started,” he said, “I used to stand by the bank on the corner yelling.”
At the time, a paper cost 4 cents a copy.
Long before the internet, the primary source of information was the newspaper. In his community Mel was indispensable.
“Mel was one of a kind. They don’t make carriers like Mel anymore. He’s liked by all. I’ve seen Mel in restaurants and diners, and everybody knows Mel, and everybody loves Mel,” Leader Herald circulation manager, Brenda Anich said.
Driving through hemlock forests every day in all weather, he delivered the town a full spectrum of news. Since 1960, Mel handed over news of wars and turmoil, achievements and triumphs.
His route would be filled along the way with perks — a hot cup of Joe to warm his hands, or a little laughter to warm the heart.
Powered by coffee, Mel spent a career delivering more than 5-million papers and traveling nearly 900,000 miles. Mostly while sitting in the passengers seat, and driving with his left foot. He’d even hand deliver the news to those who couldn’t make it to the mailbox.
“It made me feel good to do what the people liked,” he said.
That kind of dedication would make him ‘the man’ in any town. In Gloversville, and two weeks into retirement, Mel will always be the paper boy.
During his 57 year career with the Leader Herald, Mel never missed a day of work.
Since his retirement, residents said they’ve missed Mel and getting their papers on time.