Paper boys lose jobs

By Rene Torres

As the uncertainty of today continues to haunt the public’s every move, there is still hope that it will not impede everyone from the will to live and work.
In 1938, a group of workers in the RGV felt the pain of losing their jobs.  It was then that Valley newspapers, with a heavy heart, announced in an editorial: “Newspaper Route Boys Under 14 Lose Jobs.”
Those boys that were targeted for termination during the “Depression,” included all carriers from throughout the Valley.
The announcement came as a blow to the many kids who had been in the business of selling newspapers and/or had a paper route.  The future entrepreneurs, who liked the sound of coins in their pockets, were displaced until further notice.
The parents; and, in some cases, the boys who had invested their hard-earned money to buy a bicycle, were left in limbo.
The culprit was a law by the United States Wage and Hour Commission.  It was a law that was not welcomed news to the many local youngsters who took joy and pride in their work.
The editorial ended with a note of gratitude: “We thank those boys for their loyal and faithful service and hope that the training they have received will be valuable to them in the years ahead.”
Paper boy speaks out…
A paper boy spoke out about what it meant to him to have his own paper business.  His name was Joe Sparks, and in 1937, he was 14-years-old with a lucrative small company.

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