Every now and then, someone reminds me — even unwittingly — that the job I performed for nearly four decades is no longer relevant. It no longer matters to those who used to consume the thing that I delivered to them.
Newspapers, man! They have become, pardon the expression, yesterday’s news.
We live in Princeton, Texas. We took our puppy to the veterinarian’s office not long ago. I waited for Toby in the waiting room and was reading some of the signs on the wall. One of them asked customers for newspapers for the vet’s staff to use as kennel liners for the dogs under the doctor’s care.
I told the front-office staff I would be glad to deliver them newspapers. The response from one of the staffers? “That would be great. We need the newspapers but we are having trouble getting enough of them. No one reads the newspaper any more.”
Ouch! Double ouch!
I get three newspapers delivered to my house. The Dallas Morning News comes every Wednesday and Sunday; I get the Farmersville Times and the Princeton Herald delivered weekly. We are a newspaper family. I still write on a freelance basis for the Farmersville Times.
And, yes, I deliver newspapers regularly for the vet’s office staff to use for their canine patients.
So it goes as I trek through my retired life. I keep getting reminders such as the one I have just described that my craft matters to a diminishing number of my fellow Americans.
Hey, I might be saddened at some level, but I am enough of a grownup to understand what has happened to the craft I pursued with unbounded joy for so very long.
It’s a different day and time.