By Janet Clark
Who? Oh, that guy. Yes, I know him. No, no, he’s not Chinese, he’s from Vietnam. I don’t know when he immigrated, but you can see he’s not very old. Late thirties, maybe? You’re right. He’s not a big man, but what a hard worker. He’s been delivering newspapers in Poet’s Corner for about five years. Since he took over the route there’s never been a single day the papers weren’t delivered. Maybe a little late once or twice. If I’m awake I hear a comforting “thwack” as the paper hits the driveway around 4.30 a.m.
By the way – that guy happens to be one of the kindest people I know. For years I subscribed to the San Francisco Chronicle Thursdays through Sundays. Then, one day the Chron raised prices to the point I could no longer afford delivery. I sent a note to that guy letting him know my reason for quitting the paper and thanking him for his reliable service. The morning I was to receive no Chronicle there was a newspaper on my driveway. Attached to it was a crudely penciled note.
“Good morning, thank you for the Christmas card you sent me. I always have extra Contra Costa Times papers. I’ll throw one every day and if you need me to stop, call this number. Dien Lam.”
For a year and a half he has faithfully left a Times on my driveway. From time to time I put a ten dollar bill in an envelope and mailed it to him.
Recently the San Francisco Chronicle ran a special “We miss you. Ninety dollars for the entire year!”
I signed up.
Now I get two papers every morning – carefully rubber-banded together so I only have to stoop over once. You know that’s getting harder to do early in the morning these days? Stooping.
Oh yeah, that guy is just the greatest!