Reg Greenwood celebrates his 85th birthday Friday but he has no plans to take the day off.
In fact, like most other Friday’s and Wednesday’s the retired CP Rail office worker will be up at 5 a.m. preparing to hit the streets to deliver the hard copy to over 500 Penticton Western News readers.
“Yeah, it is my birthday but I still plan on doing my job,” said the venerable carrier, who, unlike many kids, never had a newspaper route when he was growing up in Naramata. “It’s just something I really enjoy doing.”
For Greenwood, the delivery days actually begin the night before at the Western’s Camrose Street office, waiting for the papers to roll off the presses.
After loading the newspaper bundles into the back of his 1990 van, he leaves for the various destinations around town to get the word out.
Greenwood’s work day is a split shift, the first half goes until 1:30 a.m. after which he heads home for a few hours sleep and is up at 5 a.m. for the next leg.
He began delivering the paper around 2000 and while there have been a few bumps and bruises and the occasional dog bite along the way, it’s been smooth sailing.
“Although I did buy some cleats for my shoes so hopefully I won’t fall down any more, it just happens so fast, everything is fine one minute and the next you’re on the ground,” he said rubbing away the phantom pain on his backside.
What began as a way to keep busy has turned into an enjoyable pastime for the octogenarian.
“What I really like is when I’m out at night,” said Greenwood “You’re just out there walking by yourself, the fresh air, there’s not many people around, you wake up a few dogs but that’s about it.”
Getting to know his customers over the years and the Christmas goodies he receives from people along the route, are added bonuses.
“Some routes you get to know a lot of people other routes where I’ve been delivering the paper for years I’ve never met the people but it’s nice to be out and you’re also doing a service for people.”
At this stage Greenwood’s not too sure how much longer he’ll continue his delivery job.
“My wife said I should give up the papers and retire my old van and I would be further ahead, but if it keeps going and I don’t have to put out too much money, I’m probably good for another year,” he said.