Sharing a common bond - paperboys

Until the 1970s, when the internet was a radical concept coming out of the U.S. government’s super-secret Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Queens had its own daily newspapers, and people got their news delivered by boys on bicycles - paperboys.
The borough’s dailies, like The Long Island Daily Advocate, The Long Island Star-Journal and The Long Island Press are long gone - the Press closed its doors in 1977. Which raises the question: What became of the paperboys?
On Friday, July 4, a group of them, from the old Press District 98 distribution center on 169th Street in the Broadway section of Flushing, gathered for a reunion, as they have irregularly since 1987, the tenth anniversary of the paper’s demise.
“One day we were delivering the Long Island Press and the next day we were delivering the New York Post,” said Ross Pennacchio, a former “station master” who still lives in Flushing and is a bartender at the Five Corners restaurant in College Point.
“Some of the guys came from as far away as Delaware in the past,” he said, adding, “With the weather and the holiday this year, attendance is a little off.”
The threat of rain did little to dampen the spirits of these good old “boys,” who congregated in the back yard behind the Breifne Pub on Crocheron Avenue, just around the corner from the storefront from where they began their routes.
They swapped stories - some, one could tell, for the umpteenth time - about numerous subjects including “Mr. Rico” the manager, who ran the operation with an iron hand and a soft heart, depending on who’s narrating.
“It was a great experience,” said James Daly, who now lives in Bayside. A Medical Technician with Certified Specialties, a vendor to city hospitals, he credits his very first job with “teaching you about money and paying bills.”
Dennis O’Sullivan, a Bayside attorney who lives in Douglaston, concurred. “It was a great job even if it only paid a dollar a day,” he said, laughing, “About what we get to keep now.”

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