When I was nine I decided I wanted to earn some money to buy a used radio. One of my friends who had a newspaper route said there was an opening to sell the Atlanta Journal on the street five days a week. I applied and got the job.
One day during the second week, I had not sold all of my newspapers. While I was walking near the train station, a train had stopped briefly. I approached the conductor and asked if I could come aboard and sell newspapers. He said, “Of course! But you only have five minutes before the train leaves.” I entered one car and sold two papers.
The next day I had papers left and came back to the train and a kind gentleman said, “Save me a paper each day and I will give you a quarter for it.” Another passenger said, “Save me one and I will give you a dime.” To say I was overjoyed to earn some money is an understatement! I was able to buy the radio and a painting for my mother, who kept it until she died at the age of 87. After one summer of selling on the street, the manager gave me a route, which increased my earnings at least twofold.
I learned early in life that if you want something, it is far better to ask face-to-face than by a written request. For a young lad who was kind of shy, I was grateful for my first lucrative efforts.