Pieces of the Past: Read All About It

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The March 8, 1967 edition of the Warren Times-Mirror and Observer. Photo courtesy archive.org.

Everybody has one. Some people didn’t have theirs until their late teens. I had mine at 9 or 10—my first job. I wrapped cheese for my Dad. When I was 12 I was working in multiple places. Today, a kid couldn’t do it. I delivered newspapers for the WARREN OBSERVER.

Back in 1963, Warren had two newspapers. A morning called the OBSERVER and an afternoon paper the WARREN TIMES MIRROR. The Times Mirror was located where the former Times-Observer building is today on Pennsylvania Avenue across from what was Texas Lunch and the Salvation Army.

The Warren Observer building is still there, too. It’s that relatively small, single-story block building almost directly across from the old Armory on Hickory Street. The last use of that building was for a Student Union.

My immediate boss was Dick Swick. Dick would deliver assigned bundles of papers to different locations in town. He would drive the massive Dodge or Plymouth station wagon to my house and drop the bundle of papers onto my front porch. This usually happened at about 4 a.m.

I remember when the papers merged. The last day for the Observer was a Saturday. That was also the day I paid my paper bill. The place was somber but also lively. On Monday morning all of the Times Mirror paper boys (no girls back then) were out of a job. The afternoon edition was gone. Both newspaper offices remained in use. In the two years that followed I don’t ever remember going to the office on Penn Avenue.

If you’re under the age of 65 you never saw Warren’s business district the way it was. Every storefront was full. There was no Chautauqua or Warren Mall. What a lot of people don’t know is Malls were only designed to last about 20 years. That’s a piece I’ll write later.

The Warren Observer was a smaller paper than the Times Mirror, It was about the size of the Warren County Guide, Which was called the Warren COUNTY guide for a reason. It was initially published in Youngsville.

I moved out of print and got on the air when I was in my mid-teens. But I remember my old Times Mirror-Observer route. I went from 65 papers for the Observer to nearly 150. The newspaper sacks used to get mighty heavy!

Levinson’s and Betty Lee dominated every issue of both the Times and the Warren Observer. Dick Scalise, who managed the furniture department at Levinson’s liked using radio. Anderson’s Supermarket, NuWay, Quality, A and P,
and Jamesway were regulars on Thursdays. Remember Jamesway? It’s the beautiful indoor storage building in North Warren now. Jamesway’s original first location is Sav-A-Lot on route 394 west of Lakewood today.

Thanks for “READING ALL ABOUT IT”