The Sacramento Bee asked readers for their personal Bee memorabilia – and they responded with gusto. Ex-paper carriers prized their rewards, especially starred belt buckles. Here is a sampling of items and excerpts of their memories they offered to share:
Dennis Lewis: I collect belt buckles from colleges, universities, high schools, military academies, fraternal clubs, institutes, which date from World War I to about the mid-1950s, when they seem to have quit being produced. I also collect Sacramento Bee buckles. I think I have examples of all the types which were produced to give to paper carriers. The silver (nickel-plated) versions with one star are the first given, then the brass with a star for every 10 months as a carrier. The smallest square ones are the oldest then the next size are made for a narrow leather belt and the largest have a mechanism on the back for a canvas web belt.
Phil McKibbin: My memorabilia is a photo of my Sacramento Bee two-star belt buckle. I was born and raised in Sacramento. I was a “Bee boy” for two years, 1959 and 1960. I received the papers that were delivered in the late afternoon, when the Sacramento Bee was an evening newspaper (with a Sunday morning edition), folded them into “threes” stacked them in my Bee bag. (I) hoisted all 72 of them onto the handlebars of my old fat tire bike and delivered them to my customers in my immediate neighborhood. My route number was 1437 and Mr. Hillary, in circulation, was my manager. Depending on my monthly count, I made approximately $75 per month. I banked it all, and years later, that money paid for my first year of college.
Charles Pahlman: I delivered the Bee for seven years in the 1950s. It was a great learning experience for me. I developed skills that I used throughout my career. I still take The Bee and read it every day.
Ed Hoefling: I was awarded this Certificate of Merit by V.P. Willett, the Bee’s then circulation manager on July 15, 1952. Editor’s note: Hoefling also shared a Sacramento Bee newspaper story from Oct. 5, 1951, that lauded he and his brother James as “carriers with outstanding records of dependability, cooperation and good service.”
Lori Lauszus Martin: My father, Fred Lauszus, 1938 native-born Sacramentan and Bee subscriber since 1965, wore this Bee-KFBK All-Star jersey in 1953 at Edmonds Field while a middle-schooler at Las Palmas Junior High. Fred still loves sports and plays golf and tennis … still in Sacramento.
Kenneth Masterman: I have this scale model of a Sacramento Bee delivery truck issued in 1993 to a longtime 30-year Bee employee. It is a replica of a 1939 Ford.
Laurie Walsh: I found a Bee mug at a thrift store for $1. The ashtray was $2 at a thrift store and the glass is from a set of four from the ’70s I found at an antique store for $5.
Nancy Marotte: I am enclosing a 1930 ad placed in The Sacramento Bee for my grandparents’ business, Philipps Bakery. They saved quite a bit of memorabilia and it is quite yellowed. The prices are “priceless”!
Brookelea Lutton: Attached are the following Sacramento Bee newspapers that I have saved over the years (including) November 22, 1963 – President is Slain by Sniper’s Bullet
Allen Shaw: I was a Bee carrier for around four years starting February 1953, my route number as I recall was 1083, my route managers were Tony Remitz, then Barney Hanson. I earned the Scoopy Award and one-, two- and three-star belt buckles. I was also featured in a Bee Boys in Action story.
Janice Joe: My two older brothers were Bee carriers, era 1959-1963. The younger of my two brothers, Dennis, was a business man even in high school. He had younger kids in the neighborhood folding his papers for him. My brother went on to the State Fair, where he was the fastest at folding 10 papers. He also was the most accurate at throwing the paper to the designated spot. As a result, he was given an airplane ride to San Francisco. (Here) is a Scoopy cup probably from tour of The Bee 15 years ago. I enjoyed touring The Bee and bringing my children there.
Editor’s note: The Sacramento Bee, in celebration of its 160th anniversary, publishes a From the Archive page every Sunday in the Life & Style section. Go to www.sacbee.com/history for more information.
Compiled by Anthony Sorci