For National Newspaper Carrier Day, the Summit Daily News celebrates 2 of its own
Newspapers carriers play a critical role in the community
It’s a thankless job: They wake up in the early hours of the morning, grabbing handfuls of the latest newspaper issue and quietly slip them in hotel lobbies and newsstand vending boxes scattered around the county. It’s work that allows no days off: They’re required to show up seven days a week, 365 days a year. If it’s done well, their work goes unnoticed. But if it’s not, there are raised eyebrows and frustration.
If there’s any day to celebrate and thank them, it’s Oct. 2, also known as National Newspaper Carrier Day.
The holiday is the kickoff to National Newspaper Week hosted by the Newspaper Association Managers. This year marks the 81st celebration, which recognizes the service of newspapers and their employees across North America.
So who are these low-profile agents that anonymously deliver Summit County’s news? One such newspaper carrier is Breckenridge resident Jeff Salquist. His 14-year tenure as a carrier began when he was working in the maintenance department for Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center.
Salquist moved to the county from Minnesota and has been a local for over 40 years. He got his start in the 1980s when he helped build Beaver Run and has been living in the county off and on ever since.
Like many others, it’s the region’s scenic beauty that hooked him.
“There’s nothing else like it in the world,” Salquist. “That’s a given. The summers here, you can’t compare them to anywhere. And the winters — that’s why I moved from northern Minnesota because the winters are so harsh up there.”
When Salquist got his start, he was living in Beaver Run’s employee housing. His sister had been a Summit Daily carrier, was leaving her post and suggested he fill her role. Salquist began delivering the newspaper to Beaver Run’s hotel rooms at 6 a.m., which usually took about two hours.
Eventually, he got a new job and moved out of Beaver Run’s employee housing, but he kept up with delivering the papers, mainly because it provided a steady income.
The extra money is also what drew Fairplay resident Bill Linco to the job. Like Salquist, Linco has had a long tenure as a carrier. He’s been showing up day in and day out for over 15 years. And though the hours are early, it’s quiet and peaceful enough to make the job enjoyable.
“There’s something about the serenity that I just love being out,” Linco said. “It’s refreshing.”
The newspaper is printed in Gypsum each night and travels over Vail Pass before eventually being delivered to various drop spots in the county. Linco’s day usually starts at about 2 a.m., when he picks up the first stack of papers at the Loaf N’ Jug in Breckenridge. It’s his responsibility to fill all the newsstands in Frisco and Breckenridge, which he said is usually the work of two carriers.
He wraps up by 7:30 a.m., just in time to start his day job, which is acting as the property manager for his own small property management firm.
If there’s one thing Linco and Salquist want others to know about their jobs, it is that the paper is printed outside the community and that during the winter months, if the paper is delayed, it’s likely due to transportation issues. Because the paper is printed in Eagle County, it can be difficult for drivers to make the early morning run if winter conditions are less than favorable.
The job isn’t necessarily demanding, but it does require responsible, reliable individuals to get it done right. Linco said he’s committed to getting the papers stocked on time so that community members and advertisers are satisfied.
Though both downplay their vital roles in the daily newspaper process, Linco and Salquist are small parts of an important system that is dedicated to providing community members with the news. To them, delivering newspapers is a job, but to others in the community, their work is necessary in order to accesses up-to-date information year-round.
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