Where Did the Delivery Man Go?

milk manThe last of the delivery people are being phased out in this country.  They are the postal delivery people but the others have vanished long ago.

My father was a delivery man.  His service was dry cleaning and there isn’t much call for that anymore.  If you do get dry cleaning done it is usually dropped at the plant or one of their pick up locations (if you live in a small town).  Permanent press fabrics and washing machines have replaced the hours my Dad used to spend in his truck, driving to people’s homes and picking up little bundles of clothes and then returning them two days later.

The milk man may have been one of the all time favourites and those of us who grew up in prior to 1965 remember the little trap doors beside the back door where the milk was placed.  It opened on the inside and the outside and you left a note in it if you wanted to change your order by adding more butter, some cream or an extra quart of milk.  For those who didn’t have quite so much convenience the milk was left outside and if you didn’t get to it quickly enough in the winter the little paper cap on top of the bottle would be floating high above on a frozen popsicle of cream.  My mom loved it when that happened because she could just slice off the cream and put it in a pitcher rather than trying to pour it off carefully without it mixing in to the milk.

Besides the convenience of not having the delivery man there is the lack of camaraderie and fun that used to come with his arrival.  My Dad loved visiting with people and they always enjoyed his ready smile.  The milk man stopped at almost every house and would always be followed around in summer months and on holidays by a swarm of school kids wanting to pass the time.  I actually remember when he had a horse and it was fun for town kids to pet a horse.

In our neighbourhood we also had an ice man during the summer months.  There were cottages in the neighbourhood and some of them were not equipped with refrigerators.  That meant there was an ice box in the house and if we managed to get there at the right moment the corners of the block of ice would meet with his hatchet and find their way into our eager little hands.  What delight to suck on the ice as it melted in our fingers and cooled our warm bodies.

I am sad this is something else younger generations will only read about.  Jokes about kids looking like the milk man will escape their understanding.   Everything comes from the store and the only throwback they will ever know to the deliver man is the UPS driver who shows up with their new electronics or the pizza delivery person.

Please share your memories of the delivery man.  


About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (www.riverofhopeenterprises.com), I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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3 Responses to Where Did the Delivery Man Go?

  1. Good posting. I, too, remember the milk man. But we also had the bread truck that came two or three days a week. You could buy fresh breads, several varieties, and if a miracle happened and you had acquired the necessary funds, you could also get a fresh doughnut or a couple of cookies.
    Like you wrote, memories not available to the younger generation. Much better memories to my thinking than the hours spent in front of TV or video games.

  2. My grandfather was a milkman. He never had a driver’s license and drove a wagon pulled by horseback. That just gave me an idea for my next blog. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Pingback: My Grandfather Was A Milkman | Cathy Lynn Brooks

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