In these waning days of print newspapers, it’s easy to forget an ingredient that was once paramount: the reliability of the individual delivering them.
In that regard, few can hold a stack to Mel Rulison, who retired this past weekend after 57 years as a delivery man for Gloversville, N.Y. newspaper The Leader-Herald. During that span, he never missed a day of part-time work, delivering between 220 and 300 copies of the paper each afternoon in the Meco part of town.
Rulison, 87 and recently widowed, hasn’t lost his sense of humor either. Per a write-up in the paper he so faithfully connected with its readers, here’s how he answered when asked what he was going to do with those extra two to three hours per day. “Chase women,” he replied.
Another way to frame Rulison’s remarkable run is the fact that the paper’s current circulation manager, Brenda Anich, was not yet born when he started in 1960. At a sendoff party held Monday, The Leader-Herald publisher Steve Herron called Rulison “one in a million.” Perhaps the more apt description is “one in five million,” given that this is the estimate among staff of the aggregate total number of newspapers delivered by Rulison over the years.
Rulison worked at his uncle’s tannery, as well, up until 1989. He continued to do the part-time newspaper work after that establishment closed. We salute you, Mel!