Life as a Newsie

Alec Mitchell

My career as a newsie started about 5 years ago when I was about 9 years old. At that time, I was living with my only my mother, and my two younger sisters, because my father left us before I was born. My mother's job did not pay her enough for her to afford to take care of all of us, so I decided that I should move out and take care of myself. So far I have been doing fine without my family, but I still go back and visit them every few months.

I have had many methods of selling the newspapers, and most of them worked. For the first two years, I was one of the youngest of the newsies, so most people just bought my papers over the others. As I grew older, I had to think of new ways to sell the papers, like using ways to trick the people who bought the papers. One way was a really common one, which was to make up stories that did not exist in the papers. The most effective way ended up being when the price of the papers went up, because the newsies basically stopped working during that time, while I was charging 3 pennies a paper. The last important way was when I was not able to sell all of my papers, I would hide them in a bag that I always keep on my back, and sell them as "a rare newspaper, and less than 100 of them exist", and people would believe it because none of the other newsies were selling that set of newspapers, and I would charge a full dime on each one.

I think you now have the basic idea of being a newsie. Working hard, or working with idiots, is my summary of being a successful newsie.