By Katie Lamb,
“If you don’t like my driving, just close your eyes,” said Wayne Barry, while training the newest employee to the Tomahawk newspaper. For the past twelve years, Barry has been a most reliable Circulation Manager. Dedicated, every Tuesday and Wednesday of each week, Barry picks up and delivers thousands of weekly-published papers to businesses, post offices, gas stations, restaurants, and little “mom and pop” shops, traveling nearly two hundred miles to do so. Rain or shine, snow or sleet, “The paper has got to go out,” he said, gratified and pleased with his indispensable purpose.
The new trainee for the Circulation Manager position spent three weeks learning Barry’s schedule, ins, and outs, and when to stop where and at what time. “You will learn, you will get it down, you will have your own thing going on,” he told the rookie who is going to have some big shoes to fill.
Prior to working for the paper, Barry retired from Eastman where he was a mechanic for more than thirty years. He has been married to his wife Vickie for almost fifty years and is retiring from the Tomahawk to focus on his farm that boasts of more than thirty cattle, several donkeys, and frequent visits from skunks, groundhogs and other local critters.
An animal lover, Wayne has rescued several dogs over the years, the latest, Little Bit, warms his heart and keeps him company while performing farm and house chores.
With utmost joy, weekly receivers of Wayne’s deliveries smile as soon as they see him. It is very clear how loved he is. “It is bittersweet (about retiring), says Barry, “I’m going to miss these good folks.”
Wayne will be deeply missed each week by the Tomahawk, locals, and folks that are accustomed to his paper distributions and his presence. While the trainee only spent six days with Wayne, she exclaims, “He is one of the kindest, most wonderful people I have ever had the pleasure to spend time with.
And, about his driving, I never had to close my eyes.”