After 57 years and 5 million deliveries, prolific ‘paperboy’ Mel Rulison retires

After 57 years and 5 million newspaper deliveries, Leader-Herald carrier Mel Rulison retires

Mel Rulison, Jr., left and Mel Rulison of Gloversville pose for a photo with his "Mel Rulison Day" certificate during his retirement party at the Leader-Herald offices Monday. 
(The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)

Mel Rulison, Jr., left and Mel Rulison of Gloversville pose for a photo with his "Mel Rulison Day" certificate during his retirement party at the Leader-Herald offices Monday. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)

GLOVERSVILLE — Neither rain, sleet nor snow kept 87-year-old Mel Rulison from his afternoon rounds delivering The Leader-Herald by car–just two moose.

Rulison, of Main Street, was not about to shoo them away, though. “I just sat there and waited until they left,”he said.

“I wish I had gotten a picture of them,” he said. But he had no camera.

Rulison retired Sunday as a route driver after 57 years.

He said he has no idea how many newspapers he has delivered in that time, but he said it has ranged from 220 to 300 newspapers a day, seven days a week, consecutively for those 57 years. It is estimated he has delivered more than 5 million Leader-Heralds during that time. If stacked on top of each other, the pile would reach about 16 miles high, or the approximate distance between Gloversville and Northville.

Mel Rulison of Gloversville cuts his cake during his retirement party at the Leader-Herald offices Monday. 
(The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)

Mel Rulison of Gloversville cuts his cake during his retirement party at the Leader-Herald offices Monday. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)

Circulation manager Brenda Anich handed him a plaque declaring Monday “Mel Rulison Day” at an outdoor party in his honor.

“I was not even born when he started,” she said.

“We appreciate all the years of service you gave us. You never let us down,” she said. “We’re going to miss you.”

The next longest serving route driver is Jerry Blowers of Gloversville, who has been at it for 21 years, according to Anich.

Now that Rulison has about three hours of free time each day, the widower said he plans “to chase women.”

Mel Rulison of Gloversville, center, poses with other carriers and family members prior to his retirement party at the Leader-Herald offices Monday.
(The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)

Mel Rulison of Gloversville, center, poses with other carriers and family members prior to his retirement party at the Leader-Herald offices Monday. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)

“I can’t just sit around,” he said.

“He’s awesome, down to earth and fun,” said Charla Mersinger, a classified representative, who has known Rulison for 14 years.

Rulison was working for his uncle Fred of the Rulison and Son tannery when a route driver asked him to accompany him.

After that, Rulison took the newspaper route as an extra job that he continued after his uncle died and the tannery closed more than 28 years ago. He delivered papers mostly in the Meco area.

Rulison was pictured delivering the newspaper in a supplement marking the 125th anniversary of the Leader-Herald. The story pointed out that he began delivering the newspaper in 1960, the year President John F. Kennedy was elected, the the film “Psycho” was released, and Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” was published.

Mel Rulison of Gloversville waves from his vehicle prior to his retirement party at the Leader-Herald offices Monday.
(The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)

Mel Rulison of Gloversville waves from his vehicle prior to his retirement party at the Leader-Herald offices Monday. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)

Rulison, whose wife, Karen died two years ago, one day short of their 50th anniversary, also had done maintenance work for the Fulton County Museum.

“Mel is one in a million,” said Leader-Herald publisher Steve Herron.

“I wish we had more dedicated people like Mel Rulison. Mel has truly earned the right to hang up his carrier bag so we wish him well.

“I can’t even begin to think of all the good news and all the bad news that has been published in The Leader-Herald over the timespan Mel has been delivering the paper.

“Mel is like part of the family and he always will be.”

2012 file photo
Mel Rulison has been delivering the Leader-Herald since the Kennedy administration. It is estimated he has delivered more than 5 million newspapers during that time and those newspapers, stacked, would be about 16 miles high.
(2012 file photo by Bill Trojan/The Leader-Herald)

2012 file photo Mel Rulison has been delivering the Leader-Herald since the Kennedy administration. It is estimated he has delivered more than 5 million newspapers during that time and those newspapers, stacked, would be about 16 miles high. (2012 file photo by Bill Trojan/The Leader-Herald)

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