When Olga Mehrer started delivering the Castlegar News in her neighbourhood, Kim Campbell had just begun her short stint as prime minister, Bill Clinton was president, and baby Ariana Grande had just entered the world.
Last week, the feisty 90-year-old hung up her paper bag for the last time.
“I figure I had probably done my duty,” she tells the Castlegar News. “I didn’t want it to be, ‘Sorry, we have to get a new paper carrier because the one that did it has expired.’
“I didn’t want that to happen. I want to stop on a really happy note.”
Mehrer has been delivering papers to 65 units in Stellar Place, a senior’s housing complex in Castlegar, year-round until a few years ago, when she stopped delivering in winter. But it wasn’t her idea.
“My children said, ‘If you fall and break a limb, it’s not worth it,’” she says.
Then, a stroke last year — though it left her with almost no lasting effects — was a sign it was time to retire, she says.
But Mehrer is proud of the job she did.
“If there was snow or rain, they never had a wet newspaper,” she says. “And it was always put neatly in their mailbox.”
She says she’s going to miss doing her job, which kept her connected to her community.
“Yes, because I know everyone, it’s like a big family here,” she says.