CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- My relationship with Charleston Newspapers began more than two decades ago when I delivered the Gazette before school and the Daily Mail after the bell rang each day for the final time.
After my parents divorced, my father and I relocated to DuPont City, where I delivered both routes in the tiny town.
Occasionally, Charleston Newspapers would sponsor contests for carriers in an effort to increase home delivery subscriptions. In the fall of 1993, the incentive was a ticket and transportation to Morgantown for a football game between the University of Miami and West Virginia University.
That game, of course, ended up being one of the Mountaineers' biggest wins in program history in front of the largest crowd in stadium history (70,222).
Thanks to Paul Boyd, I was among the 70,222.
I do not recall every detail about how I ended up in a minivan bound for Morgantown, but I know Mr. Boyd's kindness helped get a 13-year-old future sportswriter into Mountaineer Field. The contest at the time required carriers to lock up three or four or five new subscriptions in order to secure a ticket. Whatever the number was, I was one short with time running out.
Mr. Boyd, who lived a few doors down from me and never failed to wave at me when I zipped past his house on my bicycle, stepped up and subscribed to the paper for the sole purpose of giving me a life experience.
The trip is an indelible memory of mine, and one that surfaced repeatedly this week after Boyd died Sunday afternoon. He was 76.