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Driving Bay Weekly

Your paper is hand-delivered each week by a team of dedicated drivers

All the wonderful writing, beautiful cover pages, pleasing layouts and on-time printing wouldn’t mean a thing without the group of six stalwart delivery drivers who get Bay Weekly to your favorite pick-up point each Thursday. Neither rain, nor snow, nor wind, nor blinding early morning sunshine will keep these mighty drivers from their appointed rounds.
    You may never see them, so we bring them to you, in celebration of all the drivers who — with this paper — will have delivered 1,219 editions of Bay Weekly over 24 years.
    Tom, Rick, Bill, Bill, Jim and Kelly wake up each Thursday morning, hoping for a dry, not-too-hot day, grab a cup of their favorite go-juice and load up some 20,000 bundled papers. Then each drives about 100 miles to more than 600 locations so you can read the good news of Chesapeake Country and the colorful ads for your favorite merchants.


Tom Tearman has been delivering Bay Weekly to southern Anne Arundel and Calvert counties for more than 10 years in a weekly route that takes him from Deale to Solomons. Lately, he’s had a co-pilot in his faithful dog A.J. (Foyt). A.J. anticipates each stop along the way, particularly Peppers Pet Pantry in Solomons, where he expects and gets a treat.

Tom Tearman and A.J. ready to hit the road through Southern Calvert County.

    Like most of Bay Weekly’s drivers, Tom retired to Bay Weekly. In days past, he was the director of Exhibit Services at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, responsible for the gallery lighting, audio systems and multi-media exhibits.
    “As challenging as all of that was,” Tom says, “by far the best part of my job was my diverse collection of colleagues, from nuclear physicists to rare stamp collectors.”
    On leave after a nasty slip in March put him on the sidelines, Tom looks forward to getting back to his Thursday routine.


During Tom’s recovery, Kelly Archambeault is covering the Southern Calvert route. The youngest of the drivers and a bartender by night, she loves meeting people along her route because, she says, “they are always glad to see me.” The highlight of her Thursday is a stop at Roy Rogers in Solomons, as no Roy is near her home in Edgewater.


 

Bill Vance has trekked the 100-mile route through Severna Park and western Anne Arundel County for three years, lately with his own co-pilot, Max. The pit bull adoptee from Crunchies Natural Pet Foods in Crofton is nervous when they make that stop, as if fearing he might be left there again. What he looks forward to is a quick stop behind Ripp’s in Bowie, where he gets out of the van and stretches his legs.

Bill Vance and Max deliver to Western and Northern Anne Arundel County, including a stop at Crunchies Natural Pet Foods in Crofton, where Max had been a rescue awaiting a home.

    About his background, Bill has a good line containing a measure of truth.
    “My father worked at one place for 45 years,” he says. “I’ve worked at 45 places for one year each. From selling shoes at a department store to being a courier at Anne Arundel Hospital, whatever it took to stay busy.”


Bill Visnansky, a retiree from the federal government, delivers into downtown Annapolis, taking on the ever-challenging problem of parking on Main Street. You might see Bill walking with four bundles of papers tucked under his arm. When the issue is particularly large, he’ll pull out his portable cart. The aggravation of parking dims in the Double T Diner, where people say, “Oh, good, here’s my favorite paper. I’ve been waiting.”

Finding parking in dowtown Annapolis can be tough, so Bill Visnansky wheels his papers up and down Main Street using a collapsible cart.

Golden oldies from the 1960s and ’70s are the musical co-pilot for Rick Hackenberg as he makes his way round Southern Anne Arundel County. Retired since 2013, Rick worked as an IT director/manager for various federal agencies, at AHOLD (Giant Foods) and in IT consulting. He and his wife settled in Southern Maryland in 2000 after living all over the country.
    “Thank heavens for thermal underwear,” Rick says. “The best time is on bright, pleasant spring and fall mornings driving along the Bay seeing the sailboats and wildlife.”


Piper, the Distribution Dog, and I ride along with Jim Lyles each Thursday, orange juice in hand for Jim, coffee for me and a bottle of water for Piper. Jim has been making these Thursday adventures for more than 12 years. Piper knows when it’s papers day, picks up her leash and with a wag of her tail, takes her navigator seat.
    Jim looks forward to a smile and greeting from Oma at Happy Harbor and hopes to see the tall gentleman who picks up his two copies, one for himself and one to mail to friends who have moved away. After a few more stops it’s off to Rosehaven and Chesapeake Market & Deli, where there is usually a table of locals solving all the problems of northern Calvert County and waiting for a new Sudoku puzzle.
    On to the Senior Center in North Beach, and the ladies’ chorus of “Hello, Grasshopper.” One summer when Jim was wearing shorts, a lady quipped, “I’ve seen better looking legs on a grasshopper!” The nickname stuck.
    Then it’s off to Dunkirk, with a stop at Starbucks, where we might see Tom Tearman getting his second cup of go-juice as he heads toward Solomons. At Medart Gallery, we are greeted with the door chime and a hearty hello from Theresa and Frank.
    As we travel south on Route 2, Piper knows the rolling terrain means a stop at the Fairview Library on Route 4, which means she gets a walk up the hill and a quick roll in the grass on her way to greet people in the rear parking lot. The librarians have a ceramic goose with a wardrobe of custom-made seasonal outfits. Now she wears a printed flower dress, bonnet and Easter basket.

Piper the Distribution Dog joins Jim Lyles each week on his delivery route of Southern Anne Arundel and Northern Calvert counties.

    As I dropped off copies of a recent issue to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources staff in Hallowing Point, a visiting officer took one glance at the cover photo on the April 6 issue and said, “Nice pearls.” I’ll give you a minute to retrieve that issue, while I tell you I had been looking at that cover photo since about 7:30am and had not noticed the pearls. Another gentleman smiled when he picked up his copy for his wife and said it was an unexpected front page from Bay Weekly.
    Seven hours and 93 miles later, we’re back home in Deale where we started. Now we can finally read the latest issue and Piper can take a nap.
    Perhaps Jim doesn’t find his route as challenging as operating two truck stops or a moving and storage company, but it has its own reward of an afternoon toes-up.
    That’s an average Thursday for the intrepid road warriors who make the final trip for each new Bay Weekly issue, from the printer to a copy just waiting for you to pick up and enjoy throughout Anne Arundel and Calvert counties.
    We plan on taking that trip for another 24 years.
    Happy Birthday, Bay Weekly!