Man peddling papers for decades

Telegram seller Carl LeGrow a fixture in downtown St. John’s

Published on April 30, 2013
Carl LeGrow has been selling The Telegram in downtown St. John’s for more than half a century.  —  Photo By Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

Every weekday morning, you will find Carl LeGrow perched in front of Atlantic Place on Water Street in St. John’s.

The 64-year-old was born and raised in the downtown. LeGrow has been selling copies of The Telegram for more than 50 years and, for many, he’s been a fixture of the area.

His association with the paper is now stretching into its sixth decade.

“I’ve been down here selling papers all me life — 53 years in two months,” said LeGrow, chatting with The Telegram Monday afternoon.

 

It was his father, originally from Blackhead just outside St. John’s, who helped get him started selling papers. From there, LeGrow just “kept at it and kept at it,” as he puts it.

Starting out in the 1960s, LeGrow would sell 30 papers a day and receive a penny for every paper sold. Back then, he would sell The Telegram in front of the former Woolco location on Water Street.

LeGrow moved to Atlantic Place as soon as it opened in the mid-1970s. He has since then become a familiar face for many including prominent lawyers and judges — Atlantic Place is the home of St. John’s Provincial Court.

“I loves selling papers,” said LeGrow. “I love meeting all the people.”

Customers have come and gone over the years, though LeGrow says there remains one he personally delivers the paper to every morning who has stuck with him for close to 40 years.

“I’ve got a few regular customers who come down here,” he said.

LeGrow’s dedication to his job seems fairly straightforward when he defines it in his own words.

“If the papers are out, I’m out. If there’s no paper out, I stay home. Forty below or 30 below, I’m out here. I won’t stay home.”

Outside of selling The Telegram, LeGrow is an active volunteer. He has offered his services to the Waterford Hospital Lions Club for the last 28 years.

Shawn Barnes, a former district manager with The Telegram who was responsible for vending box sales and street sellers, says LeGrow’s commitment to the job is unprecedented.

“He’s been doing it for a very, very long time without fail. He doesn’t miss a day, rain or snow. ... He’s probably one of the most dedicated, reliable delivery people/sales peoples that I’ve ever known. He’s quite the character.”

Barnes said LeGrow is very personable and that selling newspapers is a part of his routine.

“He’ll continue doing it as long as the paper is there for him to be putting it out.”

LeGrow says he intends to continue selling newspapers in front of Atlantic Place for as long as he can manage, so long as his health allows. LeGrow said he is grateful to have customers who continue to support him.

 

arobinson@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TeleAndrew