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Fri Nov 10, 2017, 05:53 PM

He carried news of every soldier's death and consoled every widow. The memories still haunt him.

As a telegram boy in WWII, the night shift brought 1 kind of msg: news of soldier’s death. He's still haunted.



He carried news of every soldier’s death and consoled every widow. The memories still haunt him.

By Josh Shaffer

jshaffer@newsobserver.com

November 10, 2017 11:46 AM

RALEIGH -- Near the end of World War II, a high school kid fresh off a tobacco farm took a much-needed job in Greensboro: a bicycle messenger for Western Union, where he pedaled across the city with a crisp green uniform and a satchel full of telegrams.

At age 16, Dewey Alley was a self-described dumb country boy, new to the city, where his family had recently traded tenant farming for life in a textile mill village. His union job put food on the table.

But in 1945, he soon discovered, a bike messenger working the night shift carried one kind of news. Son killed in Germany. Husband died in Japan. All of the messages Alley carried that year began with “We regret to inform you ...”

He never had to explain himself at the doorstep. Often, mothers started screaming when they saw him coming up the driveway in his telltale leggings and brimmed cap. The first telegram Alley delivered, “when she opened the door and saw me, she went into almost hysterics.”
....

Josh Shaffer: 919-829-4818, @joshshaffer08

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Reply He carried news of every soldier's death and consoled every widow. The memories still haunt him. (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Nov 2017 OP
hlthe2b Nov 2017 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Nov 10, 2017, 05:55 PM

1. Wow... that really choked me up.

To do this at 16 years of age had to have made him grow up incredibly fast.

I hope he has had a good life since then.

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