MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — For a little more than a year, Rodney Fales has delivered The Enterprise every Friday afternoon.
And the man selected as the 2006 Carrier of the Year has had help.
Fales, 30, is developmentally disabled. His father, Loren Fales, helps his son sort papers early in the morning, then joins Rodney during the two-hour delivery route that takes them to houses and apartments from 220th to 224th Streets SW.
“It took us some time to learn how to get it going, then we got our route going and laid it down right by the door,” Rodney said, recalling the first days walking the route in February 2006.
“It was a warm, beautiful day and we learned the route,” his father said.
Papers arrive Friday before dawn at the Fales’ apartment along 212th Street SW. Father and son then place rubber bands and plastic wrap over each of the 128 newspapers and sort them into two groups: one group of 69 papers goes into a canvas bag for dad; the other 59 copies go into a box for Rodney. All of this is done before 9 a.m.
Then Rodney leaves to attend vocational education classes at Washington Vocational Services in Mountlake Terrace.
They start the route at about 12:30 p.m., after lunch.
Most of the time, no one’s at home when Rodney and his dad arrive at their destinations.
“Most of them are at work or school and we see no one,” said Rodney, the third of four children.
Loren Fales said he delivered papers “as a young man” in Wyoming many years ago. “But it was cold, 5 degrees above zero sometimes when we delivered those papers,” he said.
Why did Rodney start the route?
“Because Rodney needed to lose his tummy and get some walking in,” Loren Fales said.
It’s not a hard route and there’s only one hill to negotiate.
“But we get all the walking we want, don’t we?” the elder Fales said.
“Definitely,” Rodney replied.