How to fold a newspaper, by Herm

My dad was a newsboy in the 1960s, delivering afternoon papers by bike, with a big sack strung over his shoulder and hanging at his side. Here, the old newspaper boy, my dad, shares his newspaper folding tricks.

“Newspapers are smaller, so there’s really only one way to fold now. The purpose of folding was so that papers could be tossed from the front sidewalk onto large front porches,” Herm says. “I used my bike in the summer and had to fold all the papers at the delivery corner, then put them all in my paper sack which hung on my shoulder. Then I could throw them one-by-one as I passed the houses. I became very accurate with my throws, often 50 to 75 feet. There were always some fussy people who insisted that I put the paper in their mailbox, so I had to get off my bike and walk up to the house.”

This is what my dad calls the “Herm-fold” — how he folded a newspaper back in the day:

(Paper used is the Charlottesville Daily Progress from May 25, 2012)

1. Hold the paper in front of you with both arms outstretched, with the main fold of the paper up and the headline facing away. You should be looking at the bottom half of the front page. Your left hand should hold the top fold to the right of center, and the right hand should hold the right side of the paper.

2. Using the right hand, fold the paper from right to left at about the one-fifth point. Use your right hand to crease the fold.

3. Using the right hand again, repeat the fold from right to left, making the next crease tight against the first fold.

4. Repeat again a third time. The third fold should line up with the left-hand side of the paper.

5. Open the last fold just enough to tuck the folded right-hand section into the left section in the opening under the paper’s main fold. The rolled paper should hold this position without unrolling. To tighten the roll, hold the top of the roll with your left hand and twist the roll with the palm of your right hand against the bottom of the roll.

“The roll can be tossed underhand or as a basketball hook shot,” Herm says. “The paper should stay rolled if it lands and slides on a front porch or step.”

My dad and I before hitting the slopes in Breckenridge, Colo., in March 2011.

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