For the past 28 years, Leonard Meyer has been Lakewood’s unofficial watchdog. He started delivering the Dallas Morning News almost three decades ago and now delivers multiple daily newspapers to homes in the neighborhood. Meyer’s day starts around 1:30 a.m. so he sees many things that happen on our streets under cover of darkness.
“I feel like I patrol the area too,” Meyer said. He reported so many crimes over his career that, on announcing his retirement, a police officer thanked him for his help over the years.
Meyer saw many bad things happening in the neighborhood. He reported numerous car thefts, but the nights that stand out most for him were coming across injured neighbors who needed help.
Meyer recalled a time when he found an elderly man who had fallen on the sidewalk and gashed his head. He said the man could have been there for hours. When he asked the man for his address, Meyer discovered it was one of the houses he delivered to. Meyer took the man home in his truck. Later, when he called to check on him, he learned that the man had Alzheimer’s and had received eight stitches.
At 4 a.m. on a July 5, Meyer found an old woman lying on her porch with a broken hip. He worried that she had been lying there since as early as 9 p.m. after going out on the porch to watch fireworks. Meyer called an ambulance and checked on the woman a few days later.
Meyer likes to call and check on the people he meets while on the job. It’s also why he leaves holiday greetings on all his papers in the winter—to reach out to the neighbors he feels connected to.
“I put the notes out to tell people I’m still around,” Meyer said. “I’m here. That’s the only way I get to talk to a few people.“
Meyer left his final note this past week announcing his retirement on Jan. 31. In his message, he thanked the people of Lakewood for their support. Meyer first took the job delivering papers so that his wife could stay home with their newborn baby girl. While delivering the paper, he was able to put his two kids, Stephanie and Daniel, through college.
The biggest change over his career is the dwindling number of people who get the daily paper. When he first started, Meyer delivered 400 papers every morning. Now, Meyer delivers the Dallas Morning News, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the New York Times, but he only delivers 350 papers total.
When asked what he would want to say to the Lakewood residents he served, he said, “I wish them the best and thank them for all they’ve done for me.”
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