Tom Floyd is a man of few words.
Floyd, a Morning Sentinel newspaper carrier in Skowhegan for many years, didn’t say much after his delivery bicycle was stolen during the Skowhegan State Fair. A woman who said she saw him delivering newspapers every morning – in all weather – got all the recent attention on social media.
Now there’s a fundraiser to get him a new bike.
“He is in the exact same spot, at the exact same time every morning, regardless of the weather,” Chris Wills of Cornville wrote in August on a GoFundMe page to raise money so Floyd can get a new bike and trailer. “Yes, even in the heaviest of snows and the coldest of days. Always with his bike and trailer.
“This morning, I noticed he didn’t have his bike, or his trailer. He was pulling a green wagon, but still in the exact same spot at the exact same time. If I don’t see Tommy, I know that I’m running late.”
Floyd was persistent. He kept to his job every morning, saying little about his plight.
Contacted by phone this week, Floyd said he is 56 and has been a Morning Sentinel carrier for “a long time,” but he declined to be interviewed or photographed. He said only that he “didn’t want to get into” the story of how his bike was stolen during one of the Skowhegan fair’s demolition derby nights.
Skowhegan Police Chief David Bucknam said the theft was reported and the case remains under investigation.
Wills said Floyd delivers newspapers on Malbons Mills Road, the route she travels every day to get to her job as a mathematics teacher and civil rights team adviser at Nokomis Regional High School in Newport.
“I was thinking that, here’s a guy that is working in the crappiest Maine weather conditions. He doesn’t drive, so he does his job however he can, the best he can,” Wills said by phone this week.
Wills said the GoFundMe page got up to $190 and she didn’t want to wait any longer to get Floyd something, so she cashed in the account and bought him a bike trailer, leaving the account still open and accepting donations. She said he was pulling the wagon behind him and didn’t have any way to keep his papers dry.
“I really wanted to get the bike trailer to him ASAP,” she said. “People had gotten ahold of me and wanted to donate some more, so maybe we could get him a new bike. The page is still active. You can withdraw from it without closing it.”
Meanwhile, Floyd keeps to his rounds, delivering newspapers without complaining. Wills said if they can raise enough money, they can get him a trike, with two wheels in the back.
That might be doable, she said, – just like the one Neil Woodard, Skowhegan’s locally famous “Bottle Man,” received last October through donations after an accident with his bike.