Don’t talk about high water to Merritt Hyatt, 16, of 930 West Street. Save yourself embarrassment by steering clear of that subject, for he knows much more about it than you.

Merritt, an Eagle newsboy and a student in the Pittsfield High School, had an experience Saturday afternoon that might qualify him for Uncle Sam’s Navy. He went to sea unexpectedly and took a lesson in navigation. Merritt was delivering his papers out West Street way near the City Farm when he came to a place where the road was flooded. He still had eight papers and knowing that his customers would be disappointed if they didn’t receive them pondered as to how he could negotiate the difficulty.

A cursory survey of the situation revealed only one opening and that was across the meadows. Dismounting from his bicycle because of the uneven going, Merritt pushed along overland and was making good progress leaping from puddle to puddle — the fields were flooded from a mountain stream which had run wild of its course under the heavy downpour — until he slipped and his feet shot out from under him. Down went Merritt, papers, bicycle and all. Before he could regain his composure and check his course he had been carried 20 feet by the rushing water.

Merritt struggling to his feet was seen by a baker who was delivering bread in that vicinity and he hurried to his rescue. The baker took Merritt home in his truck, and the loyal newsboy wasted no time in making arrangements for the delivery of new papers to replace those that had been washed away. He says he suffered no ill effects from his experience.

This Story in History is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989.