Log in
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Dynamic quotes 

4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nyse  >  Western Union    WU

Mes dernières consult.
Most popular
News SummaryMost relevantAll newsofficial PublicationsSector newsTweets

Western Union : The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) Josh Shaffer column

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
11/10/2017 | 06:42pm CEST

Nov. 10--RALEIGH -- Near the end of World War II, a high school kid fresh off a tobacco farm took a much-needed job in Greensboro: a bicycle messenger for Western Union, where he pedaled across the city with a crisp green uniform and a satchel full of telegrams.

At age 16, Dewey Alley was a self-described dumb country boy, new to the city, where his family had recently traded tenant farming for life in a textile mill village. His union job put food on the table.

But in 1945, he soon discovered, a bike messenger working the night shift carried one kind of news. Son killed in Germany. Husband died in Japan. All of the messages Alley carried that year began with "We regret to inform you ..."

He never had to explain himself at the doorstep. Often, mothers started screaming when they saw him coming up the driveway in his telltale leggings and brimmed cap. The first telegram Alley delivered, "when she opened the door and saw me, she went into almost hysterics."

At 88, these memories of war still haunt Alley, long retired in Raleigh from a successful career in building supplies. His boots never touched foreign soil in wartime, but he celebrates Veterans Day with scars that run nearly as deep. As a child too young to serve, he saw every casualty that struck home. Heartbreak rippled out from the envelopes in his pouch, often four times a night.

"I had nightmares about that for years," he said. "Years."

Western Union men carried all the military's death notifications in the 1940s. Nicknamed "the boy on his bicycle," a courier in wartime played the role of grim reaper. The scene plays out famously in the wartime baseball movie "A League of Their Own," in which a messenger boy arrives in the locker room and fumbles for his envelope of bad news while a dozen women tremble.

Alley took advice from his night manager, Joe Eberenz, who counseled him to be as quiet and polite as possible. As much as he could, Eberenz left Alley alone in the office to finish his homework, letting less-important telegrams wait until morning. But when death notices arrived, he dropped them on the young student's desk. "You've got to take this one," he would say.

Alley covered all of Greensboro on his bike, wherever the news took him. Once, he grabbed onto the tailgate of a truck and coasted to his destination, catching hell from the truck driver as he pedaled away. Six times, someone stole Alley's bike while he tried to console a dead serviceman's mother. After the first few thefts, he began building his own bikes from spare parts.

As grim as the work could get, Alley needed the money. "The rich kids in school borrowed quarters from me," he recalled decades later. "Never paid them back."

But once, the strain of witnessing raw grief nearly made him quit.

"A lady passed out on the sidewalk in front of the house," he remembered. "She seemed like an old woman, but she couldn't have been very old to have a son. That's the one I dream about. I guess I panicked. I went to try to help. Some man came from the house and took her back inside. I guess it was her husband.

"I went all the way back to Western Union talking myself into staying on. Mr. Eberenz said, 'This is part of the job. That's just the way it is.' I slept on it and told him I wanted to stay."

Alley stayed on at Western Union until he graduated from high school in 1948, well past the war's end. He got drafted in the Army shortly afterward and saw friends die on their first day in Korea. But Alley avoided combat, several times, because he could type. Instead of Korea, Alley shipped to Labrador as a clerk.

He counts himself lucky. He married another farm girl, whom he called perfect, and their union lasted 67 years. He built his own house at Raleigh'sNorth Ridge Country Club and lovingly points out where he drove every nail. His walls are covered in portraits of his sons and grandchildren. His oldest child, born while Alley was still a soldier, is named Joe -- a tribute to his old boss.

This week, Alley thumbed through old photographs and floated back in time.

"I just wonder if Joe Eberenz is still alive," he said. "I'd sure like to see him."

Josh Shaffer: 919-829-4818, @joshshaffer08


(c)2017 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

Visit The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) at www.newsobserver.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

© Tribune Content Agency, source Regional News

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
Latest news on WESTERN UNION
04/21WESTERN UNION : Deadline for Western Union Refund Claims Extended
04/21SCAM ALERT : Con Artists Taking Advantage of Western Union Settlement
04/20WESTERN UNION : Foundation Continues its Commitment to Supporting Education with..
04/18WESTERN UNION : owes $586 million to people it helped scam. Here's how to get a ..
04/17WESTERN UNION : 50 teams kick-off Western Union T20 tournament
04/16WESTERN UNION : Sama Steel, Kohsar CC win in Western Union tourney
04/13WESTERN UNION : Public Safety Log (D-H, April 13)
04/11Lebara hooks up with WorldRemit in money transfer pact
04/10WESTERN UNION : T20 Tournament under way
04/10WESTERN UNION : Foundation Funds Local Youth Enrichment Programs with Assist fro..
More news
News from SeekingAlpha
04/12WESTERN UNION : Walmart Crashes The Party 
04/05WESTERN UNION : Better Than Ever 
03/20AAM S&P 500 HIGH DIVIDEND VALUE ETF : Should You Ditch The High Yield Dog For T.. 
03/14Western Union goes ex-dividend tomorrow 
02/15Tracking David Abrams' Abrams Capital Management Portfolio - Q4 2017 Update 
Financials ($)
Sales 2018 5 711 M
EBIT 2018 1 123 M
Net income 2018 824 M
Debt 2018 -
Yield 2018 3,91%
P/E ratio 2018 10,31
P/E ratio 2019 9,80
Capi. / Sales 2018 1,54x
Capi. / Sales 2019 1,50x
Capitalization 8 788 M
Duration : Period :
Western Union Technical Analysis Chart | WU | US9598021098 | 4-Traders
Technical analysis trends WESTERN UNION
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 18
Average target price 20,7 $
Spread / Average Target 8,4%
EPS Revisions
Hikmet Ersek President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
Jeffrey A. Joerres Non-Executive Chairman
Rajesh K. Agrawal Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Sheri Rhodes Chief Technology Officer & Executive VP
Betsy DeHaas Holden Independent Non-Executive Director
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
FISERV9.43%29 479
WIRECARD18.35%16 723
CIELO-18.69%15 108