An accident waiting to happen
Oct 02, 2013 | 1049 views | 0 0 comments | 199 199 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An accident waiting to happen

Do you know clutter when you see it? I certainly do, so I’ll get rid of a few notes on my desk and pass along their contents to you, the readers.

First, there’s the intersection of Del Puerto and Sperry avenues at the stop light. When motorists on Del Puerto are turning west onto Sperry after stopping at a red light, their vision is blocked by a tall fence and parked vehicles; it’s an accident waiting to happen.

And the approach to our fair city from the west on Sperry Avenue leaves more than a little to be desired in the way of appearance. Check it out yourself.

Here’s another update on one of the centenarians on our 90-Plus list. That would be Dorothy Wiesendanger, who lives far up Del Puerto Canyon. Dorothy not only subscribes to this newspaper, but she makes a trip to Patterson almost every Thursday with her son Bert, and then has lunch at Mil’s. She turned 103 on May 7.

And I hear that Aileen Cabral of Crows Landing is still getting out. She turned 102 last March 20. (I will seek information about others.)

As this column is written on Monday evening, my eye is on the telly. Will our government shut down at the stroke of midnight? Will our federal employees, including our Congress-people, be on unpaid leave come morning? I have to go to bed now, ’cause I’m getting up early to absorb the latest calamity in Washington.

By the way, I’ve switched over to the Aljazeera America channel almost exclusively for my news. The AA staffers keep their personal opinions to themselves and interview people who know what they are talking about. And they don’t run the interviews over and over and over, as does CNN. Channel 247 if you are on Direct TV.


The Federated Church has been without a permanent pianist for nearly a year, despite strong efforts made to find one.

The need is becoming desperate, if for no other reason than to cover up voices like mine. The church number is in the book.


Nothing but enthusiasm has been voiced about Patterson having a community event calendar for 2014.

About half of the over-50 local organizations, churches and schools have so far received the explanation sheet and another that must be returned by Nov. 1 with dates of their events through the coming year. The project is being undertaken by Boy Scout Troop 82, and multiple dates may be listed at no charge. The calendar will then be sold at a nominal fee.

So, get on with selecting your dates for next year’s events.


Members of Patterson’s Historical Society and friends gathered at our downtown museum last Thursday evening for their third annual night of fun.

With the 49ers playing on TV and the wind blowing hard most of the day, the crowd was about half that of past years. But those attending appeared to enjoy the evening.

Dressed in vintage costume were Gordon Ellery and his mother Gloria, Bob (the Spoke) Kimball, and Faye Hill. They greatly deserve a mention here.

The museum has two new displays – a room full of Patterson High’s past, and a case bringing back memories of Jack Stewart’s Dance Band. Each is worth a trip to the museum, open most weekday afternoons. We invited Jack to our fun night, but he had Thursday all booked up.

The high school room has been a labor of love by our Soroptimist Club, with Coleen Sanguinetti and Gloria Satcher putting in the hours necessary to put up the colorful display (much red, of course). Most items were loaned by PHS grads, a few of whom earned their diplomas over 50 years ago. (One wall-piece was received from Marnelle Filippini Cripe, class of 1939, who resides in Florida.)

This school display will be enlarged over the next two years as the community gears up for the 100th anniversary of Patterson High’s first graduating class. The planning for that celebration is about to begin.

Also on display for the first time were two small trophies awarded in 1862 to John D. Patterson for his outstanding cattle. It was four years later that John D. purchased the Rancho del Puerto land grant, acquiring over 13,000 acres that lead to the founding of Patterson over 40 years later.

The engraved trophies were donated in mid-September by two sisters who are Patterson family descendants. They reside in Atascadero and Walnut Creek.


The Patterson High varsity and junior varsity football teams both remained unbeaten last weekend. Of course, being idle assured maintaining their perfect records, but hey, we’ll take it. And the 49ers maintained their one-game winning streak for the same reason.

And now is the time of year when MLB gets exciting. As previously noted, I have four favorite teams – the Cardinals (from my boyhood), The Red Sox, especially when they are squaring off against the Yankees (sorry, Wheelands), The A’s, and of course, the Giants. So with three of those four making the playoffs, I’m already halfway to heaven.


This nation’s economy may be improving, but it apparently has a ways to go. I receive regular e-mails from readers who are having problems in the job market. Here’s a sampling.

“I tried working for the IRS but found the job too taxing.”

Another: “I checked out a jewelry manufacturer, but everybody was stoned.”

And still another: “I turned down a position in a tire factory because I tire easily.”

I hope the rest of you have had better luck.

Ah, keep ’em coming.

n Ron Swift is editor/publisher emeritus of the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at

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