An new addition to the Swift family
by Ron Swift | Patterson Irrigator
Aug 08, 2013 | 793 views | 0 0 comments | 213 213 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ron Swift
Ron Swift
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For many years, our household has been a quartet.

Just Housemate (HM), me and a couple of felines named Plum and Lucy. That’s about to change.

We’ve been in Preparedness Mode now for well over a week. Within the next few days – possibly by the time you are reading this column – we will be joined by Henry.

Henry is a very lively canine. Short-haired, a year or two old, and supposedly a cattle dog; he’ll soon learn that herding Plum and Lucy is not on his agenda.

We’ve had dogs before. I had a half-German shepherd named Caesar when we were married 50 years ago. Old-timers will remember that he even wrote a column for this newspaper for about three years before retiring to the country to live out his days in blissful surroundings. Columnists should be allowed do that.

Then along came Slippers who assisted us in raising three kids. And finally Emerson, a half-golden retriever whose grandparents were Ev and Edith Adelman. All three were big dogs who spent 99 percent of their time indoors. They lived long lives.

But it has been quite a few years – a “hoot and a holler” we would call it in Iowa – since we’ve had a dog. And I’ve been amazed at the preparation it has required.

First, there’s the dog run fencing in the back yard. A wire enclosure has been erected, complete with a door and blocks to keep Henry from digging his way out. And collars and leashes and play toys and a cage which will serve as his indoor “private space” and his own blanket … the list is getting long. It’s like bringing home a new baby without the nighttime feedings.

Henry, or Heinrich as I sometimes call him, comes to us via Westside Animals for Adoption where HM volunteers her time a couple of mornings a week. Thus she’s far more acquainted with Henry than I am.

So Plum, Lucy and I have some interesting days ahead of us. The only instructions we’ve had is “don’t call him Hank.”

And Direct TV has come to our rescue. Those folks have just added a channel just to entertain dogs who enjoy watching TV. I kid you not. Check out channel 354.

I’ll keep you posted.

AND THE PARTY BEGINS

With the centennial of Patterson High School to be observed in 2015, the organization of an all-school reunion is about to begin. Or it better had before we run out of time!

The first step to be taken is by the local Soroptimist Club. These businesswomen will use a room in our downtown museum to feature PHS and plan to have the display up in a few weeks. There it will remain, albeit likely to change somewhat, until at least late-2015.

What’s needed are mementos from “way back when” in PHS lore. The Soroptimists already have yearbooks galore and a few letter sweaters, but could use trophies of championship teams, photos, programs, posters, cheerleading garb, and even more sweaters. Big or small, the older the better, I’m told.

All items can be returned. Get back to this scribe or Coleen Sanguinetti.

A MATTER OF PRIORITIES

A study of the top paid positions in the public sector in each of our 50 states is nothing short of shocking. But not exactly surprising. Just check out these numbers.

In 26 states – just over half -- the highest wage earner at the public trough happens to be … (drumroll please) … a college football coach.

In 12 other states including California, it’s a basketball coach. And in one (New Hampshire), it’s a college hockey coach.

Now in Minnesota, they pay both the football coach and his basketball counterpart the same bucks, maybe to eliminate a controversy.

But let’s commend the other 10 states.

Four of them pay top dollars to a college president. They are Montana, Alaska, Vermont and Delaware. Five others – New York, North and South Dakota, Nevada and Massachusetts – give their top bucks to someone with a medical school title. In Maine the honor goes to the law school dean.

Would you agree that our educational priorities are more than a little screwed up?

A BOOST IN SALES?

Modestans will be asked on the November ballot to approve a 1-cent increase in the sales tax collected in that city.

So why should Pattersonites give a hoot?

Well, on the purchase of a $40,000 vehicle, Modesto dealers will be collecting an additional $400 in sales tax. That will give Patterson’s two new car dealers a $400 advantage in pricing.

So why should any of us give a darn besides local dealers Bruce and Rick? Well, the city of Patterson receives nearly 1 cent of the sales tax revenue, so the more cars and trucks sold here, the more revenue goes into our city coffers.

And on each $40,000 vehicle sold, that city income amounts to nearly $400.

Might I suggest the city of Patterson offer free one-way taxi service from Modesto for those from that city in a car-shopping mood. They could drive a new car to get back home.

E-MAILS OF THE WEEK

This week there are two e-mails at the very top of the list. To wit:

n There are two words in a person’s life that will open lots of doors for them – push and pull.

n If we were meant to pop out of bed in the morning, we’d sleep in toasters.

FOR THE SPORTS FAN

Hope I’m not the only one who thinks the name of one of Patterson’s youth football teams – the Palm City Reapers – is really cool.

And on another topic, NFL teams are checking more-and-more into the backgrounds of potential signees, even to the point of consulting with their probation officers.

AND FINALLY …

Fast Talk took an unofficial survey of mothers early this week, asking which date they preferred for back to school.

The 5th of July was the overwhelming response.

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