Community calendar project for 2014 is a “go.”
by Ron Swift | Patterson Irrigator
Sep 19, 2013 | 935 views | 0 0 comments | 201 201 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ron Swift
Ron Swift
The Patterson Community Calendar project, being undertaken by Boy Scout Troop 82, should be of major service to the community. It will list the 2014 activities of our service clubs, youth organizations, churches, schools and specialty organizations, such as lodges and ethnic groups.

But it does require those mentioned above – of which there are nearly 50 – to get their acts together for the coming year. Their info, including not only 2014 dates but times and locations, must be received by the Scout troop no later than Nov. 1 of this year to meet a Dec. 1 printing deadline.

There is no charge for the listings, of which there may be multi-activities from some organizations. The Scouts will sell the calendars at a nominal fee to recover their printing costs and hopefully make a little profit.

“We hope the calendar will become an annual project and a real benefit to the community,” Scoutmaster Ron Swift said the other day when interviewed by this columnist. “We’ve started our contacts and have already received much positive feedback,” he concluded.

Thus you can expect a visit from Mr. Swift.


It didn’t take long to get this week’s column started.

Like the rest of you, I received last week’s Irrigator in the front yard sometime early Thursday morning. I tore into it seeking Patterson news like a hungry piranha.

And there it was. A new city recreation director, a bike ride benefit for P.R.I.D.E., the apparent dismissal of building inspector Jim Swanson, the possibility of higher costs for police services, the delay of a murder trial, school test scores, a report about the Tigers’ big football comeback against Kimball of Tracy, the PHS soccer team advancing to 6-0, and the city’s legal dispute with Dominic Speno, developer of the Villa Del Lago business site just off the freeway.

But what really stopped me for some careful reading was Maddy Houk’s analysis of her participation in the annual Biggest Loser contest.

That event is sponsored by the West Side Health Care Advisory Task Force, affectionately known by many as WSHCATF. Really. Supervisor Jim DeMartini is coordinator of the weight loss promotion. Jim himself trains by pushing away from the dinner table early to attend 30 night meetings a month in his district. Or is it 40?

As you know, if you read her column, Maddy called up Jim and volunteered for the contest. Because the Gustine team was short on numbers, she became one of the 10 to represent that community.

At first, I figured Gustine must be short of rotund residents, but I read further. Their team of 10, including Maddy, weighed in (separately, I hope) at 2223 pounds – or an average of 222.3 pounds each. A good team to be on! Everyone should be expected to carry his/her own weight in the contest.

But there’s more to the story.

About 11 a.m. last Thursday morning, I stopped by the Irrigator office to see how everything was going with Maddy and her struggle to shed pounds. I could tell she was slightly depressed – weight loss efforts will do that to a person – and she said she had dropped only X pounds (purposely censored) in the past couple of weeks.

I was just about to console her when she blurted out, “Come back at 1 and join us for lunch. We’re having pizza upstairs.”

Now that’s the type of weight loss program I would enjoy. By the way, the pizza was delicious and (attention Gustine) Maddy ate her fair share.


You may recall that I have been keeping track of money requests I receive in the mail from non-profit philanthropic organizations.

I started the count Jan. 1 of this year and as of last weekend, 129 financial solicitations for 48 different groups had sent requests for money. They range from health research non-profits to conservation, educational and athletic organizations.

We’re not even through mid-September and two groups are tied for the lead in mail pieces (this is not counting the phone calls I get from some of these same non-profits). They are the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Olympic Committee, each having sent me 13 pieces of mail in a little over eight months. The only one pleased with this figure is the U.S. Postal Service.

But I’m giving the cancer people, whose cause is noble, the nod in this race. That’s because the Cancer Society has sent me 13 mailings, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has added another eight to my list, the National Foundation for Cancer Research sent four more, and the United Breast Cancer Association one.

So I’m giving cancer a total score of 26.

And you may wonder if I sent contributions to the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Olympic Committee. Sure did – early in the year. Heck, someone has to pay for all those mailings!

By the way, the Olympic people wanted to send me a jacket because of my contribution. I told them to give it to an American athlete. The Winter Games are coming up in Russian, and it gets downright cold over there.


Longtime Patterson residents surely recall that over 30 years ago – early July of 1980 to be exact – a live-in fox was spotted and photographed in our community.

Foxy Loxy, as he was later named by Mimi Draper, lived in Patterson’s north end. This was just before the days when new subdivisions expanded our boundaries in all four directions.

Foxy Loxy became a novelty. In the next three or four years, he was spotted and even photographed by many – swimming in a backyard pool, playing with cats on school property, traveling from site to site through the trees, etc.

And over the years, later generations of genus Vulpes (yes, I had to look it up) took up residency within Patterson’s boundaries, where many of us have long thought living conditions to be excellent. Apparently foxes do also.

Now Roseann Christopherson, up on Northmead Way, says a fox is residing in her neighborhood. I’m truly glad to hear about it, and may he live a long and happy life.

Roseann too.


Here’s a question for Patterson High grads:

What were the first school colors of then Patterson Union High School? This goes waaaay back.

And does anyone know when the school mascot became the Tiger? And what was the name of the first mascot?

Answer: The colors were olive green and black. But of course you knew that.

I’m seeking the answer to the mascot question. Anyone?


You probably don’t remember Henry, a former member of our household.

Henry, you may recall, was indirectly responsible for our cat Plum biting HM (Housemate) a few weeks ago and sending her to the hospital for five days and nights.

Henry is a good dog – no, make that “great” – and I’m pleased to report that he has been adopted by a young Carmichael couple with a dog getting too old to go jogging.

We’re overjoyed at our house that Henry has found a good home.


Now we’ve seen just about everything with the announcement that there has been cheating in NASCAR races. Who woulda believed?

And then there was dismal Sunday. The 49ers certainly looked dismal while being outplayed, both when it was raining and when it wasn’t. Kaep was kapped, Gore was gored, Boldin was the next thing to absent, and the Seahawks proved they are a darned good football team.



Here’s a question that arrived by email:

“If God had a refrigerator, would your picture be on it?”

Good question – one only you can answer.

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

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