General observations about Apricot Fiesta’s 44th run
by Ron Swift | Patterson Irrigator
Jun 04, 2014 | 1110 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I … love a parade … da da da di da, da da da di …

Another fun-filled Apricot Fiesta. Let’s started by thanking the heavens for ideal weather – cool mornings and just enough warmth throughout the day to enjoy the activities, the pageant, the gastronomical offerings, the parade, the gabbing with friends, the fireworks, and (what have I forgot?) …

Oh, yes, one complaint. The line at the Boy Scouts’ apricot ice cream booth was too long. By the time I moved up to order, I was salivating enough to order two of everything. And that was just for me.

But, as always, I offer solutions to go with complaints. The Scouts should have two booths, one for those under 50, the other for 50 and over. Or should 60 be the dividing line?

And alas, I must pass along this sighting: 10 horsemen on elegant steeds, the latter decked out splendidly in silver trappings, and their riders in elegant costume that included fancy boots. The parade had ended when they passed me by, and my admiration of this entry was at its peak until I noticed that, of the 10, three were talking on cell phones. That’s the riders, not the horses.

That’s not the way the west was won.

But there was a critical observation. A few of our residents in north old town set their garbage totes and even lawn chairs in the street to eliminate a parking space. Even when they had their own vehicles parked in their driveways. That’s ok if they are saving the space for a relative or friend, but a few were left there all day.

Fiesta parking is critical. One businessman with ample space was charging $10 a vehicle on Saturday – and getting it. Garbage cans in our north end should remain in the alleys.

A final Fiesta note. The Historical Society counted 1,110 visitors over the weekend. That compares with 1,045 at last year’s Fiesta.


The Ernie Rose display over the weekend at the museum brought forth a number of “Ernie” stories. In his day, the boat racing Rose was known to just about everyone in these parts.

Tom Houk told me this story, and it’s good one.

Ernie and Tom’s dad Dean were working on a project at the Houk Ranch. Both were contributing parts, and Dean asked Ernie how he was keeping track of who was giving what.

Ernie, whose lack of prompt bookkeeping and billing was legendary, had a solution. He took a sharp tool and went over to his old van, where he scratched his parts into the paint on the back door. Immediate bookkeeping.

A while later, Ernie and wife Bea towed his famous race boat Lil’ Bee back to Miami, where he sped to victory against larger boats in a race that was a part of the Orange Bowl festivities. While they were gone several friends decided to give them a surprise by painting … you guessed it … the old van – back door and all.


We have two more joining our 90-plus list this week.

Gladene Craven, who resided in Crows Landing for many years, completed her ninth decade last Thursday, May 29. She now lives in Turlock.

And on Sunday, June 1, Pattersonite Verna Faye Pava noted her 90th birthday. Happy birthday to them both.

That raises our list count to 78, having recently lost Jane Evans Vilas. Another good friend will hit the round number 90 this Sunday, but I’ll wait until next week to announce her after I get a birthday quote.


More and more restaurants are putting what they term a “gratuity guide” on their meal checks. This is to assist those who didn’t do well in math.

One I received just the other day listed to the penny the “tip” amount for 15, 18, 20, and 22 percent. The 22 percent on my tab was $5.01, as if I would pay this odd amount.

I’m sure many patrons could calculate it for themselves on their cell phones.

ADVICE FOR SPOKIE At four score and five years, my buddy Bob “The Spoke” Kimball still maintains a regular schedule on his two-wheeler, somewhat to the astonishment of those of us who don’t.

But I keep reminding Spokie of the dangers inherent in this particular activity, frequently pointing out that bicycles challenge the laws of gravity.

Now someone has sent me proof, to wit:

A bicycle cannot stand alone. It is two tired.

(We’ll see if Bob gets it.)


All horse racing attention is centered this week on California Chrome, who on Saturday heads the list of hopefuls in the Belmont Stakes. And as all pony fans know, CC will be seeking the so-called Triple Crown.

Now the horse has two choices – win and enjoy a life of good food and an active guaranteed love life (also known as stud service), or lose and risk becoming sandwich meat in Europe.

That should be incentive enough for CC. He’s a smart horse who will choose his options wisely. I’m betting a bundle on him.

By the way, despite how well the Giants and the A’s are playing, I’m not rooting for them to meet in the World Series. The last time that occurred (1989), they caused an earthquake.


I’ve pointed this out before, but here goes again.

The first Apricot Fiesta was in 1971, the second in ’72, the third in ’73, etc. You see the trend here? That makes it easy to keep track of how many annual Fiestas we’ve celebrated.

Of course it was pre-planned that way, just to make it easier for Fiesta Secretary Marilyn Hoobler to keep track.

And then Newman copy-catted Patterson and started its Fall Festival on Labor Day weekend the very same year – 1971. But I doubt that those Newman folks realized the importance of the above planning.

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