As if the shooting death of lifelong West Side resident Robert Ruvalcaba and the vehicle accident that took the life of Pattersonite Ida Peña Perez were not enough, the possible closure of the 65-year-old Patterson Vegetable Co. plant is a reminder that everything in this life is transitory.
The north Patterson neighborhood where Ruvalcaba lived has been hit particularly hard this year. Blue and gold ribbons still adorn trees to commemorate 4-year-old Juliani Cardenas, who was kidnapped and killed in January. Friends and relatives say that Ruvalcaba was welcoming to the media crews that descended upon Patterson at the time, allowing them to go inside his home and use his bathroom, if needed.
Now, friends have been able to return the favor for his generous spirit, offering words of comfort to family members and paying tribute to his life on social media websites.
Likewise, many friends have honored Perez within the past week for her passionate interest in civic affairs.
Patterson’s community spirit has also manifested itself recently in helping fellow residents with financial needs during the Christmas season. Efforts run from organized efforts, such as contributions toward the Patterson Fire Department’s annual toy drive or Patterson High School’s Kids Helping Kids program, to quiet acts of benevolence by churches, civic groups and individuals.
It’s funny. No matter how tense relations become among fellow residents, Pattersonites have proven over and over that they know how to come together and support one another when needed. It’s one of the beautiful things about this town.
As we enter the holiday season, we have a golden opportunity to enhance that community spirit by telling our friends, family and neighbors what they mean to us. Time is of the essence, as we never know how much time we or our loved ones have left on this planet.
And just for the record, we’re grateful to all of you, our readers, for allowing the Irrigator to be a part of your lives. Thanks for engaging with us and keeping us motivated to keep you informed about the happenings in this town.
Merry Christmas to you all, and have a blessed New Year!