Farewell to childhood standard
by Ron Swift for the Patterson Irrigator
May 23, 2012 | 618 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ron Swift
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You might have read awhile back that the Roy Rogers Museum in Branson, Mo., had closed its doors and auctioned off its displays.

Sad. There went Trigger, a childhood friend to those my age. Stuffed, he brought in $266,500 at the auction before galloping out the door and off into the sunset.

Roy could get a little sugary with his singing, but Trigger was always in the exciting chase scenes. And he seldom if ever lost any chases in the 188 movies made with Roy in the saddle. Thinking back, that might have been scripted, but when they were on the screen, I always held my breath as Trigger closed the gap and Roy got his man. (Roy, a kind man, never shot anyone. That wasn’t manly.)

What might not be known by readers is that Errol Flynn rode Trigger in a 1938 movie before Roy climbed into the saddle. And the four-legged star won a cherished Oscar in 1953. Really.

One of Roy’s shirts brought $16,250 at the auction. Those were neat shirts — nary a crease.

Sob! Long gone are those days of Roy and Dale, Gene and Hoppy, the Lone Ranger and Tonto, Sky King, Sgt. Friday, Capt. Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers, the Green Hornet and others. Sob!

Furl the flag

Patterson’s newer residents are advised of our Memorial Day tradition — a short but unabashedly patriotic public ceremony at Patterson District Cemetery sponsored by the American Legion. It will begin at 10 a.m. and is well worth your short drive north of the city on Highway 33.

This tradition dates back more than 90 years to the days just after World War I. Youth groups, from Scout organizations to the American Heritage Girls, annually assist with the ceremony.

Attendees will find the cemetery ablaze with red, white and blue. The impressive Avenue of Flags set up by the Boy Scouts will decorate the cemetery throughout the three-day weekend, and the Scouts will also honor nearly 400 military veterans by placing small flags and white crosses at their gravesites.

By the way, most of the large flags have been donated by local families, having been used as casket covers in military funerals. Anyone having a flag to donate should contact the Boy Scouts.

One gain, one loss

Added to our 90-plus list this week is Wayne Johnson, who chalked up nine decades Sunday, May 20. Let’s all sing.

But the list lost a longtime Patterson resident, Alice Freidel, who was in her early 90s when she died early last week in Cody, Wyo., where she moved to live with a niece. She was a local schoolteacher for many years and was the widow of the late Ed Freidel Jr.

Oh deer

When wandering on foot Sunday afternoon in a Berkeley residential area, we spotted a full-grown deer moseying along between a couple of houses.

For proof, daughter Beth snapped a few photos with — drat — her cellphone.

He can spell

Congratulations to Walnut Creek eighth-grader Kendrick Taylor for his 10th-place finish (out of 58 competitors) in the recent state spelling bee. That’s a major accomplishment.

Just as impressive is his desire to compete at the state level again next year, as ninth-graders are eligible for the event.

Never a great speller myself, I greatly admire those who “R.”

Here’s a challenge

To prove to yourself that your brain is preprogrammed, give this a try.

While sitting at your desk or in front of your computer, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.

Now while you are doing the above, draw the number “6” in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction, whether you want it to or not.

You could win bets with this info.

Education time

Last week, I gave readers an extended recess, but now we must get on with your education. Improve your mind with the following information:

n A grenade thrown into a French kitchen would result in linoleum blown-apart.

n Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

n A soldier who survives mustard gas and pepper spray is called a seasoned veteran.

Really. The absolute truth. I don’t make these up.

Sign of the week

This sign was posted on a maternity ward door:

“Push! Push! Push!”

More questions

Will there ever be an end to questions sent me by readers? Here are some of the latest:

“If a turtle doesn’t have a shell, is he homeless or naked?”

“If the police arrest a mime, does he have the right to remain silent?”

“Where do forest rangers go ‘to get away from it all’?”

You provide the answers. Now, enough of the questions.

For the sports fan

The CIF recently approved two measures, one that will affect all high school sports and the other only basketball.

First, the transfer of student athletes to another school without change of residence: Until now, sitting out a full year of eligibility was required. Now, only 30 to 35 days, depending on the sports season.

In other words, an excellent basketball player could play fall sports in Patterson, then transfer immediately to Modesto Christian and be eligible for round ball Dec. 31. The Tigers’ loss, and MC’s gain — without compensation. Similar for other sports.

The second change is adding an open division in the state basketball playoffs above the existing five-division system, for elite programs. Private schools won all 10 boys and girls state titles this year and could get even stronger with the passage of the first rule change.

And finally…

One more week to tidy up for the Apricot Fiesta. Let’s get those shopping carts back to their respective stores. Plenty of them observed on a drive through our residential areas.

• Ron Swift is editor/publisher emeritus of the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at ronkay@gvni.com.

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