A case of change-induced whiplash
by Ron Swift for the Patterson Irrigator
May 30, 2012 | 573 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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We live in a world of rapid change, and the pace of that change is increasing exponentially.

Young people might not fully realize the pace at which change is occurring, but people my age certainly do.

I’m not altogether referring to the coming of television, computers, rockets sent into space, cellphones or Facebook. I’m referring to the many phases of our lives that do not involve technology.

I’ll mention only one: Sunday worship at church.

When I was a young sprout growing up in the Midwest, the Sunday morning church service was a ritual far different from the more modern services we now experience. And for many of us, the change has taken some getting used to.

For instance, back in the ’40s and ’50s, memory recalls that going to church, even a Sunday evening potluck, was a dress-up occasion. The men, even upper-age teenage boys, without exception wore coats and ties. Even in midsummer, when very few churches were air-conditioned by anything other than open windows.

Not to be outdone, the women all wore dresses. Certainly not slacks. High heels were an unwritten requirement, and legs were never bare. And many of the women wore hats, whether they wanted to or not.

And shorts? Maybe, if you were 5 and under. Otherwise, no way. A display of legs was out.

And the worship service was a solemn occasion. No bouncing to the music, no clapping of hands, no applause for the soloist. No words from the congregation. Just quietness that allowed personal reflection and listening to the pastor’s message.

And the music? Just the traditional old hymns. Most of the congregation didn’t need a hymnal, nor did the organist. After all, the hymns were limited in number. A strumming guitar and drums? You gotta be kidding me.

And when the service ended, chitchat with friends and neighbors never occurred in the chapel. Only in the social hall or outside on the sidewalk. When the service concluded, we filed out in stern silence. That was the way it was, and we didn’t question it in our middle-of-the-road Protestant culture where I grew up.

I’m not implying that change hasn’t been for the better. But I do point out that for some of us in my generation, change has taken some adjustment. Some changes are immediately welcomed, while others require some time and effort.

And that’s life.

Odds and mostly ends

Monday’s short Memorial Day ceremony at the Patterson cemetery drew a larger than usual crowd, and as usual, the grounds were ablaze with red, white and blue, compliments of the Boy Scouts.

In addition, the American Heritage Girls presented Armed Forces flags representing the various branches of the service. In all, it was quite a sight.

And this weekend, with expected gorgeous weather, we’ll host the 42nd running of the Apricot Fiesta. Just where did all those years go?

In the weeks ahead, Fast Talk plans a column about the fiesta and its activities. Readers with questions about why certain events or activities are held and others are not should email them to the address below ASAP. Names won’t be used.

Finals are coming

Readers who have been taking advantage of this column for educational purposes are given a week off to prepare for the final exam. That exam will be coming next week before the start of summer vacation. It will be self-graded, so that honesty is a pre-requisite.

But who in Patterson would be dishonest? Hmmm?

Sign of the week,/b>

This sign appeared on the front lawn of a drug rehabilitation center:

“Keep Off the Grass.”

Raise our voices in song

Another addition to our 90-plus list:

Former Patterson resident Bonnie Nordell, the wife of retired jewelry store owner Ken Nordell, turned 90 on May 19. They reside in Turlock and are in good health.

Husband Ken will turn 91 in June, and the couple will celebrate their 71st wedding anniversary in July, according to daughter Kathi Brewer who lives in Patterson. That warrants a lot of hoopla.

For the sports fan

It’s good to see the Angels’ Albert Pujols starting to swing the bat again. I thought he was going to have to give back some of those millions.

And finally… Someone said: “As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.”

Yes, wish I’d said that.

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

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