Another delightful week of camping
by Ron Swift, for the Patterson Irrigator
Jun 27, 2012 | 703 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fast Talk

Ron Swift

Everyone should plan for a few days away from family, up in the mountains under beautiful blue skies, surrounded by the dark green of the forest, with a small brook gurgling with a beckoning sound. You can’t beat it.

That’s why I went to summer camp last week, where I was surrounded by some 80 rambunctious Boy Scouts ages 11-17, and for half that week by more than a hundred 9-and-10-year olds, plus their parents.

It was my 23rd year of spending a week at Scout camp, and I’ll have to say it was the best yet. As the oldest brown shirt there, I was treated as a Person of Maturity. That allowed for an undisturbed daily nap in the afternoon and an exemption from the usual camp chores. And if I chose to toddle off to my tent at 9 o’clock while the others in our troop were enjoying a roaring campfire, no one said a word.

The daytimes were delightful. The boys had activities and I caught up on paperwork, read a book or enjoyed pleasant conversation with other adults. Did I mention no cellphone reception?

It was a marvelous week, and I returned full of enthusiastic vigor. Young people will do that to you. I highly recommend it to others needing a refresher course on life. Give me a call next June if you want to tag along.

Renovation under way

While I was away, work continued in earnest on the downtown museum renovation project.

Many Pattersonites have not visited our local museum in years, and our newer residents not at all. That, I hope, will change once the museum reopens. It truly will have a new look inside with dazzling color in each room and new flooring that will replace carpeting that has seen its day.

Work has been under way for the better part of three weeks. The flooring arrived this week, and as individual rooms are completed, display cases will be moved back into place.

As Patterson is rich in history — a planned community that was unique from the start — the museum will serve as a focal point for future generations to enjoy.

Watch for an announcement of its reopening in a few weeks.

Back in summer school

As promised, this column continues its educational objective — i.e., to provide readers with valuable factual information of practical use. So here goes another lesson.

• The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.

• By raising your legs slowly and lying on your back, you can’t sink in quicksand.

• On average, 12 newborns are given daily to the wrong parents.

• Money isn’t made out of paper; it’s made out of cotton. But the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp (marijuana) paper.

Sign of the week

Here’s a sign that appeared on a plumber’s truck:

“We repair what your husband fixed.”

But not at my house. Being TD (technically disadvantaged), I’m never once in 50 years attempted plumbing repairs.

For the sports fan

With the Giants trailing the Dodgers by only two games (this column was written on Tuesday), imagine what the standings would be had Timmy been his former self.

And he might come around yet.

And finally…

I was recently asked, If you get rid of all your odds and ends but one, what do you call it?

If I can’t handle plumbing repairs, I certainly can’t answer that question.

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

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