Good crowd throughout, a delightful parade, great eats and entertainment, plenty of things to see and purchase, and a dazzling fireworks display.
And the weather. For you newer Patterson residents, we call upper 90s warm, not hot. (Hey, a little breeze actually helped cool us off.)
Heck, back in 1972, the second fiesta was held on the Fourth of July weekend. Back then, it was a one-day, Saturday-only party, and at about three in the afternoon, everyone went home. The reason? A blistering 108 or 109 degrees, depending on whether you were in the shade or the sun.
I might add that the next year, the celebration was moved to the first weekend after Memorial Day, where it has remained ever since.
There were several reasons for the change of date, among them the temperature in 1972. Frankly, people didn’t care much for roasted apricots.
The only major complaint I heard this year was that several Porta-Potties were tipsy, requiring someone on the outside to keep them steady. Only the beer drinkers are used to this circumstance.
The next time you run across one of the fiesta staffers, and there are many, give them a friendly pat on the back. Unless, of course, they are still sunburned.
LOOK AT THE FIGURES
It’s difficult to estimate the size of the Apricot Fiesta crowd. But check out these figures.
At the 2012 fiesta, those signing in at the museum numbered 505. This year, museum staffers used hand counters, and the count rose to 1,045 — more than the count of the entire years in the past.
And the Boy Scouts of Troop 81 this year cranked out about 175 gallons of apricot ice cream, and sold most of it on the weekend.
I remember when the scouts started their project some 25 years ago. We had about 35 gallons for sale and usually didn’t sell out.
GRIP THOSE PHONES TIGHT
Just the other day, the daily press reported a startling figure.
A recent survey showed that in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, more than half of the thefts of property were … you guessed it, cell phones!
(It kinda got me in the ol’ ticker too.)
So why doesn’t technology exist so that stolen cell phones may be immediately deactivated?
It does, claims the newspaper columnist. He says Australians already receive that service from their phone companies.
He also speculates that companies here won’t provide the deactivation service because they are making millions selling replacement phones.
Really? I never would have thought.
NOW TO THOSE EMAILS
Emails continue to arrive in droves, this one from a faithful Patterson reader who shall remain anonymous. Because it is highly intellectual, I will consider it material for summer school for those readers using this column to further their education.
The subject: What Confucius did not say. He did not say:
• Man who stands on toilet is high on pot.
• Lady who goes camping must beware of evil intent.
• Man who leaps off cliff jumps to conclusion.
• Man who lives in glass house should change clothes in basement.
• Man who wants pretty nurse must be patient.
Smart man not to say those things, that Confucius.
NEVER TOO LATE
It’s never too late to learn something new, and you never know where you’ll find it.
For instance, I know that 25-year anniversaries are silver, 50-year celebrations are golden, and 75 years are diamond.
But what about 5-year?
It turns out that 5-year anniversaries are wooden. That’s what I learned from reading a 100-year-old issue of the Patterson Irrigator — June 1913.
In that old newspaper was a story about a local woman giving a party for a couple observing their fifth wedding anniversary. She used wooden plates and glasses, wooden eating utensils, wooden bowls for vegetables, and wooden boxes for fruit (of course served on a wooden table). In fact, everything wooden except a cream pitcher.
Now don’t you feel you’ve learned something?
WHAT I MISS
That would be the late Earl Hiatt’s row of flowers on the east side of Highway 33 just north of Patterson. Sunflowers, hollyhocks, iris’ … a vast range of color planted for nothing other than the enjoyment of passing motorists.
And now unattended. (Hint, hint, Beautification Committee. I know it’s in the country but …)
FOR THE SPORTS FAN
Somewhere back in my life, the NBA must have changed the rules about traveling and palming the ball. Unless these high-paid pros are given no small amount of leeway.
AND FINALLY …
You have to give the city crew credit. In the short week before the Apricot Fiesta, the downtown was spiffed up with new paint, etc. It looked great for our annual celebration.
Not so by the former Del Puerto Hospital grounds, which by now must constitute a fire hazard. The property is in legal foreclosure, which means absolutely no incentive to disc the weeds.
If only the city crew had the authority.
Ron Swift is editor/publisher emeritus of the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.