Camping out keeps the clouds rolling in
by Ron Swift | Patterson Irrigator
Jun 27, 2013 | 826 views | 0 0 comments | 229 229 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ron Swift
Ron Swift
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Don’t you sometimes feel you’ve been left out? I do.

One of those times was last Friday, which was “Take Your Dog to Work Day.”

I felt down-in-the-dumps; excluded. For one thing, I was out of town that day. Secondly, I don’t have a job and thus, don’t go to work.

And to top it off, I don’t have a dog. Three strikes and I was out.

But all was not lost. I spent last week at Boy Scout summer camp in the Sierra. With the exception of one early morning, when the temperature dropped to 35 degrees, the weather was beautiful.

And I felt exhilarated all week, one reason being I wasn’t the oldest human in camp. No-sir-ee. One guy was a year older than I am, but I aim on catching him before he turns 80.

While our small troop had only six boys away at camp, Patterson Troop 81 will be taking over a dozen next week to a camp up near Willits. So … quiet times ahead.

Upon returning last weekend, storm clouds rolled in. Late Sunday I suggested to HM (Housemate) that she water the plants in the front yard before it started raining. Her reply was a blank look.

Fortunately, no one from Patterson was murdered when we were away having fun. Just a kidnapping case to keep our officers in blue on their toes. And upon returning home, I learned that Patterson’s chief of police, Tori Hughes, has become a candidate for the office of county sheriff. That rumor had persisted for some time, and of course I missed the announcement.

THE OLD DAYS

With time on my hands at camp, I got to thinking of times past. You also may remember:

• Learning to drive with a stick shift.

• When an auto’s back windows only rolled half-way down.

• When we learned Palmer penmanship.

• When we put mud on bee stings.

• When watermelons tasted better when pilfered.

• Croquet was a good summer game.

• When CPR was called artificial respiration.

• When we pushed reel-type lawnmowers.

• Putting limburger cheese on car manifolds.

• When the cuffs of blue jeans were turned up at least a couple of rolls.

• Shining shoes.

• Using a ruler in class, as well as a fountain pen and ink well.

• When we rode bikes with no hands, and even backwards.

• We watched Esther Williams towel off in movies.

• Learning about anatomy from National Geographic magazines.

• When Studebaker came out with its two-way design.

• Reading Burma Shave signs.

• Every kid owned a small pencil sharpener.

• When gym class began with numerous calisthenics.

• When razor blades were resharpened.

• When youngsters repaired flat tires on their bikes and even replaced broken spokes.

• Using a spinner (steering knob) when driving.

If you can’t remember the above, those of us who can consider you to be a “young sprout.”

E-MAIL OF THE WEEK

Oh, there were so many. I received over 300 e-mails in my week away, but choose to pass along only these fabulous quotes.

“A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing.” -- Emo Philips

“We are here on earth to do good unto others. What the others are here for, I have no idea.” – W.H. Auden

“If life were fair, Elvis would still be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.” – Johnny Carson

FOR THE SPORTS FAN

Relief pitching, that’s all the Giants and A’s need.

Well OK, the Giants could use some hitting as well.

AND FINALLY …

Last week’s mention of the reduced width of toilet tissue rolls brought in another revolution.

Not only are the rolls narrower, but also are smaller around.

Would you call that a rip-off?

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

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