'This can only happen in a small town'
by Ron Swift | Patterson Irrigator
Dec 12, 2013 | 1149 views | 0 0 comments | 172 172 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It’s trivia time.

Congrats to the Chamber of Commerce and the city of Patterson for last Saturday evening’s downtown Christmas kick-off. The trees in Veterans’ Memorial Park were gorgeous, the parade with its colorful floats was enjoyable, and Santa’s arrival was met with enthusiasm by the older set, and joy and excitement by the younger.

The only major complaint: yes, the cold weather. And our downtown circle – Plaza – could use additional lighting.

And one comment that hit home: “This can only happen in a small town.” Very true.

Our museum was enjoyed by 266 visitors Saturday evening, running the total for 2014 to 2046. It is the first time the annual total has topped 1,500.

By the way, the Historical Society’s museum has a number of items that make excellent Christmas gifts. If interested in taking a look, give me a call or send an e-mail.

Industrial development of the former Crows Landing Navy base is back in the news. Stanislaus County, which owns the 1527-acre site, has held a couple of planning meetings. The county considers itself to be the developer, which is good in that the process will be a far more transparent process than that experienced with the previous developer, Gerry Kamilos. He spent six years giving us the run-around – big-time.

Our city staff has been well-represented at the two base meetings, a far-different circumstance than Patterson’s lawsuit over the Kamilos plan that, named not only the developer, but the county.

Those who frequent The Black Bear restaurant in Modesto have called my attention to a photo on the front page of its menu. Printed on newsprint in newspaper style, the menu includes stories from 1949 and a photo promoting the 20th anniversary of the Patterson Volunteer Fire Department. In the photo are Wally Hoessel, Robert Noe and Al McCune, three members of the Firehouse Stingaree’s Concert Band that preformed in those fun-filled days.

Those Patterson community calendars that you’ve been reading about are being well-received by those making the $7 purchase from the Boy Scouts. But sales have been slow – some Pattersonites not realizing that the 2014 calendar is more than just 12 months of numbers. It includes 199 community activities for next year, from the Apricot Fiesta to school, church and club events. It also dispels that often-heard phrase that “there’s nothing to do in Patterson.”

Just call me with your order. I’ll gladly deliver your calendar if you reside in Stanislaus County. No, make that the San Joaquin Valley.

Too bad Patterson doesn’t have a home lighting contest over the holidays as it did a number of years ago. An easy project to organize and economical to run.

HM (Housemate) was rifling through one of the dozens of slick advertising pieces the other day when she came across a new technological break-through. It was a dining fork on which a red light comes on when you are eating too fast. Only $99.

I’m saving 99 bucks because I know when I’m eating too fast. I place this gadget right down there with cell phones.


Our list of those in the Patterson area (or with roots in Patterson) has climbed to its highest total – 68.

Added to the list is Charlie Hansen, a former long-time resident who now lives in Hughson. He turned 90 in October, while we are informed Agritima Guerra was 93, also in October. Pattersonite Josephine Traina also is added to the list, as is Marnelle Filippini Cripe, who grew up on the West Side and now lives in Florida. She graduated from Patterson High in the class of 1939.

One listee died Dec. 1. Raymond Graff, Sr. a 13-year Patterson resident, was 93. Retired from the Air Force, he was buried in the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery near Santa Nella.

The complete list will be published at year’s end.


A friend back east e-mailed me a reminder that drinking and driving are rampant around the holidays.

He had an acquaintance who attended a “social occasion” and had one-too-many cocktails. Wisely, the guy took a cab home, something he’d never done before. Sure enough, the police had set up a roadblock, but the cab was waved right through.

The next morning, he realized he had never driven a cab before, couldn’t remember where he got it, and now that it was safely in his garage, didn’t know what to do with it.

Be on watch for guys like this.


Patterson High athletic teams have had quite a fall season, as you may have noticed. Not only did the varsity and jayvee football teams post 9-1 regular season records, sending the varsity to the play-offs, but all other squads also had superb campaigns.

In cross country, the Tiger boys posted an undefeated season, won Patterson’s first league championship in 19 years, and sent senior Nathan Stanton to the state meet – a first for the school. Also, junior Lupe Ventura won her second league title to pace the girls.

The PHS soccer team placed third in league competition, then powered its way into the second round of the play-offs. In addition, the girls’ tennis team made the play-offs for the first time ever.

The Tigers placed third in league volleyball play, making the play-offs for the first time in a number of years.

Individual honors are now being announced, including Tiger football coach Nick Marchy being named the WAC coach of the year. Eight of his players garnered all-league honors.

As previously announced, sophomore soccer goalie Carlos Moreno was honored with his selection to represent Northern California in competition for the Olympic Development Program, a scouting system for the nation’s best youth players.

All told, an outstanding fall for PHS athletic teams.


Our recent weather has this story going around.

“It was so cold this morning that I actually saw a politician with his hands in his own pockets.”

Give it your best “ho-ho-ho.”

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

Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet

We encourage your online comments in this public forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a forum for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Readers may report such inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at news@pattersonirrigator.com.