A little ahead of schedule
by Ron Swift | Patterson Irrigator
Dec 26, 2013 | 938 views | 0 0 comments | 171 171 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It’s difficult to write a column such as this Fast Talk that won’t reach readers until the day after Christmas when the submission deadline is before you read last week’s column. Got that?

And of course last week you may have been too busy with Christmas preparation to read much of anything. And now you may be too tired a day after the holiday to read this column. Alas!

For that reason, you can stop right here. There are no meat and potatoes in this week’s column, maybe just some sauerkraut and sour pickles. Suffice to say, I haven’t worked very hard at it. But of course, intelligent readers – and we do have many – have already surmised that.


Here’s what’s coming in January, according to online sources.

Jan. 2 – National Run up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes Day. (I’m not making this up!)

Jan. 3 – Three reasons to celebrate: Festival of Sleep Day, Fruitcake Toss Day and Humiliation Day. (My interpretation is that you’ll have to wake up, toss the fruitcake, and be humiliated if you lose the competition.)

Jan. 4 – Trivia Day (similar to Dec. 26.)

Jan. 6 – Cuddle Up Day. (My Iowa friends do this all month.)

Jan. 7 – Old Rock Day. (You decide.)

Jan. 8 – Bubble Bath Day. (Really?)

Jan. 9 – Play God Day. (Hmmm…)

Jan. 10 – Houseplant Appreciation Day. Also Peculiar People Day.

Jan. 11 – My favorite: Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day. (Note to Iowa friends: Put it off until June.)

That’s a third of the month, and it’ll have to hold you for now.


I’ve been asked from time to time who I miss from Patterson who has gone to the Great Beyond.

That’s a touchy one, as I have had many friends who are no longer with us. But right off the top, six come to mind who were either a very close friend, a person very active in our community, someone I worked with on the staff of this newspaper, or one who I greatly admired.

First there was Pat Phillips, who in 1973 died an untimely death in his late 40s. He was the State Farm agent for the short time he lived here, came from Iowa (we shared Hawkeye experiences) and was Patterson’s mayor when death came suddenly.

Then there was Corky Bessey, Patterson’s Ford dealer for 29 years. But he was more than that – a community promoter active in numerous organizations, the city’s mayor before Pat, and a real gentleman.

Jim Schimpf also comes to mind. Jim was my barber but was more than that. He knew Patterson inside and out and thus was a great source of information. Jim was active outside his shop and had a great sense of humor. Many of us miss him.

The newspaper staffers were Laura Kimball and Dianna Morgan Penland. Both were close friends of mine away from the business.

And finally, Dr. Vernon Goutiere. He was not only my physician, but he was one who I greatly admired. He was a man with many stories and was enjoyable to talk with for hours.

Now, don’t ask me that question again or I’ll have to write a book.


The economy seems to be picking up. The recession may be over.

The San Francisco Giants have signed outfielder Michael Morse, a proven home run hitter to a one-year, $6 mil contract.

Should he play all 162 games, he’ll be paid about $37,000 a game. And should he hit an expected 40 home runs, he’ll make $150,000 a round-tripper.

And if he flops, it might be became he was worried about taxes.


Writing the weekly Patterson’s Past column for the Irrigator requires this scribe to read issues that date back 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago.

Pardon me for being repetitious, as some old-timers may remember this Fast Talk blurb in late December 1963:

“New Year’s resolutions should be taken with a grain of salt – and two aspirins.”


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

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