Patterson has experienced many ups and downs during 2013, as has the rest of the nation. We have recently witnessed the end of a legacy due to the death of Nelson Mandela, the beginning of a promising, progressive religious career with Pope Francis, the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombing, and the start of Obamacare.
As a result, 2013 has been anything but ordinary, even in good ol’ Patterson. This small town is finding its ground and sticking to it, thanks to the addition of e-tailers and extensive business parks, which will be sure to add revenue for our city. The start of something new is terrifying and thrilling all at once, and I can understand that just as much as anyone else in this town.
Personally, it’s been a strange journey for this small town gal as well, who had only just returned to Patterson after recently graduating from college. Watching Patterson’s growth firsthand wasn’t exactly easy for me, and taking over the position as editor of the Patterson Irrigator at only 22-years of age seemed like an incredibly ambitious, studious task… and I was right in assuming so.
Although I was excited about my prospective pool of readers, I found it daunting to know that hundreds, maybe even thousands of people would read my articles. Although I did acquire experience working at the Turlock Journal, it seemed more personal to be branching out to readers you’ve known your entire life. And although we look towards the future, I always wish to consult those who have been around longer than I— and those who have helped have a hand in raising me just by being a significant influence within this community.
In my opinion, you can’t break away for the future without taking a long, hard look at the past. I immediately sought advice from former editor and publisher Ron Swift, who treated me to a wonderful lunch as he discussed the latest happenings in Patterson, as well as what it meant to be an ethical journalist. Listening to Mr. Swift was exactly what I needed to hear, and something I could utilize to shape and grow with this newfound progression in my career. I greatly appreciate his help, and still look to him for guidance in many things, but most profoundly in being an engaging writer for this community.
When the paper was unable to obtain a new camera due to technical difficulties and a lack of funds, Swift not only provided pictures for the paper, but even lent his own camera for our publications.
This Christmas, he surprised me with a very touching gift—one of his former cameras, still encased in its original leather pouch. I treasure this item just as much as his teachings.
Although Mr. Swift is no longer the editor, his writings continue to entertain, delight and enlighten us all due to his sharp wit. One proud resident once told me, “I only read the paper for the weather, the police log and Ron Swift. That’s the only news that matters to me.”
This was well over 8 months prior to myself joining the Irrigator’s crew, and hopefully, our recent editions have changed this astute reader’s mind in our later publications.
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, and it’s finally a new year. And though last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and swift changes are upon us, we must dare to look onward and to honor our teachings and past while paying a new homage to the future.
Good luck to you, and all your New Year’s resolutions, residents.