Let’s start with next year’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first graduating class at Patterson Union High School. (The Union was dropped back in 1964.) It looks to be a big one, although none of the six members of that first graduating class in 1915 plan to attend.
As already announced and spread like wildfire on the social media, the celebration is being planned for the Labor Day weekend. Bob Vizzolini is the chairman of the planning committee which is off to a good start in adopting a fun-filled all-class high school reunion.
Bob, who resides in Newman, has deep West Side and Patterson roots. He grew up in Westley, graduated from PUHS in the class of 1963, and even put in a stint as principal of PHS. Not only that, but he likes to have fun. So mark the reunion on your electronic calendars for Labor Day of next year.
The second is a Tourist Committee organized by the city’s recreation director, Juliene Flanders. It started meeting in December and has brought to the table considerable interest and a number of ideas that could well benefit our business community.
“Tourists in Patterson?” you ask with a smirk. Well, just keep your ear to the ground, for some of the projects being discussed are not that far-fetched.
Then there’s the Downtown Improvement Project. The city has received proposals from five firms hoping to lead the project of planning and public input. These five will be interviewed April 8 by the City Council, at which time they will present just how each would proceed with the project.
Remember all the years we’ve heard lip service being given to “saving the downtown?” Something may soon be in the works.
You’ll hear much more about these three projects in the year ahead.
Let me add a fourth that is just around the corner – in fact, this Saturday. That would be the Patterson History Day which should be an interesting event to attend at the Creekside School. But of course you undoubtedly already have that marked on your calendars. (If you have not, see elsewhere in this issue for details.)
BRING YOUR HANKIES
The annual meeting of the Patterson Township Historical Society will be held this Sunday at 2 p.m. at City Hall. All members are of course invited to hear the program, announced elsewhere in this issue.
But non-members are invited as well. And if you have ever thought about joining a local organization that strives to preserve Patterson’s unique history, stop by the meeting and check us out.
PTHS had 284 memberships on its books this past year. Figure in couples and it amounted to 371 people—including 26 out-of-state and 80 outside Stanislaus County but residing in California.
Several minutes are being reserved Sunday for watching no more than a dozen slides showing the demolition of the beautiful high school building in 1975. If you are an old-timer, be sure to supply your own hankie.
LET’S GET IT WRITE
Editing a column by writing on one of these gosh-dang electronic gadgets can be a risky business.
A reader pointed out that two 90-plussers who were on previous lists were omitted from that recently published on these pages. Sure enough, they were.
One was Victoria Orozco, aged 92, who has lived here over 65 years. I found her on my electronic list, but her name failed to make the newspaper. She will be 93 on March 24.
The other is Cecelia Carranza, 93, who resided here for a number of years before moving to Newman about 1980. She’s 93, and her name undoubtedly is floating around somewhere in my computer, probably checking on poor sentence structure, errors of fact, inaccurate punctuation and other short-comings that I more and more attribute to the aging process.
And a new listing, thanks to one of our several readers. Jane Evans Vilas, a longtime Pattersonite who now resides in Turlock, turned 90 on Feb. 20. A belated “happy birthday” to Jane.
They are all now on the list, which numbers 73, or it did at the newspaper’s deadline for this column. Keep ’em comin’.
FROM THE MAIL BAG
Yes, I do occasionally receive land mail. Remember the Postal Service? It still exists, and as far as I’m concerned, it does a danged good job.
Mr. Swift: What is your suggestion for living a long life? – A Youngin’
Dear Youngster: I’m guessing your age by your use of the gender term Mister. It shows respect but also the possibility that you feel I am over 40. (You are correct there.)
Now to your question.
You expect me to wax philosophically, an indication that you feel I am over 60. (You are right again.) And you must believe that I have insight into living a long life, probably believing I am over 70. (Ah, you are batting a thousand.)
I’ve pondered your question for many hours, sometimes lying awake as late as 9 p.m., and have finally come up with the following.
Find what you like to do and go as hard as you can, as far as you can, as long as you can.
Now you’ll think I’m over 80. (Not yet.)
FOR THE SPORTS FAN
Two consecutive seasons of top-effort basketball has been played by Patterson High’s girls’ team.
Winning the Western Athletic Conference two years in a row set the bar for other teams to duplicate, and doing it with two straight undefeated seasons in league play is an accomplishment seldom achieved in any league in the valley.
Way ta-go, Tiiiiigers!
AND FINALLY …
Readers continue to send me e-mails pertaining to aging. Why is that? Here’s the latest:
“I’m supposed to respect my elders, it’s harder and harder to find one now.”
Ron Swift is the publisher/editor emeritus of the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.