On Sept. 8, 2009 Brent Layton of Escalon and Nikki Freitas of Riverbank got the news no military parent ever wants to hear … their son had been killed in action while serving his country.
As I drove off after work the other day, my otherwise "healthy" car stopped running. Right there in the middle of the street.
When we - meaning the group of reporters and I that work together each week to put stories into print - sat down for our Wednesday morning staff meeting this past week, the question was raised about how we were going to mark the upcoming 10th anniversary of 9/11.
The seasons move on. The schools are back in session. We're headed toward Friday night football, cold and rain, and Christmas. Forget shopping. Did you know Riverbank officials are already planning the Christmas parade? "But not yet, not yet," as the hero's friend in the movie Gladiator says. The summer crickets are still calling, metaphorically, and doves still cooing across town.
With the start of the new school year, I have a senior, a junior, and a first grader. The two teens are dialed in, they know their routine and it's been an easy transition from one grade to the next. However, with my little one, it's been a different story.
My original plan for this month's column was to discuss my transition into "retired life" and the phases I went through on the path to ultimately accepting that decision. It was something parallel to the five stages of grief, starting with a denial and isolation then ending with acceptance.
You could say I have a little history in this neck of the woods.
The lockout is over, but the effects of a disgusting and greedy battle between overpaid athletes and their employers has painted a grotesque image onto the canvas of professional sports.
There's nothing quite like a vacation.
As I write this I'm sitting in a borrowed apartment that was set up for our arrival by my friend Dulcey. I can hear bananaquits (or Sugarbirds) and frogs that sound similar to very loud crickets, a rogue rooster crowed at the break of dawn, and the ocean is a short walk away from our back door.
With all respect to my colleague, Teresa, this month's column could be easily titled "Daddy Musings."
As I write this, it's 100 degrees outside and the air conditioning has gone out at The Oakdale Leader office. Fortunately for me, I chose the first day of this calamity to telecommute. However, for some of my coworkers, having to be in the office all day with only ceiling fans and some box fans to circulate hot air makes the hair and the clothes tend to cling where they're not wanted.
Ah, the wonder of the Internet and the remembrance of things past.
Rafting is all the rage at this time of year and seeing the enthusiasts buck through the white water rapids or float lazily down the calmer stretches of the Stanislaus River, I'm reminded of my personal experiences of going down a river.
On the cusp of another holiday - bracing for the fireworks of July 4 - my mind goes back just a few weeks to the last official holiday, Memorial Day.
Resigning from any job is bound to quicken the heartbeat but retiring from a career is downright frightening. I did just that at the end of November although I've been on medical leave since August.
When you start adding it up, a column a month for 19-plus years working for The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News, I've probably covered about all there is – and some topics, more than once.
Happy Holidays to our wonderful community! MOPS/MOMSNext would like to extend a warm wish for love, peace and togetherness during this holiday season. We here at MOPS/MOMSNext have been having a great time crafting, cooking, sharing meals and also listening to some amazing speakers. We recently went out into the community and attended our very first community block party put on by our local Center for Human Services. What a great and fun family outing! We met so many wonderful new people and were able to get our message out into the community and invite a lot of ...
Elections are over, the political ads are gone from television, radio and the print media, and now people can turn their attention to everyday life and getting back into the routine.
What a difference a month can make. Our columns here give us a chance to put down our 'reporter' or 'editor' labels and just be real people for a change. It provides us with an opportunity to offer an opinion, talk about something personal as opposed to writing a story about a football game or a council meeting.