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Enjoy the moments
Marg-Ins 6-5-24

This time of the year always seems to make me nostalgic.

Graduations are over, the school year is wrapped up and now we race headlong into the summer months. School ending the last part of May/early part of June was such a strange experience when I first arrived in California many moons ago. Back on the East Coast, the school year typically starts after Labor Day and continues well into June. My high school graduation was late June, probably a week or two before the Fourth of July. Our two full ‘summer’ months off from school were July and August, returning to the classroom the Wednesday after the long Labor Day weekend. It really felt like summer truly got underway with the many Independence Day celebrations, parades, fireworks displays and volunteer fire department musters.

June, however, had its summer-like events, with Father’s Day, our small town ‘Richmondville Days’ celebration and my dad’s favorite antique engine show, more commonly known as ‘The Gas Up.’

Richmondville Days – still going on today – are celebrated in early June and it’s basically a ‘homecoming’ where there are high school class reunions, family reunions and a lot of community activities such as yard sales, barbecues, some friendly competitions, various community-based fundraisers, history on display and more.

Back when my brother and I were young, we seized the opportunity to clean out our toy boxes and shelves of no longer used toys, games and books, making a few dollars by setting up our little ‘yard sale’ station. Because we lived a little ways out of town up the hill, we showcased our wares on the downtown street where my aunt lived, getting some foot traffic just a little off the beaten path from the main street.

We probably didn’t make all that much money but it was a fun day, nevertheless. At first, it was just one day but over the years it has grown to include a number of different activities and spread out to a couple of days.

The ‘Gas Up’ is also still going strong and is hosted over two weekends in June, always including Father’s Day weekend so that’s how we usually spent the day. My dad restored antique gas engines as a hobby and he would haul several of them to the show, the chugging and popping of the engines a familiar, comforting sound.

A favorite spot on the grounds was the ice cream tent, where the homemade ice cream was churned in a barrel run by an antique engine. Others demonstrated shucking corn and cutting wood. They were from a simpler time and the show itself gave you the feel of stepping back into the past, when things moved slower and you stayed focused on the moment.

Maybe that’s where the nostalgia comes in; being present. So many people today are jumping into the future or worrying about the past, it’s good for me to remember to enjoy where I am and what I am doing right now, today.

We just got through May, which was a whirlwind of deadlines for a number of special publications and the latest issue of our 209 Magazine. It will be a welcome relief to actually take a breath, and maybe a day off, during June.

My daughter told me she was “miffed” with me recently because it has been a non-stop few weeks and she told me I needed to get more rest. I won’t disagree; it’s just that some of the commitments I made that kept me so busy during May were made months ago and commitments need to be honored. It was, however, an exciting day when – after volunteering at Escalon’s Sober Grad Night on May 31 and into the wee hours of June 1 – I got to go home and not set the alarm.

Now, if my internal clock would stop waking me up at 6 a.m. even if I don’t go to bed until 1:30 or 2, that would be good.

Well; welcome summer. Enjoy the moments.


Marg Jackson is editor of The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.