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Making The

Right Choice


It’s already February.

Not only that, but I am a week behind on my column.

For those of you that keep track of such things, my column traditionally runs on the first Wednesday of the month so it should have been included in the Feb. 3 issue. But reporter Rich Paloma had some thoughts he wanted to share about the upcoming Oscars and I had a pretty hectic week so it was decided he would take my slot this month and I would catch up and put my column in for this week instead.

Seems like every month gets busier than the last and even though we are still in our winter season, there are days when we get a little whiff of spring. When my daughter and I made our brief vacation visit to New York in January, it definitely was NOT spring – we stepped out of the airport terminal and were greeted by 4 degrees. Above zero, mind you, but 4 degrees! That was quite the shocker to my California born and raised offspring. I adapted a little more quickly, having grown up with that kind of winter weather. It did warm up steadily while we were there and we got no snowfall at all, just a few patches of previously fallen snow that was there when we arrived. Enough to make a good snowball or two, but that’s about all.

And speaking of my daughter … this month will mark a major milestone, for both of us. She will celebrate her 20th birthday next week. No more teenager. I think we are both excited and yet a little nervous. I know that 21 is the magic number for many people but 20 is also a big deal. Crazy to think she has gotten that old while I stopped aging several years ago …

Actually, there are days when she seems mature beyond those 20 years and others, well … not quite so much. But that’s part of the growing process, I guess. Days she still needs me and days she is sure I have no clue whatsoever about anything going on.

When I step back and take a look at it, though, she has changed a lot from 19 to 20; now handling an ‘adult’ routine of work, college and making that monthly car payment. She is still trying to figure out exactly what her career path is going to be, but she is getting some required classes and a few electives done while she considers it. My year between 19 and 20 was momentous also; I was working two part-time jobs, taking classes at a state college and moved out of my parent’s house into my first apartment. That was also the year I came to a crossroads, offered fulltime work at both jobs – one with Head Start and one with the radio station. I chose radio and have been involved in the news business ever since, first with broadcasting and later with newspapers.

Even though I sometimes wonder where I would be now if I had stayed with Head Start and finished up additional coursework in Early Childhood Education to eventually pursue teaching – another career option I was considering – there are no regrets. My radio and newspaper work has allowed me the opportunity to cover some pretty memorable stories – from hostage situations to a high school football state championship – and everything in between.

It was also a newspaper opportunity that brought me here to California. And if I hadn’t made the choice to come here, I wouldn’t have a daughter getting ready to leave her days as a teenager behind.

That in itself is reason to celebrate.



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