No doubt about it … the Christmas season has arrived in Patterson.

Saturday will be a busy day downtown, compliments of the Chamber of Commerce and numerous volunteer workers and organizations. It reminds me of earlier days when the community was much smaller in size.

One major difference is that the Christmas kickoff was always on a Thursday evening. That’s when Santa arrived and when retail stores remained open for the convenience of shoppers. All of the downtown area was decorated with strings of lights across the streets; the work of our city crew and the financial input of local businesses.

But those were the days when we had a major department store, several clothing and shoe retailers, television stores, a couple of jewelers, two downtown drug stores and a variety of other merchants. Times have changed.

But this Saturday should be fun for all, so come join the crowd.

AN ANNUAL OCCURRENCE

This is also the season when the daily mail comes loaded with requests from charities.

I haven’t been keeping an exact count, but the cancer, heart, Alzheimer’s and other worthy cause groups give the Postal Service a financial shot in the arm starting immediately after Thanksgiving. Even my college alumni association makes an effort to twist my arm before year’s end.

The mail solicitation must work, or it would be abandoned.

THE SIGN PROJECT

It’s worthy to note that our city has awarded a contract to a San Diego firm for the planning of a sign out on Sperry Avenue just off the freeway.

The sign would direct travelers into the heart of Patterson for services not provided by the Villa del Lago development. Those certainly include normal retail, automotive and banking.

With additional development along Sperry at the western entrance to our city, the sign can only be considered a “winner.”

GET IT OVER WITH

Members of Congress are about to begin their holiday break – giving them an opportunity at home to measure the political impeachment winds blowing in their home states.

Hopefully they will return to Washington in the new year invigorated enough to get the nasty business over with.

Because the rest of us are already sick of the turmoil.

WE LOST ONE

A longtime Patterson resident, Dorothy English, has died in Lakeport, where she and her husband Bob moved after living here over 60 years.

She was 93 and thus was on our 90-plus list.

CONSTRUCTION REPORT

The new Patterson Family Pharmacy building in Patterson’s downtown won’t quite be ready for occupancy in early December, so the move into the new structure has been delayed until after the first of the year.

And another construction project is moving along. That would be the large two-story house on the north side of East Las Palmas Avenue. Its construction has been off and on for over a decade.

FOR OUR PMs

Only our Persons of Maturity will remember the annual Christmas party for children held each December at the Del Puerto Theatre.

Local businesses and organizations pitched in for bags of treats that were handed out by local firefighters at the free show for kids. Two showings were held for as many as 800 youngsters on the Saturday prior to Christmas.

Of course Santa Claus arrived at the event to much applause. The party was a unique small-town undertaking.

FOR THE SPORTS FAN

No doubt in my mind that Ohio State is the No. 1 college team in the nation. The players and coaches should all turn pro and be incorporated into the NFL as a group.

Northern California gridiron teams were humbled last weekend, with only Cal rallying to overcome UCLA. Stanford was trounced by Notre Dame, the 49ers suffered a last-second boot by Baltimore, and the LV Raiders were smashed by Kansas City.

Even the MJC Pirates took a smashing in a playoff game.

AND FINALLY …

Those of you who have read this column for years know that it always ends with AND FINALLY ...

And always with three periods – not two or four, but three. Always.

But maybe you already knew that.

Ron Swift is editor/publisher emeritus of the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at ronkay@gvni.com.

PI editor/publisher emeritus

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