Ron Swift

Alas, my opportunity has arrived.

At my age, I may choose to go back to school. That requires an explanation.

I was not – repeat was not – a good student. Neither in high school nor later in college. My grades were not particularly good, and in college at least, I had to work hard for those mediocre grades I received.

For example, foreign language was nearly my downfall. In my college major – business – I was required to take 15 hours of foreign language. I quickly learned I had no ear for languages, except maybe English. And my English grades weren’t particularly good either.

I started with Spanish. However, just about everyone in my class had learned Spanish in high school. But not me. I ended up receiving a D in Spanish 1.

So I switched to German, taught by Dr. Swartz. The very first day he announced that no English would be spoken in the classroom. Only Deutsch. That netted me another D and certainly no incentive of going on with German 2.

French was next, and the first term left me with a C grade. But French 2 was another D, so I switched to Russian for my final three units.

I should have known better. My instructor was Mrs. Swartz who spoke only broken English with a German accent. Out of sympathy she gave me still another D and told me I was fortunate to receive that.

Which brings us to over 60 years later. If I returned to college now under the take-classes-from-home plan, I might be on the pass/fail system and not have to worry about a letter grade. Or I could choose a college that offers all A grades.

It would be my only hope! What an opportunity.


First, we must place Anthony Rose back on our 90-plus list. He’s 92 and somehow was dropped from our master list of names. Sorry about that.

And then there’s the sad news that this spring’s annual Apricot Fiesta, about to observe its 50th year, has been put on hold because of the virus. That especially saddened its longtime secretary, Marilyn Hoobler, who noted that many local organizations rely on their Fiesta events to help finance their activities for the years. But the postponement was a logical decision.

Then there’s the closing of Francesca’s Restaurant out at the Best Western Hotel just off the freeway. I’m informed the closing decision had nothing to do with the current virus situation.

I have personal sadness for all of the local eating places in and around Patterson. That’s a tough business in the best of times, and serving the public during this shut-in period makes it even tougher for owners who must pay the utilities, attempt to stay open for take-out customers, pay their help and in general attempt to stay sane.

I’ve pretty well given up watching the national tragedy unfold on the telly. We need to work together and stop the national and worldwide finger-pointing.


Our Persons of Maturity certainly know that we’re getting old when we get the same sensation from a rocking chair that we once got from a roller coaster.


Just the other day I caught a rerun of the Mohamid Ali-Smokin’ Joe Fraser heavyweight fights back in the 1970s. They were doozies.

Sooner or later the TV people will be showing Joe Lewis and even Max Baer.


Someone asked, “I wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn’t zigzag?”

Someone has a lot of free time.

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

PI editor/publisher emeritus

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