This writer has been asked many times over the years when he turned Democrat. So I’ll take this opportunity to explain.

I grew up in a traditionally Republican family in Iowa. The word democrat was rarely uttered, and always with a lower-case d. I was still little, but assumed the initials FDR stood for something dirty.

So the GOP was my political preference when I arrived in Patterson in 1962. Within a couple of years I was appointed to serve on the county’s Republican Central Committee, one of several of us representing the West Side.

Our party regularly took its lickings at the polls until Richard Nixon was sworn in as president in 1969. But four years later he was caught up in the Watergate scandal, lied to the public, would have been impeached, and resigned in disgrace.

That did it. My point of view was – and still is – that we don’t elect public officials to lie to us. If they can’t tell the truth, they should keep their mouths shut. Yet Nixon loudly proclaimed he was “not a liar.”

So in 1973 I became a registered independent. I haven’t had reason to change again.

This week it is reported that the Mueller Report contains no fewer than 77 lies and falsehoods provided by the Trump administration. That’s a disgrace and a strong reason why our citizenry is being turned off by our government.


The West Side has lost a pair of its native residents – each a member of our 90-plus list.

Services will be held here for Julius Boschi, who graduated from Patterson Union High School in the class of 1947. He recently turned 90, and leaves a host of longtime friends.

Crows Landing native Rose Melo Beltran died Sunday at her home. She was 96, and had led an active life. She was a graduate of Orestimba High School in Newman. Final rites will be held next Monday.


About once a week, I have an enjoyable lunch with a couple of native Pattersonites – Bud Ingebretzen of Modesto and George Klopping.

Each of us hobbles into Mil’s in our downtown using a cane for support.

Someday, just for fun, we may discard those walking sticks and shuffle in entirely on our own – just to prove we can still do it. It shall be known as the Cane Mutiny.


A bus trip to Columbia State Historical Park up near Sonora is being planned by our local Federated Church, and the community is invited to participate.

The date is Thursday, May 16. Tour bus group will be gathering at the church at 7:30 a.m. Reservations are $20 each in advance, through the church office.

Sounds like fun!


Only our Persons of Maturity remember hearing “When the red, red robin comes bob-bob-bobbin along …” on the airwaves.

You do remember the airwaves, don’t you?


I’m told the above-mentioned Julius Boschi was quite a sports participant in his day. Not only in high school, where he excelled in both football and baseball, but Julius was near his mid-30s when he won the world championship in team roping at the National Rodeo finals.


A school over in Alameda County has changed its longtime name from Haight (pronounced Hate) to Love. It had been named after California Gov. Henry Huntley Haight, who is remembered for his racist remarks and policies.

The earliest school in the Patterson area predated this community, and also was named Haight. It was located near where Del Puerto Creek comes out of the hills on its way to the river. Our Haight School opened in the early 1890s, and closed when Patterson Elementary (later Las Palmas School) opened in 1911. The school building was moved over onto West Main, and is still being used today as a residence.

More on that later.

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

PI editor/publisher emeritus

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.