With the long Memorial Day weekend just ahead of us, the pandemic has claimed another casualty.

The traditional Memorial Day ceremony held at the Patterson District Cemetery for decades has been canceled for this year. A project of American Legion Post #168 and the local Boy Scouts, the ceremony had been scheduled for next Monday morning on the traditional holiday.

However, BSA Troop 81 will decorate the grounds with some 180 large flags that line the cemetery’s roadways. The flags will go up Friday and be taken down next Tuesday.

The gravesites of military veterans will not be decorated this year with small flags and crosses. That project was taken over a year ago by the American Heritage Girls.

The cemetery will be open over the three-day weekend to pedestrians entering through walk-in gates. No drive-in vehicle traffic will be permitted from late Friday to Tuesday morning.

Because of recent vandalism and burglary incidents, the Board of Trustees of the cemetery earlier ordered that the vehicle gates be closed overnight and on weekends.


We can’t seem to agree on much these days in this country of ours.

The latest argument to pop up is the total of deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Must we argue the number? Whatever the actual total is, it’s a chilling figure.


Having spent much of my adult lifetime working with the promotion of small businesses, I am very remorseful about the current state of our economy.

In particular, the restaurant business is taking a major whack. Small eateries such as we have in Patterson have been hit hard by the shutdown. Not only does their income stop, but their expenses continue.

Also, taking a major jolt is the U.S. Postal Service. It relies on business advertising for the bulk of its daily business, and that has fallen to a trickle as the federal agency’s astronomical debt continues to rise.


I’ve made it a point to offer suggestions for stay-at-home activities during the shutdown. Reading the local phone book was the first, but in hindsight, I realized that many local residents don’t have a Frontier phone directory.

Last week I passed a couple of days rereading Christmas cards from the last yule season. I even found a couple of email addresses among them that had gotten lost over the years. So a couple of high school buddies – one in Hawaii and the other in Arizona, are now hearing from me.


I had never heard of Dr. Anthony Fauci until a few long weeks ago. Yes, he’s impressive and straight-forward. I like his style.

I wonder what his political affiliation is? Remember, this is an election year. (How could we forget!)


We have an addition to our 90-plus list.

That would be Jeannette Powell, who turned 90 last October. She moved here 27 years ago from Oakland.

We know there are more 90-plussers out and around Patterson or those who once resided here. Hopefully, our readers will continue to keep us posted.

But we also lost one. Ernest Moeller, a longtime Patterson resident who raised his family here, died Tuesday at age 90.


Persons of Maturity will remember when we had our favorite cowboys on the silver screen. The choice was between Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.

As for me, I enjoyed the Road Runner more.


It appears that headlines on the sports pages are being dominated by NASCAR.


Some observant wit emailed me this message:

“Glad I didn’t waste my money buying a planner for 2020.”

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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(1) comment


The number of supposed deaths from Covid19 does matter as many who died from other diseases we have no cure for are being listed as dying from Covid and the families of those do not like being used for political power. Not only that but these deaths are why our businesses were forced to close many losing their life long savings, investments and livelihoods for something that is being inflated. The children that have died from Covid19 can be counted on two hands yet schools were forced to close when statistically children are not affected nor do they carry the antibodies. One death from any disease is one too many but yes it does matter as the longer our country is forced to be closed for something that has affected only 1% of our population. It appears more each day that the real pandemic is Trump Derangement Syndrome.

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