As everyone knows, the deadline for filing our income tax returns is just around the corner.

You may be one of the fortunate ones who have already performed this annual task, and if so, this blurb doesn’t apply to you. But for the rest of us, here’s a suggestion.

First, let it be understood that when ships are in trouble, the standard distress call is to fly the flag upside down. Therefore, when it comes time to mail off my tax return, I find it appropriate to put the stamp on the envelop upside down.

And with the new ”Forever” stamps being our flag in full color, it seems justifiable for all of us to signal this annual distress.


This week seems to be the bail-out time for Democratic presidential candidates. And it’s high time, because 20 in the race was about four times too many.

My guy – Bloomberg – is still spending wads of dough on various types of advertising, although I have yet to receive a set of potholders from him in the mail. But he is rapidly sifting his own money into the economy while not asking for mine.

Here in California, all of the candidates are after the voters registered as independents, of which I am one. That’s because in this state, we are the largest voting block – other than the Democrats.

Of course I can’t speak for all independents, but those with whom I am personally acquainted want three traits in a president:

One who tells the truth 100 percent of the time.

One who works civility into his or her lifestyle.

And one who doesn’t use social media to communicate with those who do.

So far, Bloomberg hasn’t disappointed me.


Also just around the corner is the 50th running of our annual Patterson celebration – the Apricot Fiesta.

Yep, 50 years, and a dwindling few of us have been around long enough to enjoy every one of them.

This year the Patterson Lions Club has been singled out to serve as grand marshal of the annual Fiesta parade. The Lions, it should be noted, will be contributing to the Fiesta’s financial stability this spring for the 48th consecutive year, starting in 1973 with their annual chicken barbecue. At one time their barbecue was almost the only food available on the Saturday of the Fiesta.

It should be remembered that a barbecue was held in the Fiesta’s first two years for the benefit of the new high school football stadium – a community project in 1971. Two of the hard barbecue workers in those two years were the late Hank Wong and John Broggi. And I recall too, that the temperature hit about 108 degrees the afternoon of the 1972 event, and much of the crowd went home.


Besides the shooting here last week that injured one young man, a pellet gun was used around town to create damage to vehicles.

That included our street (South Seventh) where homeowners on each side of us discovered vehicle windows damaged by gunshots. It took us a couple of days, but then I discovered not a damaged window, but body damage to our car by a shot.


The mail in the past few weeks has been dominated by political pieces and requests for financial solicitations.

I’m now filled up for the entire year with note pads and address stickers – and I realize I’m not alone.


Here’s a couple of dafinations that recently arrived by email:

Vegetarian – Ancient tribal name for the village idiot who can’t hunt, fish or light fires.

Instead of “single” as a martial status, how about “independently owned and operated.”


Only our Persons of Maturity remember when at the lunch counter, you could order a hamburger, a piece of pie, and a cup of coffee – all for 50 cents


Its time has come.

Yes, a high school girl back in North Carolina has won the state wrestling championship in the 106-pound division.

Heaven Fitch, a junior, defeated her male competition on the way to winning the state 1-A title.

Now watch for females to start competing with the boys at the high school basketball level.


Readers have been asking for more quotes from Will Rogers. (Ok, one reader has mentioned it.) So here goes:

“Our Constitution protects aliens, drunks and Senators.”


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

PI editor/publisher emeritus

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