Ron Swift: Outstanding Senior Citizen

Local community contributor, humanitarian and Patterson Irrigator Editor & Publisher Emeritus, Ron Swift, has been recognized as an “Outstanding Stanislaus County Senior Citizen” by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors.

The prestigious accolade was awarded to Swift on May 18 by Stanislaus County Supervisor, Channce Condit at the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors Meeting.

He was actively involved in Patterson’s Boy Scouts of America Troops 81 and 82, volunteering for 31 years. While serving as a Council Commissioner for the Scouts, Swift was instrumental in the creation and development of Troop 82, which is committed to scouts with special needs. During the latter half of Swift’s tenure with the Scouts, he served as a Scoutmaster for Troop 82 and helped to accommodate their distinctive needs. In turn he helped to boost their self-esteem and individuality; he was often regarded as a driving force of inspiration through dedication.

His dedication to the program led to more community involvement and volunteerism. Swift’s influence led the Boy Scouts to contribute to more community service operations and events around Patterson and under his tenure, Boy Scouts received over 1,000 merit badges on their way to becoming Eagle Scouts.

Ron Swift is recognized as a, “Cherished pillar of the Community,” according to District 5 Supervisor Channce Condit.

In addition to his community involvement with the Boy Scouts, Swift served as president of the Lions Club; and was involved as a member of the club for 43 years. He was a founding member of the Patterson Apricot Fiesta and has served as a member of the Masonic Lodge for 63 years. Ron Swift is also a past president and member of the Patterson Westley Chamber of Commerce. He served as a founding member and curator of the Patterson Township Historical Society’s Museum from 2010 through 2016.

“Ron Swift has been a gift to Patterson since he moved here in 1962,” said Mayor Dennis McCord. “He has been active in Boy Scouts, Lions Club and other community organizations. Over his career in Boy Scouts, he spent almost two years sleeping under the stars to supervise and nurture many boys on their way to becoming men. I and many other adults in Patterson recognize the significance of Ron's time and gifts to the betterment of our community. As the Mayor of Patterson, I was extremely gratified when I learned that Ron was awarded a commendation for [outstanding senior citizen] by the County Supervisors. I would like to add my commendation to Ron Swift by saying "Well done and well met!"

As the Patterson Irrigator Editor & Publisher Emeritus, Ron Swift would often contribute a series of brief historical anecdotes about the town and national events under his “Fast Talk” column. In a May 2016 Fast Talk titled: “Peruse history during Apricot Fiesta,” Ron gives a brief history of Patterson and the downtown museum building that used to serve as a land sales office, a post office, and Patterson’s first bank. He tells readers that they might be surprised at the history on display at the museum and encourages them to take a look. He also writes about a lost envelope containing a check for the Boy Scouts that was returned to him at his home personally and said that had the incident happened in a big city it may have never been returned. He goes on to talk about the great seasons the Cubs and White Sox were simultaneously sharing and concluded the Fast Talk with an email he received.

“Sometimes an email arrives that is too good not to pass along,” wrote Swift. “This is one of those.”

Wanda’s dishwasher quit working, so she called a repairman. As she had to work the next day, she left him the key and these instructions.

“Don’t worry about my dog, Spike. He won’t bother you. But whatever you do, don’t under any circumstances talk to my parrot. I stress that; do not talk with my parrot.”

The repairman arrived the next day, and there was the biggest, meanest-looking dog he had ever seen. But the dog just laid there watching him work.

Not so the parrot who incessantly yelled cuss words at the repairman.

Finally the repairman could take it no longer and yelled back: “Shut up, you stupid bird.”

To which the parrot replied, “Get him Spike.”

Congratulations, Ron.

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