A number of years ago, a small group of Pattersonites would gather regularly to discuss their individual writing. They called themselves the Patterson Writers’ Group.

But the years passed, and so did the writers. So a recently published book by a Patterson man left for me at the newspaper office caught my attention.

The author shall momentarily remain anonymous. He’s lived here almost 30 years, but to my knowledge we’ve never met – only talked on the phone.

But his subject material for the book is highly interesting and at once caught my attention.

Last year he took off eight months from his job in the Bay Area and took a bicycle ride from here to Hong Kong. That’s right – to Hong Kong. Across the United States to Florida, by air to England to visit his mother-in-law, then across Europe, and hitting the Silk Road in western China. Plenty of tent camping and providing his own calorie intake.

And yes, he lived to write about it.

I’m just getting started with the book where he’s taken me to western Europe. But more later as I absorb his fascinating travels by two-wheeler.


With President Carter back to teaching Sunday School in Georgia, will President Trump begin giving golf lessons in Florida? And at what charge?

Round Table Pizza, which pulled out of Patterson a number of years ago, was scheduled to return in the other half of the new Burger King building on Ward Avenue. But maybe not. Work on that half has stopped, chains secure the door, and the ABC notice in the window has come down.

Downtown Patterson is having a business revival of sorts. Word has it that the Pizza Plus building has sold, that the former NAPA building will come into usage, and of course we watch speedy progress on the new Patterson Family Pharmacy structure. Exciting.

This year’s Apricot Fiesta was a ringing success from all vantage points. The weather was great (the heat held off) and the crowd reportedly was larger than a year ago. In the museum, where I hung my hat both Saturday and Sunday, we logged in 1407 visitors including numerous young families with children who had all sorts of questions. The traffic count may have been a record.

I should mention that the Boy Scouts made 215 gallons of apricot ice cream this year – or 50 more than a year ago – and were shoveling out ice cream right up until closing time Sunday afternoon. They also presold 200 16-oz. prepacks and have a few of those left at $10 each. My only complaint is that the shake cups weren’t large enough! Editor’s note: Call Maria at 209-620-7915 to purchase before it’s gone!

Fiesta Secretary and Jack-of-all-trades Marilyn and husband Bill welcomed a new grandson the Friday evening of the Fiesta. That’s packing a lot of activity into one weekend.


Those of us who are Persons of Maturity surely remember Mandrake the Magician of comic page fame. But what was the name of his manservant? (Answer below.)


Isn’t it about time for the Basketball Gods to raise the rim to 11 feet.

And while they are at it, move the 3-point line back a couple of feet, and maybe the free throw line as well.

Heck, players have gotten bigger!

By the way, better check those major league bats. Just the other day the Nationals had four consecutive batters smash home runs. Enough to make a pitcher cry.


The manservant – Lothar, of course.

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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