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California won over his heart
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VINCE REMBULAT / The 209 Jack Snyder, who is a former Manteca mayor and councilman, enjoys the nice weather in California that makes his backyard gardening, for the most part, a year-round endeavor.


209 staff reporter

Jack Snyder appreciates the Golden State like no other.

Perhaps part of the reason for that was his upbringing in America’s heartland.

A longtime Manteca councilman and former mayor, Snyder is originally from Perrysburg, Ohio, located just south of Toledo.  The weather there could be cold and snowy in the winters and with plenty of precipitation throughout the year.

“The skies always had clouds,” he recalled. “We also had a lot rain.”

Jack and Rose (his first wife who passed away a number of years ago)  Snyder moved to California, specifically Manteca, in 1962. They also considered Arizona.

“My allergies were bad (in Ohio) and we had family in Phoenix,” he said.

Thanks to his work, Snyder, who thought that he never moved to California, moved to the Central Valley.

He’s been long retired – Snyder finally stepped away from the political ring just a few years ago – and now has plenty of time for gardening. He and his wife Barbara live in the same house in Manteca Jack bought in January 1965.

The California climate has allowed him to tend to his backyard sanctuary consisting of 85 rose bushes and other plants year-around.

“This is my therapy,” said Snyder, who’s actually looking forward to spending part of the Labor Day weekend on his backyard garden.

Q: What’s your favorite California city besides your hometown.

A: San Diego, for the nice weather and beaches.

Q: How about your favorite season?

A: Spring and fall.

Q: Favorite place for a California weekend getaway?

A: Lake Tahoe (he prefers the Nevada side for obvious reasons).

Q: Favorite quirk about California?

A: Clear skies (Snyder added that his answer was in contrast to growing up in Ohio).

Q: What’s the misconception about California that irks you the most?

A: Too may extremists.

Q: What’s your favorite natural wonder in California?

A: Lake Tahoe (along the side that’s better known as North Shore) – it’s quiet and peaceful.

Q: What’s your least favorite thing about California?

A: The cost of living.

To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail