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Taking A Breather - Editor's Notebook
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Wow; it is time to step back and catch my breath. As much as it seems like we just got started with fall sports and the Class of 2009 was just learning their day-to-day schedule, that class has passed into history and now are officially 'alumni' of Escalon High.

From football to academic decathlon, tennis to FFA, mock trial to drama club productions, running from event to event has kept my schedule pretty booked. And that's just the high school. Throw in weekly check-ins with the police and fire departments, keeping up with various club activities and city business, not to mention all the other school campuses in the Escalon Unified School District and it's very much a full time job to put the paper out each week.

So for the next issue or two, I'll be leaving everything in the capable hands of my co-workers and heading off for some 'R & R.'

Well, of course I'm leaving a few stories behind, ready to go for the next issue; it's kind of a requirement when anyone around the newspaper office takes time off.

I had to laugh a bit toward the end of the school year, though, as the kids were all getting increasingly excited as the days wore down. Things got busier than usual and I was at Collegeville Elementary School one day for a special program, happened to be making my stop at the police department on another day when a group of students from Collegeville was taking a tour there (instant photo op!) and then had to work some evening hours another night for the spring sports awards. Varsity girls soccer coach Jamie Peoples - who also happens to be a teacher at Collegeville - just looked at me in amazement and told me 'You're everywhere.'

I quietly told her that, 'actually, I have a clone but we're keeping that little tidbit quiet.' She may have actually believed me.

Funny thing is, Jamie was still in high school when I started working for The Times; I took photos of her playing sports as a Lady Cougar and now she is coaching them. Maybe that means I've been here too long.

Or maybe it just means that I love what I do and I love where I do it.

This past school year has been full of wonderful memories and not just from the football team that I love to cover on Friday nights or the charge I get out of chronicling events put on by our Key Club or Interact kids that are so active on campus.

This was the year that I was asked to be Grand Marshal for Escalon's Homecoming Parade and was touched by the response from the school kids and the community as a whole along the parade route. This was the year that I went out to our community service groups - the Lions Club, the Rotary, the Kiwanis - for support in my annual Relay for Life effort on behalf of the American Cancer Society and they all came through with big time dollars, the Lions Club taking top honors.

This is also the year that we have embarked on a new way of doing our 'People Poll' question of the week, with a group of residents 'on call' to answer the question. We have had some backlash on that, however, as our Times readers want more participation from Escalon. We use the same question and answers in our three newspapers - The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times - and try to use at least one person from each community each week. Sometimes, though, answers don't come in from Escalon participants. Sometimes they don't come in from Riverbank. We could use a few more volunteers from Escalon to help make sure our town is represented on a weekly basis, so if you are interested in participating in the people poll, send an email or drop a note letting us know. You can reach me at or by mail, P.O. Box 98, Escalon, CA 95320.

With school now out for the summer, it's a good time for me to catch my breath, regroup and spend a little vacation time relaxing. Then when I'm back, and after Park Fete is over, things will slow down a little ... just long enough to recharge the batteries and get ready for fall sports.

Friday night football will be back before you know it.