A recent Saturday saw me heading here, there and everywhere in between.
That’s not unusual; a lot of events happen in our communities on the weekend and part of the job is to be there to chronicle the wide variety of activities. Journalism, after all, is not your typical 9-to-5 job.
Fridays are always a long day; there’s the usual assortment of tasks and then we have to do what we call ‘dummy’ the papers, basically setting the blueprint for the next week’s issue of Oakdale, Riverbank and Escalon. Each has specific ads that must be placed; we determine how many sports pages, how many news pages, etc.
There’s also the ‘Living’ section, which is the same in all three papers and we typically have Friday deadlines to submit material for that section. And, as in many Fridays, I was then off to cover a sporting event in the evening.
It just so happened to be Homecoming at two of our three high schools, with Escalon and Oakdale both having their Winter Homecoming celebrations on Feb. 8. Riverbank had theirs previously.
Covering Escalon, their Homecoming game was against Hilmar and since the Cougars had spoiled the Hilmar Homecoming when they defeated them earlier this season on the road, there was no way I could leave until the game was over. Had to make sure the Cougars held serve on their home court. Happily for the Escalon fans in attendance, they did, wrapping up the basketball season on a victorious note.
Saturday morning, it was an early wake up to get photos at Escalon’s Color Run, head to Cub (youth) basketball and then hit the ‘Fill The Boot’ fundraising event in Farmington.
No wonder I drink coffee.
There’s always something interesting to cover, though, which is one of the reasons I still enjoy what I do; some events of course get repeated year after year but there’s usually a new twist to share, a new spin to put on the story.
Case in point, we are wrapping up the winter sports season for our schools and looking forward to the spring and what that will bring. Just like I am excited for pro football to be over and done with (I wanted the Saints to win the Super Bowl; they should have had that chance) and pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. There’s always such a hopeful feeling for me at the start of a new baseball season, this could be the year the Giants – or A’s if you prefer – put it all back together and return to the World Series. Plus I am keeping my eye on the Sharks, as we near the hockey playoffs.
Also a brief update on my ‘me’ time that I pledged to find (shared in a previous column) – yes, I am taking the time each week to watch The Bachelor (my only true guilty pleasure) and have been very dedicated to my reading for relaxation.
Yes, I know, most of my days are spent on a computer writing and reading the work turned in by my reporters but when I get home and before I settle in for the night, it relaxes me to read a chapter or two in a good book.
My tastes run pretty much to the detective-mystery-thriller genre, a good whodunit or a character-driven novel. Every once in a while I find a typo but that’s just because I am so used to proofreading, it’s hard not to.
Still, it does work, as it helps clear my mind of all that has transpired during the day, allowing me to unwind before trying to get to sleep.
And I have to sleep fast; there’s an alarm waiting to go off in a few hours.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.