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Behind The Curtain


As we watch this year fly by it seems that time can’t possibly go any faster. And yet, each year it does. Or at least it seems to. May already? Cinco de Mayo upon us, Mother’s Day this weekend; graduations and Memorial Day right around the corner.

Sadly, we are headed toward the end of the rainy season. Usually it is already over by now so the fact that we got deluged on April 27 was notable. Well, Oakdale got deluged; A River Runs Through It would have been an appropriate title for what was going on outside our office on South Third Avenue. The rain came down hard and fast, a little light hail, plenty of gusty winds – it was nearly three-quarters of an inch of rain in a very short amount of time. Neighboring Waterford had a twister touch down. It was also a Wednesday home game for the Escalon varsity softball team hosting Riverbank and with the monsoon we were getting in Oakdale, I was pretty sure it was going to be rained out. A quick call to the school indicated that the game was still ‘on’ and even though that surprised me, I still headed out to the diamond.

Play ball we did. Escalon didn’t get much rain at all. A few minutes of rain, then it blew away (and to the east, presumably, to linger in Oakdale) and softball was played. A few thunder rumbles, lots of cool wind blowing, but no rain.

We did post a couple of photos on our Facebook page about the rain and had several comments – though one suggested we were ‘glorifying’ ourselves by posting pictures of rain and said we should try working out in it. I’m not sure exactly what was meant by that, but it did get the office talking.

Just to set the record straight; we were not in any way attempting to ‘glorify’ ourselves, we simply were posting a current event (last time I checked, that’s what news outlets do) and using the tools at our disposal to inform people of what was happening in the community. Our thanks also to Karen Hendon at the Oakdale Joint Unified School District Office at the corner of South Third and East G for sending along the photo of what we believe was the twister over Waterford – it definitely was in that general vicinity.

As far as ‘working out in it’ – agreed, we aren’t the ones that are always outside in the elements but speaking for myself and many of the staff members at our three papers, we have had our share of working in the elements. One particular state championship football game comes to mind for me, when Escalon played in a steady downpour to take the crown a few years ago in Carson. I got waterlogged, right along with everybody else. In fact, many Friday night football games of years past have been muddy, rainy, sloppy … but we were there. And just a few weeks ago, Teresa Hammond, Dennis Cruz and I were ALL on assignment at various locations on Oakdale Rodeo weekend. Hmm, I remember a bit of rain on that occasion as well.

Oh yes, it poured.

There was even a time when former reporter Kim Van Meter and I were out covering flooding up in the Orange Blossom/Knights Ferry area, in the rain.

We’ve gone in to smoky situations to cover fires, been exposed to potential harm at various crime scenes … not to glorify what we do, but just to show that we aren’t hiding behind the curtain, either.

Part of the ‘pulse’ of working at the local paper is getting out into the community. We’re not a huge staff in terms of numbers, but we try to get to as many activities as possible and we always appreciate people informing us of events they have coming up.

It is our job and also our pleasure, to keep our readers informed. And we love when you share photos and news of events that we can’t get to – it’s what makes a small town paper unique.



Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.