Timewise, we have fallen back, hopefully taking advantage of that extra hour of sleep over the weekend. Daylight Saving Time has ended and we have, incredibly, entered the final two months of the year with major holiday celebrations fast approaching. Halloween is over; recent windy days have kicked up swirls of leaves and the possibility of rain has returned to the forecast.
Change is in the air.
It’s never easy to write about changes you wish hadn’t occurred. But the silver lining is that you know enough about the subject to do the writing.
While that may seem like some sort of riddle, let me clarify: The Escalon community lost one of its biggest fans in late October, with the passing of Rosemary ‘Rosie’ Northcutt after a lengthy illness.
She had served as the head custodian for years at Dent Elementary School and was employed with the Escalon Unified School District for more than three decades. She was one of those people that was always there for the school kids, especially when it came to Cougar athletics.
There are similar supporters in our Oakdale and Riverbank communities, too, the ones that are consistently there to cheer the kids on, whether it’s from the stands at an athletic event or behind the scenes as a worker at school fundraisers.
These people give so much of themselves and can leave an indelible mark on their community and school. Such was the case with Rosie.
Her place under the light standard, just to the right of the press box as you look up into the home stands at Escalon’s Engel Field, had a simple note attached to the bleachers on Friday night – ‘We love you Rosie - #1 Cougar fan forever’ was the statement. The crowd observed a moment of silence in her honor before the varsity team went out and held off Modesto Christian for a crucial Trans-Valley League victory.
Rosie would have been pleased.
She was also honored during a home baseball game last spring, as her illness started to progress, saluted at the start of the varsity contest, escorted to the pitcher’s mound and presented with flowers and well wishes by the team and the crowd. She could usually be found sitting in her golf right behind home plate during varsity baseball games, making sure the umpires got all the calls right.
Personally, I have good memories of sharing hot chili in the pouring rain at University of the Pacific in Stockton as we tailgated during one of Escalon’s many trips to the Section finals in football, celebrating the State title run in football (another rainy game!) at Carson in December of 2011 and seeing Rosie in the stands during multiple Section baseball competitions at Zupo Field in Lodi.
She was a person that pulled no punches and said what she meant, whether it was ‘politically correct’ or not. That kind of honesty is often lacking and to me, it was like a breath of fresh air to sit and visit with Rosie, getting her version of events and view of the world, unfiltered. It made you look at things a little bit differently.
I am honored to have known her and mourn her passing with her family and friends. She was truly an original, one of those people that bleeds purple and gold and generations of Cougars were blessed to have her in their corner.
She will be missed.
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.