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Marg-Ins Much Ado About Everything
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October may finally be over but to say it was a busy month would be an understatement. Since my last column appeared, I have had the privilege of serving as a parade Grand Marshal, have been put in jail and forced to call on friends, family and business associates to raise 'bail' to get out, had the kickoff for next April's Relay for Life and made it through Halloween unscathed.

All in all, a good month.

Except that November came right after and that has not started out in such good fashion.

But first the good stuff.

Serving as Homecoming Grand Marshal for the Escalon High School Homecoming festivities on Oct. 3 was a wonderful experience. From getting to ride in - and be photographed instead of taking pictures - in the afternoon parade to getting recognized at midfield in front of an appreciative hometown crowd during the Friday night game, it was a blast. My thanks to Homecoming commissioners Lindsey Anderson and Kaitlyn Brayton for making my selection so memorable and to Hula's owner Tony Victorino for providing the classy ride in the parade and around the track at game time. My co-workers here at the paper also provided me with a purple and gold flower lei to wear in the parade, and I spent plenty of time working on my 'parade wave,' which promptly disintegrated into finger pointing, thumbs up signs and wild waves instead of the more reserved parade style. Oh well, it's not every day I get to ride in a parade down the middle of Main Street. My thanks also to Liz Cowan, who met me at the start of the parade with a huge bouquet of flowers, and to those that have since given me photos of myself in the parade. Between the 'Grand Marshal 2008' sash, my flowers, the lei and making sure there was enough candy to last the whole route, it's a wonder I could remember to wave at all. But I distinctly remember smiling from the beginning of the parade to the end.

When I got to the field to cover the football game that night, commissioner Lindsey smiled but then asked 'where's your sash?' and I assured her that I had it and would be wearing it to ride around the track at halftime. Not good enough, she said, I had to wear it all night.

So there I was, camera at the ready, notebook in hand, trying to look official with my 'game face' on ... wearing this big purple sash.

Precious memories.

Shortly after that, it was on to jail, as one of my fellow 'soccer moms' from my daughter's team had suggested me as a candidate for the March of Dimes Jail and Bail fundraiser. Luckily, their event was occurring on a Wednesday (which is our slow day) and I had time in my schedule to go to jail. Knowing about it ahead of time, many people had already contributed to the cause so I went in armed with some donations. That helped; my bail wasn't as high as it would have been and after an hour of working the phones and donations from several city, school, and business contacts, the bail was raised. It goes to the March of Dimes to help prevent birth defects so it was for a good cause. Except the mom that 'nominated' me as a likely jailbird was also supposed to go but she skipped bail. They counted on you to be good and turn yourself in; she said she got stuck on a conference call. Hmmm ... there must be some other charitable event out there we can get her roped into.

Maybe the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, which just had its kickoff as we prepare for the April, 2009 event. The first team meeting is coming up on Monday, Nov. 17 and 'The Leadin' Ladies' (and gents) will be back as a team once again. This is a great community event that raises funds and awareness for the fight against cancer. If you've never been involved, make this the year. It's an unbelievable 24 hours, full of laughter and tears, camaraderie and teamwork, fun and silliness, remembrance and hope.

Finally, Halloween was festive, with plenty of scheduled events around our communities for youngsters in addition to the traditional house-to-house trick-or-treating. Some great, creative costumes were out there this year, and the rain held off for the bulk of the festivities.

Then November came and our system here at the paper that allows all our computers to talk to each other and makes it possible for us to lay out the pages of the paper decided to take a break. Since I am not a technical guru, I couldn't tell you if it was a thunderstorm that knocked it out of service or if there was some part that blew ... I just know that when that system goes down, we're kind of 'stuck' and limited as to what we can accomplish. Too much dependence on technology; we could write stories on our computer, we just had nowhere to send them. So if this paper came out Thursday instead of Wednesday, well, now you know why ...

Assuming we got up and running and managed to get back on schedule, let's hope the rest of November goes better than the start.

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