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‘Twas The Busy Season
Marg Jackson

Few times in the calendar year for our newspapers feel as busy as the month of May.

Not only is it the wrapping up of the school year, with graduations consuming several evenings, but typically there are many high school sports teams to follow to the playoffs. Add to that the observance of Memorial Day on the last Monday of the month and the schedule gets even crazier. Crazy because we normally put the Riverbank paper on the press on Monday but the holiday means the press isn’t running, which means we had to do all three papers, Riverbank, Escalon and Oakdale, on Tuesday so they met their publication date of Wednesday. As (bad) luck would have it, the Tuesday after Memorial Day was also the Spring Sports Awards for Escalon High. This would not have been a problem had the event started the same time as the fall and winter awards, at 8 p.m., but given it was during finals week they pushed the start time up and the main festivities began at 7 p.m.

I was on time if it started at 8 p.m.

See, I don’t get to leave until all the papers are done and, try as we might, it takes as long as it takes and it’s doubly hard when you are trying to catch up from everyone being gone for a day.

So I arrived at the Escalon High campus pretty much as everyone was leaving. I was able to grab a foursome of major award winners, the final award of the night, for a photo and interviews and followed up with the others over the next couple of days so it all worked out, just not as smoothly as it could have. Still haven’t quite figured out how to be in two places at once and certainly a clone would have come in handy.

This year also included one graduation falling over into June, as Escalon High School hosted its senior graduation ceremony on Friday, June 1, the last of the high schools we cover to send off their Class of 2018.

Earlier in the month, my daughter took me away for a quick Mother’s Day trip to South Lake Tahoe, providing a little respite to charge up the batteries before the final few hectic weeks of the school year.

She had wanted it to be a surprise but I used my investigative skills to determine we were headed to Tahoe. Once she realized I knew the destination she shared the special Mother’s Day treat: a tour of the lake aboard a paddle wheel boat. She had also booked a night’s stay at the adjoining lodge so we were already on scene for the boat tour on Saturday.

I had seen Lake Tahoe once before – briefly – but had never actually been in the city itself. So it was a real treat to be there with my daughter, since she and her fiancé are frequent travelers to that location.

We took her car but I drove; better if I am focusing on the road ahead instead of getting vertigo from looking out at the vistas and sheer drop-offs along the way.

Siri took us on a very picturesque route with virtually no highway driving, perfect for me. We did, however, have to pull off the roadway once and wait out a furious rain and hailstorm on the way up. Coming back, we ran into snow at 7,000 feet but it wasn’t sticking to the roadway so there was no slipping and sliding going on.

We had a great time. We each had taken about the same amount of cash with us, thinking it would be plenty for an overnight stay but we were down to a few precious dollars after heading into town on Friday evening. Dinner, an impromptu decision to take a horse drawn carriage ride and then some souvenir shopping nearly wiped us out. Luckily, we had just enough for breakfast on Saturday morning before boarding the already-paid-for cruise.

The whole trip was just a perfect mother-daughter getaway; now that she has officially moved out we have to make time to spend together and this was a wonderful way to create some lasting memories.

I can’t wait to go back.


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.