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A Weekend Whirlwind
Marg Jackson

You know it’s a good day when the first word that pops into your head about how you’re feeling is grateful.

That’s exactly what I felt on Saturday, July 13 as I had the honor and privilege of riding in Escalon’s Park Fete parade as this year’s Grand Marshal. My daughter Ally rode with me and we were in the back of a 1925 Model T, chugging along First Street for a bit and then turning on to Main Street for a couple of blocks through the heart of the downtown area.

When the committee planning the city’s annual festival called me a couple of months back, I assumed it was to start getting some information in the paper about the fete. Instead, they asked me to be the 2019 Grand Marshal and my first reaction was “Excuse me?” – I thought they had called me in error but they said, no, they were hoping I would accept the offer.

It was an honor, and an experience I won’t soon forget. And at least at parade time, the daytime temperature on Saturday hadn’t hit its peak so no one was melting just yet.

Our driver, Mike Robinson, had recently just put the top back on his Ford convertible and so we rode with the top up as opposed to being in the ‘open air’ but I was able to lean out the windows, moving from side to side as best I could to wave at the crowd lining both sides of Main Street. It was a blast and I was able to pick out some faces in the crowd along the way. It is actually a relatively short ride but my cheeks hurt from smiling the whole time. Not such a bad thing, really.

What a blessing to be recognized for doing what you love; it doesn’t get much better than that. I also am very appreciative of all the people that congratulated me and offered their best wishes throughout the event, when I was in my role as reporter/photographer and covering the Park Fete. It was a special time.

Perhaps the best thing was my daughter saying how proud she was of me. Kind of the tables being turned, as parents typically are proud of their kids, this time she was honored to ride with me and share the moment.

The whirlwind of a weekend continued on Sunday, when we made a trip to her wedding venue, as with that date just a little over three months away, it is becoming an all-consuming adventure.

Looking at the property and trying to envision where everything will go, how the tables will be arranged, where the DJ will be, where the arch will be set up for this outdoor October wedding, trying to determine where the sun will be in the sky for the late afternoon ceremony … makes you realize just how much there is still left to do. Oh sure, the dress is bought (alterations now being done) and payments on the venue, the food, the photographer, the DJ are all being scheduled – but we came up with so many more things to address while touring the area. My daughter’s anxiety level was rising, which, in turn, made fiancé Judd’s stress level rise to the point that they thought maybe they should just forget it all and elope.

That’s actually what Judd wanted to do all along but he had first suggested a courthouse. Sunday, he said maybe Hawaii would be a good place – Ally said if he had offered that up instead of a courthouse in the first place, she would have agreed to elope.

But there’s too much invested now for that, plus we are already planning more visits to the venue over the next couple of months to fine tune and nail down the particulars. It will all come together. We just keep moving forward and handle one thing at a time, knowing that the pieces will fall into place. And we’ll all be grateful when they do.


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.