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Mural Project - Crews Paint On Patterson
Community volunteers were sweating in Saturday's heat to paint a mural on a 150 foot plus concrete wall running along the north side of Patterson Road just west of the Eighth Street intersection. After more than four weekends of work, they were due to finish their masterpiece the following day.

Between Patterson Road and the railway tracks they had set up tents offering food and beverages while more volunteers waving signs tried to entice drivers to stop and contribute to the cause.

The brainchild of local resident Armando Reyes, whom Mayor Virginia Madueno has designated as her special assistant, the mural depicts traditional emblems of Riverbank such as a locomotive flanked by vineyards plus almond and walnut orchards.

"To get something accomplished, it takes sweat, hard work and everlasting determination," said Reyes. "The mayor has given me the opportunity to work for change. I plan later to move to L.A. But for now, I'm concentrating on getting Riverbank people involved in doing murals and artwork."

Reyes introduced the three leading artists for the project as Eden Barragan of Modesto, Jose Perez of the University of California in Turlock and Zachary Wilkins of the University of California at Davis.

The tents along the road of those trying to raise funds for paint and other materials included that of the Marine Corps recruiting office for Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Calaveras counties.

"We like to influence the next generation. It's a great idea. I used to live in L.A. and do community service like murals there," said Marine Corps member Karen Monaco.

The Corps had set up a chin-up bar for the young and vigorous to test their strength besides making a donation.

Other tents included that of Taqueria San Jose, Juice It Up, Radio Station 97.1 and Round Table. Juice It Up, which was selling smoothies and tacos, used to be located in Riverbank's Crossroads Shopping Center, said restaurant owner Sandy Pined. The store recently moved to the Floyd and Roselle intersection in Modesto but still felt involved in Riverbank's community efforts.

The Modesto Nuts promotion manager Otoma Agnew had brought along the baseball team's mascot Wally the Walnut in full costume to help attract the motorists.

"We like to keep cities looking beautiful and nice," she said.

Gleaming with new paint, the mural stands a quarter mile or so east of another concrete wall adjacent to apartments on First Street that vandals defaced with gang graffiti a month ago although the city quickly had it painted over.

Reyes noted that vandals already had done some damage to the new mural on its eastern end and just west of the center. But volunteers had painted out the end damage and planned to use that space to list the names of the mural's sponsors.