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Marg-Ins Life: One Week At A Time
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One of our regular readers has the same question for me every time we see each other - he always asks me 'you got that Pulitzer yet?' and of course I have to chuckle and tell him not quite yet.

If there were more hours in a day, perhaps I could spend a couple sniffing out Pulitzer material but right now, there's enough to do just to get the typical day's work done. This week he offered a helpful suggestion, maybe a 'serialized' version of the work, he thought, and I could delve week-by-week into why Al Gore, with his predictions of global warming causing havoc in the near future, bought some ocean front property if he thinks it is just going to be washed away.

This conversation took place on the football field in Hilmar on Friday night, as I was taking notes of the defensive clash between the Escalon Cougars and Hilmar Yellowjackets, getting photos of the game and trying not to get hit by flying football players crashing out of bounds. (So far this year, I've only been taken down once but I made sure the camera stayed out of harm's way.)

In the midst of all that, I was trying to keep up on the final game of the 2011 World Series (maybe next year, Texas?) while also staying in touch with reporter Ike Dodson via texting so he could keep me updated on the Oakdale-Manteca game at The Corral in Oakdale.

There was also a Cougar fan on the sidelines with me in Hilmar who was curious about how I kept track of everything on the field and then transferred that to a story later on.

The real answer to that is I don't really know how; I just do it. It is something that I have done for years, and thankfully, it never gets old. Each new sports season brings its own stories of hope, success, failure, redemption.

Just like the rest of my 'beat' - which ranges from City Hall to the cops, the business community to the fire department - something is always going on.

As we do all three papers out of the same office, there are also times I cover events in Oakdale and/or Riverbank in addition to my main focus of Escalon, just depending on what/when the event is. This week, I went to Oakdale's final varsity boys soccer game of the season but this time I have to admit, it was not as a reporter, but as a parent. Word had gotten to me that my daughter's boyfriend, a senior soccer player at OHS, had something special planned at the Senior Night festivities. After all the player introductions, he utilized some of his teammates to hold up signs to help him ask her to Oakdale's winter formal. I had gone, camera in hand, to get a photo. Believe it or not, I was so nervous about the whole thing I got a horrible, out of focus picture of the players with their signs. Luckily, other parents captured the moment clearly. My after-the-game pictures came out okay; I just missed the big one. Either I didn't pay any attention to whether the camera setting was on manual or auto focus or my hands were just shaking too much to hold the camera still. Who knows?

What I do know is that my daughter, who used to go everywhere with me when she was in elementary school and loved sitting on the bench with the girls volleyball and soccer teams in Escalon while I took photos, is now talking about getting her hair and nails done and finding just the right dress and high-heeled shoes for formal.

Her OHS Mustangs sweatshirt reminds me she is part of the Class of 2014 and that will be here before I know it. Don't blink.

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.