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Topic One, Topic Two
Marg-Ins 5-6-20

Thoughts are running around in my brain, crashing in to each other, and all wanting to be put down on paper.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing but, typically, it’s nice to have one clear topic for my column. This time, we’ll touch on a couple.

Topic No. 1: It was a tough weekend. All day Saturday my mind kept going to Relay For Life, which was supposed to happen on May 2 and 3 but got postponed until sometime later this year. We don’t know when, exactly, just when we can stand within six feet of each other again and have a crowd assemble safely.

This would have been the 19th year for Relay to be hosted in Oakdale and for the past few years, Escalon, Riverbank and Waterford have been part of it as well to make up one combined event. Saturday was sunny, breezy, not too cold, not too hot … pretty much perfect Relay weather. We have had it in the rain, we have had it in 90-degree heat; you just never know what California will throw at you in late April/early May. So my mind kept drifting to ‘what I would be doing right now’ if Relay went off as originally planned. Pete “The voice of the Mustangs” Simoncini and I have spent many years serving as co-emcees and I was looking forward to working with him again. We were also excited to have high school teams from Oakdale, Escalon and Riverbank, plus several brand new teams that were eager to be involved.

Instead, we have been meeting virtually, on Facebook Live or similar platforms, trying to figure out a way to make sure we get some sort of Relay event this year. Silly as it may seem, losing Relay has been one of the hardest things for me in this whole coronavirus situation. Probably because it has always been an event I love to cover and be involved in, it’s a cause close to my heart and I get to spend the day with the bravest, most resilient people I’ve ever met, cancer survivors and their caregivers. Plus the whole event is just fun; we definitely are there with a purpose but we enjoy ourselves along the way.

We’ll figure something out for this year and my hope is that we can have a big celebration in 2021, when we mark our 20-year anniversary.

Topic No. 2: The early birthday wishes.

Thursday evening, April 30 I had a few moments to put in a quick call to my niece Kristel, wanting to be the first to wish her a ‘Happy Birthday!’ By calling the day before her actual birthday, I figured I’d beat everybody to the punch. Well, she didn’t answer. But she did call back. Seems she was facetiming her sister-in-law, April, to thank her for a birthday gift she had sent … and getting birthday wishes from April in return. Though I was bummed I wasn’t first in line with the wishes, she was happy I called anyway.

I also have Kristel to thank for making sure my bed gets made every day. This past October, when my daughter Ally got married, Kristel and I stayed overnight at a hotel near the venue to help out the morning following the wedding with the clean-up. As we were getting ready to leave, I noticed she was making her bed. When I reminded her that they would be stripping the beds when we left, she said that her New Year’s resolution had been to make her bed every day. That way, she said, she had accomplished something positive to start the day and it could have a spillover effect into other areas. It made sense. So this year, I have emulated that practice.

And, just to be on the safe side of this whole birthday thing, I texted Kristel just a little after midnight on May 2, getting in a VERY early birthday wish for 2021; this time, I was the first one.

Just goes to show you, there’s always a way to get it done.


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.