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Who Let The Gremlins In?
Marg Jackson

Perhaps it was the rush of Cyber Monday or just the fact that everything had shut down for a few days for the Thanksgiving break, but it was tough to get going on Dec. 2.

Work-wise, that is, with the computers seeming to revolt. Even though mine was busy over the weekend trying to get a few things done and not fall too far behind, those plans were left in the dust as the computer gremlins giggled at me Monday and seemed to clog every computer program I needed to use.

Not only that, our ‘Riverbank Ric’ (McGinnis) who sends in sports for the Bruins and typically a wide variety of community items, was hung up as well with none of his programs working on Monday morning. Luckily, the issue got fixed and he sent in his items, a little late but definitely better than never.

As for me, when it is time for my column to appear, it is usually done on the Friday before the next week’s issue. So the mere fact that this was written on Monday afternoon instead should tell you something about how the week went.

I shouldn’t complain since there was plenty to enjoy during the Thanksgiving Week of gatherings, including way more than one holiday dinner with family and friends. Some had turkey; others had ham so there wasn’t necessarily a tryptophan overload. Plus, a bonus, this year December 1st fell at the end of the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend and that is my birthday, so I got to wrap up the festivities with a nice celebration. Side note, my daughter and I did some home deliveries for the Escalon Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 28 and one of the homes we delivered to was that of a longtime Escalon resident and former Riverbank school teacher I have known since arriving here in the Central Valley many moons ago. She saw that it was me coming to the door and promptly handed me a birthday card, thanking me for saving her the postage.

We also got the much-needed rain we have all been talking about and, keeping an eye on my upstate New York family members, they spent part of their holiday shoveling snow and dealing with an arctic chill.

My daughter and son-in-law gave me my birthday present a little early, a new water repellent, body heat reflecting winter jacket that was much needed on Saturday. In Stockton for a pair of Section football games, the jacket (along with the boots and beanie my daughter let me borrow) kept me warm and protected from the elements as I shot photos and tried to take notes.

Actually it was better than I anticipated; it did not rain much during either game, Escalon in the afternoon and Oakdale in the evening. For our local teams, there was the ‘thrill of victory’ for Escalon as they defeated Hilmar to win the D6 title and there was the ‘agony of defeat’ for Oakdale as they lost the D4 battle to Sierra.

Talk about a range of emotions – even from behind the camera lens I couldn’t help but get caught up in the excitement of the competition.

Covering Escalon sports on a regular basis, I was beyond happy for the Cougars, as the football players had set a goal of bringing the second Section title to the school this fall. The volleyball girls got theirs in early November and the football boys proved to be up to the task as they brought theirs home on Nov. 30.

It would have been great to see the Mustangs win as well but it just didn’t turn out that way and it was difficult to see how hard the players took the loss.

But now I must turn my attention to holiday shopping, sending presents off to the East Coast, and trying to stay on schedule so everything gets done on time.

As long as the gremlins leave my computer alone, maybe there’s a chance that will happen.


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.