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Mother’s Day memories. . .

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Mother’s Day memories. . .

Kelly, Tini, and Maureen Lorio.

Photo contributed/

POSTED May 8, 2014 1:44 a.m.

I asked a handful of Mantecans to give me a short story of their mother. Just a little sentiment to shed light on the women that carried them for nine months. The women that fed them, clothed them, taught them, consoled them, and gave them life. Some sentiments were short and sweet, others absurd and hilarious but all conveying one message – we love our mothers.

Most were simple Manteca memories. Wendy Bal Hunt and her mother walked downtown for a little shopping at Manteca Department Store and Mode-O-Day. Arlene Wells’ mother took her to Marie’s Hallmark for a small gift when she got good grades. Tamra Heinrich’s mom took her to the MRPS to see pictures on the wall of her great-grandpa. Lisa Marie Picarello getting a set of wax vampire teeth at the bait-and-tackle store near Calla after a morning shopping with mom at Big Boy.

Others remembered day excursions. Millisa Dirks and mother Kathleen McCarty would head to their cousin’s Geneva Bakery in Stockton for two loaves of hot bread – one for the ride home, the other for dad’s dinner. In grammar school, Pat Eavenson’s mother Elsie Morris would let her play hooky, spending the day together having lunch at Stockton Joe’s and ice cream sundaes at Woolworth’s. Lisa Johnson’s mom made her homemade French toast before taking her to ice skating practice every morning; she also handmade all her competition outfits.

Katharine DeRoos’ mother, Patti, played guitar for her kindergarten class for more than a decade at Shasta School, making her the “coolest mom ever,” according to Katie. John Coldren’s mom, Sharolyn, would always cook a smaller meatloaf for him on family meatloaf night – one without onions.

Some of my friends weren’t afraid to get in a little jab at their mom’s expense. Joe Norris remembers being dropped off at Lincoln Elementary by his mother Mary Sanders. Joe noted, “My mom wore so many curlers the kids called her Helmet Head.” He also mentioned she had the fastest jab in town and that he still ducks and moves when arguing with her. Tony Coit says his mother once accidently ran him over with her car as he rode his bike in the yard. I contacted Jocelyn Coit for a response. “Accident ... right” was all she said.

Cassie Smedley-Nasr was lucky enough to convince her mother to allow her to take ROP at their store. Cindy Smedley and Aunt Cindy Garcia owned Let’s Party near Valley Cinema. Third and fourth period during her senior year at East Union were spent delivering balloons around town. Happy Mother’s Day!

Ron Schultz remembers a game he and his mom would play en route to pick up his father from work late at night. She’d ask a young Ron to name five movies that “so and so actor” was in – an attempt to get him back to sleep. However ADHD and a desire to play made sleep a moot point at best. Fond memories of mother and son night owls.

Jessica McLeod would find little drawings and notes in her lunch sacks from mother Camilla, letting her know “Jesus loves you and so do I.” Arturo Diaz’s mom would let him play his Nintendo – even after being sent home from school.

Many friends had actual stories of Mother’s Day. North Manteca resident Jennifer Canfield gave her mom flowers and a card that read “Without you, there would be no me.” Her mom and the whole office cried. Melissa Perry always knew when Mother’s Day was coming. They’d head to Brown-Mahin for a new dress – Melissa was mostly thrilled to run up the staircase – and then to Larimore’s for brunch. Elena Torrice and Kerry Ouimette-Griggs may have trumped us all by giving their mothers the gift of a grandchild on Mother’s Day. Joe Brocchini’s father would make him head down to Knodt’s Flower Shop sometime before noon to pick up a white lily corsage for mom to wear, “because when mom is happy everyone is happy.”

Beth Emperador Coit recalls her father, Dr. Emperador, buying her mother a set of golf clubs for Mother’s Day because as mom put it, “That’s all he wanted to do.” It went over so poorly that he slept on the couch and tried to give her the same gift at Christmas!

Others thanked their mothers for instilling life lessons. Michele Flores worked every summer at peach and apricot drying sheds in Escalon to be able to afford her Catholic School uniform. “I can still cut fruit with a single swoop of the knife. Thanks, mom.”

And maybe it’s said most simply and eloquently by Caroline Silva Silveira Wolfe: “My mom taught us how to cook, clean, and behave. Made us better women.”

I myself recall heading to Lincoln Pool with mom for Mudturtle practice when little. My mom always made sure the edges of my fried eggs were crispy the way I loved them. My mom is the most patient person I know – at least with me she is. If she had a dime for every awkward spot I put her in, she’d be able to buy my entrance into the Bernacchi Building, a quest I haven’t given up on. I remember one evening during my freshman year at Manteca High. The mother of a female classmate had stopped by to discuss my poor treatment of her daughter. I may or may not have driven her daughter to tears with my 14-year-old biting wit, but more than likely it was just me being a jerk. My mother politely nodded her head as this other mom verbally laid into me. I did my best Eddie Haskell impression. “Mom I don’t know what she’s talking about. I’d never say such things.” 

About that time the phone rings, my mom answers with a series of “Oh reallys” and “I’m very sorrys.” My mother hangs up the phone and says, “Did you pee in John Rhodes’ new baseball cleats?” I turned ghost white, remembering this poorly planned freshman baseball prank I’d pulled earlier in the day. His mother was none too pleased to say the least. The female classmate’s mother’s facial expression went from anger to bewilderment and finally to empathy. “I’m sorry ... about your son,” she said as she grabbed her purse and headed for the door. 

My mother didn’t say much, which for me was always much worse. I headed to my bedroom and waited for dad to get home, and that would only rank 85th on the list of awkward spots I’ve put mom in. Love you, mom.

 And let’s remember those family and friends that no longer have their mothers with them. To CC and Kelly, and all those that have lost their mother in the distant or recent past, may your weekend – and your hearts – be filled with wonderful memories of days gone by. Happy Mother’s Day to all.

Manteca Firefighters Annual Breakfast...

This Saturday marks the seventh annual Manteca Firefighters Association Pancake Breakfast. The breakfast is from 7 to 11 a.m. and benefits the Robin Taberna Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship will help one student from each high school in Manteca and Ripon work towards a career in fire or EMS service. The breakfast will include pancakes, eggs, ham, coffee, milk, and orange juice for just $5 at Manteca Fire Station #1, located at 290 Powers Avenue. What better way to show mom you care, than having her served breakfast by a group of fireman. I mean seriously, have you taken a look at dad lately?! Tickets can be purchased in advance 209.456.8300 or at the door.

 “It’s not Where ya do, it’s What ya do.”


To contact Chris Teicheira, head to his tractor with food or email him at

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