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On the 7th column he rested

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On the 7th column he rested

Bryan Uecker and Frank Cauthron take a break from game action at the Big League Dreams sports complex.

Photo contributed/

POSTED March 6, 2014 11:47 p.m.

On the 7th column he restedPhew, how did Pat O’ Leary do it?! I’m only seven columns in and my index finger is sore, an unfortunate circumstance of being a chicken pecker that never learned to type. 

Manteca to a T is intended to focus on the people and places of our valley hub, and therein lies the rub. I’m not always in our town to record its doings – and I highly doubt my adventures of doing comedy in Sacramento over the last four days would hold anyone’s interest. Fortunately this last Friday night Manteca came to me. 

The town showed up in droves for the Stand-Up to Cancer show I was part of at The Gallo Center for Arts in Modesto. Seeing so many faces in the lobby after the show was a great Manteca moment. I’d venture a guess that close to 50 percent of the 444 (sold-out show) were ’Tecans. My cousin Kristen Teicheira even made the show part of her bachelorette/party bus route, because nothing says future laughter and pains like a cancer/comedy benefit. Joe and Lucy Pires made the trip 14 miles south, as they have since I started comedy almost five years ago. 

“You did a good job,” Joe let me know. And in the world of Portu-guys, that’s like throwing a parade. We don’t just hand out unwarranted compliments, and had I stunk he would’ve let me know. Muito Obrigado, Joe.

My fellow comics Anthony and Marcella were amazing on stage in what I’d call a perfect night of comedy. However it was the non-comical moment that stole the night. 

Marcella lost her father to cancer this last October. She never got the opportunity to tell him she’d just been asked to do a cancer benefit at Gallo. She is a Modesto native, and long overdue was her chance to be on its biggest stage. She ended her time on stage by dedicating a song to her dad, and went into an a capella version of “Yesterday” by The Beatles. The crowd stayed perfectly silent as she owned the room. The emotion of the moment took over halfway through as her voice began to lilly and waiver with tears. And then it happened: The people in the audience began to sing with and for her!

Times are few and far between when you see and feel true grace and humanity. Marcella’s display of vulnerability enacted the crowd into a genuine moment of love and community. It was all she needed, and gave her the spirit to continue singing. The crowds singing lessened as they allowed her to finish her heartfelt tribute. There was not a dry eye in the house, and as I hugged her onstage during her exit, preparing to introduce Anthony, she whispered in my ear “you butchered my intro again.,” She was referring to the fact I used “Mrs.” instead “Ms.” when bringing her up, reminding me that not only is she a loving daughter but a damn fine comic. It was enough to snap me out of my teary-eyed state and bring up Anthony for 70 minutes of non-stop laughter.

Thank you to the 444 people that shared in the night and that moment. Twenty years from now it will be the only part people remember ... as it should be.

Let’s get interactive

Who is the greatest Manteca athlete of all-time? Not football player. Not hoopster. But best all-around athlete? I know the old timers tout the legends of Lou Bronzan, Milo Candini and Paul Wiggin. My father’s era had John Newton, Don Widmer and Larry Lathrop. My era had Kevin Wentworth and Don Morgan. If I were privy to Walker Vick’s cell phone number, I’d be able to get the correct answer directly, but speculation is he receives his messages only via falcon or grizzly bear. Let me know your choice and era at:

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