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Wail of dozens of police sirens & toilet flushing
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One of the most unique car shows in the 209 takes place today from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Ripon Community Center, 334 W. Fourth St., Ripon.
It’s the 26th annual Ripon Police/Menlo Park Police Emergency Vehicle Show featuring antique, classic and current emergency vehicles. The event is free while there will be food for sale as well as a swap meet.
Manteca a few years back had a similar event.
It was a two-day affair that typically featured a BBQ for participants Saturday evening and an emergency vehicle parade complete with red lights and sirens on Sunday morning.
The BBQ one year held in an area beyond the outfield of the Morezone Baseball Field on Center Street had a tense moment. Organizers had arranged for a Wild West shoot out act to entertain using blanks of course.
Unfortunately the way that the entertainment made its entrance wasn’t well thought out. It took place as officers — many in uniform and department issued equipment — and their families were in line to get hamburgers and hot dogs
The re-enactors made a stunning entrance that started with one “cowboy” quietly — and virtually undetected — walking into the BBQ area, pulling out his gun, pointing it skyward and then shouting as he shot off a blank.
At least a dozen startled officers dropped what they were doing, and turned toward the sound of the gunfire as they placed their hands on their guns. It was hard to tell who was more stunned— the “cowboy” or police officers. After a few tense seconds everyone realized what was going on.
That was the first, and last, Wild West shoot out reenactment at the annual event.
The first year the emergency parade wound its way through town at about 10 a.m. on a Sunday with emergency lights flashing and sirens wailing, a story surfaced as how one guest of a Moffat Boulevard motel supposedly  flushed his supply down the toilet after he was awaken from his slumber by the dozens upon dozens of nearing sirens.
While that had never been verified, it inspired jokes in subsequent years that the parade of sirens triggered massive toilet flushing throughout the city and a surge of inflow to the wastewater treatment plant.
The proceeds from the vehicle show today in Ripon will go to the Ripon Volunteers in Police Services, the Menlo Park Police Cadets unit, and the California Highway Patrol Historical Museum.

Making North Powers
Avenue a bit safer
Give the Manteca Public Works Department bonus points for making North Powers Avenue between North Street and Edison Street somewhat safer.
Back in the 1960s some genius thought putting an S-curve in the street would slow traffic. It didn’t.
What happens is more than a few people drive too fast and either crowd or cross over the line. Large painted white zig zags in the travel lanes as you hit the curve are lost on such drivers as being a warning to slow down.
Not only has the broken lines that said it was OK to pass been replaced with solid double yellow lines but grooves have been made in the pavement to catch the drivers’ attention if they hug the middle line a bit too much.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email