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Mantecans help hurricane victims
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It was a great team effort by Manteca residents for those unfortunate Texans who lost everything in Hurricane Harvey.
It started when word got out that Vanessa Arroyo — a Sierra High graduate from 10 years ago who is now working in Houston for Southwest Airlines — was returning home last week to visit her parents after she lost her furniture and clothing to floodwaters in an apartment she was renting.
Friends and relatives started dropping off boxes and bags of donations to her parents’ home in Manteca. Arroyo, who works as a trainer for Southwest Airlines, was told by her employer they would ship anything she could collect by air to Houston out of Oakland International Airport.
Second Harvest Food Bank in the Industrial Park offered a truck and a driver to transport the goods to the Bay Area airport.  Manteca Police Explorers Roni Hafed and Daniel Vara volunteered to help box the items for air shipment.

Firefighters buy and
prepare their own
meals while on duty
Some of us are too quick to judge including some ladies who tried to set a couple of “wrongs” they thought they were witnessing.
Manteca firefighters were shopping together at a Manteca grocery story with their engine parked outside the market. Apparently unaware that the men buy their own food and prepare their own meals with their own money, a couple ladies showed their displeasure with what they were buying – apparently thinking the city was paying the tab – and voiced their concern. 
One even went so far as to take an item out of their grocery cart and put it back on the shelf, saying it was too expensive.

No, Ripon Police
officers were not
partying at checkpoint
Another similar incident occurred in Ripon at the DUI check point where volunteers had set up a barbecue to prepare hamburgers and hot dogs for the working officers and their support crew. 
Again, not understanding, several residents raised a fuss about the officers partying rather than writing tickets to drunk drivers.  The option would have been to let the officers off for an hour and go to a restaurant rather than eating in the police trailer at the scene. It  took them 20 minutes to eat instead of an hour.  It was a case of the “volunteers” going out of their way for the officers who were working nine hours on the street.

Getting pressed into
service to carry a flag
Mary Lou Pontes — former owner of Quicki Kleen car wash on Yosemite Avenue and who is now Mary Lou Hernandez — is living in Oakdale and a faithful member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church that will stage its annual parish festival on Sept. 17.
When I attended St. Mary’s to see former Manteca Pastor Richard Morse, Mary Lou was there as usual  with a hug and a light kiss on the cheek.  Sunday was a little different as she needed something from me. She asked me to be a flag carrier at the beginning of the festival Mass.  So being a full blooded German, I’m getting to join in the line of march carrying what else, but a German flag.  Thanks Mary Lou – anything for you, after knowing you and teasing you for more than 40 years.
I got into a great conversation with the festival organizer who said she would welcome someone taking pictures of all the booths and parish volunteers at the event.  She said she had been praying hard for someone to come to her with that ability and provide a CD, “and here you are,” she said with a glint in her eye and a chuckle after talking with Mary Lou.
Odds and ends
My companion cat Shotsie has changed her habits a little, not waking me in the morning to eat with those constant meows.  Now she just sits next to me on the bed and stares at my face – always the same stern greeting when I open my eyes. 
Guess I’m lucky she has never licked my nose, only my hand or arm.  “Siri” tells me that is a form of attention much like they show affection to their kittens – what?

I never like to eat alone  and Sunday night was no different as I walked into In N Out Burger in East Yosemite and found longtime Mantecan Bertsie Breshears sitting at a table all alone.  She and I are about the same age.
Her husband Maurice ran the service station in Main and North streets for many years – or maybe it was Main at Alameda, not totally sure. I learned that she had grown up in Ripon and is thinking about returning to her roots.  Bertsie has helped a great number of people in her life.  Enjoyed a wonderful chat.

My love for good yogurt — plus that of a friend — has meant traveling many times down to the Yogurt Mill on Pelandale Road in Modesto for casual talk.  One-night retired dentist Al Tonn from Valley Oak Dental and I went down there – a hot night – but great company except:  When we got in the car and turned the key, the battery was dead.  Whoops!

Janet Dyk is going the extra mile Saturday at her Magpie Antiques shop in Ripon.
 In conjunction with the Ripon Garden Club’s Tour Janet is creating a display of antiques, inspiration finds and vintage pieces on her First Street sidewalk in front of her shop pretty much all day.  I enjoy stopping in to say hello during the week to see what she had added and  always finding her pleasant greeting along with cookies and a cup of coffee.