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For those convinced Manteca is the most worthless place on the planet
bass pro
Some 2 million shoppers at Bass Pro Shops each year — with 98 percent from out of town — obviously don’t view Manteca as a hell hole. This is a photo from the 2010 five-day grand opening event that more than 5,000 people on hand when the ribbon was cut.

It makes no sense if you read some of the vile postings of people who hate Manteca.

I get that there are things you don’t like about Manteca. We can all make a list. But to drip with such hatred and disgust perhaps you should look in the mirror.

It’s not a look-in-your-face suggestion to see what’s reflected back. it’s more of take a good hard look at yourself and ask yourself if you are crazy for staying in a place you profess to hate with every ounce of your darkened heart.

This isn’t a love-it-or-leave-it type of column.

It’s more of if you really have concluded this is hell on earth and that virtually every place else is better by leaps and bounds, then what the hell are you doing to yourself by staying here?

Life is too short to live in — and I quote various adjectives from postings  — “a crime-ridden dump”, “drug-infested hell hole”, “traffic nightmare”, “trashy town”, “homeless heaven”, “worthless - - - hole”, “classless crappy town” place.

If life is so bad in Manteca that you can’t refrain from lashing out at every opportunity you get while having the courage to hide behind pseudonyms, why do you continue to subject yourself to a place you describe as “filthy”, “unfriendly”, “led by idiots”, and “worthless”?

You need to get out of Dodge to save yourself from this den of human iniquity.

Is it because you can’t sell your house? Unless you’ve got it listed for $200,000 above market value or it looks like a “crime-ridden dump” houses are selling in Manteca.

Is it because you can’t find a place cheaper to rent?

Modesto and Stockton, two cities that must be paradise in your world because they are not Manteca, await just a few miles down the road.

Is it because there is too much traffic? You have no problem fleeing with a fully loaded U-Haul on Highway 99 between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.

If growth has ruined Manteca, then you’d better be a direct descendant of Joshua Cowell, Benjamin and Mary Goodwin, Cutler and Janet Salmon, Peter Clapp, George and Harriet Castle, James and Martha Reynolds, Elijah Harelson, Jessie and Mary Austin, George and Eva Wetherbee, Walter and Fannie Woodward, John Southwell, or Ed Powers to make such a declaration.

That’s because once the pioneer families settled on the sandy plains and started building a community everything after them has fallen into the growth category.

If growth has ruined Manteca’ count yourself as part of the cause.

That aside,  I’m willing to bet if any of the previously mentioned pioneers were able to come back to life today I’d seriously doubt they’d be dumping on what Manteca has grown into.

The homeless around town — they would have called them drifters or tramps back in the day — are certainly no worse of an issue than horse droppings on Yosemite Avenue before the advent of automobiles.

I get that Manteca doesn’t look like Pleasanton.

Blame the forces of nature for making 100 degree days the norm this far inland in an area that is more arid desert than a cool coastal valley.

And since Pleasanton is what some of the malcontents use in comparison taunts on social media to slam Manteca, perhaps if they got off their duffs instead of being glued to the Internet all day and made some “real” money such as the $160,689 median annual income of a Pleasanton household that is almost double that of Manteca, maybe we’d have the specialty shops, niche dining options, and a tidy community.

It’s amazing what paying significantly more taxes can deliver in the way of city services and what more disposable income allows a community to snare in terms of shopping and dining options.

It would be nice if you’d refrain from using trite clichés such as “Manstinka”, “Mantweeka”, or “The Dysfunctional Family City”.

It’s not because I take offense at them.

It’s just that if you are so brilliant in your observations at what such an armpit or hell hole that you perceive Manteca to be, you could at least be either original or have some clue to the history of the moniker.

“Manstinka” is a name hung around Manteca’s neck from the nice odor of the sugar beet pulp from Spreckels Sugar being recycled as feed at the Moffat Cattle Lot next door generated that would waft over Highway 99.

How bad was it?

Years before I moved to Manteca a friend invited me to visit him in the dead of winter near San Jose and suggested I use the “new” Manteca Bypass. I was traveling after midnight and there had been thick tule fog for the three previous nights. He told me not to worry as I would “smell” the exit.

He was right. In near zero visibility the distinct smell prompted me to look for the 120 West exit sign. I found it by following my nose.

After I move here 32 years ago, Bob Leatherwood noted that Tracy High started calling Manteca High “Manstinka High” so the Buffalo student cheer section would respond in kind calling Tracy High “Trashy High”.

As for Mantweeka, there is meth everywhere. But this moniker came about in the mid-1990s when Manteca was literally having a meth lab bust every other week.

That was on top of the city being a major wayside stop at the time for gangs moving drugs up the valley from Southern California.

They’d use Manteca as a place to divert shipments to Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Jose. There were at least two significant FBI drug busts at Manteca hotels where the mules were staying.

Eventually just like with many jobs in the late 1990s, much of the meth manufacturing to supply California markets moved to Mexico where it was easier to do business.

During that time a gentleman who was part of the Greek chorus about how horrible Manteca was and that it had no positive attributes used the meth problem at the time to convince his wife to move out of California. He ended up moving to Missouri.

Guess what?

Last year the federal Drug Enforcement Agency reported there were 203 meth lab related incidents in California compared to 1,571 in Missouri.

Another Manteca resident moved to Tennessee because of the meth in Manteca. Tennessee today is considered to be one of the top per capita states in terms of meth addiction problems. There were 501 meth labs busted last year.

To put this all in perspective, there was one year in the 1990s when Manteca had 19 meth lab related incidents. I can’t recall the last time there was a meth lab busted in Manteca.

You can flee a problem and eventually it will follow you or you can stay and be part of the effort to make things better.

As for “The Dysfunctional Family City”, one can only wonder whether someone who hides behind a screen name and every time they comment on a Manteca-related issue they automatically start spewing vile belongs to a “family” cut from the Ozzie & Harriet genre that they seem to think the city motto implies.

There is no such thing as a typical family save for in the narrow abysses that passes as hearts and minds for those who dole out final judgments as if they are absent-mindedly tossing out candy to kids along a parade route.

Manteca is not perfect.

There are a lot of things going right. There are things that need work.

Manteca has problems as does anywhere

But if you think name calling not tempered by constructive suggestions or an effort to move the dial is the way to make change then maybe you should free your heart instead.

And if you can’t, ask yourself how stupid you are to stay in a place that your describe as the most worthless place on earth.
Think about what that says about you.


 This column is the opinion of editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinions of The Bulletin or 209 Multimedia. He can be reached at