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Dear Mom . . .
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Thank you for always making the edges of my fried eggs crispy. Thanks for letting me read an entire Heathcliff book to you in one sitting – and do it each day – because I needed to practice my comedic timing at age 7. Pretending you didn’t notice I was watching Saturday Night Live in my bedroom, when I should’ve been in bed asleep. For giving my 3 awesome siblings...the time you allowed me and my friends to . . . wait a second!. 

Writing an “I love my mom” tribute column always lacks one thing – the fact that moms are not perfect. We too often forget the times Mom embarrassed us or we embarrassed them. Many of us have small little fibs we’ve been holding in our back pockets for years. Moms are by no means perfect.

My mom tells me that as a 4 year old, I pointed to a tractor far off in the field behind the house. “That tractor makes a funny noise” I explained. Her inquisitive response was met with, “Yes, when I walk out there and turn the key.” Obviously frightened by her poor toddler watching skills, she compounded this encounter a few months later while gardening around the house. I climbed into the cab of a tractor without her knowledge – and became trapped in the mid summer heat. After about 20 minutes on broil, I did what any 4 year old not strong enough to push the door open latch would do – I smashed out the front window before I cooked inside the cab. To this day my father still says “You couldn’t have smashed out a side window instead? They run about $300 less.” 

. . . or as a kindergartener, when I explained to mom that watching the show Elektra Woman and Dyna Girl, made my nether region feel funny.

. . .or as a freshman at Manteca High School, while a classmate’s mother stopped by our house, to explain to my mom how horribly I had been treating her daughter – while another classmate’s mom interrupted that conversation via phone, to explain how unfunny my “urinating in a teammate’s new cleats” prank was.

Turnabout however is fair play. Mom showed up to Nile Garden to pick me up near the end of my 7th grade school year. She had no clue that a teacher wanted to speak with her at the end of the day. I had no clue that she was going to show up dressed as she did. Apparently she had been by the pool – or possibly she thought it was Mid–70s Susan Sarandon dress up day as she walked up to the school decked out in her tightest “Mossdale River Rat” tank top, complete with cutoff jeans shorts. My friends affirmation of “Whoa Teicheira, your mom is hot!”, didn’t lessen the stink eye I was directing at my mother. “Well if you weren’t constantly getting in trouble at school – I wouldn’t have to be seen like this.”

Apparently I’m not the only one that has some “Mom moments” they want to tell.


Jessica Donges- Vaughan — I have incredibly vivid memories of my mom dancing all over the house while she was cleaning to disco music. Lionel Richie was pretty popular.


Kristy Tribuzio — Sneaking out in mom’s precious Astro van. I told her just recently. I’d open the garage door while they were getting ready for bed, I’d wait to hear them snoring, run out to start it, run back in to make sure they were still snoring, run out to back it up, run back in for the snore check, run back out to drive off. I’d leave the phone off the hook in my bedroom to ensure no late night calls. I’d do the whole routine again sneaking back in. It worked at least 30 times, probably more like 50. Never got caught. Sorry mom. (Not sorry).


Tini Iorio — We used to have this really junky motorhome that was so embarrassing. I was waiting to be picked up after school in front of the gym (with tons of other kids out there) and up rolls the motorhome, stops right in front of me, and my mom swings open the side door and says “Tini your ride’s here!” I was soooo embarrassed!


Sabrina Shrontz - 4th grade, Sequoia school, my Mom got a note saying I was being too talkative in class. So next day, Mom shows up at the end of day, most kids still in the room and tells Mrs. Vest that she was going to give the principal to whip my butt at the front of the class if I opened my mouth when I shouldn’t. She snatched my arm, dragged me to Mr. Johnson’s office and showed me the old paddle with the holes on his wall and proceeded to yell “That’s what he’s going to beat your butt with if you don’t shut up! “He went along with it even though spanking was done away with. She would have done it herself. I was a bawling, apologizing mess — but it worked!


Shari Randall - My 14-year-old brother had this brilliant idea to take my parent’s Mercedes to Manteca golf course to meet up with David Horton and Jerome Seibler. I was supposed to run interference for him if my parents called. (they were on vacation). Well, they came home early!! I told on my brother immediately. They went straight to the golf course – as I pretended I wasn’t in on the deal. I even remember saying, “Wow.. I can’t believe Rob did that! What was he thinking?” Sorry Mom, I knew the whole time.


Corrine Correia - I was really mad at my mom and I didn’t want to argue anymore because I already had soap in my mouth, so after she walked away I flipped her off. just as my dad came around the corner in time to witness it. All I heard was “BUSTED” and of course my mom says “Corrine Marie back in the kitchen!” Needless to say it was round 2 for the soap.


Joe Brocchini – I ate a whole box of Ding Dongs. Mom never let me hear the end of it.


James Elkins -My Mom came in The Pub on Main Street and told me to get home. I think I was around 40! It was probably the only time she had been in a bar in her life.


Sarah Brophy Long — I wish I had secrets from mom but all the teachers ratted me out at MHS! Sheesh! Although there was the time when the band went to So Cal we had operation baby underway. The girls stayed on the top rooms and the boys below. We carried the rope upstairs. Later that night we tossed it down. Jim Cregor was the first (and only) to scale the wall. With each step he created a thud heard throughout the hotel. All the chaperones went wild. Poor Jim had to hide in our shower until the chaperones calmed down! I can’t remember who roomed with me that year. Debra Schadeck-Sharp, Allison Harnden, Lori Schadeck Lehr, I think. Mr. Schwartz was notified at his retirement roast what really happened that night! Oh the joys of coed band trips!


Charla Farthing — My mom had a giant wooden spoon she named Max and would spank us with it if we ever got in big trouble. We did something one night while they were on a date, and we knew we would get in big trouble. So we hid Max! Even after the flood happened and we had to redo parts of the house, she never found it. She called me a month ago and told me she found Max — only took her 20 years!


Angela Blankenship Shaefer — My mom was a stay at home my raising four kids. Never worked and always felt like she wasn’t worthy and had wasted her life raising kids and a husband. My mother is the strongest person I’ve ever known. When I think I can’t go anymore, I look back at her and the life she had and I draw my inner strength from her. I shared everything with my mom and would rat my brothers out anytime I could.


Bronwyn Steves — This is not a funny story, but a heartfelt one. One of my mom’s favorite vehicles was a 68 Volkswagen Westfalia bus. My mom was quite intrepid in that bus. Not known for its horsepower, but quite an ingenious machine with every nook and cranny serving a purpose. That Volkswagen was the source of many wonderful trips with my mom at the helm and me as co-pilot. Many trips to Dodge Ridge snow skiing were made in that vehicle with as many friends as we could pack in it. The VW would barely make it up some of the steeper inclines and she would have to gain as much momentum going downhill to make it up the hills. If my cousin Marty Steves was in tow, he would be in charge of the music which usually began and ended with The Coasters. The 8-track invariably got stuck on his favorite track which included “Poison Ivy.” My mom would wait all day for us as we got in as much skiing in as our stamina would allow. She never rushed us, nor did she complain. She was happy because we were having a great time. I don’t know if I ever adequately thanked my mom for those memories. I know that this is not necessarily they type of mom “disclosure” tale you were seeking, but I felt compelled to share an entry from the “Westfalia Diaries. 

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


Squeezin’ and Pleasin’. . . Manteca’s very own Albert Rossi recently took 1st place at the Merced County Hay Squeeze Races. He also took 1st in the Stockton – San Joaquin County competition. Making Al “The Squeeze King” in these parts. He and father John Rossi joined up to take 2nd place in the Father-Son “Hay Stealing” contest - proving that it is all in the genes.


St. Anthony School Barn Dance and Rib Dinner..This family event takes place on May 16 at the school gym. Meal consists of All You Can Eat Fagundes tri tip and ribs, baked potato with all the fixings, salad and bread. Tickets are $30 adults, $15 for 5 to 12 years with under 4 years and under free.


Quote of the Week: “Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate predjudices – only recognize them.” — Edward R. Murrow


Farewell Mr. Burns. . . .It is with much saddness that I say good-bye to my column Editor James Burns. James recently took a position with the Modesto Bee. For that I give him a hearty congratulatory handshake – though the selfish columnist in me wishes he would stay. From the beginning of Manteca to a T, he was not only able to pick up on my style of writing, (one that has the grace of an iron worker prattling away at a bar), but took a huge part in attempting to fine tune it. The truth is I often send in one long, and barely decipherable run on sentence. Chalk full of “...” or an unnecessary “-James always found a way to pull the column apart, and then put it together in a “Reader friendly” fashion. On many occasion he simply put his foot down and said “No”. Like the time I had written a section of a story, one that involved an encounter with a woman in Richland, WA. It was after the second attempt to clean it up, that James stated “No matter how much word shuffling you do, it still ends up with a lady having a finger in her mouth, while making a lewd comment.” I still don’t understand what he meant. Thanks you James for always being encouraging, and tolerating the nonsense that I submit. The Manteca Bulletin and its readers will miss you.


PS Dennis Wyatt, Hi my name is Chris Teicheira. I apologize in advance for the editing you will now assume responsibility of. Carry a fine tooth comb – you will need it.


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