Lots of waytogos this week ...

Waytogo mayor pro tem Daniel Martinez who started last Saturday morning speaking to about a dozen VFW members at their monthly breakfast meeting and ended the day speaking to the more than 300 people at the Sanger High School Athletic Hall of Fame. 

Martinez was impressive at both events, knowledgeable, to the point, humorous - and most important, brief.

•••

Lots of waytogos are in order this week for:

• everyone involved in putting together the Sanger Woman's Club Spring Tea, the Cinco de Mayo event downtown and the Sanger High School Athletic Hall of Fame enshrinement banquet ;

• all 10 of the 2019 Hall of Fame inductees -  Willie Garcia, Cole Herron, David Dodson, the 1950 Baseball Team, Ted Torosian, Cindy Weibert Fires, Roy Tanimoto, Ron Blackwood, Chris Wallin and Chuck Shidan;

• Tom Flores for playing such an important part in the local Hall of Fame event;

• developer Sam Lucido who, at his own expense - because PG&E wasn't taking care of business - fixed the alley next to the Sanger Woman's Club so members could use the parking lot during their annual Spring Tea event and their regular monthly meeting this Tuesday;

• Sanger Rotary club for being named the district's Club of the Year; and,

• the award recipients at next week's annual chamber of commerce banquet - we can't list all of them because some haven't been notified yet.

Yes, I know I probably left out a deserving person or group and  I'll probably get yelled at. Comes with the job and I have enough chocolate and red wine to get through it.

•••

Contrary to rumors, there has been no mass exodus by members of the Measure S Citizens Oversight Committee. 

Melissa Griggs recently resigned - a little more than a month before her term would have ended anyway on June 30. 

Michael Montelongo was named as a replacement to serve for the remainder of the unfilled term of James Miser who resigned quite awhile ago - and that term also ends on June 30.

The City is accepting applications for those two positions.

The Measure S problems aren't going away and, apparently, neither is the oversight committee, although I can't image why anyone would volunteer to jump into the middle of that mess.

•••

Mother's Day is this Sunday and I have special and not so random thoughts about that.  

A few years ago, with Mother's Day around the corner, I shared an early memory of my mother and I've been asked if I would reprint part of that column for this Mother's Day. 

Here it is:

I'm an Okie.

My friends sometimes call me a redneck and while I consider that a compliment not all Okies are rednecks and not all rednecks are Okies. 

I came to California from Oklahoma with my family in an old Chevy stake truck in the late 30's. 

My first real memories of my mother in California are at Linnel Farm Labor Camp in Tulare County near Farmersville. It was one of the first places we settled in the San Joaquin Valley. 

We lived there in a small, metal cabin. We had to go to another building to use a bathroom and to take a shower. We brought drinking water into the cabin in a bucket, filled from a nearby spigot and we drank from a "dipper."

My mom and dad, two sisters and my brother and I lived in the unheated metal cabin. I was probably 6 or 7 years old, the youngest in the family. 

We all worked in the fields.

Between crops my dad looked for a steady job in towns around Linnel, Farmersville, Visalia and Tulare. 

He was quiet and intense and didn't interact with us kids very much. Looking back, he was probably overwhelmed with the realization that California was not the land of golden opportunity he had been led to believe.

My mom sang a lot - always church songs. She seemed happy – even though much later I realized she must have been just as worried as my dad. 

She hugged us a lot. 

She made sure we ate our meals and kept clean and picked up after ourselves. She patched up my brother and me when we got into scuffles with other boys in the camp.

She sewed shirts and dresses for us out of feed and flour sacks. She always fixed us breakfast and supper - no matter how early or late we had to be in the fields. 

We didn't work on Sunday and when visitors came she never let them leave without serving them a snack or sometimes a full meal. She worried if they had traveled far and urged them to, "stay the night" – and we made, "pallets on the floor." Somehow, in the morning, she managed to find something else to feed them before they went home. Sometimes it was only biscuits soaked in "bacon drippings" and drizzled with sorghum molasses or "Karo" corn syrup. 

There were camp workers at Linnel – volunteers maybe – women with little white starched aprons and an I'm better than you attitude. About once a week they looked at my throat, took my temperature and gave me and the other Okie kids a little cup of orange juice and cod liver oil and talked about us as though we were not capable of understanding what they were saying. 

One day my mom heard them talking about me – "the little pigeon-chested Okie boy who would probably grow up to be a drunk just like his daddy."

That was the first time I had ever seen my mother mad. 

Real mad. 

She let those women know – in front of everyone – that I was a smart and a good boy and I would grow up to be, "somebody!" 

She took me back to our cabin, hugged me and told me I could grow up to be whatever I wanted to be – not to pay any attention to those women.

We left Linnel soon after that.

My mom was strong, confident, brave and optimistic. She worked hard. She had a good sense of humor. She shared whatever she had with others but didn't put up with people trying to take advantage of her. 

She shaped my early years – my early attitudes and priorities. 

I like to believe I turned out a little like her. All her Okie kids turned out pretty well – at least a lot better than the orange juice-cod liver oil ladies expected. 

I forgave them a long time ago. 

As my mama used to say, "They probably meant well – they just didn't know any better."

She was 93 years old when she died in 1994.

Happy Mother's Day mom!

I love and miss you.

•••

Please direct your questions or comments to sangerherald@gmail.com

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