default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Why all the holiday fuss so soon — let us enjoy the wonderful month of September

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 10:00 pm

September at last, and a hint here and there of cooler weather.

The berries on the hawthorn tree have already moved into the red, as have some on the Chinese pistache. Some leaves here and there have a head start on fall color. I think I can look forward to another round or two of roses and hibiscus - if the fall is mild.

September now. Turn around and it's Hallowe'en. Turn again and it's Thanksgiving. And then the final spin into Christmas. Already catalogs are featuring Christmas cards and decorations. It's too soon! Give us time to savor the wonderful fall nostalgic time when gardens are falling asleep and we tuck things away for another winter.

A patchwork of stories: My friend Norma Kellam told me a heart-warming tale. She was taking groceries through the checkout line at Raley's when the clerk told her that the man in line behind her had offered to pay for her purchases. Surprised and appreciative, Norma asked him why. With a warm and sincere look in his eyes, he said he wanted to help her because she reminded him of his mother. Acts like these are like beacons in this turmoil of worry and contentiousness we all seem to be in. Bless that man, and all those like him who try to lift burdens.

It's a small world. The other day at the University of the Pacific health center, a student sitting in the waiting room with me had a very large book.

"Textbook?" I asked.

"Yes," he said.




"No, physical therapy."

"Do you know Monty Merrill?"

"Yes, he's my instructor."

Well, I know Monty well because he owns Lodi Physical Therapy where I do my gym program. (Not as often as I should, lately!)

Small world again. We have been going to De Grande's to eat lunch occasionally and have become friends with owner Gary DeG and his son, Miles. Turns out some years ago Gary had a concession stand at Herman and Helen's Marina. I asked him if he knew my friend, the late Naomi Carey, who at one time was the bookkeeper at the marina. Turns out he did.

Speaking of De Grande's, it's one of Lodi's best secrets, located as it is on Maggio Circle off South Stockton Street. The food is excellent (as is the company) and all made on the premises. Hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. or so - maybe later. They cater on weekends, lately at Jessie's Grove.

What delights me is that they have a hot dog cart! I have been missing my friend Lou Fugazi and his hot dog cart at the Post Office, and hope I can persuade Gary to activate his somewhere Downtown during weekdays.

DeG's is really not hard to reach. Go down West Lane to Harney Lane, turn left, and left again on Stockton Street. Maggio Circle is right there on the left.

And speaking of business friends, Randy and Laura Heinitz are gearing up to move into the larger space vacated by Bill Manley's decorator shop at Lakewood Mall, which has moved just next door. They plan on adding a line of fine women's clothing to their men's line. Great! Also, Wrappin' Up, the mall's gift shop, is doing some redecorating.

I think it's reassuring when small business owners have the courage to branch out and grow in these times. We need to support all our local businesses; they're what grew this country and are the foundation of our economic system. It would be great if more of the economic "stimulus" is directed to them; there's a lot still unspent. Of course, it would be nice if that were put back in the Treasury! Not likely.

I have been reading about the uproar concerning prayers before the Lodi City Council meeting. If anyone needs prayers, it is any governing body in this country. We don't seem to be doing so well on our own, given all the double dealing and antagonistic attitudes.

Why not a roster of all the churches, like a duty roster? Each one would have a chance. Faith of any sort is a firm handhold in these, or any, times. A quote from my pastor, the Rev. Harold Clinehens: "I think the true test of a religion is what it says to people in crisis, in the apocalyptic moments of our lives, when the world as we know it is falling apart."

And that is happening, more than the average person is aware. If the plans being dreamed up by Obama's circle of "czars" ever come into being, we will not recognize the corrupt dictatorship this country will become. Again, I beg my readers to watch Fox News. It's the only place to get the truth.

Given all the grim worries over the various health care bills, I received a great cartoon on my e-mail the other day. It shows a little old lady at the entrance of a large maze of cubicles, all taller than she. Over the door, a sign reads, "Public Option," with a large red cross above it. On the side wall, another sign: "If you can find your doctor, you can keep him."

Gwin Paden has been in Lodi since 1957, and has been active in many community groups and projects, as well as having several careers in various fields. She has been writing this column in one way or another since 1999.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • posted at 5:42 am on Tue, Sep 15, 2009.


    I hope she was able to join her guru, Glenn Beck's, mob of angry seniors decrying government involvement healthcare. Some were riding their scooters paid for by Medicare. The audacity of teabagging Obamaphobes is surpassed only by their inconsistency and thinly-veiled xenophobia. It is curious that the one commenter above who admits to having been an English student of Ms. Paden did not spell "writing" correctly. I was not her student, as I mentioned earlier. I can read and write well enough to form my own opinions, for which I am quite grateful. It would be miserable to let Fox News or Gwin Paden do that for me.

  • posted at 4:36 pm on Sat, Sep 12, 2009.


    What else do you expect from an out-of-touch fossil?

  • posted at 5:38 pm on Thu, Sep 10, 2009.


    This column is inane and self-indulgent but that is not what bothers me about it. This writer whines about the contentiousness of the times in which we live. Yet, she shamelessly plugs a network that encourages people to root for Obama's failure, even if it means great harm to our country.I went to Lodi High when there were no Black students. I loathed how racist this town was. But, I admired teachers for showing me how to think for myself. I did not have Ms. Paden as an English instructor so, I don't know if she taught her students to critically think. But, she does not seem to do so herself. I know other elderly White people who mindlessly let Fox News spoonfeed them right-wing extremist propaganda. They can get their "news" from whichever channel they prefer. But, I object to letting these individuals regurgitate Fox News' unfounded, paranoid hatespeak. I think it is irresponsible to publish this writer's claim that Obama is leading us into a "corrupt dictatorship". People were silenced for saying less than that about Bush and those accusations had basis in fact.

  • posted at 7:03 am on Thu, Sep 10, 2009.


    Also, De Grande's is owned by lovely people! Miles and Vince (the cook) are both former students of mine. It's good to see them doing a great job at something they like.........kind of gives me hope.

  • posted at 6:57 am on Thu, Sep 10, 2009.


    De Grande's has the absoulte BEST clam chowder I have ever eaten..........And the trip tip sandwich is wonderful.

  • posted at 1:29 pm on Wed, Sep 9, 2009.


    These shills for Fox News are beyond silly.

  • posted at 11:24 am on Wed, Sep 9, 2009.


    ..."Again, I beg my readers to watch Fox News. It's the only place to get the truth."Gwin, Gwin, I can't believe my eyes.Your last two paragraphs have caused me to lose faith in you.Please tell me you also watch The Jim Lehrer News Hour PBS. Did you read Bob Herbert in today's Sacramento Bee editorial page? As a former educator, you should be interested in what Bob is saying today. You may not subscribe to the Sac Bee, but you can find the article online at Sacbee.com

  • posted at 7:51 am on Wed, Sep 9, 2009.


    Dear Mrs Paden (I have a hard time not writting Mitchell since you were my teacher back in 76-77), don't you know that Lodi is the center of the Universe? Your Monty Merrill example is just like the Kevin Bacon 6-Degrees game, but we play it with people from Lodi.

  • posted at 5:31 am on Wed, Sep 9, 2009.


    Thank you for the heads up regarding De Grande's, Gwin! I've been looking for a "new" Italian place here in town and started drooling just looking at the menu. LOL!Here's a link for anyone else who's interested.http://www.degrandescafe.com/cafe.html


Recent Comments

Posted 13 hours ago by Walter Chang.

article: Letter: Our leaders need to be better r…

Anyone else hearing the theme song from the Twilight Zone after reading this rant??? [lol]


Posted 14 hours ago by Shane Marcus.

article: Letter: I was impressed with students a…

Yeah Its too bad the blood bank doesn't compensate these giving people in some way. Like maybe a free lunch. After all, giving blood takes …


Posted 14 hours ago by Walter Chang.

article: JoAnne Mounce: California gas tax is a …

[sleeping][yawn][sleeping] ZZZZzzzz....


Posted 14 hours ago by Jien Kaur.

article: Steve Hansen: Funding, researcher bias …

I don't know when you became a scientist Mr Maurer. So far you have claimed a career in music with famous musicians and several other care…


Posted 15 hours ago by Thomas Heuer.

article: Steve Hansen: Funding, researcher bias …

Mr Maurer Congratulations on advancing your childhood experimenting with your adult ice chest experiments. Now if I can induce you to advan…



Popular Stories



Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists