I was appalled to read some of the comments made by the citizens of Lodi concerning the route of the bicycle race scheduled for a Sunday morning that would unfortunately ride near the Methodist and Catholic churches. I was born in Lodi in 1942 and attended school there. The disrespect that I read in the comments made my skin crawl. The readers should keep in mind that the average age of the church members of the Methodist church is over age 70. The Methodist church members were the city employees, the business members, Real Estate agents, farmers, etc. They are retired now, and many need walkers to get to and from their car to church. These people built Lodi. We only had one high school. George Washington School was just built in the late '40s. Blewetts Ice Cream was the place to get great ice cream. I know times have changed, but these comments are unacceptable. Churches in Lodi have a long history of taking care of their members' spiritual needs both on Saturday and/or Sunday. These church-going members built Lodi.
Lodi was, in past years, a very caring town. We took notice of all of the population. To mock church members and mock the passing of the tithing plate at each church make those making such comments some of the smallest people I could ever imagine. Many of us find that going to church on Sunday or Saturday is personal time needed to put the world back into focus and let our minds find the clarity needed to exist in the world.
The bicycle route should be changed to accommodate these two churches, mainly because of the size of the congregations and the inadequate parking. The good businesses in Downtown Lodi give up their parking lots to the churches each Sunday, and for that these church members do remember these business and make it a point to shop at their establishment. Lodi has always been a town that could find a way to help one another. Such comments as I read in your newspaper tells me that Lodi has changed, and not for the better.
Lodi has always been a very religious community. It looks like our priests and ministers have more work to do.