From the emails and voice mails:
GLORIOUS FOURTH Readers and music fans remember Ron DeLacy, a gent of incredible wit along with an irreverence toward political correctness.
In addition to living in and covering the Mother Lode for The Bee for 27 years, the banjo-playing DeLacy and Dave Cavanagh formed DooDoo Wah, recording six albums and performing at a theater or venue near you.
According to www.doodoowah.com, Ray Stevens recorded their song "Working for the Japanese," while Pinkard and Bowden redid their "Since My Baby Turned Gay" and "Long-a-Sing."
They wrote and performed songs about Dr. Jack Kevorkian, Bill Clinton ("Hanky Panky in the White House"), Richard Nixon, Osama bin Laden and one about an attorney passing gas ("Odor in the Court") among the many.
DeLacy will serve as the grand marshal of Columbia State Historic Park's Glorious Fourth of July Celebration parade, an event that made its debut in, oh, 1852 and seems to be catching on. Leslie Davis will be the event's Goddess of Liberty.
SLICK EVENT Then-Gov. Ronald Reagan gave the keynote address on a 100-degree Fourth of July at Columbia in 1968. I remember it well. The speech dragged on. Being nearly 11 years old with a short attention span, I got bored and found something to lean against: the greased pole used in the greased pole-climbing contest. Crisco, as I recall.
VANS FOR VETS For many months, Joe Madden and his cohorts have been picking up disabled or carless veterans at their homes and driving them to medical appointments. The problem was that the vehicles owned by Madden and the others were ill-suited and in some cases simply uncomfortable for the vets who needed the lifts.
So Madden began searching for a van perhaps sitting idle at another Veterans Affairs office and thought he'd found one. It didn't work out. So he wrote letters to VA officials, and then to the office of Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, himself a veteran and an advocate for veteran causes.
Last week, two vans arrived from Palo Alto. At 11 a.m. today, Denham will ceremoniously hand over the keys at the new VA clinic, 1225 Oakdale Road.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS The Modesto Certified Farmers Market will go into overdrive on the Fourth, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on 16th Street, with a second market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the Gallo Center on I Street. The MoBand concert, however, will bump up to Wednesday night for its "Patriotic Blast-Off" concert at Graceada Park.
STINGING SUCCESS For the past 10 years, with three of her children attending Turlock High, Katie Day has been integral in organizing the school's sober grad night parties.
Now that the last one, Sarah, has graduated, Katie finally will step down as the committee's board chairwoman, ending a decade of hard work and incredible dedication.
Stepping down on the way to this year's graduation ceremony, she was stung by a bee. And by the time the grad night party hit full swing, she'd developed laryngitis.
"She is allergic and her foot was so swollen by the end of the night you could hardly recognize it was a foot," committee treasurer Lori Bill wrote in an email. "She had talked so much and answered so many questioned that by the time the event started, she barely could speak, and by the time she drew the grand prize winners, she simply had no voice."
Indeed, Day drew the winning tickets and then whispered the winners' names to another person, who then announced the names over the public address system.
During Day's time on the committee, the sober grad parties averaged 73 percent attendance, meaning she helped give roughly 3,500 Turlock High students a great send-off.
AGENDA IRONY From today's agenda, Stanislaus County supervisors will accept a report and update on the regional flood management program.
They're dealing with flood items after another underproductive rain year and with the mercury hitting 108 or more? Not odd at all, actually.
This particular item involves Reclamation District 2012 along the San Joaquin River reclamation meaning lands protected by levees and such.
And don't forget that the flood year of 1997 also was nearly a drought year in the valley. After New Don Pedro spilled in January of that year, little rain fell the rest of the year.
So it's better to be prepared than, well, wet.
Jeff Jardine's column appears Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in Local News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, @jeffjardine57 on Twitter or at (209) 578-2383.