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Turlock’s not boring?

POSTED March 3, 2010 5:01 p.m.
I’ve heard it said that it takes a big man to admit that he’s wrong.
Fortunately I’ve never been wrong, so I’ve never had to put that tenet to the test. But there may be a first time for everything.
Recently, you see, I’ve had to consider the possibility of admitting a minor mistake. It certainly wasn’t an incident of outright wrongness — an unthinkable occurrence — but instead perhaps a respected differing of opinions.
It all traces back to my Jan. 14 column, “Turlock humdrum,” wherein I — rather accurately — portrayed Turlock as a boring burg.
Yes, I admitted there were things to do about town, should one seek out extracurricular activities. And I commended the City of Turlock for doing their best to provide leisure opportunities.
I did, however, lament the citizens of Turlock as, by and large, a boring bunch who have failed to financially support the smattering of entertainment-related endeavors that have come to town. I think the long-gone bowling alley, driving range, and skating rink speak to our reluctance to fork over our hard-earned cash for an hour or two of fun — and most readers seemed to agree with me.
But readers seemed to take issue with one particular element of my argument: my reasoning as to why these businesses have failed.
Apparently my fellow Turlockers don’t take well to being called “an inherently boring people” who are “content to sit in front of the television and complain about how bored we are.”
Admittedly, I thought I’d catch some flak for the comments. I was sure to buy the insurance for my car’s tires and my home’s windows, just in case.
What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was the reader responses arguing that Turlock’s entertainment businesses have failed because there’s just too much to do in Turlock.
I sat agog for a moment or two, scratched my head, rolled my mustache between my fingers, and then said, “What on Earth are you talking about?”
The consensus, in these responses, seems to be that Turlockers are an industrious, tightly knit community. In keeping with our rural, small-town character, our residents are able to entertain themselves with clubs and hobbies.
We have community clean-up days, we have knitting circles, we have writing groups and we have line-dancing… lines, or whatever they are. All of these are community-driven, made possible through the sheer will of Turlockers, and, unfortunately, under the radar of the majority of Turlock’s residents.
I — begrudgingly — will admit that a minor subset of Turlockers have been able to find enough like-minded individuals to pursue some hobby. But I don’t think this admission is enough to disqualify my entire argument that Turlock is a boring place.
It just means that until I know what there truly is to do here in Turlock — lying just underneath the mainstream consciousness — I can’t be sure whether I’m right or wrong about Turlock’s boringness.
So, with the blessing of my editor, I’m going to go out in the community and take part in all of these so-called “fun” things there are to do in Turlock. I want to come to your group’s meeting and play soccer, sing or fundraise. And then I want to write about my experiences in the paper.
Not every activity here in town may be down my alley — I’m more of a quilter than a knitter, for example — but I’m sure my experiences will be of interest to all the other closet knitting freaks about town. Even if I don’t have fun, I’m sure there are countless Turlockers who will enjoy hearing about what some other Turlockers do for fun.
So shoot me an e-mail. Invite me to your club’s meeting. I promise I’ll pay you a visit — at least once — and I’ll share your stories of fun with the readers of the Turlock Journal.
Maybe, just maybe, I’ll find out that Turlock isn’t such a boring place.
But, as I’ve never been wrong before, I’m not putting any bets on it.
To rope Alex Cantatore into joining your boring club for a day of so-called “fun,” e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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