A little bit about a lot of things:

• More Friday night fun is in store for West Siders this fall, when the city of Newman hosts a harvest market.

The event is a continuation of the successful June farmer’s market which the city and Newman chamber sponsored, and will run Fridays from Sept. 20 through Oct. 11 in Newman’s downtown plaza.

There are some format changes in store, though, as craft booths will be part of the mix at the harvest market in addition to farm-fresh produce and other foods.

Given the many creative crafters we have in our communities, that should be a hit!

We knew that a fall market was being considered, and are happy that it is coming to fruition....you’ll read more about that later, but for now anybody interested in having a booth at the event may call 678-6271 for more information or to apply.

• West Side Community Ambulance has apparently come full circle, as the organization is going back to an in-house management structure after several somewhat rocky years of using outside firms to manage the ambulance service on a contract basis.

Our taxpayer-supported community ambulance has had a rough go of it in a number of ways through recent years, under both the in-house and contracted management structures.

That course of action was decided during a Friday evening special meeting of the ambulance board.

I would sincerely hope that as part of the preparations to return to an in-house service the ambulance board takes a hard look at what didn’t work the last time and put whatever measures are necessary to avoid falling into the same pitfalls.

I honestly never thought I would see the day West Side brought back in-house management. On the other hand, having outside companies run the place didn’t work all that well either, although in fairness that was not entirely the fault of those firms.

So my message to everybody involved in West Side Community Ambulance is simple: Get it right.

It’s too important not to.

• So....we fly back from the Midwest last week on an airline that has first-come, first-served open seating....but when we go to a movie on the weekend picking reserved seats is required.

What’s up with that?

• Came across a couple of my early-day, mid-1980s era columns tucked away at my mom’s home while back in Iowa, which only proved that:

A) My parents were my No. 1 fans, as I always suspected, and:

B) I couldn’t have been more lost when I started working here.....it is remarkable to me that 35 years have passed since I came to Newman with the idea of staying a few years and moving on. And it is amazing how green I was.

I was a farm kid, but with the exception of the occasional corn field I had no idea what was growing around this area. Tree crops? No idea. Tomatoes? I knew where to look for them in the produce aisle.

I had absolutely no clue what a Portuguese festa was all about.....why there were queens everywhere you looked and people lined up at the door of the hall for something called sopas.

The whole Redskins/Warriors rivalry was new to me, although I caught on to that one pretty quickly.

That it rained instead of snowing in the winter and didn’t rain at all in the summer took me a while to get used to.

I also knew precious little about governmental structure, other than school boards, so learning the difference between a planning commission and a recreation commission and a hospital board and a county board of supervisors was an on-the-fly experience.

I’m sure I irritated some people. A few come to mind. But many others took me under their wing, and taught me even while tolerating my mistakes and missteps. I’m still learning, by the way, and I still very humanly make mistakes and sometimes step in it.

Looking back at some of my early columns, I’m sure that I never would have envisioned sitting here still writing them today.

But I’m glad I stuck around. It’s a good place to be.

• One more item to mark on your calendar.....a new event in Newman will be held Tuesday, Aug. 6, when a National Night Out observance is held from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at Kern and Main Street.

I’m looking forward to it, and I hope the turnout is awesome.

Like the farmer’s market and harvest market, the National Night Out is an event designed to bring people together and celebrate community.

That, in today’s world, is truly a worthy cause.

Dean Harris the Managing Editor of the West Side Index and Gustine Press-Standard. He can be reached at dharris@mattosnews.com or by calling (209) 243-8104.