A little bit about a lot of things:

• It’s still early February, but you know how this goes....before you know it graduation will have arrived, then the Fourth of July, followed in what seems like no time by the Newman Fall Festival.

Festival organizers are gearing up their plans for Newman’s annual community gala, which has been held each Labor Day weekend for nearly 50 years.

The event is Newman’s signature celebration and offers a full weekend of activities and special events....more than a weekend, actually, because the festival starts Thursday evening with the Miss Newman Pageant and typically extends through a Monday softball tournament.

But it doesn’t happen by itself.

The Fall Festival has been suffering from the same malady that many other volunteer-based organizations have experienced in recent years, a lack of people willing to step up, help out and eventually assume leadership roles.

Like many other fine community activities and programs, the festival is entirely dependent on volunteer involvement.....we don’t have a celebration without the volunteers, plain and simple.

Seems like there have been more people complaining in recent years about this event or that event not being held as part of the festival......I would much rather they picked up the phone to ask what they could do to help, rather than leaving the work to others.

The Fall Festival may not go away this year or next (although who knows?) if that doesn’t happen.....but without an infusion of new volunteers the demise of Newman’s signature celebration is not far in the future.

Please consider volunteering, and if interested attend a general meeting of the Fall Festival Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 5:30 p.m. in the community room behind the Newman Police Department.

• Applications remain open for two seats on the local ambulance board, those commonly referred to as Newman city and Newman rural.

Strong leadership is critical if West Side is to emerge from its current crisis with any hope of having a future.....in my mind the ideal board member candidate brings a willingness to help, with extensive business experience and understanding of finances preferred, an abundance of common sense and no attachment whatsoever to old ways of doing business.

If you’re interested, call 862-2951 for additional information.

• Not complaining about our weather, given the incredible cold snap which settled on my old Midwest stomping grounds last week. We consider ourselves cold here if the mercury dips below freezing, say to 28 degrees or so.

But you have to have a minus sign in front of the temperature for it to truly be cold.....and when that dips to double-digit sub-zero temps like it did last week you’re talking about real deal cold, the kind that hits you in the face like a brick if you venture outdoors and can turn deadly in no time at all.

I had actually been lining up a quick trip back to Iowa this week, initially thinking that the weather would have moderated, but changed my mind after seeing sub-zero temperatures again in the forecast.

The forecast cold and snow was not as brutal as the record-breaking  deep freeze of last week, but was certainly enough to make me say “nope.”

I think I’ve turned into a Californian.

• Weather, of course, is often a matter of perspective.

I thoroughly enjoyed waking to the sound of a steady rain falling on several recent evenings....and being able to curl up with a cup of coffee on a rainy morning is therapeutic in its own way.

But standing drenched on the sidelines of a soccer match, for example, puts the rain in a far different - and far less enjoyable - light.

• Trying hard to think of a Super Bowl I had been less enthused about than that played Sunday in Atlanta.....and couldn’t come up with one.

The game lived down to my expectations.

Just wasn’t really much into it, and nothing that happened during the Super Bowl really captured my attention or generated any excitement.

You know that it was a swing and a miss (yes, I know, wrong sport) for the league when its own commercial was far more entertaining than the game itself, and when a choir member stole the show from the headliners in the halftime performance.

That kind of sums it up....

• Was reminded that we’re not that far away from spring recently, as we discovered blossoms popping on our peach tree.

It may be a little early, but for whatever reason the tree decided it was time to go to work....we’re not out of winter yet, but the best time of the year is right around the corner.

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.