A little bit about a lot of things:

•  We’re fast approaching the time of year when we honor those who served in a weekly series of feature stories leading up to Veterans Day.

And, as always, we’d like to hear from folks who might recommend a local veteran to be featured as part of that series.

I have always been impressed by the number of people in our communities who are veterans....service to country is something that is taken seriously and truly appreciated by our communities.

We have enjoyed sharing their stories, and based on the feedback from our readers the veteran series have been well-received.

I have truly appreciated the honor of visiting with the veterans who have been kind enough to share their stories with me....and sometimes that is not an easy thing for them to do. Their stories, without exception, have been interesting and given me insight into the sacrifices and dedication that go hand-in-hand with military service.

A common theme we hear from veterans is that others did more and are more deserving of recognition, but I always respectfully disagree.

Anybody who served, in time of war or peace, in combat or not, did their part to defend our nation’s freedom, and all are owed a debt of gratitude.

We’d like to visit with veterans young or not so young, from various branches of the military, to provide a cross-section sampling of those who served.

Does somebody come to mind?

If you know a veteran whose story should be shared, please email the name and contact information to me at dharris@mattosnews.com.

• Good things are worth waiting for....and Gustine Middle School has been waiting years for its gym.

The good news is that the long-awaited gym is under construction; the not-so-good news is that, due to weather delays last spring the building may not be completed until Jan. 1, a few weeks behind the original schedule.

Superintendent Bryan Ballenger, however, said that the district is still hoping to have the gym completed and be able to host an event in the new facility before students and staff break for the winter holiday.

We hope so, too.

It will be a big day for the school and the community when the district gets the keys to the new gymnasium. I’m sure that from the perspective of students and staff who see the project every day it feels like it is taking forever.

That gym will be a game-changer for Gustine Middle School.

A middle school campus without a gym is not truly complete.

We, like many others, are anxious to see the gym completed and being put to use.

It will be worth what has been too long a wait.

• Stopped by the open house honoring long-time resident Betty Hatcher at the Gustine Museum Sunday afternoon, and was reminded of what special people live in our communities.

Congratulations to Betty, who is well-deserving of the honor, and kudos to the Gustine Historical Society for its occasional events to recognize people who have quietly made a difference in their communities through the years.

Well done!

• Last blast for hot weather?

Triple digit temps over the weekend gave way to far more mild temperatures on Monday, so maybe fall is out there somewhere.

Felt like we had far too much hot weather this summer....although that is to be expected in our valley. Still, I suspect that this time of year most of us are just are anxious for fall to arrive as we are for winter rains to give way to the beauty of spring each year.

• Just a reminder....harvest market begins its run in Newman’s downtown plaza this Friday, and continues Fridays through Oct. 11.

Hours are 3-7 p.m.

Check it out....

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.