On the continued account of a jury duty summons from last week, the Riverside County Superior Court clerk finally took my call after more than an hour and displayed the utmost courtesy. She rescheduled me to appear this week in Banning.

I checked the website Friday night and learned I was needed at 7:45 Monday morning. I headed down early and was herded into the spanking new courthouse with 67 other potential jurors. After de-briefing and the guy in shorts was sent home (he failed to read the fine print), the 67 of us left shuffled our way upstairs to the courtroom.

The judge and the plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorneys offered very informative explanations of the process, hoping to educate the general public on the jury system. The jury selection process, even for a DUI misdemeanor case, is slow, tedious and wrought with ritual. As potential jurors, our attention was required so all electronics became taboo.

The musical chairs of thanking and excusing potential jurors, calling new bodies to fill the empty chairs, repeated questions, etc., etc. — to seat 13 jurors to the satisfaction of the legal authories continued until 2:11 p.m. Suddenly, and quite to the surprise of the rest of us whose names were never called, a jury was chosen. After being excused, we left en masse with an elation much like winning the lottery or that feeling on the last day of school, a lot of stress lifted.

I wondered all day how I would get out this newspaper and, somehow, with the help of an incredible staff, I’m only two hours behind my usual time on Tuesday — now finishing up this column just after 2 p.m. Whew! Unfortunately, Jack received a jury summons last week for later this month.

Becky Clark, Editor