Saturday, December 27, 2008

The heart of B-town

There are plenty of things wrong with Bakersfield. Start with the foul air and go from there: a general lack of vision among our elected leaders, apathy among the public, low expectations, high illiteracy and drop out rates, an appalling low percentage of college graduates. We all have our lists. But there is something else that we can't overlook and that is the genuine goodness of most of the folks who dwell here. It's that "small town" feeling when we are anything but a small town, but it exists and everyone can attest to it. It's the kind of place where people are ready to help, and if you open yourself up, you'll find yourself with friends in about every trade. Today for example my heat went out (yikes it was cold) and I was headed to the Yellow Pages for a round of cold calling when a friend mentioned a mutual friend we shoot skeet with. Sure enough one call later and owner Ben Wagoner (by the way he is one terrific skeet shooter) sent his crew over from Air Control Services to fix the problem. We all have these stories - mechanics, handymen, painters, plumbers, even lawyers and law enforcement officers - all found via word of mouth from friends who are eager to help. That's when B-town feels like home.

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