Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bako or Bakersfield? One person's insult is another's endearment

 * ... MATH TUTOR BECOMES DEAN: I was delighted to hear from Lee Webb, professor emeritus of math at CSUB who wrote to give me an update on his daughter, Tamara. I have my own connection with his impressive daughter: she tutored my younger daughter in math, well enough that Hannah went on to University of Michigan in no small part due to Tamara's coaching. Tamara went to Cal Poly in Fall 2000, spent a year there, but missed Bakersfield and her boy friend A.J. Clark. So she returned to CSUB, finished a double major in political science and kinesiology, minoring in math, and started teaching math at BHS in 2004. This is her sixth year at BHS, she married her high school sweetheart, finished two master's degrees, and earned her administrative credential at CSUB. She was the head swim coach at BHS, but relinquished that position and the mathematics teaching position this year to become Dean of Instruction at BHS.  Her husband, A.J. graduated from BHS, attended BC for two years, finished his bachelor's and master's in public administration at CSUB, and is an engineer for the Bakersfield City Fire Department. As the proud dad Lee said: "AJ and Tamara love Bakersfield and will more than likely finish both of their careers in this family friendly town." Now that's a happy ending.

 * ... AN ENGINEER FROM GATECH: I also heard the other day that Nikki Erickson, a local Stockdale High graduate whose parents have since moved to North Carolina, graduated from Georgia Tech this year. Nikki is the daughter of Bob and Carole Erickson, formerly of Southwest Bakersfield. Bob was a Georgia Tech engineering alumni and Nikki  followed in his footsteps.

 * ... BAKO OR BAKERSFIELD: I received a lot of good spirited feedback on whether referring to our community as "Bako" was in any way derogatory. I will occasionally run some of the responses, but here is  local resident Joel Young weighing in: "There is nothing disrespectful about using Bako. I've definitely heard worse: Bakershole and Bakerspatch for example. I think of Bakersfield as the poor little ugly dog that grows on you over time and becomes cute. What better nickname to give that dog than Bako?" 

 And Jan Hefner wrote: "Hi Richard. I love the term Bako and use it often, and I'm a Bako native. My first recollection of hearing the term was when the original Great American Melodrama theatre came to town in the early 80s. That Melodrama has its first location in Oceano and most of the actors at the start had worked in Oceano before moving to Bakersfield. The actors started using the term Bako for short hand when talking about the two towns - Oceano and Bako."

* ... THE BUZZ: I heard that Mike Allen, longtime head of the Spanish Radio Group in town, is leaving the company after almost 33 years. Mike is one of the most well known local radio managers in town and an aggressive competitor but apparently lost out in a companywide shakeup. Mike told me he plans on sticking around in town and exploring other opportunities. Something tells me we haven't heard the last of him. The stations Mike managed include KIWI, KWAC, KPSL and KCHJ.


Anonymous said...

Is "Bako" to Bakersfield what "Frisco" is to San Francisco? A true San Franciscan would never use that term. On the other hand, I use Bako all the time.

Laurie Anello Bustamante

Tom Bailey said...

Bakershole was a funny one. I think maybe some people get upset because there is a reason to be overly sensitive. Bako sounds better than Bakersfield to me but I am NOT from that area of So. Cal. I have never used bako - the only deragatory one I had heard before in regards to California was "garbage grove" instead of garden grove.

Thanks for sharing.


Thanks for sharing.

Joe said...

Bakersberg, Buckstown, but what do I know, I'm an original Masshole. I've lived in a few places, Bakersfield is far better than many of them. Actually, living here has made me not hate San Luis/Paso/Pismo as much. NO I wouldn't move back there, but yes, now I see why the "Valley Rats" all charge West on 46 for the weekend.

I think the joke or punchline is somewhere in the 'slogans' people try to come up with; 'Life as it should be' 'City of Righteousness'

Anonymous said...

Joe is right. The real jokes are the "city of righteousness" bumper stickers!