* ... JUNE AARON: I was saddened to hear of the death of June Aaron after a 20-year battle with lupus. June was the wife of Hal Aaron, one our community's true gentlemen and the owner of the real estate development firm Aaron Development. Hal told me he was fortunate to be there at the end, and that his wife died in his arms. He had nothing but wonderful things to say about Hoffmann Hospice, and he mentioned that a memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. June served on the Kern County Grand Jury, was a volunteer at the Guild House and was a member of the Kern County Republican Central Committee. The Aarons have also been huge supporters of both the Bakersfield SPCA and Children's Home Society. They were married 52 years.
* ... SICK BAY: I also heard that Mark Ehly, a longtime California Highway Patrol officer stationed at Fort Tejon, had a setback in his recovery from a December brain aneurysm. Mark was in rehabilitation locally when he experienced more problems and was rushed to San Joaquin Hospital where he underwent surgery to control the bleeding in his brain. He is now in an induced coma. You may remember Mark because he's the public affairs "face" of the CHP at Fort Tejon and has appeared numerous times on local TV and in the newspaper. He is just 50 years old. Keep his wife Shannon and their family in your thoughts.
* ... LOOKING BACK: Retired Cal State Bakersfield math professor Lee Webb wrote to tell me about growing up in Santa Barbara in the days when UC Santa Barbara didn't enjoy the stature it does today. His father had been a geology professor at UCLA and joined the new UC Santa Barbara campus. In Lee's words:"
"Apparently UCSB was to be UCSBC and not to have the stature of a Berkeley or UCLA (little did they know that a few year's ago UCSB would produce more Nobel Laureates than Berkeley and UCLA). All of my father's science colleagues at UCLA told him he was crazy to go to that backwater place to be called UCSBC. As I remember in 1947 there weren't even any stop lights in the Santa Barbara. My father was a very wise man, because he accepted the position. What a place to be raised as a child, compared to LA! I remember in the late 1940's going to UCSBC football games at La Playa Stadium, which is now the stadium for Santa Barbara City College. UCSBC was up on the Riviera above the mission and Industrial Arts was located where the current SBCC campus is now located. Dad often had one of his antique Franklin cars in the building where students worked on it in the Automotive class."
Lee graduated from UCSB as did his son Rob. His daughter Tamara was accepted there but chose Cal Poly and eventually ended up with a degree from Cal State Bakersfield.
* ... BAKERSFIELDISM: This from work colleague Evan Jones: You know you're from Bakersfield when "your funeral is followed by a car wash." Ouch!