Thursday, April 29, 2010
Saving sports at Cal State Bakersfield, hostile emails and Make a Wish Foundation sends a girl to LA
* ... MAKE A WISH: Was nice to hear that a local 10-year-old girl had a chance to meet pop singer Miley Cyrus as part of the "Make a Wish Foundation," which assists young people suffering from various illnesses. Jenna Richmond, a fourth grader at Olive Drive Elementary, met Cyrus on Wednesday in Los Angeles along with 29 other "Make a Wish" kids. Catherine Anspach is the local director of the Kern County chapter of "Make a Wish" and said Jenna's wish was granted to "highlight the hope, strength and joy that Make a Wish Foundation brings children with life-threatening medical conditions every day." Jenna, daughter of Michael and Kellie Richmond, is suffering from a brain tumor.
* ... INCOHERENT RANT: You just can't please everybody. At least that's what my mother always told me. So it really came as no surprise when I received a hostile email from perennial letter-to-the-editor writer Panfilo Fuentes taking me to task for highlighting a local bike shop owner (Kerry Ryan of Action Sports) for giving dozens of local kids jobs over the years. Helping kids find their way in the business world wasn't good enough for Panfilo, who apparently smelled racism in my post because - in his words - "this is a great guy whose work undoubtedly is important to keeping the status quo of Bakersfield life and maintaining a dominant presence in a shrinking white population." Huh? Never mind that Kerry has employed plenty of kids from all backgrounds, as so many will attest, but never let the facts get in the way of a good rant.
* .. OVERHEARD: Overhead on a beach in south Georgia, one man to another: "Don't be walking behind me, I a spittin'."
* ... BAKERSFILEDISM: You know you're from Bakersfield when "you remember the missile on top of the Padre Hotel and know why it was there."
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I worked for Kerry at Action Sports during high school and can attest that saving the white population is one of the last things on his or his hiring staff's mind. Off the top of my head I can think of four different ethnic groups represented while working there.
Over the years Kerry has provided many opportunities for myself and others that without him, we would have never had.
If Mr. Fuentes' email is because he or someone he knows didn't get a job at Action Sports, it's not because of race. It's because they probably didn't have much knowledge of the sports represented at Action Sports. Almost all of the workers there, were at one time or another, immersed in their respective sport. Whether it be snowboarding, rollerblading, cycling, rock climbing, etc. Kerry has a standard of employing the most knowledgeable staff, no matter what race.
Fuentes appears to be quite the racist himself, doesn't he?
Richard, great write up on Kerry. Thanks for the Kudos for one of the best business people in Bakersfield. A big part of my development was him. Not only introducing me to Bakersfield, but what I learned in the 2 1/2 yrs working with about commitment, responsibility, and care for your customers. Thank you for that great highlight.
On another note, feel welcome to remind Panfilo that one of Kerry's employees who has come a long way, happens to not only to be Mexican American, but was actually born in Tijuana, became a U.S. Citizen, and he didn't have me cleaning the bathrooms or doing maintenance work. I was one of his best sales people on the floor day in and day out. Kerry is a stand up guy who has helped people from all walks of life, and he has done it with integrity, care, and love for those who worked for him.
Feel welcome to post this as a comment. For some reason, I can't post on your blog, unless I'm doing something wrong.
I see Beene there done that has brought out the usual suspects to justify the sports shops business as usual routine to maintain the status quo and that is fair. There are after all many who want face time on Benes society column.
As for Oscar, I don’t blame him for cleaning toilet at the store, in fact he can clean mine any time. However it was lucky his backpack dried before he bought his citizenship at the sports shop, other wise he might have found himself wearing pink pajamas on Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Arizona farm.
I agonized over posting the above comment but thought it was reflective of the hate and small mindedness that we all live with. I often wonder what drives people to deliver to such levels of bitterness ....
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