Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Those foreclosed eyesores, pesky homeowner associations and high achieving kids headed to college
* ... STAR IS BORN: If you have never heard of a young country singer named Lauren Ashley, you will soon. Her father, Chris Persel, sent me a note saying that Lauren will be playing this Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Younger Gallery in the Bank of America building downtown. She's just 15 but plays all original country songs. And she will have an album out soon produced by Monty Byrum and Paul Serpa. Chris told me his daughter has written over 100 songs, sang the National Anthem for a Condors game and the Youth Leadership Conference and performed four nights at the Kern County Fair. To hear her music check out her website at www.laurenashleyofficial.com. Or even better, head over to the Younger Gallery to hear her perform in person. Her appearance will benefit the gallery and the Arts Council of Kern. This kid is going places.
* ... HIGH ACHIEVER: Ready for some good news? Then consider the case of Joe Feghali , who was just 11 years old when his family moved here from Lebanon. At the time he spoke only French, no English. Like many immigrants (and Lebanese are known for their industrious nature) the Feghalis embraced their new hometown and emphasized education. Joe is now a senior at Stockdale High School, and during one of the most competitive years for getting into the school of your choice, has been accepted at arguably some of the world's most selective universities. Among them are Harvard, Princeton, UC Berkeley, Brown, Duke, Cornell, Dartmouth and UCLA. Impressed? We should be. Proud father Antoine Feghali told me that he himself had just earned his citizenship last year and his wife just earned her bachelor's degree in modern language from CSUB. Who says this isn't the land of opportunity?
* ... STANFORD LEGACY: And speaking of high achievers I heard from Liz Blaine, a longtime Bakersfield patron of the arts, adding some perspective about her Stanford-bound granddaughter Melissa Hamilton. I had mentioned that Melissa's parents, Dr. Chris and Susan Hamilton, also graduated from Stanford but Liz takes it a step further. "She (Melissa) follows two sets of grand parents, six aunts and uncles and a cousin" as current or potential Stanford alums. She added that Melissa had choices as well, being accepted at Northwestern, Notre Dame and the University of Michigan. As Liz said: "Guess that's enough grandparental crowing. Thanks for indulging me." Happy to share it, Liz.
* ... BAKERSFIELDISMS: You know you're from Bakersfield when you realize that "Rosedale is a world of its own."