Thursday, May 6, 2010

Making a list of things we should be thankful for in our home town, and welcoming the Tour of California to town

* ... HOME SWEET HOME: When was the last time you jotted down all the things you like about living in Bakersfield? I did so recently on a plane returning from the east coast and trust me, it's a much better experience than listing the things we don't like. In no particular order, here's my view of some of Bako's more endearing qualities: great weather, wonderful people, small town feel, the bike path, Luigi's, Basque food, short commutes, access to the mountains and beaches, the Padre Hotel, locally owned businesses, great neighborhoods, good schools, active and committed non-profits, a high sense of personal accountability in a town where everyone knows each other, acceptance of outsiders, the Kern River and local agriculture. What's on your list?

* ... OLDEST GRADUATE? Heard from retired CSUB math professor Lee Webb wondering if his friend, Esther DeLeon Dougherty, is the oldest graduate of UC Santa Barbara living locally. Esther graduated from Santa Barbara State College (precursor to what became UC Santa Barbara) in 1943 and apparently still substitute teaches. "All of us at the (Kroll) dog park really enjoy her company and her enthusiasm for life. She was the first Hispanic to graduate from college in her family, working her way through college, teaching for a number of years in Bakersfield schools, and she is still adding to the culture of this outstanding city."

 * ... AMGEN TOUR: Remember to put Thursday, May 20, on your calendar. That's the date that some of the world's best cyclists will storm into town for a sprint finish up the Panorama Bluffs in the Amgen Tour of California bicycle race. Trust me, this is an event worth attending and you'll be treated to some spectacular bike racing as well as music, food and vendor booths. Tour de France winner and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong will be there along with all the big names in professional cycling. There will be a Stage 5 "Lifestyle Festival" in the northeast parking lot on the campus of Bakersfield College from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. the day of the race, and it's free to the public. This is a chance to show off Bakersfield, so don't miss it.

* ... COOL WATER: Ever notice how just the tiniest bit of water in the Kern River makes us all feel better? It's always a surprise to return from a long trip to find real liquid in our river, as crazy as that sounds to outsiders. Wish it were there all the time.(photos courtesy of Don Martin)

 * ... OFF TO KOREA: Kudos to Emily Shapiro, a 2009 graduate of Cal State Bakersfield, who is off to Seoul, South Korea, to teach English. She majored in communications with an emphasis in journalism and public relations.

* ... MEA CULPA: I heard from the mother of Jenna Richmond, the fourth grader who had a chance to see pop singer Miley Cyrus as part of the local "Make a Wish Foundation." I reported that Jenna was suffering from a brain tumor but mother Kellie Richmond happily reported the tumor is in remission. Now that's a mistake I don't mind correcting.

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You know you're from Bakersfield when "you think beans and salsa go with everything."


ALittleGuitar said...

RR-- what are those upright structures in the first water-in-the-river pic?

Richard Beene said...

Those are pillars for a bridge/road extension at Mohawk and Truxtun ...


Are you trying to tell me that beans and salsa DO NOT go with everything?