Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's a trip down memory lane as readers recall the old La Cresta air park, the early days of BHS and home delivered donuts

 * ... LA CRESTA: Turns out a lot of folks have a connection with the old La Cresta air park, once located up on the Panorama Bluffs near Bakersfield College. John Bresnahan was the latest to weigh in on a bit of our history. "I learned to fly out of Kern County Airfield in 1945 and received my license in 1946.  Shortly thereafter, I noticed the construction of La Cresta airfield, and upon its completion I moved my PT 19 to La Cresta because I lived in the immediate area. I was 16 at the time and my dad and I flew out of La Cresta into 1949.  I met Jim French, and even flew my Fairchild to Arvin on two occasions to swamp for Steve Straub. My flying buddy at the time was Jim Bowers, and he parked his BT 15 next to me just beyond the Gas Island. I remember the P40 that Monte bought and sold to the Mexican Air Force (I was told)... In 1949 Jim discovered cracks in my Fairchild and that ended that. When I found out that they tore it apart and sold the parts, I was crushed. I would have stored it all of these years just to have it, but I was away at school at the time and only discovered the frame much later in a gully south of the hanger. Thanks for your Blog in the Californian."

 * ... FIRST FIVE: Good to hear that Jamie Henderson has been appointed executive director of the First Five Commission. Henderson spent 12 years as superintendent of the Rosedale Union School District and has impeccable credentials. He'll be a good addition to First Five, which suffered a soiled reputation under former director Steve Ladd's controversial spending practices. The commission doles out tobacco tax money for programs that benefit kids.

 * ... JOE GARONE: Reader Donna Calanchini dropped me a note to recall her father, Joe Garone, who had a lasting impact on our community. While student body president of Bakersfield High in the late 1930s, apparently Joe helped implement the closure of F Street to public traffic through the middle of campus, feeling it was a safety issue. Donna said her father was later a farmer and grocery store owner in Greenfield, helped establish the first Post Office there and later co-founded Greenfield State Bank in 1952. "My sister Judy was born the same year and had saving account #1. Greenfield State Bank later became California Republic Bank which then merged with First Interstate Bank which was eventually acquired by Wells Fargo Bank." Thanks for sharing that bit of our history, Donna.

 * ... YUMMY DONUTS: A random bittersweet comment from reader Margie Prichard: "Reading about Wayne's Dairy reminded me of the Yummy Donuts mom used to treat us girls to through Wayne's home delivery. I can still smell the delicious aroma. My memory was also brought to focus on the day of President Kennedy's assassination. I rode my banana seat bicycle to meet up with my high school sister (sporting a French roll hair do) walking home, crying and crying over the sad event. Thanks for all the walks through memory lane, both happy and sad."

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: From my regular contributor Riley Parker: You know you're a Bakersfield old-timer if  "you remember when the Bakersfield Inn was a fun place to visit as a kid so that you could walk on the 'Bakersfield sign' overpass."

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