Read the Weekly Standard review here)
* ... THOMPSON'S: Many readers have sounded off on the old Thompson's pet store, now closed, and it prompted this response from Mike Thompson. "I certainly know the whereabouts of the old Thompson's Pet Land owner, as he is my dad. My parents, Warren and Rhoda Thompson, purchased the old Clyde's Pet Shop way back when. It was located across the railroad tracks from the old Haberfelde Ford dealership on Chester Avenue. When the Chester Avenue underpass displaced them, they moved the business to the old Greyhound Bus Station on 19th Street, where they operated the store for many years. My parents were well known in the community. Both were accomplished pilots, my mom a lady air racer and my dad active in the Sheriff's Aero Squadron. Warren Thompson now lives in Campbell River, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island's northeast coast. He published his first novel, 'EARTHQUAKE,' in 1990, and is working on its sequel. He also recently published a historical book for the town's Maritime Heritage Museum. My dad is still independent, drives, and has been an avid Rotarian for many years, earning the 'Rotarian Of the Year' award Many times. He will turn 96 this November.
* ... OLD DOWNTOWN: Reader Charles Conner wrote to tell me about the bustling downtown of the early 1960s, when retaurants like Tiny's at 18th and Chester Avenue served up specialities like the Chubby Steak, chef's salad and home-made pie. "I believe this was the Tiny Ward who was well known for his pies. Tiny's served great tasting food. Downtown Bakersfield was an exciting and wonderful place to live and work during those years."
* ... GLENDALE COLLEGE: Hats off to Andrea Hashim, a local girl who is the new administrative director and head of the dance department at Glendale Community College in Arizona. Andrea went to Our Lady of Perpetual Help and later Bakersfield High School, class of 2000. She later attended Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa., and earned her master's in dance from the University of Arizona. Her parents are Chuck and Valerie Hashim.
* ... SPOTTED: In the parking lot of a local grocery store a woman pulls up in a battered old Honda sedan. A small dog sits on her lap and the woman is smoking a cigarette, seemingly oblivious to the toddler crying in the passenger seat, with his seat belt unbuckled.
* ... CHEAP GAS: One of the best deals in town for cheap gas continues to be at the Fastrip in Shafter, where it was being sold for $2.67 a gallon, according to local sleuth Bob Smith.
* ... MOUSEKETEERS: And then there is this from regular contributor Don Kurtz: "Another fond remembrance of La Cresta. In 1955 Annette Funicello and other Mouseketeers were are the Green Frog Market to sign autographs. A bunch of us local kids could not wait and after going through the line four or five times, they asked us to leave! We followed her upstairs and got about half way up when the owner, Charles Everett, escorted us back down the stairs. Oh what a day ... "
* ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You know you're from Bakersfield if you describe traffic on Coffee Road "as a NASCAR event."