Sunday, October 10, 2010

Busy weekend in old B-town with the Business Conference and other activities

* ... WEEKEND: Could not have asked for better weather for the return of the Bakersfield Business Conference, held under the big white tent out at Cal State Bakersfield. By all measures it was a huge success and no matter your politics, you have to tip your hat to local attorney George Martin, his son Brandon and all the others who worked hard to bring such big name news makers to town. Thanks to the Business Conference, the downtown Padre Hotel enjoyed its first fully booked weekend since its reopening, and restaurants across town were all doing a brisk business. The Padre also benefited from hosting the 20th reunion of the class of 1990 of Garces Memorial High School. At Uricchio's Trattoria downtown, the wait was a full hour and a half on Saturday night.

 * ... FORECLOSURES: The housing market, still sputtering as it works through a virtual tsunami of foreclosures, may be in for yet more trouble with Bank of America's decision to freeze evictions and some foreclosures because of questions over mistakes in handling the paperwork. As one local Realtor told me: "Foreclosed homes make up almost half my sales, and if you take that away, what will be left?" The hard truth is the market will never fully recover until we work through the thousands of foreclosures working their way through the system. Stay tuned for more developments on this story as the politicians weigh in to micro manage the process.

 * ... SPOTTED: This from a friend who was driving down Highway 178 last week: "I was in the left lane and I saw what appeared to be a woman on her knees in the back of a rather large SUV in the center lane just ahead of me. All of a sudden the back window rolls down and out the window at a pretty incredible speed a dirty diaper flung out... catching and sticking to the windshield of another SUV that was following the culprit, obviously following a little too closely. Ewww. Gag. This is an anonymous report. Could be my windshield next time!"

 * ... BIRTHDAY RIDE: Hank Pfister, the long-time tennis pro at Stockdale Country Club, celebrated his 57th birthday with a hundred-mile bike ride to Panorama Heights. Pfister and 19 other locals climbed more than 10,000 feet in the ride that took six and a half hours. During a long pro tennis career, Pfister was once ranked as high as 19th in the world on the ATP Tour.

 * ... OPEN HOUSE: Gordon Westhoff, a fellow gym rat who also happens to be director of admissions at Garces Memorial High School, reminded me that the annual Garces Open House for prospective students will be held Saturday, October 17 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.Garces has a long tradition of serving our community and has always provided a quality education.

* ... CSUB: The CSUB Alumni Association will hold its fall mixer at The Padre Hotel on October 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Prospect Lounge. The new "Runnertini" martini - it is made with blueberry and lemondrop to signify school colors - will be unveiled. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at

 * ... PROUD DAD: This from reader Gregg Hazle on his daughter, West High graduate Stacy Jo Craig. "She has been in the Air Force for 23 years and received her promotion to Lieutenant Colonel on Oct. 4 in Huntsville, Alabama. She has served in Desert Storm and in England, Turkey, Spain, Baghdad and many other postings. We are proud of our gal."

 * ... HAPPY JACKS: Reader Betty Hylton wrote in response to my earlier post on Happy Jack's Pie 'n Burger restaurant. "The original owner who founded Happy Jack's was Jack Boltz and it opened in the early 1960s. I don't remember the exact year. He was the purchasing agent at Union Oil Co. on F Street and left to start his own business. He must have sold the business to the Rosales family. So Happy Jack's has been at the location at least 45 years or more. I enjoy your Bakersfield Observed column." Thanks for the kind words, and the correction, Betty.

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM:  You know you're a Bakersfield old-timer if you remember what KERO-TV was before it was channel 23. (Channel 10)


Anonymous said...

Hi Richard,

FYI - I think the Cruisin 99 Show and the Barbershopper Regional Convention (both held downtown) probably boosted hotel and restaurant business this week (as well as the Business Conference).

Anonymous said...

Not one booking from car show at the padre hotel.

Anonymous said...

There are other hotels downtown and throughout the city.