* ... NRA HEAT: I also took some heat from reader Robin Walters, who was incredulous that I would publicize an upcoming fund raiser for the National Rifle Association (NRA). "Are you serious?" Walters wrote. "Encourage a 'fun' dinner to support the ability of anyone to carry a 30-round clip for their Glock to public meetings and places where people congregate." I concede our nation is on edge after the Tucson shooting, but Walters is clearly off target (no pun intended) here. First, 30-round clips like the kind used in Tucson are illegal in California but more important, it's an insult and a cheap shot born of ignorance to compare people who enjoy the shooting sports to some wing nut who opened fire on a crowd of innocents. Robin: I'd be happy to buy you a ticket to the NRA dinner, set for February 4, so you can meet some of our community's most decent and honorable people.
* ... GOOD DEED: Health care professional Darlyn Baker wrote to talk about an unexpected good deed. In her words: "After reading what you wrote about Mimi Audelo's Starbucks' experience in today's paper, I wanted to share with you an act of kindness bestowed upon me by a perfect stranger. Last week I was at the drive through Starbucks on Oswell. It was taking a very long time for the car in front of me to leave. I see the driver and the employee pleasantly chatting as if no one else was in line. By now there were five cars behind me. The driver soon leans out of her window and with a big smile hollers to me, 'I'm sorry. It's not my fault. I only bought two drinks but they made them wrong.' Finally she leaves. When I go to pay, the employee says, 'She paid for yours!' I was truly humbled and my emotion changed from annoyance to gratitude. How nice that was of her. I will never forget her nice gesture. She has inspired me to do the same."
* ... DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that the first studio for KERO-TV 23 (then Channel 10) was the ballroom at the old Hotel El Tejon where the Bank of America tower is now located?
* ... STONES: From local political consultant Gene Tackett: "Old timer? No way. But I did see the Rolling Stones play the Civic (auditorium) in August 1966. I got lots of satisfaction!"
* ... BAKERSFIELDISM: You know you're from Bakersfield when you always thankful if there's water in your river.