Sunday, March 13, 2011

Max the cat is missing and remembering when German prisoners picked cotton in Kern County

 * ... POW CAMPS: Received a fascinating note the other day shedding more light on the history of German prisoners of war held in Kern County during World War II. Calvin Goehring of Shafter wrote that the federal government took 40 acres of his family farm and built a POW compound that opened Dec. 11, 1944, and closed March 28, 1946, "They came to labor in the cotton and potato fields," he wrote. "Many of the farmers were German speaking (mostly Reformed and Mennonite churches nearby). It worked out well as labor was short. The Germans had never picked cotton and hated the hot weather." Goehring said his father, Emil, was not allowed to talk to the prisoners and no pictures were permitted. He said the camp was known as Detachment 6 and was a branch of Camp Cooke out of Santa Maria. "Local farmers paid the federal government a wage of $2.25 per hundred pounds of cotton and the government paid the prisoners 80 cents a day."

 * ... LITTLE FROG: One of my weekend rituals is stopping by the Green Frog Market on Bernard Street, affectionately known as the "Little Frog" compared to its larger sibling up on Columbus. It's hard to beat the smell of the oak-fired chicken grilling outside and the overall friendly ambiance inside. Green Frog owner Scott Hair was there and told me he picked up the idea of using oak to grill chicken in 1984 when he was in Tennessee for the World's Fair. "There are no new ideas in this business," he joked. That may be true, but you have to be smart enough to steal the good ones.

 * ... MAX IS MISSING: Few things are as heart breaking as when a pet goes missing. And that's why I'm happy to put out the word to help find Max, a 2-year-old black and white short hair that went missing in Westchester recently. The family has been searching Westchester, both north and south of 24th Street, but recently learned that Max's collar was found near some hangars at the old Meadows Field near the FedEx offices. The owners, who are offering a $1,000 reward, speculate Max may have hopped in a UPS or FedEx truck and ended up at the airport, or hopped off somewhere en route. They are now searching that area, as well as surrounding neighborhoods, and are seeking help from FedEx and UPS drivers who may had pickups on Pine and Lawn streets on February 24.  Max is black with a white chest, stomach, paws and whiskers. His face and nose are black. If you spot Max, call (661) 808-7674.

* ... DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that the original "Baker's field," the location of Col. Thomas Baker's field, is  believed to be in the area of O and P streets?

* ... SPRING BREAK: Nice to see the college kids home for their spring breaks. One I had a chance to catch up with is Kimberly Keathley, the effervescent daughter of Duane and Corey Keathley. Always the athlete, this Stockdale High graduate is now a senior at Point Loma Nazerene in San Diego and spent her week home riding her road bike. She spent Saturday riding up Lion's Trail to Walker Basin on a 100-plus mile ride with Stockdale Country Club tennis pro Hank Pfister and a dozen other riders. Her sister, Michele, is a sophomore at Fordham University in the Bronx and will be coming home for spring break this week.

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: Reader Linda Welch wrote to say you may be a Bakersfield old timer if "you remember the two beautiful lions that stood at the original court house. What ever happened to them?"


1 comment:


The lions are at SAE house at the University of Nevada at Reno.