Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tackling our litter problem, a pure act of kindness and a walk down memory lane with local readers

 * ... LITTER: Is there anything more annoying than how some people use our community as their personal waste basket? How many times have you come across a  local park trashed with yesterday's picnic supplies, or watched as someone casually tosses a soda cup out the car window?. Dianne Hoover, director of city Recreation and Parks, has the unenviable task of trying to get the community to rally around an anti litter campaign called "Litter: It's beneath us." Here's a good way to start: this Saturday is the Great American Cleanup day in Bakersfield when volunteers will help clear our community of litter and graffiti. It's a small step, but an important one. If you want to help, call (661) 326-3539.

 * ... LOCAL KID: Eleven-year-old Buddy Shepherd is into mini sprint car  racing and recently won the  main event at the Plaza Park Raceway in Visalia. Buddy is a pretty good racer, so that was not entirely unexpected, but what happened next was. Turns out a special needs youngster attends almost every race and sits in stands with his father, wildly waving miniature flags mimicking the real flagman. After Buddy was presented his trophy, he walked into the stands and presented it to the young man. "This was a pure act of kindness and class on Buddy's part," said Randy Raymond Sr., owner of Raymond's Trophy and Awards downtown. "The crowd went nuts and gave Buddy a standing ovation." That kind of kindness is not taught in schools, but comes from the heart and his family. Buddy, a fifth grader at Cesar Chavez school, is the son of Kellie and Dick Shepherd Jr., who own HS Body Works and Towing here in Bakersfield.

 * .... MEMORY LANE: Mike Hutson wrote to talk about the miniature golf course located at Goodman and Alta Vista Drive in East Bakersfield, adjacent to Shakey’s Pizza and across from Rosalie Stubbs Dance Studio. "The actual name was Alta Vista Miniature Golf Course and a wonderful gentleman named Lee Sullivan was the owner-operator. Mr. Sullivan was a postal worker who would open each day at 4 p.m. after his normal shift at the Post Office. A number of the 'regulars' was a group of us that hailed from Washington Jr. High and later BHS.  (In the 1960s and 1970s, the La Cresta-Garces area was in the BHS district).  While we enjoyed frequenting 'Sullies' often, it was not so much for the miniature golf, but rather the pinball machines. The games were 5 cents per play or 5 games for a quarter. Certainly the video games of our childhood!  The Lynn Company’s very own 'Hippo' Hanson and Elite Painting's Dave Wilkerson were the resident pinball wizards.  Many a weekday and virtually every weekend was spent fine tuning our pinball talents on games like 'Sweethearts' and the 'River Boat.' When our gaming funds were challenged, Mr. Sullivan would redeem as many empty Coke, 7Up and Dr. Pepper bottles we could get our hands on. While the foundation and structure of the property are long gone, the memories remain."

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: LaVone Walker writes that she loves my  "articles on Bakersfield heritage and history. When I was growing up in Bakersfield in the 1950s my dad would take us roller staking every Friday and Saturday night at the Starlight  Roller Rink on West Kentucky, close to Union Avenue. The rink had a mirrored ball. Jim Huber, the owner, would turn the lights out and turn on the mirrored ball. It was  so romantic to hold your partner's hand and skate to the 1950s music. Later, the Starlight hosted concerts with Fats Domino, Ricky Nelson, the Everly Brother and many other. Jim later opened Stake Land on Ming  Avenue. His daughter was the Women's World Rollerskating Champion."

 * ... CREAMERY: From reader Pat Glenn: "With all the discussion of Wayne's Drive-in, does anyone remember the Peacock Ice Creamery just east of Union, on either 18th or 19th street? It was named for Wayne Peacock, a big dairyman in the area." 


Anonymous said...

Referring to Lavone Walker's mention about Skateland. I believe it was Omar Dunn who owned Skateland and both his daughters Natalie and Leslie were roller skaters.

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