Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Tree Foundation of Kern holds a fund raiser and remembering when Sam the Hippo graced old Bakersfield
* .... SAM: Frank Echenique is in the livestock transportation business, and he clearly remembers when Sam the Hippo lived in town. "We transported Sam from the Old Kern County Fairgrounds on North Chester to Larsen's Dairy on Wible Road. Sam was in the horse stalls. It took us all day... Sam did not want to go into ther cattle trailers... it was a fireman squirting water around the stalls that got Sam to go into the trailer. The news media left the fair grounds and then they were tired of waiting at Larsen's Dairy so Sam didn't make the news that day. Also we had another encounter with Sam. We were asked to hide Sam as part of a scavenger hunt put on by Teen Challenge. He was hidden in our trailer at a church on Ming Avenue by where the Golden Corral resturaunt is now. We do remember Sam the Hippo."
* ... RILEY'S JOURNEY: Riley Parker is a private investigator and friend, and occasionally I spotlight him in this space because I admire what he has done to whip himself into shape. At one time he weighted 232 pounds and was told by his doctor he was headed for a life as a diabetic. He changed his lifestyle, bought a bicycle and committed himself to healthy eating and exercise. Where is he today? "After spending two months hovering in the 205-207 range, I met with my doctor at Kaiser-Permanente. While that was a significant change from my all-time high of 232; my doctor suggested that I do an even more aggressive change to my lifestyle. What that really meant was going virtually Vegan in my eating habits. We did so with the help of a book entitled 'Eat to Live.' It took one week from the onset of those changes to attain, and then pass, my goal weight of 200. This morning, for the first time in two decades, I saw a '1' as the first number on my digital scale. Today, I set a new goal weight of 190. I can’t describe how much better I feel…how many things no longer hurt, and how much energy I have. You must convince people my age, those original baby-boomers, to get off their butts, get some serious exercise, and to eat like paupers. It is the only way to overcome the affects of what our over-indulgence and wealth has done to us. The alternative is a really crappy fourth quarter of life. I’m going out on Saturday for a celebratory 50 mile bike ride." Well done, Riley. (photo of Riley and Jane Parker)
* ... GOOD SERVICE: Sometimes it's the little things that count. For William and Pamela Goldman, it's the friendly Walmart greeter that they have come to appreciate. "I don't have his name, sadly, but he does his job in a professional manner. My wife and I require mobil carts to do our shopping, and this gentleman always finds one for each of us. Good deeds should be recognized."
* ... MORE SERVICE: And speaking of service, Jeff Pickering wrote to praise the folks over at Action Sports who provided gold star customer service after he purchased a bicycle. Pickering is CEO of the Kern Community Foundation and is now cycling to work several days a week.
* ... BAKERSFIELDISM: From Marlene Morales: "Geez, you know you’re from Bakersfield if you had your high school senior pictures or family photos taken at Olin Mills back in the 1970s and 1980s."