* ... RALPH: My earlier note on the late fitness guru Jack LaLanne drew yet another local connection, this one from KNZR radio host Ralph Bailey. Turns out Ralph went to high school with LaLanne's son, Jon Allen, in Sherman Oaks where they both played baseball, soccer and football. "And we were coached by Gary Fowler, former Highland, Centennial and Golden Valley coach and athletic director. Gary recently retired from Golden Valley and Jon Allen is playing in a band and is a pool cleaner in Brentwood. His parents came to all of his games and one of my great thrills came after one of our football games in which I ran back a punt for a touchdown. Mr. LaLanne came up to me and said, 'That was a great run, Ralph.' Thought I was gonna die! I don't know what impressed me more: the fact that he admired my run or the fact that he actually knew my name!"
* ... KUDOS: Hats off to local human resources consultant Holly Culhane for coming up with a creative and generous way to recognize her company's 25 years in business. Instead of holding an anniversary party, Culhane sent out small, pre-stamped post cards asking folks to choose from three charities who would receive a $25 donation in their name. The non-profits are Youth for Christ/USA, the Bakersfield Rescue Mission and the Houchin Blood Bank capital campaign. Kudos to Holly and her colleagues over at PAS Associates.
* ... DUST BOWL: If you are a history buff you might consider taking in the annual "Dust Bowl Festival" at the Sunset School in Weedpatch this Saturday. It's always an interesting look back at our past and will feature the usual wealth of comfort food (biscuits, gravy, cornbread etc) and classic cars. It runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
* ... BAKERSFIELDISM: This nugget comes compliments of longtime reader Linda Welch: You might be a Bakersfield old timer if you remember "when the freedom train came to town on Baker Street carrying the Constitution and Bill of Rights... Also the other train that carried Harry S. Truman when he was running for president. He came out on the landing of the last car. What a thrill those trains were to a very small child."