* ... MEMORIAL DAY: Hundreds of people visited the new national cemetery outside of Arvin on this Memorial Day weekend, a beautiful setting that has grown in popularity as more people discover this peaceful final resting place for those who served our nation. If you have not been there, it
is worth spending some time to enjoy the California oaks in the rolling hills. The cemetery is located off Bear Mountain Boulevard.
* ... MARTIN: Jarret Martin, a Centennial High graduate who was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles out of high school, is scheduled to be on the mound with the Cucamonga Quakes (a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliated team) against the Bakersfield Blaze this Thursday. His proud mother, local writer Dana Martin, also reminded me that the coaches have learned that Jarret is a scratch golfer and has been hitting the links with former big leaguers Charlie Hough, Matt Herges and Jose Vizcaino. (photo courtesy of Martin's Facebook page)
* ... AMGEN: Do you remember when the Amgen pro cycling race came to town and the city spruced up the area around Bakersfield College? Judy Henderson does, and she wishes it would return. "I miss the Amgen Race... In short time, tumble weeds were removed and ground up, trash and weeds disappeared. Center dividers were planted and wood chips were spread over dirt areas where many spectators would gather. The areas of Manor Drive, Panorama Drive and Alfred Harrell Highway looked like an All America City. Now, tumble weeds abound, weeds grow in the center divider and the streets. Trash litters roadways and weeds grow among the wood chips. Even the Panorama rain drain is clogged. I miss the Amgen Race."
* ... DRIVERS: Are Bakersfield drivers any more or less angry and impatient than in other communities? One reader, who asked that I withhold her name, has been verbally abused numerous times after picking up her grandsons from school. "I travel north of Gosford Road and I go through the very busy intersection at Ming Avenue," she said. When she finds herself in the right lane at Ming, intending to go straight, drivers behind her invariably get impatient if she doesn't take a right on red. "I am very aware of the glares and impatience of drivers behind me, who apparently think I don't care that they wish to make a right turn. I have even had people honk at me, but I really don't have a choice... I always pull to the as far to my left as I can, because small cars can move past me and make my turn."
* ... BAD FORM: And speaking of road rage, shame on the driver of a white oil field utility truck who deliberately side swiped - and could have killed - a cyclist on the Granite-Woody Road Saturday. The cyclist was riding on the far right painted line, but apparently that wasn't good enough for the truck driver who came within a few inches of brushing the cyclist and taking him down.
* ... BAKERSFIELDISM: From reader Linda Welch: You may be a Bakersfield old timer if you remember the two headed calf in the "old science building at Kern County Union High School. It was enclosed in a glass case."