* ... FIRST FRIDAY: There's an interesting new art opening for First Friday over at The Foundry on 19th Street. The exhibition by a group of artists will focus on portraits of the legends of the Bakersfield Sound: Merle Haggard, Bill Woods, Red Simpson, Bonnie Owens, Billy Mize, Cousin Herb Henson, Buck Owens, Tommy Collins, Jean Shepard, Wynn Stewart, Fuzzy Owen, Ferlin Husky and Lewis Talley. Meanwhile, next door at The Metro Galleries the work of Tina Bluefield and Moira Fain will be presented in another can't miss show.
* ... BAD FORM: Darlene Platnick witnessed two cases of really bad form during our recent heat wave, and both cases involved small dogs. First, she was in the Costco parking lot on Rosedale Highway when she spotted a small brown dog locked in a white van, "panting profusely and standing up at the window. I didn't know who to call. Then we went to WinCo at Coffee and Hageman and outside was another little black dog, tied up in the sun where there was no shade. I didn't sleep well thinking about those things. People need to be brought up short when they do things like that."
* ... CRIME: Dina Ronquillo, the niece for former Fresno City Councilman Dan Ronquillo, stopped by the ATM off Chester Avenue just north of Brundage Lane to get some cash before heading to work when a woman confronted her and tried to take her money. The would-be robber picked on the wrong person, and a feisty Ronquillo fended off her off. But the incident is a warning to all of us to be aware of our surroundings.
* ... BLACKBOARD: Roger Williams called me to share a few memories of the old Blackboard honky tonk, made famous by the late Buck Owens and others who created the unique Bakersfield Sound. Williams told me the Blackboard was a favorite haunt of the Hells Angeles motorcycle club in the 1950s and 1960s when they would arrive in town for the March Meet drag races out at Famoso Speedway. "There must have been 150 of them at the bar,"he said. He noted that his uncle, Lawrence Williams, also briefly played piano with Buck Owens and his band.
* ... LOCATION: And Anthony Kane writes that he believes the original Blackboard (not the one that was located near the Kern County Museum) was located in the spot where the old Floyd's store occupied.
* ... EAST HIGH: Rick Van Horne is looking for help to solve a mystery over at East High School. Said Rick: "I was contacted by ESPN Magazine writer Steve Wulf because he is doing a piece on Johnny Callison (East High grad) who was the MVP of the 1964 MLB All-Star game. He was wanting to know about a mural at East High of Johnny Callison…. I told him there wasn’t currently a mural of Callison anywhere at the school. What I would like to know from your readers that went to East High, if there ever was a mural of Johnny at the school that has since been painted over or was in a building that is no longer here at East."