Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bakersfield man suffers traumatic neck injury while zip lining in Mexico; family establishes fund raising to bring him back to the United States

 * … TRAGEDY: Horrible news out of Cabo San Lucas where a Bakersfield man was severely injured in a zip lining accident. Brian Hodges and his wife Shimeaka were in Cabo celebrating a year of marriage when Brian broke his neck when he slammed into the side of a mountain while
zip lining. He is currently in a medically induced coma in a Mexican hospital. The family is trying to raise money to have Brian flown back to California where his insurance will kick in and he can be treated. Shimeaka works at OMNI Healthcare and Brian is a truck driver for KSI. A friend established the Brian and Shimeaka Hodges Fund at under their name. The family is trying to recoup the $50,000 it had to pay the Mexican hospital for Brian to be treated.

 * … BAD FORM: This example of some really bad form (and that is being generous) comes from reader Darla McCallum. "This is to the person who hit a dog on July 19th on Enos lane south of Rosedale Highway. (you know who you are). Did you even slow down or stop to see how the dog was? My guess is no! Shame on you. My husband and I did along with four other kind hearted people. He was severly injured and scared. How could you just leave him on the side of the road to die? You could have called for help. We could not afford to take him to the emergency vet. We comforted him as best we could until Animal Control got there. I say THANK YOU to the four people that stopped to help. My husband and I and a young women from Taft stayed with him for almost three hours, and by the way he had to be put down his internal injuries were too bad to save him. Again I say where is the compassion for living, breathing beings?"

 * … GOOD FORM: Hats off to two Garces High graduates who rescued a dog in the ocean off the Ventura coast. It turns out a dog had chased a sea gull into the ocean and went out too far, getting stranded while its owner was frantic on the beach. The two Bakersfield men, David Etcheverry and Cruise Adams, grabbed a kayak and a surfboard and paddled out to save the dog. Said Jeff Adams, Cruise's uncle: "David and Cruise paddled back to shore to a standing ovation by about 50 onlookers. It was a good thing David had been out kayaking every morning and Cruise had been surfing every morning to give them the ability to save another families love one."

 * … FOUNDATION: The Bakersfield Californian (family) Foundation is holding two separate grant cycles with awards of $100,000 and $50,000. The Foundation is looking to make a large impact with these two awards that will go to deserving non-profits. Letters of inquiry are due Friday, August 29. There is no "theme" for the work being done to win these awards. Go to the Foundation website ( for more information.

 * … KUDOS: Kudos to Rachol West, a 2013 Garces High graduate who has been recognized by the Mountain West Conference for academic excellence in maintaining at least a 3.5 GPA through her freshman year as a student athlete (women's basketball) at San Jose State University.

 * … MEMORIES: Meanwhile local Realtor Ken Barnes remembers visiting his longtime friend Robert Stack in Los Angeles about 12 years ago. "We decided to go to lunch at the Bel-Air country club near his house. When we entered the bar-lunch area overlooking the putting green Bob said 'Let's join these guys over here by the window.' As we sat down he introduced me to Richard Crenna, Greg Kinnear, Dick Martin, and James Garner. He told me later he thought Kinnear was being interviewed for a membership in the club. You would never had known any of these guys were famous just sitting over lunch for an hour or so and talking about nothing special.  Garner was especially funny with many of his remarks.  Sad to say, I lost Bob the following year to a heart attack. Great memories."

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