Sunday, September 7, 2014

A chance encounter with Joan Rivers, the last minute heroics of USC's Andre Heidari and head over to The Padre Hotel for some remarkable flatbread

* … JOAN: I ran into John Pryor at the John Brock Awards dinner last week and he shared his own personal experience with the late comedian Joan Rivers. John and his wife Meg were in New
York City a few years ago when they stopped for lunch at a small, intimate restaurant. "We were a little early for lunch so we were the only customers until in came Joan Rivers with a lady friend -- and her dog. She came over to our table and asked if it was okay with us that she had her dog with her in the restaurant. We responded of course, and were amazed at her concern for the sensibilities of others.
Then another lady entered the restaurant, saw Joan Rivers, and went directly back to the kitchen -- out of our sight. A few minutes later, the lady left the restaurant without saying anything to anyone.
Then the chef emerged from the kitchen to give Rivers a handwritten note from the lady.  Rivers jumped up from her table and said she had to catch that lady who had written such a wonderful note to her.  She ran out of the restaurant and returned a few minutes later to say she caught up with the lady and had thanked her profusely. Does that sound like the Joan Rivers you see portrayed on TV?"

* … DROUGHT: Are we taking the drought seriously here? One reader, who asked that I not use her name, doesn't think so, at least compared to what she saw in Cambria recently. "All restrooms at the beaches and state parks we visited, including Hearst Castle, and the public restrooms in the east and west villages of Cambria had been closed and were replaced by port-a-potties and wash stations.  Many eating establishments had their restrooms open for use of the sinks only, you still had to go outside to use the port-a-potty. They also had signs posted around town reminding people of the drought. Now if we could just get people in this town to stop overwatering their yards. We walk in our neighborhood early mornings and the water wasted is incredible."

 * … HEIDARI: It's fun to watch the Bakersfield connections on the USC Trojans make such a positive difference. This weekend it was Andre Heidari, the Stockdale High graduate, who made a 53-year-old field goal to win the game against Stanford. Last year, Heidari kicked a 47-yarder to seal the game against Stanford. And of course, the Trojans are led by former Centennial standout Cody Kessler.

 * … FOODIE BEST BET: Most local restaurants offer some kind of flatbreads, but few do it as well as The Padre Hotel downtown. The flatbread offering changes daily, depending on the chef's choice, but make sure you try the vegetarian dish featuring eggplant.

 * … GOOD FORM: Mark Sheffield wrote to compliment the folks over at Hearing Aids Today for going above and beyond in customer service. Turns out his mother, who is 91 and in hospice care, had a hearing aid that was broken. "I decided to go by  Hearing Aids Today and talk to Rick Cheshire whom I have used for several years, not having much hope of saving it since there was a small piece missing. Rick looked at it and told me to come back in a few hours. When I returned it was working and looked like new. Here is the nice part, when I tried to pay him he refused the money and said he was only interested in helping keep her comfortable in the short time she had left. I told him we were all very thankful and he said tell the man upstairs."

 * … JAYWALKING: Jaywalking is problem across town - whether it's Ming Avenue or White Lane - but it is near out of control downtown. Gabrielle Lopez is a downtown business owner who has had enough. "Today when I was coming to the store, I was at the light at 19th and Chester heading east. I saw this guy in a white tank top heading north on the other side of the street. He answered his phone as my light turned green. He never stopped to glance at the fact that he could have been walking into a car, he never even paused…just kept on like it was the sidewalk. Honestly, what the heck is wrong with people? Try paying attention when you are walking on a STREET with CARS. You are the one who will get hurt in that accident. And it is YOUR fault for not paying attention."

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