* … NORIEGA: Shirley Brazel and her husband proved the old adage about taking time to appreciate the things that are close to home. They were dining at the Noriega Hotel with their son and his wife who had heard about the restaurant's well deserved reputation. "What a delightful evening we had," she said. " We sat at long table and engaged in conversations with strangers while enjoying
outstanding food as well as the atmosphere. This was a whole new experience for us (I usually prefer privacy at restaurants). My husband and I have lived in Bakersfield for seven years and the couple sitting near us could not believe we had never been to Noriega's before. As we said our good-byes to new acquaintances we expressed liking our evening. When we left, we learned this nice couple had paid for our dinner. We thank them so very much and we in turn will do the same to some one else. In the meantime that generous couple will be added to our daily prayers."
* … BAD FORM: Donna Cazacus encountered a bit of bad form that seems all too common around town. She was having lunch at California Pizza Kitchen the other day when she encountered two other women with three children, who were running wild around the restaurant. "I know you were enjoying your lunch because neither one of you paid any attention to what your children were doing; you made no attempt to discipline them," she wrote. "Apparently, you didn’t notice that most of the people in the restaurant were looking at you and your children in disbelief. And the people who were seated at the booth next to yours actually changed tables in an attempt to enjoy their lunch. The manager spoke to you twice about the situation, but you didn’t see fit to address the issue. Allow me to address it. Your mothering skills are abysmal—perhaps even nonexistent. Your children not only lack common manners, but by allowing them to behave as they did only teaches them not to have any respect for other people or for things that don’t belong to them... You are not preparing them to be in social situations. You are not preparing them to be able to sit still and focus when they go to school. You are not preparing them for life. And, worst of all, you are allowing them to be a danger to themselves and to others!" Well said.
* … OVERHEARD: A group of women who regularly walk on the Panorama bluffs in the morning are sharing ideas about how to keep the area clean of trash. Said one: "We should get McDonald's and Taco Bell and Burger King to sponsor the trash cans up here with signs thanking people for discarding their trash properly. Otherwise they just leave in in the gutter."
* … FUND RAISER: If it's October in Bakersfield you know we have entered the peak of fund raising season. One of my favorites it the 2nd annual barbecue benefitting the St. Vincent de Paul Homeless Center at 316 Baker Street. The event is set for next Thursday evening, October 9. I attended last year's inaugural event and it proved to be an extraordinary success. Nearly 800 steaks were served, and an estimated $70,000 was raised to help the eastside facility help the neediest in our community. For tickets, contact Deborah Leary at (661) 872-1543. It may be the most important $25 you spend this fall.
* … RACER: Congratulations to Sean Dodenhoff, a Garces Memorial High graduate and now a junior at University of Nevada at Reno who won the Bay Cities Racing Association Midget racing championship three weeks ago. Said his proud grand father Arnold Johansen: "Sean drives a midget race car built by his dad, local chiropractor, Dr. Brad Dodenhoff. Sean is a pre-med student and drives the race car on a part time basis as his classes allow.
* … BAKERSFIELDISM: Several readers wrote to correct an earlier post about local theaters, reminding me that the Rialto was located in East Bakersfield, not downtown. I stand corrected.