Thursday, October 9, 2014

Looking for Catholic parishioners? You will find them at Costco, at least according to a local monsignor, and get ready for the annual Via Arte out at The Marketplace

 * … VIA ARTE: Make sure you remember that Via Arte is set for this weekend over at The
Marketplace in the Southwest. This is always an amazing experience as chalk artists line up to show off their talents in the parking lot. The event is free, of course, and it runs all day on Saturday and Sunday.

 * … SPOTTED: A roadside sign has this inspirational message: "You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."

 * … OVERHEARD: A one-liner from Monsignor Craig Harrison: "I love Costco. I see more parishioners there then at church."

* … GOOD FORM: Tonya Grier was impressed when her son, who attends West High, found that someone had hit his car but left a nice note on the windshield. It stated 'I hit your car and I am soooo sorry, I had to go to work, but here is my number, call me so we can exchange info. Sara.' "The damage wasn't too bad, so I wanted to call the young lady and thank her for having integrity and good values by leaving a note, and also inform her that I know she is a student, so don't worry about it, best success in her future for doing the right thing.," said Grier. "(But) The number was disconnected! I was so angry, and she didn't leave her last name. I told my son, we will pray for her, God sees all."

 * … KIWANIS: If you want to support a good cause while enjoying some vintage cars, head to Olive Knolls Church of the Nazarene this Saturday to enjoy a car show sponsored by the Oildale Kiwanis Club. Ralph Korn told me proceeds from the show go to help needy youngsters.

 * … SERVICE: Another tip of the hat to a local company that provides excellent customer service. This time it's the folks over at Stability Home Access, who dropped what they were doing to install a grab bar in the bathroom of Jim Murphy who had just been released from UCLA Medical Center after leg surgery. Thanks to Jim's wife, Connie, for sharing her story.

* … MEMORIES: Warren E. Pechin, a local architect, shared with me this walk down memory lane regarding the old Golden Crust Bakery. "I actually worked at the bakery before school started the spring semester of my senior year at Bakersfield High School and for about five summers afterwards except for the summer of 1967 when I was in summer school at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo taking architecture classes. The bakery was owned by George Martini and employed about 60 people producing the products of the bakery. I was one of the summer relief help hired to allow the full-time employees to rotate through vacations. Among the other 'helpers' were Steve Anderson of S.C. Anderson, Danny Ronquillo, who eventually wound up being a Fresno City Councilman, and Radon Fortenberry, who eventually was the athletic director at Shafter High School. The bakery closed in the summer of 1968 or 1969 and I went from making $4.20 an hour to $2 and hour at Wright and Metcalf, a local architecture firm who designed the Civic Auditorium and Bakersfield College and many other buildings in Bakersfield. All of us 'helpers' rotated through some of the regular jobs at the bakery, although I worked mainly in the packaging of bread and on the ovens, Steve worked with the engineers and maintenance staff, Danny worked in the dough room, and Radon boxed bakery goods and helped load the trucks for the various drivers (about 20 other employees besides the 60 mentioned earlier. The experience of working in the bakery was quite interesting and the pay was excellent for the time compared to many other jobs of students."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chain Cohn Stiles buys a landmark building in downtown Bakersfield, a golf tournament raises $200,000 for charity and a trip down memory lane for readers recalling the good old days

* … DEATH: The law firm representing the family of Nancy Joyce Garrett, the 72-year-old woman killed in an early morning crash with a Kern County sheriff's deputy, is waiting for a Highway Patrol investigation before deciding whether to file suit. That was the word from Matt Clark, a partner
at Chain Cohn Stiles, who appeared with me on First Look with Scott Cox Tuesday morning. Garrett was a beloved grand mother who spent her last night with her family at a Los Angeles Dodgers game. Clark said the extended family was so close that they shared breakfast once a month, and the day she was killed it was her turn to host the family breakfast. The CHP investigation could take several months before the decision is made whether to go to trial. If a lawsuit is filed, it will be the second fatal accident in a short period of time involving a Kern County Sheriff's deputy on North Chester. (Facebook photo of Nancy Garrett)

* ... CHAINLAW: And speaking of Chain Cohn Stiles, the law firm has just closed escrow on a 30,000 square foot building at the corner of Chester Avenue and 17th Street (1731 Chester). The plaintiff's law firm, which has been headquartered in the Bank of America tower downtown for more than 20 years, will renovate the building and use the ground floor for its main offices. Dave Cohn, principal partner, said the firm has been looking for its own home for several years now and he expects the renovation to last several months. Cohn said the firm was committed to staying downtown to continue in its revitalization. The building was originally constructed in 1899 as a bank but has morphed through the years, its last incarnation as the downtown headquarters of The Goodwill. (Chainlaw file photo)

 * … MEMORIAL: I am always impressed by the generosity of this community, and it was certainly on display recently at the Larry Carr Memorial Golf Tournament benefitting the Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation. The tournament raised an impressive $200,000 to benefit the Robert A. Grimm Children’s Pavilion for Emergency Care at the Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center. Hats off to BMHF board chair Rogers Brandon, golf committee chair Jenny Waguespack and two big sponsors, Valley Republic Bank and Terrio Therapy.

 * … MEMORIES: Cheryl Rodriguez of Arvin responded to an earlier reader's mention of a theater south of Lamont. "In the 1950s that was known as the south Lamont Drive-In and the road he referred to was located next to Robert A. Teller's plum orchard. Mr. Teller was my grandfather. The Lamont post office and the South Kern Court now stand where the orchard was. The drive-in sign remained for many years after the theater was torn down. Also, there was the Rancho Theater in Arvin. It had a beautiful moving neon wagon wheel sign high atop the building. That sign was replaced a few years ago by a pizza sign. This was a slap in the face to longtime citizens who regarded the wagon wheel as a historic icon."

 * …. DRIVE-IN: And finally, one last memory of the Lamont drive-in compliments of Carlos Luna. "Regarding the theater located south of Lamont after you crossed the rail tracks and heading
towards Weedpatch, it was the Thunderbird Drive-In. ... Furthermore, Lamont also had a walk in theater on main street next to the school. Pretty good for a small town way back when."

 * … MORE MEMORIES: I need to correct an earlier writer who referred to a wonderful old business called Mom's Bakery. John Pryor reminded me the correct name was Mother's Bakery and it was located on the west side of Baker Street just south of Kentucky Street. Said John: "Owned by the Mellas family, they were famous for delivering a truly 'baker's dozen' of any item.  If you ordered a dozen doughnuts, you always found 13 in your sack! One of their sons, Angelo Mellas, was a classmate at East High where he was a student leader and fierce lineman on the Blades football team -- including our senior year when we beat the Drillers (20-19) for the very first time."

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Monday Bako Bits: Don't feel left out if you haven't been targeted by a telephone scammer because it is coming, and a walk down memory lane at the old theaters in east Bakersfield

* … SCAMS: There are few things more annoying than being the vicim of telephone scams involving fake pitches from the Internal Revenue Service, state tax collectors and "friends" stranded in Europe Gary Schneider wrote he, too, was recently targeted when he returned from a trip to find a message on his answering machine from someone posing to be from the IRS. "Oh, I had heard the stories of everyone getting the broken English IRS scam. But I had never been privileged to get one, until now. There she was threatening me to call immediately or face severe consequences… And the best part of the whole call was she thanked me at the end of the recorded call and wished me a nice day!"
and Mexico in need of a few thousand bucks.

 * … WEEKEND: It was pretty tough to beat a weekend like the one we just had, especially if you are a fan of the arts or sports. First Friday was a huge success, at least if you just by the throngs downtown throughout the evening, filling the art galleries and local businesses and restaurants and enjoying a break from the late summer heat. That was followed by a weekend of major league baseball playoffs and some of the best college football games of the year. There wasn't a restaurant in town that didn't enjoy a booming business.

 * … GOOD DEED: Beverly Tatum shared this heart warming story about her recent visit to Rosemary's on F Street. "When it came time to leave our waiter told us that our bill had been paid by three young women sitting closet to us," she said. "What a thoughtful thing to do. I just wish we had been able to thank them in person. Thank you!"

 * … MEMORIES: Al (not Alvin) Sandrini wrote to recall and old theater in Lamont. "I remember it being south of Di Giorgio Road and west of Main Street. If I remember correctly, you turned off of Main Street onto a paved lane in a vineyard to get to the theater. Also worth mentioning were the Granada, Tejon and Oildale theaters. I remember watching Elvis and Ann-Margret in Viva Las Vegas in 1966-67.  My friend and I were escorted out of the theater for pulling the pony tail on the young lass sitting in front of us. We explained that her unusually long pony tail was actually so far down her back, that when she leaned forward to talk to her friends in front of her, that she was pulling her own hair. We had to go to the Nile to see the movie again. I also remember the warm summer nights, when a family would put a sheet over a back yard clothesline and show movies with a rented movie projector."

 * … MORE MEMORIES: And there was this memory about the old Rialto theater in east Bakersfield from reader Ronal Reynier. "As a kid I lived for a time across the street from the Granada and around the corner was the Rialto with the not opened yet Tejon up Baker Street. On the same block was 'Mom's Bakery'… it was not the neatest nor the cleanest bakery by today's standards, it was only the best in town. They would even bake a suckling pig if you brought it in and gave them two days. One night during a thunderstorm and sitting on our front porch, a bolt of lighting hit the sidewalk in front of the Granada and split it. We were not hurt but the electricity in the air stood our hair on end. Boy that was fun for a nine year old boy, but not for his mother; she screamed for five minutes."

 * … BAKERSFIELDISM: Lastly, Thomas Hunt shared his memories of the old Golden Crust Bakery when he attended Emerson Junior High School. "The school was at the corner of Chester and Truxtun Avenue where the county building is at present. I lived out in the country so I road the school bus to Emerson. The buses parked on the south side of the school and when we were dismissed from school a friend and I would walk down to the bakery and buy a hot loaf of bread and then go to a little store next door and buy a quarter pound cube of butter.  We would hollow out the dough and put in the butter and let it melt and soak into the bread and eat it on the way home. It brought back a lot of memories from long-long a go."