Sunday, January 25, 2015

In a fog shrouded valley, head up the Kern River canyon to find the sun, remembering the old Tam O'Shanter and identifying who was the cowboy who rode his horse into the old El Tejon Hotel bar

* … GLOOM: This was a gloomy, fog shrouded weekend here, but I found one way follow the sun.
Accompanied by six friends, we drove up the Kern Canyon with our mountain bikes in tow, hit crystal blue skies and temperatures in the 60s, and did a brisk ride on the fire road to Cow Flat.  Even if you don't ride, put some boots on and take advantage of nature's beauty just 45 minutes out of the fog.

* … PASSING: The passing of long-time Bakersfield College chemistry professor Patricia Lee caught the attention of one of her former students, Martha Turner Ingle. She said: "My high school chemistry teacher had announced that 'girls have no place in this class.' Mrs. Lee understood what I and many others had experienced and she went to great lengths on her own time to help us catch up. I just wanted to offer one last tribute to a fine teacher. "

* … EASTSIDE: Living on the east side of town doesn't get the attention it deserves, at least according to Jeanne Schamblin. "Once you come down the hill past Morning Drive, you enter a beautiful valley which I feel should be given the name of Rio Bravo Valley. We aren't really a part of 'east Bakersfield' but in our own part of town. We have Rosedale, Greenacres, Oildale, Seven Oaks, Southwest, Northwest etc… we deserve our own identify such Rio Bravo Valley… We've been the 'red headed stepchild' of Bakersfield long enough. Take a look at our area: beautiful homes on hills, gated areas, golf course living, a lake, soccer park."

 * … MEMORIES: Gerald Sutliff was moved to share a memory from 1957 when he was a bus boy working at the Tam O'Shanter when it was owned by Jack Ewing. "One evening when Jack was away I came out of the kitchen to find the wait staff, all women, standing in a cluster;  They seemed to be upset about something.  I asked what was going on? They told me there was a negro couple waiting by the entrance  None seemed willing or able to act. I grabbed a fresh table napkin draped over my arm and assumed the appearance of what I thought a head waiter should look like. I went to couple and offered them seating which they took. Then one of waitress came the table and took the couple's order.  Nothing was said to me about it by Jack or other staff."

 * … CAR DEALERS: One more memory of all those old car dealers that are now gone, this one from Erik Cortez. "All these memories of old car lots and no one has mentioned the old Columbus Porsche dealership on Columbus between Mount Vernon and Haley which is now Lowe's. My father was friends with the owner but can't remember his name. My father is 78 so this happens. I remember my father's Porsche 924 turbo burning down on the Grapevine and going with him to pick up his new Porsche 944 non-turbo. Everyone was super friendly at that car lot. I believe it was a VW and Audi dealership as well since my sister's convertible VW Rabbit was picked up from there too, with a red bow wrapped around it as well. Can anyone remember that owner's name?"

 * … HORSE BAR: Trudy Hodges cleared up the question about who rode a horse into a local hotel back in the day. Said Hodges: "Sheriff Charlie Dodge told the story about my grandfather riding his horse into the El Tejon Hotel. His name was P.J .Branson .. There was a photo of my grandfather at the bar with his Stetson hat on and on the back of his horse called Babe  My grandfather was the first Parks and Recreation Manager in Kern County and as a child I lived at Hart Memorial Park in a large white house.  My mother grew up at the park. The reason that my grandfather rode Babe into the bar was because of a bet, probably made with the sheriff."

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