Sunday, April 5, 2015

Monday Bako Bits: Easter in Bakersfield, more on those outrageous telephone scams and some really good - and bad - form about town

 * … WEEKEND: If you were in town and didn't get out an about this weekend, shame on you. Restaurants were full, and those with outdoor seating (like Cafe Med, Uricchio's Trattoria downtown and Tahoe
Joe's and Eureka Burger in the southwest) were particularly popular as diners ventured outside to enjoy the cool temperatures. Cirque du Soleil was playing to full houses at Rabobank Arena, there was a 10k run on the bike trail Saturday, and the Easter sunrise services were nothing short of spectacular. Enjoy these spring days.

 * … SCAM: Alice Merenbach is sure her telephone number must be on a master scam list. "This time," she said, "a call to my phone for my adult child advised me that Chris Wilcox (in a very foreign sounding voice - actually, same voice when I received the bogus call from the IRS) stated that he was with the Department of Legal Affairs for the U.S. Treasury and wanted to discuss illegal activities
on 'our end/' He suggested we call immediately to (661) 980-3960 and if we didn't, that we should have our lawyer call for us, as this was very serious.  I didn't bother to respond, but I am assuming that some people might be frightened by such a call.  Oh, and my child does not live here.

* … SPOTTED: I picked up this nugget on Twitter: "There are no bad photos. That’s just how you look sometimes."

 * … GOOD FORM: Frances Mitchell wrote to thank the stranger who came to her assistance after her car lost power on the Union Avenue exit off Highway 178. "He pushed my auto around the corner into Snider's parking lot and into the shade.  I did not get this gentlemen's name but I know his bravery/strength came with help from a higher power. This 74-year-old cancer survivor is ever so grateful as this could have been one serious accident/situation. Thank you again and God bless you and your family!"

 * … MORE GOOD FORM: Linda Welch shops at the Von's on North Chester and recently left an 80 cent can of soup on the counter. What happened next is the sort of customer service you don't experience every day. "The store manager happened to be the person who answered the phone. He asked my address and told me he was going to bring me a can of soup. He had no idea if I lived a block away or 10 minutes away. I thought he deserved some recognition." Well said, Linda.

* … BAD FORM: You know what was coming next: bad form. And this is almost too incredible to believe, but my colleague David Vanderpol insists it's true. Said David: "My wife got a robo-call a few weeks ago from a 'Christian' church in Shafter telling us if we weren't going their church we were going to Hell. Needless to say my wife had to call their office the next day… and sure enough the guy was DEAD set in his ways, and insisted the only church was HIS church. She did let him know there were better ways to get noticed, if he was trying to attract people to his church, and that she will be praying for him. He hung up on her. " Wow.

 * … SANDSTONE: One last memory of the old Sandstone store, compliments of Mary Curran-Means, daughter of Robert and Yvonne Curran and granddaughter of James and Mary Curran. "I remember when school was out, when my sisters, brother and I were little kids our mother would take us across the street to the hardware store, then located on Sonora Street.  Guard Ray would put us on the nail scale to weigh us, then down to the corner of 18th and Union we would get our hair cut and then off to Breckenridge for the summer. This was not to get out of the heat but out of the valley to escape Valley Fever and the dreaded Infantile Paralysis. The family referred to Sandstone as the 'Yard' and at Christmas time yard sticks were given to customers as gifts."

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