Sunday, May 31, 2015

Esther Gamez, whose family founded and owns Mexicali Restaurant, passes away leaving a legacy of grace and kindness, while another young waitress at The Mark shows some real class

* ... ESTHER: Our community lost a terrific person recently with the passing of Esther Gamez, a daughter of the founders of Mexicali restaurant and quite possibly one of the most gracious, and kind, people I have been fortunate to have met. She was 84. Esther was a Bakersfield success story, born during the
Great Depression when women were not expected to run businesses. After her parents founded Mexicali, she and her three sisters worked as waitresses while their mother worked in the kitchen. In her early years she ran her own business on Chester Avenue called the Chili King, but later returned to Mexicali. Later she threw herself into the community, volunteering for too many good causes and non-profits to list here. If a life can be measured by sheer kindness and grace, then Esther's was a life fulfilled.

 * ... SPOTTED: A young woman is in Valley Plaza wearing a T-shirt with this message: "I like long romantic walks to the bank."

 * … GOOD FORM: Isn't it surprising how a simple act of kindness can lead to such positive emotions? I recently lost a pair of my favorite sunglasses and I had no idea where they were. Then, to my surprise, six weeks later, hostess Crystal Garcia at The Mark Restaurant on 19th Street downtown surprised me by saying she had found them on my table and put them away for me for whenever I came back. Now that, friends, is white glove service by a young lady who goes above and beyond.

 * ... FRONT TRUNK: Tom Koski read my posted about the owner of a $300,000 McLaren spotted at Costco loading groceries in his front trunk. "I also owned a car where I loaded groceries camping supplies and other items into what would normally be the engine compartment, but the car did not cost $300,000. I think that I payed a little less than $3,000 for my first new car, a 1973 VW Bug."

* ... DROUGHT: Have you ever been tempted to install artificial grass? Terry Stoler did so about three years ago, using Dan Monji to install fake grass at the family's weekend home in New Cuyama. "And we love it!" she said. "We put native oaks on drip to soften up the landscape and there were tons of rocks on the place to fill in the flower beds. I don’t miss the flowers or shrubs. The Monji firm has great designers that know how to soften the look of artificial turf. Yes they have the more natural artificial turf with some blades of brown. The first shock was the price. Yes it is pricy. However when you think about the maintenance on real grass it turns that around pretty quickly. Add up the mowing, fertilizing, water costs and weeding. There are no weeds or gophers or insects! I think it raises the value and salability of a home... As farmers our water has been cut back to barely maintenance of our crops. Hope people will weigh the options. Our population continues to grow. California will never have enough water for our past lifestyles."

 * ... ACHIEVER: Hats off to Michelle Heredia, a freshman at East Bakersfield High School, who swam on the varsity swimming team. Said proud grandparent Johnnie Adams: "She won three medals and a certificate as most improved athlete. She also plays violin in the orchestra."

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