Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The community says goodbye to long-time citizens James Murray and Doris Walker, welcome to a "conveyor belt" of El Nino produced storms this week and noting some good form about town

 * ... RIP JIM MURRAY: What is the measure of a life well lived? Is it longevity? Commitment to family? Success in business? All those things apply to the late Jim Murray, who died last week at the age of 93 after battling congestive heart failure. But when people remember Murray, watch their eyes light up when they talk about his wit, his smile and his endless curiosity about his family,
friends and his community. What a legacy of kindness and laughter this man left, and when a Rosary is held for Murray today (Wednesday) at St. Francis of Assisi Church, it will be standing room only. A World War II veteran, Murray retired from the S.A. Camp Co. and devoted his life to this three daughters (Germaine Echenique, Kristin Moore and Laura Etcheverry), nine grand children and an endless supply of friends. Talk to someone who knew him and watch their eyes light up.

 * ... DORIS WALKER: We also lost Doris Walker, one of those people who never knew a stranger and a friend who went out of her way to welcome me to this town. Doris was married to Herb Walker (founder of H. Walker's Clothing) for a remarkable 50 years. Born in Bakersfield, her parents were from Lucca, Italy, and she threw herself into helping run the business in the early days when Herb Walker's was getting off the ground. She loved playing bridge at Bakersfield Country Club, was an avid reader and unfailingly greeted you with a huge smile. Her daughter Tracy now runs the family business and as she told me, "she (Doris) had a lot of patience with her husband and girls and she loved her Manhattans!" (Tracy's older sister, Nancy, lives in Pasadena.) Doris was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. She was 81. Keep Herb and his family in your thoughts. At her request, the funeral service will be limited to family.

 * ... EL NINO: If there were any doubts about the arrival of El Nino they were dashed this week. We are now experiencing the leading edge of at least four storms that are brewing in the ocean and headed for California. The Los Angeles Times described it this way: "It's this pattern, a series of back-to-back-to-back storms seemingly arriving on a conveyor belt, that concerns officials bracing for potential damage from the predicted winter of heavy rains." The snow level is dropping and we can all expect steady rains the best of this week into the weekend.

* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "I think the only way I’ll ever be motivated to go to the gym is if I’m in prison."

* ... OVERHEARD: From my friend Steve Holloway: "I hope manners are the next cool trend."

 * ... LITTER: From John Rous comes this thought about our litter problem. "Richard, another comment about the terrible litter we see on our roads and freeways.  My wife and I are traveling up the Oregon coast and I don,t think we seen enough litter to fill a grocery plastic bag. Could it be that the signs we see about littering in Oregon carries a maximum fine of $6,250? California and Kern County, wake up."

* … MORE GOOD FORM: Just when you start to lose faith in humanity, people like Jan Johansen share a story like this. Said Johansen:                                                                                                                                                                      "I want to thank the Good Samaritan who found my purse in a shopping cart at Costco on Rosedale Highway and turned it into management on Dec. 28 at approximately 4:30 p.m. In my haste of shopping and getting my car trunk loaded up, I left my purse in the basket. I missed my purse within 15 minutes, turning around and returning to Costco, hoping that I would find my purse. Costco management had my purse in the safe, waiting for me to come back and claim it. All items, cash, check book, were all there, not one thing was missing.

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