Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Another local business, Gregg's Pharmacy, sells out to Rite Aid, researching those old District Attorneys and remembering the Golden Crust Bakery

* … LOCAL HISTORY: The District Attorney's office is reaching out to the public for help in finding photos and information on some of the district attorneys who served Kern County since 1866.
The DA's office needs photos of A.C. Lawrence (1872-74), James W. Freeman (1874-79, 1883-88), Alvin Fay (1889-92, 1895-98), J.W. Ahern (1893-94, 1899-1903), and Barclay McCowan (1915-18). If you have information on these men, contact Christy King in the District Attorney's office at (661) 868-2716.

* … FAMILY BUSINESS: Every time a locally owned family business closes or sells out, we lose a little piece of the character of our community. And now I learned that Gregg's Pharmacy (owned by Gregg and Fran Gunner) has sold to Rite Aid, bringing an end to the Gunner family's long footprint in our community. Gregg Gunner (the only way to describe him is witty and joyful) bought the family pharmacy from his father Don in 1976. Prior to that Don Gunner owned and operated Gunner, Medical and San Dimas pharmacies. Gregg's father's sister's family also owned Yant's pharmacies locally during that time.

* … SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "The most important part of being on a gluten free diet is telling everyone about it."

 * … JACK: My pal Jack McGee over at Bakersfield Optical spoke for many of us when he left me this message: "It's terrible that we have two candidates running for mayor in Bako (Kyle Carter and Karen Goh) that have more character and integrity than the candidates running for president."

* … MEMORIES: Ann Cierly wrote to answer a reader's question about the old Golden Crust Bakery: "My 19 year-old father, W. R. Cierley, brought his new bride to Bakersfield in 1930 to go to work for his cousin, H.L.( Hub) Cierley, one of the owners of the bakery, which was on the north side of the railroad tracks on M Street. He worked there until his untimely death in 1946. I visited the bakery many times and remember fondly the great Labor Day employee picnics at what is now Hart Park, and the several Christmas programs in which he volunteered his very young daughter to recite The Night Before Christmas, ha! I know I'm among many old-timers who went to Emerson Jr. High when it was located on Truxtun across the street from the Baptist church. Many late Spring afternoons sitting upstairs in math class, with the windows wide open (no air conditioning then), we would sigh with pleasure as the smell of fresh baking bread wafted through the room."

 * … MORE MEMORIES: And Robert Ricou added this: "The Sanitary Golden Crust Bakery (full name) was located on the north side of the railroad tracks on M Street. My father drove the transport that delivered bread and Fontana Pies to Tehachapi, Mojave, Ridgecrest/China Lake until their closing in the late 1960s. While in high school and attending BC, my summer job was loading the China Lake and the Fresno transport which both left at midnight. Also, I unloaded sacks of flour from railroad boxcars on the tracks adjacent to the bakery. "

 * … FIREWORKS: And finally, former city councilman Mark Salvaggio reacted to my lament about fireworks this way: "Perhaps these dog owners who lose their pets on Independence Day ought to show some self-responsibility and keep their dogs inside on this night.  Better yet, they should keep their dogs inside every night during triple digit temperature days. Maybe you and Lois Henry ought to live back east where there are plenty of Big Brother liberals who also spout taking the joy out of this American pastime. You could do an exhaustive study on which are more noisy:  illegal fireworks or safe and sane legal fireworks."

Another year of crazy (many illegal) fireworks is behind us, more mailbox thefts around town and readers remember the old bakeries across town

 * … PETS: With the annual obsession with fireworks over, how many dogs do you think broke free from their yards in a panic and were left roaming the streets? Nobody keeps track of this stuff, but
judging by social media posts on Facebook, the Nextdoor app and email threads, the number across the country is in the thousands. It's an annual ritual: in communities like ours where fireworks are legal, dogs cower and often break through fences in sheer terror, some of them eventually being reunited with their owners and others lost forever. When you toss in fireworks-related injuries and fires, it just seems hard to justify, but I will let Lois Henry carry the water on this one.

* … THEFT: Mailboxes are being broken into across town, which prompted this lament from reader Sunny Kapoor: "The proliferation of mailboxes being broken into has reached epic proportions. Our neighborhood mailbox is broken into every 2 to 3 days, with multiple pieces of mail being stolen, and this has been going on for months. On contacting the postal service about the problem, we are advised that they are working on it. It just seems like that they don’t care... I just wish that our local postmaster general would start to pay attention to this serious problem, especially with the Identity Theft Issue being front and center. Most of the residents in our neighborhood have resorted to a PO box at their expense, in order to protect their mail. I am hoping you will print this in your weekly spotlight, so that some attention will be garnered for this problem."

 * … SPOTTED ON TWITTER: You know you are white trash when there are more ankle monitors than Fitbits at the family barbecue.

 * … MORE TWITTER: "If you don't want me to show up to your wedding in pajamas then you might want to rethink using the words 'evening wear.'"

 * … RUNNERS: I when for a hot hike (emphasize the word HOT) in the hills overlooking Hart Park Saturday and was in awe as a well conditioned group of about 20 teenagers from a local cross country team passed me without hardly breaking a sweat. Judging from some of their T-shirts, these young athletes seems to be from Ridgeview High School.

 * … MEMORIES: From reader Bill Fong: "Bill Upshaw's memories of the old Golden Crust Bakery stirred up memories of the school bus trip that we got to take when in grade school. Besides being a great way to get away from school work, we received a free fresh slice of their raisin bread at the end of the tour. Also, I was wondering if anyone remembers if Golden Crust was on the north or south side of the railroad tracks? Many years ago as a 4 year old, we lived on L Street just south of the tracks, but the only structure that I remember was a big lumberyard next to the tracks. Thank you for stirring up my memories."

 * … MORE MEMORIES: And finally this from Greg Laskowski: "You may be an old timer if you remember the Helms Bakery truck coming through your neighborhood offering bread, hot dog and hamburger buns, and other goods. Those yellow and blue panel tucks with the pull out rays in the back were something to and the kids would flock around."