Thursday, July 14, 2016

Lamenting a culture that leaves out streets littered with trash and garbage, praising West Rotary and more memories of old Bako

 * … TRASH: It is a familiar lament when we travel out of state and notice that Bakersfield's litter
problem seems out of control when compared to other areas. I spent a few days recently in Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah, and it was near impossible to find trash on the roads and freeways. And then this note greeted me when I came home: "We are traveling and today we are near Atlanta. I read the Bakersfield Californian daily online and read your piece on litter. We just came through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and now Georgia. IN NOT ONE OF THESE STATES DID WE SEE LITTER! We were so impressed and ashamed of Bakersfield at the same time. We want the town we love to be as clean and beautiful as what we've seen so far. What will it take to get our own people to wise up? Come on people, we need more civic pride!"

 * … DRIVING: From Tony Malon comes this observation about local driver: "Two types of drivers in Bakersfield, the tortoise and the hare. One is asleep when the light turns green, and one burns rubber at the first sight of green."

 * ... GOOD FORM: Sometimes it is the small things that make working with local businesses so pleasant. Recently I called King Door Co. to service my garage door, and sure enough within a week I received a personal 'thank you' card from company president Roman Ruiz. For the price of a stamp, he earned my loyalty.

 * … SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "To avoid conversations at work, always walk with purpose and a toilet plunger."

 * … MOVING UP: Congratulations to Jason Cater who recently joined the staff of the city planning department as an associate planner. Cater is known for his work as director of Bike Bakersfield and he later did a short stint with Sage Equities.

 * … WEST ROTARY: If you question the service provided by your local Rotary Club, think again. Alvin G. Sandrini told me that his club, West Rotary, donated over $75,000 to local charities in 2015 and this year has chipped in another $56,000 to good causes so far. Said Sandrini: "While the Bakersfield West Rotary-Stroope Family Foundation provides the funds, it is the hard-working West Rotary members who donate the countless hours needed to generate those revenues."

 * … MEMORIES: Wayne Marshall shared this tidbit of our local history: "Barbara Kaiser Miner’s recollection of the location of the Golden Crust Bakery prompts me to write this note:...The bakery was located on the north side of the Santa Fe Railroad tracks at M Street. There is a good aerial photo
showing this area in Chris Brewer’s book (1998) 'Bakersfield’s Photographic Past – A Photographic Album' on page 7. I worked at the mentioned lumber yard (King-Marshall Lumber, 14th and L streets) from 1954 to 1960. It was owned by Larry King and Sid Marshall (my father). The lumber yard never burned. The yard that did burn was Hayward Lumber at 14th and H streets."

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A young voice prays for tolerance and compassion as our nation struggles with race,some really bad form around town and more on those old bakeries

 * … KINDNESS: The tragic events besetting our country right now are almost behind my scope of understanding, so I will settle by sharing the words of a young woman from Nashville: "Rather than
pray for one specific race, one specific group, one specific country, or one specific community, pray for humanity. Pray for acceptance. Pray for compassion. Pray for tolerance." My thanks to reader Jerry Bowman for sharing this.

 * … NINA GRAE: Keep an eye on the rising talented singer Nina Grae, a Bakersfield product and the daughter of Claire Porter, owner of Uricchio's Trattoria downtown. I attended a private concert for Nina and her bad at Uricchio's this weekend and left believing I had been afforded a sneak peek at a rising star.

* … TRASH: Some days are worse than others, but last Saturday it seemed the entire town resembled a trash dump. On a three hour bike ride through town, I spotted three mattresses and three box springs (matched sets!) casually discarded off North Chester, the parking lane at the Panorama Bluffs park was littered with fast food cups, diapers and empty beer cans, and the Park at RiverWalk was awash in empty soda cups, soiled napkins and empty plastic water bottles.

 * … SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Want to see stupidity, watch how people are so easily confused boarding a plane."

 * … SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "I Just want to peacefully hang out with my friends, regardless of race while making fun of idiots, regardless of race."

 * … MEMORIES: A recent conversation thread about the Golden Crust Bakery stirred this memory from Barbara Kaiser Miner: "Bill Fong and Bill Upshaw's memories stirred up my memories of attending Emerson Jr. High School in 1938 and 1939. At that time I was a majorette with the Emerson Drum and Bugle Corps. Before school each morning we practiced marching to be ready for the parades. We would march south on 'L' street to the railroad tracks where we would practice our counter-march. The Golden Crust Bakery was on the south side of the railroad tracks. Since this was early morning, I also smelled the good smells that came as we approached the bakery. About 1940 the King Lumber Yard burned down."

 * … MORE MEMORIES: Mike Huckert weighed with this: "My dad drove a delivery truck for them and I can recall many trips to the bakery. The aroma of freshly backing breads is etched into my memory and there is nothing like the taste of a freshly baked sesame hamburger bun snatched off the cooling tray. At one time there was an observation deck on the north side of the bakery so people could watch twisting of the dough before it was placed in backing pans  As a young Cub Scout, we made several trips to see this and I can remember having to cross the tracks to get to the observation window and platform. I also remember certain kinds of premixed dough was delivered by rail in huge cardboard barrels and offloaded near this same area."

 * … HOME: If you don't think we live in a special place, consider this note from Ted Elder: "Yesterday I was in the Gift Shop at San Joaquin/Kaiser Hospital when a Corrections Officer offered me a beautiful custom handmade pen and thanked me for my service.  I must assume he did this because I was wearing my 'Special Forces Army Baseball Cap. My service was completed many years ago and.this recognition would never have happened where I came from - San Luis Obispo two years ago. Only in Bakersfield and thank you Bakersfield."