* ... CHRIS ARNADE: Chris Arnade is a former Wall Street investor who for the past year has been traveling the country visiting the poorer areas of our nation to learn more about the issues that divide us. After driving from the east coast he ended up in Kern County recently where he spent time in east
* ... MARGARITAS: Here's a followup valentine to my friend Dee Rhodes, who challenged me to find the best watermelon margarita in town. One reader, Derek Vaughn, wrote that "the watermelon margarita at Nuestro Mexico is the best I have ever had. They ran out of watermelon one day and the owner went to the store and bought more so he could make them for all of us." Blair Budai, a lighting specialist, chimed in that Centro 18 "serves one that is amazing. I think the best include jalapeño." While having lunch at Eureka Burger in the Southwest this weekend, I ordered one off the menu and it too was outstanding.
* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Fish don’t seem that stupid to me. If a burrito dropped out of the sky and hung in mid-air I would probably eat it."
* ...MOTEL RADIO: Looking for some fresh and inspiring music this week? If so check out the New Orleans-based band Motel Radio that will be appearing at Temblor Brewing Co. on Thursday evening. Grab a bite in Temblor's restaurant and then enjoy this evolving group featuring Americana music. The music starts at 7:30 p.m. and get your tickets online at www.passingthroughprouctions.com.
* ... GARTH BROOKS: How about this for popularity: The Garth Brooks concert scheduled for the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles sold out in just 30 seconds, breaking the fair's record for the fastest one-day sell out. Brooks added a second show that is now scheduled for 10:30 p.m. on July 27. Tickets will be on sale at noon on Thursday, June 29.
* ... GOODWILL: Goodwill Industries is opening its sixth store in Bakersfield this week, going into the space of the old Orchard Supply building at Ming Avenue and Ashe Road. This new space occupies 18,000 square feet of the building and will employ 28 people.
* ... DAN BLOCKER: John Rodenburg wrote to remember the time that Bonanza star Dan Blocker (Hoss Cartwright on the show) frequented Bakersfield. "Regarding your recent columns concerning Dan Blocker, my mother Johanna Rodenburg believes he was grand marshal of the Bakersfield Christmas Parade in 1960 rather than 1961. I have no reason to doubt her as her memory of such past events is both legendary and scary. She was at the parade that night, standing at the old Foster Freeze at Chester and 10th Street in extremely foggy conditions. She also noted that Lorne Greene of Bonanza fame was part of that same parade. "