Sunday, April 21, 2019

Monday's Bakersfield Observed: Countryside Market wins the Mac 'n Cheese fest (yet again), the story behind a downtown Sycamore tree, Brian Kiser's confirmation in the Catholic Church and homeless graffiti

 Monday, April 22, 2019

 Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this such a special to live. Send your tips to

 * ... COUNTRYSIDE MARKET: Congratulations to Countryside Market that took home the
People's Choice award for an unprecedented fourth time in the annual Mac 'n Cheese Festival at CSUB. The festival was a sellout and featured more than 30 food vendors, live music from Truxton Mile and plenty of beer and wine. Proceeds from the event go to the CSUB Athletic Scholarship fund. The annual feed is put on by American General Media, owner of KERN NewsTalk and other radio stations in town.

 * ... HOUSE OF FLOWERS: Among the vendors at Mac 'n Cheese was House of Flowers, the popular flower shop on 19th Street. Owner Diana Klawitter was happily passing out colorful flower "crowns" for both men and women that proved to be the hit of the event.

* ... DOWNTOWN SYCAMORE: One of the most iconic trees in downtown Bakersfield - and truth is there are many - lives at the northeast corner of A and 20 streets. A graceful old sycamore, one of its huge branches shoots over the intersection providing shade. As it turns out, this tree was planted in 1977 by a then-resident of the intersection named Stephanie Foe. I met Foe recently and she told me she dug up the tree, then about three feet high, in a wash ravine in the San Gabriel mountains and transplanted it to Bakersfield where it continues to flourish today. She said it struggled early on, but daily she would urge it to grow and thrive. And indeed, it did.

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: This woman was tagging the freeway overpass at Ming and Wible and was caught on camera doing so. Recognize her?

 * ... MILESTONES: Happy birthday to Miranda Whitworth Munoz, communications manager at Kern Medical who celebrated in classic style with a Saturday brunch at Luigi's. Her birthday fell on Easter Sunday. Also hats off to my friend Brian Kiser, who was confirmed in the Catholic Church Saturday evening. Kiser works for California Resources Corp.

* ... CSUB BARBECUE: The annual spring barbecue at CSUB is set for Thursday, May 9, out at the southwest campus. The annual feed goes to support athletic scholarships at the campus. Tickets are just $30. Call Logan Belz for tickets or sponsorship opportunities at (661) 654-2361.

* ... MEMORIES: Check out this old postcard showing a parade down Chester Avenue to mark the end of the Spanish-American War.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: And check out this photo from the Kern County History page on Facebook. The caption read: "Photo of the aftermath of a wind storm in Fellows in 1926. Murvin and Eugene Delaney were asleep in the bedroom of this clapboard house when the wind blew over a wooden derrick which landed on the house killing Eugene."

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