Friday, November 5, 2021

The debate heats up over Critical Race Theory, Jordan Love to take the field for the Green Bay Packers and former TV anchor Ron Kilgore passes away

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 community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other company or publication. 

 * ... CRITICAL RACE THEORY: It looks like our local school boards, traditionally viewed as venues of decorum, have become ground zero in the debate over Critical Race Theory. Already activists have

descended on meetings of the Kern High School District to oppose CRT, and some analysts say it was this debate that led to Glenn Youngkin winning the Virginia governor's race. Tune into the Bakersfield Observed podcast on Spotify for a lively conversation on CRT between Pastor Angelo Frazier and me.

 * ... JORDAN LOVE: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has tested positive for coronavirus meaning he will sit out this Sunday's game at Kansas City. Filling in for Rodgers will be Bakersfield native Jordan Love, a Utah State graduate who has been playing a backup role for Rodgers while in Green Bay.

 * ... WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Bakersfield has seen some great TV news talent come and go through the years and today we put a spotlight on some of the best we have lost. One of those who’s made it big: Melissa Magee.  McGee was at KBAK for three years in the early 2000s. After Bakersfield, Magee switched to weather reporting and received her Broadcast Meteorology Certificate from Mississippi State. She spent 11 years at East coast powerhouse WPVI-TV in Philadelphia before joining KNBC Los Angeles in 2020. She replaced longtime KNBC weatherman Fritz Coleman upon his retirement last year and is now the lead forecaster on the NBC4 News at 5, 7 and 11 pm.  

 * ... TV PASSINGS: And speaking of news personalities, former anchor Ron Kilgore passed away this week. Keep him and his family in your thoughts. Kilgore was news director, reporter and an anchor  at KBAK, KERO and KLYD radio.  He passed away earlier this week. He had most recently been a radio news reporter at KNX Newsradio in LA. Beverly Carr was one of the first women in Bakersfield TV news at KBAK in the late 1970s. She later spent the 1980s and 1990s in Spokane at KREM and KHQ. Carr passed away last September at just 66. (pictures courtesy of Facebook Group Bakersfield Radio and TV Broadcast Group).

 * ... RIP ROSE: We lost Rose Lee Maphis recently, one of the great names in the story of the Bakersfield Sound. Maphis performed as a harmony singer and rhythm guitarist as a duo with her husband Joe Maphis. They were pioneers of the Bakersfield Sound that developed in the mid-1950s and were known as Mr. and Mrs. Country Music. In her later years, she worked as a greeter at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, sharing stories about the genre's legends. Maphis's guitar is on display, next to that of her husband's double neck Mosrite and sheet music for their recording of the song Dim Lights.


 * ... MORE MEMORIES:  Who remembers Granite Station, located a bit northeast of Bakersfield just outside a Woody? This station is the location of an historic stage coach stop. Sadly the station accidentally burned down with all the historical artifacts in the mid 1990s. Thanks to the Facebook history page for this Greg Iger soht of Granite Station.


 * ... MORE MEMORIES: And how about this old bar on Chester Avenue, which I spotted on a Facebook page devoted to old bars and saloons. The caption read: "Inside the "Arlington Hotel Bar" at 19th Street & Chester Avenue in Bakersfield, California......c.1895."