Page 1

Foodie Tour II The Sequel! VOL. 26 NO. 2

Reflections on Donna Corum Founder .Visionary. Friend

Mid-Year Health Report Medical Specialties









Ugliest Pet in Town!


Brace Yourself For The


Annual Special Section Dedicated to All Things Dude!

e Annual P

Real Men W So you’re in good health. Yeah, so are these guys. After all, they wouldn’t be able to fight fires, manage multi-million dollar organizations, or run the city of Bakersfield if they weren’t. But just like you, they need regularly scheduled maintenance—blood pressure, prostate, and cholesterol exams—to keep running smoothly.

Shawn Schoolcraft Bakersfield Blaze General Manager Louis Gill Bakersfield Homeless Center and Alliance Against Family Violence Executive Director

Bernie Herman Bakersfield Museum of Art Executive Director Roger Christy Chevron PGPA Representative San Joaquin Valley Business Unit

Chester Avenue at 27th Street • 661-395-3000 • www.sjch.us

Bob Beehler San Joaquin Community Hospital President and CEO

The New San

Wear Gowns. In honor of National Men’s Health Week, from June 15-21, San Joaquin Community Hospital encourages you to consistently pay a visit to your family doctor. You wouldn’t skip oil changes or tune-ups for your speedster or big rig—don’t procrastinate until your own “check engine” light flashes either—These guys sure wouldn’t.

Harvey Hall Bakersfield Mayor

Gaurdie Banister Aera Energy President and CEO

Zack Scrivner Bakersfield Vice Mayor

Ron Fraze Bakersfield City Fire Department Chief

Kevin Burton Law Offices of Young Wooldridge Director of PR/Marketing

Joaquin Community Hospital


Michael Flooring


Benny Michael Owner


Christine Veteto

Showroom Manager Designer

e at Michael Flooring, Inc. are grateful that you, Kern County, took the time to vote us one of the top three flooring businesses in Bakersfield. We want to introduce ourselves to those of you who might not know us yet. Benny Michael is not a stranger in the floor-covering business. With an engineering background, he started his career in 1991, and in the last 18 years he has

Michael Flooring, Inc. specializes in all aspects of residential and commercial flooring, from concept to completion. Our staff of talented and innovative designers is available to assist you in getting the floor you truly desire, whether the project is a small home, a vast, multi-million dollar custom home or commercial building. Our sales professionals are friendly and knowledgeable, and at Michael Flooring, Inc. you are guaranteed to receive quality products and unmatched service. Our installers are prompt and professional, and our workmanship carries a lifetime guarantee. Michael Flooring, Inc. is looking to extend our Hospitality Division overseas, with service to Saudi Arabia and Dubai coming by the end of 2009.

worked in the flooring industry in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East. In October 2004, he moved to the United States with his wife and their child. And in September of 2005, he started his own business, a 1,000 sq. ft. showroom on 34th Street in East Bakersfield. However, with business growing, he quickly realized he needed more space, so he relocated to a much larger showroom. Finally, in April 2008, he expanded to a 6,000

sq. ft. showroom and became known as Michael Flooring, Inc. The company is now a design center, offering conceptual design layouts and full-service for residential and commercial properties. Michael Flooring, Inc. has a long list of satisfied clients including Kern Federal Credit Union, Chase Bank, Pioneer Bank, 14 branches of Alta One Credit Union, Kern County School District, and Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, just to name a few.

6500 District Blvd • Bakersfield • 661-833-2444

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 

 Bakersfield Magazine

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 


Beach Bandals




f e at u r e s

A Revolutionary New Way To Change Your Style

Design y B e l b angea



e Annual P

A tribute to our founder, visionary, and friend

Whoa doggy—the lucky (?) winners are in!

Guinn: The man, the myth, the mower

The ultimate showdown: the better pet






Change the Band Change Your Look


who’s UGliest


Need for Speed..................46

Cat vs Dog.........................85

Tie or no tie? That’s the dress question

Canines clockin’ in and servin’ their city

The Code............................50

Working Like Dogs............89

Destination relaxation: Do it dude style

You can keep ‘em in your pocket...almost

Time to Unwind..................51

Mini Is In...........................93

Pride and glor y reign on Griffith Field

Once a Driller, Always a Driller....54

•3 Easy as 1•2

Famous locals and the animals that love ‘em When it’s cool to color outside the lines


Passion for paint

Available Only At Bobbi’s Hallmark Shop

Bobbi’s Hallmark Shop

8200 Stockdale Highway Ste. F3 Bakersfield, CA 661-834-7467  Bakersfield Magazine


Celebrity Pet tales


Saving kids’ lives one balloon at a time

Children’s Miracle Network.....101

What we have in common with 1360s Europe

Strange Illnesses................63 Don’ t worr y, you’ll get a lolly pop, too

Medical specialties

G ro w n U p S h o t s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 9 The battle over veggies and candy begins

Munchie Madness.............71

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 






300 Morning Drive Bakersfield, CA

Taking driving lessons from Miss Donna

Letter from the Editor............13


Create unique outdoor living spaces

Find the garden of your heart this summer

Gifts of Distinction

Nifty notables about some local lovables



Keep cool with this warm-weather fashion

The Bakersfield Look..........27

Gardening with mrs. p


Go gadgets galore for high-tech camping

Great Getaways................109 An avocado appetizer that’s to fry for

Quick Bites...........................112

His baton has taken him around the world

Citizen Kern..........................29

Create your Paradise

The histor y of Buena Vista continues

Lost Lake...........................31 Ways to manage workday recession stress

FRUSTRATED? Want your yard & garden to look great?

Human Resources.................34 The woman who brought the Subway to town


Do it Yoursel • 99% Organic • Saves Water Hav or e it D o n e • Reduces Alkali • Improves Soil Drainage • Healthy Lawns, Lush Flower Beds

The glitz, glamor, and food! Foodie Tour II



Entertaining the Bakersfield Way

A place fusing great food and great style

What’s Cookin’.....................119 This Tehachapi winery has defied the odds

Life is a Cabernet...................121 Turn your head and cough: tests men need




 Bakersfield Magazine

LOOKIng Good Feelin’ good


Dining for Charity with a view from the top

The Lunch Bunch..................123 We came, we saw...we took your picture

Party Chatter.......................134

Sensational salsa from your own backyard

Celebrating the Fourth of July 1880s style

Home & Garden..................103

Bakersfield’s Sound...........138


www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 


Kern Health Resource Guide......72

MEDICAL PROFILES Medical Profiles.....................74

Medical Specialties P r of i l e s Medical Specialties Profiles....76

Looking Good, Feelin’ Good.....81



Community Partners..............98

home & Garden r esou r ces

Home & Garden....................103

The Dining Guide The Dining Guide.....................125

Shoppers Bazaar..................130

Religious Schools & Worship Services Directory Worship Directory................132

everafters... Weddings............................133


10 Bakersfield Magazine

C Au omi 20 g u s n g 09 t

Who will the 2009 Sizzlin' Singles be?

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 11



Donna Louise Corum founder . visionary . friend



Publisher Les Corum

Executive Editor Mike Corum Assistant Editor Anika Henrikson Garden Editor Lynn Pitts

Historical Editor George Gilbert Lynch

Wine & Food Editor Mike Stepanovich

Located in the luxurious

East Kern Editor Donna McCrohan Rosenthal Creative Director Chuck Barnes

801 Truxtun Avenue



Graphic Artist Laura Turner

Systems/Production Ryan Turner

Sales & Marketing Brigit Ayers, Cheryl Rydia Douglas “Dale” Heflin

Contributing Writers J.W. Burch, IV, Holly Culhane Charlie Durgin, Tracie Grimes Loron Hodge, Miles Johnson, Naomi Moss Administrative Assistant Melissa Galvan

Photography/Editorial Assistant Isabel Alvarez Cover Photo S. J. Locke

Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. 1601 New Stine Road, Suite 200 Bakersfield, CA 93309

Office (661) 834-4126 Fax (661) 834-5495 Email: marketing@bakersfieldmagazine.net website: bakersfieldmagazine.net

Bakersfield Magazine is published bi-monthly by Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. ©Copyright 2009 by Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher of Bakersfield Magazine is strictly prohibited. Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, artwork or photographs, even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in Bakersfield Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of Bakersfield Magazine management or owner. Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. assumes no responsibility or liability for claims made by advertisers. Subscription rate is $12 for 12 issues, $17 for 18 issues.

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24 HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICES 12 Bakersfield Magazine

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Subscribe now at bakersfieldmagazine.net

Letter from the Editor

For You... For Your Home...

Driving Miss Donna When your mom gives you a DVD copy of the movie Driving Miss Daisy and signs it “Road Map,” you know she’s got plans for your future. A running gag between us was how she couldn’t wait until she got (much) older so she could give me a run for my money: me doing the driving and her being “Miss Donna.” She’d laugh and laugh. I’d laugh, too, nervously. I knew she was serious. One of my favorite lines from the movie fits her to a “T.” Daisy’s son, Boolie, is talking to Hoke Colburn, in hopes of hiring him to drive his mother around. Hoke Colburn: Well, if you don’ mind my askin’, sir. How come she’s not hirin’ for herself? Boolie Werthan: See, it’s kind of a delicate situation. Hoke Colburn: Oh, yessir, yessir...done gone around the bend a little bit. Well, now, that’ll happen as they get old... Boolie Werthan: Oh, no, she’s all there. Too-much-there is the problem! You see, Donna kind of had a reputation... Like Miss Daisy, Donna wasn’t one to just sit in the backseat and let someone else take the wheel; she always wanted to drive. And the result is what you hold in your hands—a truly first-class publication to rival any; a city magazine that all of Bakersfield can be proud of. Unfortunately, as many of you may have heard, Donna recently passed away. I’m going to miss our time together— time spent planning future issues, time spent listening to the excitement in her voice as she saw the layouts, and time spent seeing the look of pride in her face when she saw the final printed issue. Mostly, though, I’m going to miss the times we laughed together...and of course the opportunity to drive her around. In her honor, we have prepared a special tribute, starting on page 38. Going from lady to Dude Country (a scary place no doubt), this issue also includes our annual section dedicated to all things MAN. Sprinkled with grunts, fast cars, sports, and more, this year’s Man features will have you ready to whip out your Man Card. Check it out starting on page 46.

Dudes and dogs go hand-in-hand, so turn to page 83 to start reading stories from our second annual Pet Issue. That’s where you’ll find hilarious tales from local celebrities who just can’t get enough of their four-legged friends. As a disconcerting aside, the women in the office don’t seem to think it’s a coincidence that man and animal found their way into the same issue. Something else that crawled into this issue is our new Medical Specialties section, including a story on the strangest diseases that call Kern County home. I, for one, am making sure I’m up to snuff on all my shots. Plus, the issue is filled with all our regular reader favorites, like Citizen Kern and Entertaining the Bakersfield Way... which just so happens to feature the glitz, the glamor, and the food of our second Foodie Tour! Page 114 has the goods. It’s been bittersweet to see this issue come together. In doing so, I’ve realized that as Donna was teaching me the intricacies of the magazine, she was also teaching me how to “drive”; to be passionate about what you do, to give it your all, and to have one hell of a good time doing it. And so, it is with this in mind that we continue Donna’s legacy. It may, at times, seem like we’ve strayed off course a bit, or that we’re heading in a different direction, or maybe even completely lost, but don’t worry Mom...I have a “map.” My inbox is always open,

S Wall Art S Home or Office Decor S Botanicals S European Style Furnishings and so much more...

Come discover something wonderful


French Quarter

Now Open Sundays 12:30pm-4:00pm

9339 Rosedale Hwy 661-588-0669 Mike Corum


TheFrenchQuarterBakersfield.com www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 13

14 Bakersfield Magazine

Kern Facts

People • Places • Events

He’s a Captain in the Investigations Division and she’s a Crime Lab Technician—both for Bakersfield Police Department. Who’s more likely to get caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar? We just wondered...

What is the first thing you thought when you saw your future spouse for the first time? Kevin: Actually I don’t remember the very first time; it was almost thirty years ago. I’m sure I thought she was attractive and I later found her to be a lot of fun to be around. Becky: We had known each other from years ago, but ended up marrying different people. So when we started dating, I just thought it was great that I was dating a long-time friend. But I still remember when I went back to work and saw him for the first time again after several years, he walked up to me and said, “So, how’s my alltime favorite person?” Makes me smile when I think about it, even today. What is the funniest thing that happened while you two were dating? Kevin: I don’t recall any really funny things while we were dating, but...my home life, being surrounded by four women, has provided some humor over the years. It has been suggested that we would qualify for a family reality show. The show would generally consist of me being overrun by women and having to spend a lot of money because of it. Becky: Kevin was really nervous the first time he was to meet my family. We were going to a BBQ at my sister’s house. He even went and got a haircut the day of the event. Unfortunately, there was some kind of communication problem between him and his hair dresser, because he came away with a short, and I mean short, buzz cut— something that a 7-year-old would sport.

What is the craziest thing your spouse has ever done for you? Kevin: Once she brought home a dog without my input. I actually found out about it from my daughter who lives out-of-town. One of the other girls sent her a picture on MySpace. So when she called to ask about the new dog I was the only person in the family who didn’t know. On a positive note, she did give me an Alaskan cruise as a present once. Becky: This isn’t really crazy...mostly, he takes care of me and our three girls

without much griping. There is always something crazy going on and he mostly takes it all in stride. Although to elicit sympathy from people about living with four women, he likes to say that he is dying a slow death from estrogen poisoning. Who’s the good cop and who’s the bad cop...outside of work that is? Kevin: I am probably more strict. I tend to see things as more black and white, and she tends to be more flexible. Becky: We go back and forth on that

in step with:

Kevin & Becky Stokes

one. When I have absolutely had it with the kids, he is the calm one and visa versa. We tend to keep each other balanced that way. Although Kevin did play CSI and catch one of them in a lie about touching the TV cabinet (it was broken and they were told not to touch it) by telling her that he could see fingerprints on the glass door and he could have me match them to her. Of course, it produced a confession. What’s your favorite crime show on TV? Kevin: The Sopranos before it went off the air. Ironic isn’t it? Now it would be RENO 911. Becky: I don’t tend to watch many crime shows, but Kevin and I do love Showtime’s Dexter. He is a CSI, but also a serial killer. Cool stuff. I also like Dr. G, Medical Examiner. Kevin, not so much. What’s the best excuse you’ve used to get out of a ticket? Or, what’s the best excuse you’ve heard someone give to get out of a ticket? Kevin: I have actually received a ticket since I have been an officer. I paid my fine and attended traffic school. The

best excuse I was ever given, was that the driver was in a hurry to get to a bathroom to avoid having an “accident.” I didn’t want to witness that myself, so I gave him a warning. Becky: The girls have gotten pulled over a couple of times and they just ask the cops, in the sweetest voice they can make, “Do you know my mom (or dad)?” And, ultimately, they get a “yes” and a warning. But the officers tell them that they must tell their parents. And, of course, they don’t. So, we hear about it from the cop several weeks later. Then, we get to play our good cop, bad cop routine on them. Whose fingerprints are most likely to be found on the cookie jar late at night? Kevin: Undoubtedly mine. Becky: Easy question. Kevin’s. He is famous for his midnight snacking. What makes your spouse squeamish? Kevin: She can’t/won’t watch anything that depicts animals being hurt or mistreated; she can handle just about everything else. Becky: Some of my favorite TV shows are the medical emergency shows. Especially the real life ones. At home, whenever I am watching those shows and Kevin walks in the room, he can’t look at the TV. Blood and guts is not his thing. That and oysters. Just thinking about them makes him gag.

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 15

Kern Facts

heryl Ohanneson is one quick lady. As she happily read her latest issue of Bakersfield Magazine she noticed her name was listed under our A-List Contest! Cheryl was the first one to email us and she came in to pick up her prize: a $100 gift certificate to Valentien! Just like Cheryl, you can dine at great local restaurants on us! All it takes is signing up to be on our A-List. It’s fast and free to sign up, but trust us (as Cheryl knows), the rewards are great. Join the A-List for your chance to win today!


A-List Contest


L ist e x tra


ungry? well, Don’t grab a Snickers...get on the A-List! It’s your best opportunity to win big and satisfy your hunger. Each issue we randomly select a handful of Bakersfield Magazine A-Listers and give them the chance to win a $100 gift certificate to a local restaurant. The first one to see their name and email us wins! It’s that simple. This time around, we’re happy to announce that the gift certificate is to Café Med! So if you’re on our A-List and if you’re hungry, scope out the names below and see if your name is listed. If it is, email us at alist@bakersfieldmagazine.net.* Allison Livesay Jennifer Highfill Ann Enge Brian Asaro Erin Posey Dorothy Vokolek

Marge Fetzer Michelle Gagner Connie Seaton David Chavez Dennis Duffy Cal Stead

*contest eligibility for A-List members only who have not won a prize in the past three months.

16 Bakersfield Magazine



Good eye

Fernando Vazquez & Efren Martinez in traditional costume

! s o r e u q a VivaV

By Loron Hodge


attle were first brought love of music has been a part of our histo the New World at Vera Cruz, tory for generations. Mexico, from Spain in 1521 but the first Familiar “rancheros” were established at 200-head cattle herd wasn’t brought into that time including San Emigdio and El California until 1770, to supply food for the Tejones (Tejon Ranch) with vast herds of missions. After 1821, and under Mexican cattle needing tending. rule, cattle-raising became a lucrative busiCattle ranches were being established in ness—especially after the 1849 California other parts of the county and the San Joaquin gold rush. In the beginValley. Thomas Beale ning, cattle production purchased a Spanish Land was conducted mainly Grant totaling almost The Vaqueros were for hides and tallow, as 300,000 acres of mountain expert horsemen who their meat was tough range and land. Thomas rode the range with and not the best grade Barnes, Ferdinand pride and dignity. of beef. Mostly long Tracy, and Wellington horns were brought in Canfield would also beWith his rope, a trusty from Mexico and with come prominent figures in string of horses, and a them came the Vaqueros. the cattle-raising business frontier spirit, he was The Vaqueros were around Buttonwillow. an invaluable member a group of speciallyMiller and Lux would trained men who were control 15 million acres of the rancher’s crew. adapted to the rugged between Arizona and life of cattle ranching. Oregon. Henry Miller’s They were expert horseherds, ranging close to men who rode the range with pride and 150,000 or more, was enough to elicit the dignity. With his rope, a trusty string of title “cattle baron.” horses, and a frontier spirit, the Vaquero With a better quality of meat brought on was an invaluable member of the rancher’s by introducing Herefords, Durhams, and crew. Along with his riding abilities came Black Angus, beef was to become one of the a sense of fair play and trust. He took his area’s most important agricultural products. job seriously. With him came his culThe Vaqueros were a valuable part of ture and romance of the Spanish western history and their contributions will conquistadors. Bright colors, the large be remembered as long as there are cattle to sombrero hat, tight riding pants, and his move or horses to break.

In & Around B•Town



rab your thinking cap— we’re back with another pop quiz. You might think you know Bakersfield, but do you really know all the nuances, the history, and the landmarks our city boasts? If you can identify where this picture was taken, be the first one to email us at comments@bakersfieldmagazine.net with the correct answer, and we’ll be forced to tip our caps (just regular ones) in your direction. Plus, we’ll give you free stuff (because we’re awesome like that). How’d you like $30 in gift certificates to Russo’s Books? Well, they can be yours if you win! Time is of the essence...

Did you know?

BAKERSFIELD GARAGE & AUTO SUPPLY COMPANY was the first gara ge and auto supply com pany in Bakersfie ld. Enoch J. Erb an d William E. Drur y opened for busin ess in 1906. Source: Historic Ch ronology of Kern County

V ictoria’s

In The Marketplace

Celebrate Summer! So Many Events, So Little To Wear Vacations, Weddings, & BBQs

Can’t Fool Me


ongratulations are in order for Al Gonzales! He was our first-ever Pop Quiz winner. Al correctly identified the night deposit box at the old Bank of America building downtown from the image we provided in April’s issue. Al works at Emporium Western Store downtown and, for years, made deposits through this very box. For being the first one to email us with the right answer, Al was awarded $30 in gift certificates to Russo’s Bookstore.



Join us as we celebrate fashion & summer With Victoria’s Picture Perfect Fashions! Bring in a picture of yourself wearing a Victoria’s outfit & enter for a ® Prizes chance to win Open 7 Days A Week

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www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 17

Village Fest 2008


Kern Facts

In Support of




Stress Free, Comfortable Atmosphere Discounts for AARP Members Lowest Bail Rates in the State

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www.welcometobakersfield.org email: martinezs@bak.rr.com 18 Bakersfield Magazine


By J. W. Burch, IV

s the old saying goes: “The children are our future.” The quality of the lives of children today will affect the quality of their lives tomorrow, and indeed the lives of those around them. That is why there are numerous groups who are devoted to helping children who may not have the same opportunities as others. Among those is the Childrens’ Advocates Resource Endowment (C.A.R.E.) As their name states, C.A.R.E. focuses on helping organizations that specialize in the youth of today. “It’s all about the children,” co-founder Richard Peace said. Established in 1999 by Peace and Ralph Fruguglietti, C.A.R.E. is best known for putting on Brews in the Village, now called Village Fest. C.A.R.E. initially started out raising money for the American Cancer Society. “They wanted to change the name and take over,” Peace said. “So we decided just to start our own non-profit and go on from there.” Recipients of funds provided by C.A.R.E. include the Optimal Hospice Foundation, who hosts a camp for children who have recently lost a loved one; the Bakersfield Police Activities League (BPAL); the Bakersfield Homeless Center; and many others. “Local childrens’ charities can apply to us for funds. They just have to be a 501(c)(3) and prove it,” Peace said. “Then we make an allocation of up to $10,000 to each of these agencies.” Rather than write a check directly to the organization, C.A.R.E. “cuts a check directly to the need.” As Peace said: “We want to be sure that the money we raise does not go to the non-profit’s other administrative costs.” In fact, 100 percent of the donated and raised money is placed back into the community. C.A.R.E. has no administrative costs and puts 60 percent of the raised funds in their endowment account and allocates the remaining 40 percent to the following year. “Bakersfield is a very giving community,”

Co-founder of C.A.R.E. Richard Peace Peace said, when asked what drives him and the organization. “And I love giving back to the community.” So does Jim Luff, the current president of the C.A.R.E. Board of Trustees. “We need to save our kids and kids need to be given opportunity,” he said. Luff began his service to children when his own were in elementary school. “I got involved in school fund-raising and the PTA,” Luff said. “I realized how many kids had parents who either didn’t care or didn’t have the ability to be a good role model.” Luff eventually volunteered at BPAL teaching a social development class for young men. On the first day of class, Luff asked the question, “what do you want to be after you are out of high school?” Of the 32 students in attendance, none had any aspirations. By the final day of class, Luff had instilled a dream in each and every one of the students. When asked what is most rewarding about what C.A.R.E. does, Luff answered: “For me, the most rewarding thing is perpetual donations. Such as the soccer field we donated to BPAL last year. The donation included uniforms, socks, nets, cones, balls, goals... everything they needed. And it occurred to me that not only is the youth of today going to be using the field and equipment, but possibly their children and their children’s children will get use out of it.” More information about C.A.R.E. can be found at bakersfieldbrews.com or by calling Richard Peace at (661) 324-9653.

more Winners


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nother amazing haul! We gave away a lot of tickets and prizes to our favorite people in town: Bakersfield Magazine A-Listers. Symphony tickets, event tickets, and even the chance to be a Foodie...free stuff galore! If you want to be just like these folks, don’t forget to sign up for our A-List (by visiting bakersfieldmagazine.net) and check your inbox constantly. You never know when we’re going to be having another contest...we could be having one right now!

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Trish Reed Foodie Tour WINNER

See page 114 for story.

“I had such an incredible time! It far surpassed my expectations and I found a new favorite restaurant in Mama Roomba. I enjoyed all aspects of the tour: the red carpet, the first-class limo ride, and the paparazzi. I felt that we all met as strangers and as we parted ways I quoted the ‘80s movie The Breakfast Club hoping that if we saw each other on the street, ‘would you say hello to me?’ My hope is that this article can bring some excitement to the downtown scene and the beginning of a new downtown life; a place to see and a place to be seen!” Thanks, Trish!

Symphony Ticket Winners Lourdes Olea James Wyatt Paula Miller Karen Roberts March for Babies Basket Winner Teena Carlile Women’s Business Conference Ticket Winners Dana Martin Gina Rasmussen Women’s Business Conference Basket Winner Laurie Ferullo Garces Gala Basket Winner Mary K. Atchison

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Kern Facts

Buggy Days A

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20 Bakersfield Magazine

ccording to the Kern County Historical Society, the first horseless carriage driven on the streets of Bakersfield, recalled a reporter for The Daily Californian in July 1904, was a Locomobile featured about five years earlier in a Ringling Brothers circus parade. Soon the automobile craze hit the town and William S. Tevis, president of the Kern County Land Company, bought a Locomobile. When Tevis [...] wanted a larger vehicle, he sold the Locomobile to Dr. John Snook, who auctioned it off to Judson F. Elwood, a dabbler in oil properties. After becoming familiar with the vehicle, Elwood took a joy ride toward Famoso. Along the way the automobile caught fire, and Elwood sold the burned remains to Ernest C. Peck. The new owner rebuilt the vehicle and, with his family, traveled toward Los Angeles. Four days later Peck reached San Fernando, where he shipped the vehicle to Los Angeles. “Notwithstanding the bad luck which seemed to follow in the wake of the first machine,” stated The Daily Californian in July 1904, “automobiles rapidly became popular.” By then several people had acquired them. The most expensive of the vehicles was a steam-powered White, owned by William S. Tevis. Among other automobiles in town were the Oldsmobile, Pierce Stanhope, and Rambler. While the purchase price of a horseless carriage was considerable, they were cheaper and more convenient to operate than a surrey and team, and it was more pleasur-

able to drive an automobile. Warm evenings were a “favorite time for taking spins around town.” Seen were a growing number of automobiles, including those propelled by steam, electricity, and gasoline, but mostly they were gasoline powered. By July 1904, there were about fourteen automobiles on the streets, and the number was increasing rapidly. New problems in law enforcement came with the “automobile craze.” Under state law, drivers within cities were limited to a speed of 10 miles per hour. They must use care in approaching horse-drawn rigs and pedestrians, as well as turn off the engine upon request. [...] Automobiles were to be equipped with a warning bell, horn, or whistle, together with headlights and red taillights. It was easy to tell when a car was going faster than the speed limit, but it was not easy to determine the exact speed. In November 1907, signs were installed at the city limits warning motorists of the 10 mile per hour speed regulation, with the expectation this would make it easier to enforce the law. The first arrest for speeding was of a professional chauffeur from Oakland. He pleaded guilty and was fined $10. In May 1910, Henry A. McGregor became a city motorcycle officer, and his mount was equipped with a cyclometer to record the speed of offending motorists. If you’d like more information, visit kchistoricalsociety.org. Source: Kern County Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin; Vol. 53, No. 1; Spring 2003. Reprinted with permission.

In & Around B•Town


What’s Hot! What’s Not?

“Providing care with integrity, sensitivity and professionalism”


he long days of summer mean one thing: people spend more time outside. And more time outside means more time being seen! So in that case, these are the trends we see making their way around Bakersfield this summer and we thought you’d like to know...just in case you’re trying to avoid a fashion faux pas.


Long Boho dresses (that’s Bohemian-style) Grecian-style heels


Flirty, knee-length tank dresses

Native American-inspired strappy sandals

Turquoise jewelry Gold jewelry Scoop-neck shirts and tops One-strapped shirts and tops The Bob The Cropped Pixie Black leather belt Bold, colorful belts (even try a patterned scarf!)

Geocache Update


ave that checkered flag! We’ve crossed the finish line! This geocaching update is extra special. Not only are we continuing to track our travel bugs across the world, but we’ve learned that recently, the Bakersfield Magazine Delivery Van made a visit to Daytona! Last year, geocacher elrojo14 picked up one of our cache items in July and immediately entered it in the Kern County Travel Bug Road Race. The goal? Rack up 500 miles. Our little van did just that. And with the help of some very special geocachers (a big thanks to BAKO1313, Rusty Cache Finder, geogrunt0311&geokat, moestep, and RogerMoellman) our van drove all around southern and central California before hitching a flight to Florida in January! There, it made a few pit stops at some Florida caches before stopping by the Daytona track. You’ll be happy to know that the van is back in Kern County after crossing the Kern County Travel Bug race finish line on February 6 this year! And while the magazine was excited to celebrate one year of ‘caching fun this past April, May 3rd marked the 9th anniversary for geocaching globally! So help keep our bugs moving—you just never know when you’ll make it into the pages of Bakersfield Magazine!

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Accepting most major health plans including Gemcare, BFMC & County of Kern www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 21

“In the last six years, we really started tapping into the Chamber, which created a wealth of opportunities for us. The Chamber provides a direct conduit, putting businesses in touch with each other as well as with local, state, and federal issues and decisionmakers - people with whom you might not otherwise have such close contact.” Alex and Monique Rogers – ARRC Technology

Number of degrees handed out by the Kern Community College District last year

Connecting Business with the Community Leadership • Accountability Responsibility • Respect Providing the opportunity to access and build lasting relationships with businesses, leaders and people who can help your business grow. Join today!

1725 Eye Street PO Box 1947 Bakersfield, CA 93303 www.bakersfieldchamber.org

14 1.3



Kern Facts

Rank of our Amtrak station in the list of the U.S.’s busiest stations


Number of square miles of water in Bakersfield city limits

Number of local hardware and supply stores in Bakersfield


Different species living at California Living musuem (CALM)

1,549,594 Projected population for Kern County in 2050

Sources: kccd.edu, City of Bakersfield, Kern Council of Governments

The gremlins are at it again! , ,, In last issue s Summer ,, Sanctuaries article, we did not properly caption the builder in the photos as L.S. England Designs We apologize for our oversight – Bakersfield Magazine

22 Bakersfield Magazine

Kevin’s FAVES


Kevin Burton and family

and Marketing for The Director of Public Relations 5 Favorite things! Young Wooldridge tells us his

1 2 3 4 5

en they meet me Seeing my girls’ faces wh e from work. hom e com I in the garage as rning to the smell Waking up Saturday mo kitchen (that my the in g win of coffee bre wife is making for me). ys” to play golf, Going out with “The Gu hi. and afterwards eating sus ristmas morning My daughters’ faces on Ch brought them. ta when they see what San oying a glass of Smoking a cigar and enj my backyard. in out wine while hanging

People • Places • Events

Fishing Cat “Nemo”

Date Book




By Donna McCrohan Rosenthal “I like where I live,” said Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce president Eric Kauffman in recent remarks about the economy. “The storefronts are unique, the coffee shops and restaurants are different, and the merchandise is as varied as the locals who own and stock them. Independent businesses house independent minds that make different choices based on their creative, ear-to-the-ground mindset.” As an example, the Chamber has posted its 2009 Wine Walk Schedule. Boutiques, antique shops, and other stores stay open late for the popular event that combines leisurely strolling through Olde Towne with wine tastings—on June 27, August 29, and September 26 (ridgecrestchamber.com; 760-375-8331). Following the success of its California Council for the Humanities “How I See It: My Place” grant project last year, the Ridgecrest Branch of the Kern County Library will sponsor a similar photography/writing collaborative workshop for teens this June and July (kerncountylibrary.org; 760-384-5870). Looking to the skies or—more appropriately—to the facilities below, a National Geographic film crew spent a weekend in the World War II hangar of the Indian Well Valley Airport to film a documentary about the “Nazi Flying Wing.” The episode should air this fall. Ridge Writers, the Ridgecrest Branch of the California Writers Club, marks the organization’s 100th anniversary with a traveling Family and Oral History Seminar (calwriters.org; 760-375-4308). Additionally, Ridge Writers will hold an “Open Mike” on Wednesday, July 1; Palm Springs Follies editor/publicist Greg Purdy will give the Wednesday, August 5 program; and popular mystery writer Marilyn Meredith, creator of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, will speak on Wednesday, September 2. The CWC started in the Bay Area among Jack London and his fellow writers and today has 16 branches throughout the state—one of them, Writers of Kern (WOK), in Bakersfield. In the volunteer arena, the China Lake Rotary Club recently voted “yes” on the question “Should District 5240 become a pilot district for Rotary International’s Future Vision project?” Early returns from other district clubs show support for the initiative. According to China Lake Rotary president David St. Amand, “The next step will be to apply to Rotary International, and if the application is accepted, there will be some dramatic changes coming. The promise is one of large-scale, sustainable projects designed to lift up the abject poor from focusing on survival and placing them in a position wherein they may begin to concentrate on making a better future.” The Kern River Valley welcomes the summer with the annual Lake Isabella Fireworks Display on Saturday, July 4 (kernrivervalley.com; 760-379-5236 or toll-free 866-KRV4FUN). In Rosamond, the Feline Conservation Center holds a “Twilight Tour” on Saturdays, June 20 and September 19. Because the Twilight Tours have a policy of adults only (18 or over), visitors can wander around parts of the park generally off-limits to the public (cathouse-fcc.org; 661-256-3793). Numbers game: Owing primarily to the proliferation of cell phones, Ridgecrest residents will have to dial 11 digits just to phone across town, and the new 442 area code will enter the region to make up for the shortage of 760 codes. All business and residential customers are encouraged to start using 1 + area code + seven-digit for local calls now; the procedure becomes mandatory on October 24. However, 911, 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711, and 811 will remain three-digit calls. Feel-good story of the month: Florence Barglowski, Pearl Loyal, Jean Shelheart, Verla Barry, Judy Rudduck, and TheBestCityGuides.com sent handmade hats and scarves to homeless Illinois and Michigan teens and adults.

Visit Us On-Line

and discover more of what you love about your city: bakersfieldmagazine.net


E as t Ke r n


Feline Conservation Center


(Prionailurus viverrinus)

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bakersfieldmagazine.net www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 23

Kern Facts

It’s Not Just Alphabet Soup


akersfield has a restaurant for every one of your moods. Thai? Italian? Basque? Zingos? But for every 10 restaurants you’ve eaten at, there are 100 that you haven’t. And if you’re anything like the foodies in our office, you don’t have to be told twice where to find good food. Before you go digging in, though, make sure you know what these places are dishin’ out. Ever see those blue letters posted in restaurant windows? Establishments are given either an A, a B, or a C depending on the number of points they received out of 100—just like school. But unlike school, there are no Ds or Fs; anything below a C and it’s not a matter of convincing Mom and Dad you’ll do extra credit—your eatery is closed. So who is doling out these grades? The Kern County Department of Public Health—that’s who. In addition to the posted letter grades, folks can find the information online at the county’s website...helpful to anyone heading to Bob’s Burger Buffet, with five burger-starved kids in tow, who doesn’t want to find out at the door that Bob left the pickles out all night. One can see not only the letter grade given to a restaurant, but also the specific violations, inspector’s notes, and other comments (even past violations). And according to the department’s director, Matt Constantine, this is important information to the public. Plus, our point system is a little different than other places. “Supervisor Rubio, as well as local restaurant and market owners, got together and decided they wanted a tighter grading scale,” Constantine explained. “They felt that [an establishment] had to get over a 75 to remain open.” So much for those C minuses. “But don’t let a B or a C discourage you from dining at a place,” he added. “We would never let a restaurant stay open if they were a danger to public health.” Constantine said inspectors look for circumstances within a restaurant that they attribute to the likely causes of food-born illnesses. So getting a B doesn’t mean a restaurant is dangerous to dine at—far from it! It could just mean that their paper towels were too far away from the sink. It’s all in an effort to help improve the health of Kern County. www.co.kern.ca.us/eh/FoodInfo.asp

24 Bakersfield Magazine



Making Grade

500 MPH Farmer “It’s not easy to win,” Bill “Tiger” Destefani says, reclining by his P-51 D Mustang in an airplane hangar in Shafter. “I’ve only done it seven times.” Seven times, he says modestly... but that’s more gold than any of us have taken home from the National Championship Air Races in Reno. And that’s not even including the other three wins he’s earned from races in Denver and Kansas City throughout the 30 years he’s been soaring in the skies. Soaring might be the wrong word. How about speeding. Destefani races planes—and we’re not talking about jets. We’re talking World War II fighter planes. “It’s about coordination. You’ve got to have 1,000 percent concentration. You’re trav-

Skilled Hands


eling at 700 feet per second with a 3,800 horsepower engine. This plane was made to go to war... it doesn’t know it’s not there,” Destefani chuckles. “It’s got no auto pilot. Flying this type of plane takes a special individual—you have to be a skilled pilot. I mean, this thing’s just waiting to kill you. At that speed [he once found himself flying at 530 miles per hour] the movement it takes to put you into a 90 degree turn is tiny. It takes someone who’s got the talent to do it and the want to win.” And to win, one has to fly at close to 500 miles per hour, around an eight mile course, careful to stay within the 50 foot high pylons and careful not to hit one of the other planes competing. For Destefani, competing is

BILL destefani aka “TIGER”

the best part of this hobby. He calls it a hobby because he is first and foremost a farmer. “My great-grandfather came to Bakersfield in 1850. I was born in 1945 and I’ve always been a farmer. But I always liked Mustangs even though I had no flying experience. Well, in 1977, I damn near died of spinal meningitis. I’m recuperating and I’m thinking to myself, I’m 34! You hear about these people who work their whole lives, but they have a dream to buy a little house by a lake when they retire and they’re going to fish. So they retire, get the house, and six months later, they die. They never really got to do what they wanted.” Destefani realized that since he had almost died once, he wasn’t going to let life pass him by

again. He bought a plane in 1977 and the rest, he says, is history. He and his crew took the plane to Reno in 1980 and they did well. But the bug had bitten Destefani. As soon as they got back he began modifying the plane to go faster, turn tighter. “We modified it only to race,” he said, grinning slyly, “not drop bombs on anyone.” Modifications take time and energy, but Destefeni loves that element. “I’m a hands-on guy. Not only do I fly it, but I know what makes

“ You’ve got to have

1000% concentration [ to fly it ]. This thing’s just waiting to kill you.” that thing tick,” he said, pointing to his prized Mustang. So just how do you get to be so good? What’s the practice schedule like for someone who races planes in his spare time? “Practice?” he asked incredulously. “Nah, I don’t ever practice. I just do it. It’s kinda like ridin’ a bike. You just know how. I’ve got eight and a half minutes to prove I’m the baddest [racer] in the air.” Then he grins. “You gotta remember, I’m a farmer...I just do this for fun.” Sure...a farmer that just happens to be as comfortable behind the wheel of a tractor as he is wresting a World War II fighter throttle at breakneck speeds.

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 25

26 Bakersfield Magazine

Are you a Bakersfield Native? No, I was born and raised in France. I came to Bakersfield with my family in 1981. Is there a beauty product that you absolutely can’t live without? Yes, I have curly hair therefore I can’t live without hairspray and gel. Do you think Bakersfield has a style? Bakersfield has many styles. It varies from country, casual, to business and elegant. I believe that’s what makes the city unique! Describe your personal style. Classy and elegant. I am such a girlie girl. I love to dress up and wear heels even if I’m going to the grocery store. I own just one pair of sneakers which I wear when I work out.

How long does it usually take you to get ready in the morning? You’d be surprised, but it does not take me long to get ready. I usually know what I’m going to wear before I get in the shower so I would say about 45 minutes. Does your style change when you are not at work? Not at all, I always look dressy. How do you personalize your business look? My everyday look is pretty much my business look. But I guess you could say that I do accent my outfit with subtle and classy accessories. What are your favorite places to shop in Bakersfield? I like shopping at some of the small shops inside the mall. What is your favorite item of clothing? I love to wear dresses. Dresses are pretty much my summer uniform. My favorite would have to be my little black dress...an item I think every woman should have. What is the biggest fashion mistake you have made? I would have to say...having to wear two wedding dresses.

Is there a celebrity you get your style from? I don’t really get my style from anyone in particular. But I do get some tips and outfit ideas from magazines.

What are you wearing? The shirt is Charlotte Russe, the capris are Express, and the shoes are from T.J. Maxx.

Are you a bargain hound? Yes! T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls are my top shopping destinations. I love the rush of searching and finding a good deal.

What mistakes do you think men make when they dress? Not asking for a woman’s opinion before leaving the house. We simply know what’s best!

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 27

28 Bakersfield Magazine



How he got started: Farrer surrounded himself with music as a child—learning the piano and various orchestral instruments. After attending college and completing coursework in musical direction, he began conducting. In 1970, he took a guest conductor position with the Bakersfield Symphony and just five short years later he became the music director. Today, he is a world-renowned guest conductor having conducted special programs for royalty, including the Duchess of Cornwall.

His heroes: There are, of course, many composers that Farrer admires as well as many, many music teachers throughout his life...but this maestro says he can’t name a particular hero (even when pressed!). Instead he offered this tidbit about local heroes: “My proudest achievement has been the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra,” he says of the folks he conducts here.




John Farrer

I am always focused on the piece we’re about to perform.

His favorite part of the industry: As a music director, he selects music for productions, chooses soloists, and organizes workshops—however he loves actually being in front of the orchestra and conducting the performances most of all. And through his experience, he has become a trustee of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.


Career highlights: Talk about worldly— Farrer is a senior guest conductor of the English Sinfonia, having not only produced many highly praised recordings with orchestras in England, but for five seasons he was associated with the San Francisco Symphony. Additionally, he served as Music Mentor of Singapore in 2006 and conducted for S. R. Nathan, the president of Singapore.

What he’d still like to accomplish: “I am always focused on the piece we’re about to perform,” he says. It definitely puts the kibosh on grandiose future plans, but Farrer seems content to take his career one performances at a time. That said, he still has time to lead the California Conducting Institute by training new maestros from around the world who come to Bakersfield to study with him.

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 29

photos courtesy mattnad, Calvin teo, Bakersfield symphony orchestra, stevehdc

Personal Stats Name: John Farrer Age: 68 Marital Status: Married Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan Title: Music Director, Bakersfield Symphony

News, Weather & Traffic Updates plus... Exclusive Behind the Scenes Look at the Stories Featured in

5-7am Cable 7 • Digital 29-1 7-9am Cable 6 • Digital 58-2

30 Bakersfield Magazine

Last issue, George Gilbert Lynch recounted the early history of Buena Vista Lake. In Part II, he continues the saga by chronicling how local pioneers tried to tame this formidable great lake.

o begin the massive reservoir construction, Henry Miller purchased an 1888 model Marion steam shovel, the 72nd built by that company, and had it transported from Marion, Ohio to Bakersfield. The 20-ton machine was then disassembled and hauled by wagons from the Southern Pacific rail yards to the Buena Vista Lake shore where a crew of ship carpenters constructed the largest dredging boat ever used in the inland Valley. Under the direction of Miller’s Buttonwillow Ranch foreman, Simon W. Wible, the wood-burning steam dredge was launched into the lake in 1889. This giant dredging machine had a bucket capacity of 1 1/2 cubic yards and weighed 30 tons. Operating the dredge required an engineer, fireman, crane man, and two roustabouts. The wood-fueled boiler required two cords of wood per 10-hour shift. The object of the dredging was to deepen 10 miles of the eastern side and up the mouth of the lake to permit the complete emptying of the reservoir into the Kern

Valley Canal. This would irrigate crop land to the north. To accomplish this feat, a system of head gates was constructed at the lake’s entrance where the river originally flowed. Named the Western Water Works, these weirs could either let all of Kern River’s water empty into the lake or

pany Canal, Wible’s Concrete Weir, and evidence of the dredging work and levees can still be seen at the site of the dry Buena Vista lake bed. As this dredging was in progress, a 20 foot high earthen levee six miles in length, running north and south, was being built between old Kern Lake and Buena Vista Lake using mule teams and Fresno Scrapers, the only earth-moving equipment of that era. As fast as this levee could be constructed, waves from the 36 square mile lake would wash it out in some areas. Thousands of wagon loads of brush and tumble weeds were dumped near the lakeside of the levee in an effort to curtail the constant erosion, but the problem continued. The only logical solution was to lay large stones on the lakeside of the levee (called rip-rapping). The nearest available rock formations were located in the mountains 12 miles to the south. To transport the thousands of tons of rock needed to reinforce the levee, a railroad had to be built. In 1892, >>

The Late, Great, Buena Vista Lake

©istockphoto.com /edelmar

send it north via the Kern Valley Canal. The resulting 36 square mile reservoir and its canal system, created out of the old Buena Vista Lake, was recognized world wide as the largest artificial reservoir-irrigation complex in the United States at that time. The Kern Valley Water Com-

Part II

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 31


By George Gilbert Lynch

Lost Lake George Stone Construction Company was engaged to build a narrow-gauge railroad on top of the levee. A train could then continue south to the San Emigdio Mountains, where rock was quarried. Later, it would be hauled back by the wood-burning, 8-ton, steam locomotive and 24 dump cars. When this small steam locomotive arrived at the SP railroad yards in East Bakersfield, Simon Wible climbed onto it to inspect the workings. After viewing its small size, the local newspapers jokingly referred to the new arrival as “Wible’s Baby-buggy,” since the little steamer did prove too small for the task of pulling 24 loaded cars from the quarry. Its boiler burst while straining to pull the train and the explosion blew the engineer from the cab but he was only slightly injured. While the little engine was undergoing repairs, another larger locomotive weighing 15 tons was purchased and upon its arrival in East Bakersfield, plans were laid to transport the heavy machine to the levee site about 40 miles southwest. The largest wagons of that era were the 10-ton capacity borax wagons of 20 Mule Team Borax fame. Three of these massive wagons were acquired from Mojave and the 15-ton locomotive was disassembled, removing wheels, drive rods, the cab, and the boiler. The parts were loaded into the big wagons and hauled south on Union Avenue to Maricopa Road, then west to the railroad where it was re-assembled. With the two locomotives working, levee construction continued at full speed. This narrow-gauge railroad was locally dubbed the Buena Vista Reservoir Railroad. The large rocks and earth were dumped onto the lakeside of the levee preventing erosion of the dike. The railroad project eventually cost over $100,000 (roughly $2.5 million today). This project continued for about two years, with crews working only when the lake’s water level was low. When the rip-rapping work was completed, the contractor removed the railroad that ran from the San Emigdio Mountains to the north end of the long levee. Ten years later, in 1901, the Sunset Railroad to Maricopa and Taft was built using a portion of this old road bed along the top of the levee. This levee and the abandoned Sunset Railroad still exist on the eastern shore of the old lake bed about 30 miles southwest of Bakersfield. This irrigation system functioned

32 Bakersfield Magazine

The old Buena Vista lake bed is a fertile place to grow many kinds of crops today.

very efficiently, just as it was designed. The only failure in the Buena Vista irrigation complex happened in July 1907. During the night, high winds caused large waves to batter a breach in the 6-mile long east levee. The Lake was filled to capacity which caused a huge rush of water to spill out into the 18 square miles of crops planted in the reclaimed land of the old Kern Lake bed. Hundreds of men fought to close the breach in the dike for two days, even hastily building another dike in their struggle to stop the inundation of homes, barns, farm equipment, and fields of ripe grain. Every attempt failed to stop

The crumbling, 100-year-old concrete structure still stands on the Kern River Flood Channel. the flood before it could wash out the newly built Sunset Railroad along the top of the levee. Twelve miles of railroad were washed away which prompted the rebuilding of that portion of the Sunset Railroad on higher ground. The railroad was repaired in 34 days. An estimated $1 million in damages resulted from this levee failure and nearly two years passed before the flooded acreage could again be farmed. In the summer of 1913, the lake was nearly dry and the trusty old steam dredge took this opportunity to deepen the lake near the Taft Highway Bridge. During periods when the lake was dry, farmers would lease the hundreds of acres of rich, black, bottom land exposed by the receding waters. A bumper crop of barley or corn could be raised in that rich soil before another wet year again filled the reservoir.

This gradually became a common practice over the years through the 1940s. My boyhood experiences at old Buena Vista Lake in the ‘30s and ‘40s will never be forgotten. It was a fishing and frogging paradise with its miles of shoreline and the waterfowl hunting was outstanding. Many hot summer nights we would camp on the shore and, by campfire, fish all night for catfish. With a flashlight, we walked along the banks, spearing giant bullfrogs. Fishing from the Wible Weir, at the northern end near Tupman, was always a great adventure because of the many different kinds of fish we could catch. We caught carp, bluegill, catfish, whitefish, bass, turtles, and (amazingly) koi fish. I don’t know where the multi-colored koi came from but they were always there near the spillway of the big weir. During the heat of the day we would swim above the weir to cool off. In the summer, when the fish were biting, hundreds of fishermen could be seen along that channel. The crumbling, 100-year-old concrete structure still stands on the Kern River Flood Channel one mile west of the Tule Elk State Preserve. From the beginning, the lake was very popular for power boating and sailing. The first nationally sanctioned boat regatta was held on May 14, 1939 and was attended by 5,600 cheering spectators. A full field of nearly 80 power boats raced throughout the day. The regatta was sponsored by the South San Joaquin Valley Yacht Club and the Bakersfield Boat Club. Local hydroplane racing legend and rancher, John Kovacevich, driving his famous Muscat Kid, won many titles over the years out on Buena Vista. As the years passed, Lake Isabella was fi-

nally built for flood control and water storage. Additionally, the California Aqueduct was built alongside the old lake’s western shore. After 60 years as a reservoir for irrigation water and a fishing and hunting paradise, the Buena Vista Lake had outlived its usefulness and the dark, rich lake bed was more valuable to raise crops than to store water. Today, the lake bed displays miles of lush crops irrigated by electrically-pumped ground water or from the impounded waters of Isabella Lake and the California Aqueduct. The Kern River’s entrance at the old lake’s north end has been redesigned so any flood water can be shunted into the old Kern Valley Canal (now re-named Kern River Flood Channel), thus diverting any flood water north to the old Tulare Lake bed area.

photos provided by George lynch

Spillway of Buena Vista dam north end of lake.

1872 map of Buena Vista Lake and canal.

Old Buena Vista Lake was all but forgotten for 20 years until 1973 when the county built the new Buena Vista Aquatic Recreational Area on the north shore of the old lake bed. The artificial lakes contain 6,800 acre feet of water obtained from the California Aqueduct. These lakes are teaming with fish, regularly planted by the Kern Parks and Recreation Department. Large beds of tules now grow along these lake shallows, reminiscent of the tule-lined shores of the Late, Great Buena Vista Lake. v

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 33


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34 Bakersfield Magazine

One of the focuses of this issue ulcers, high blood pressure, etc. As certainly helps us understand that an employee’s overall health and pets can add joy to our lives and, in self-esteem deteriorate, so does many cases—in ordinary times— workplace performance, resulting help reduce stress for some of us. in, according to the same article in However, it doesn’t take a rocket HR Magazine, “decreased producscientist to know that we are defitivity, poorer work quality, distracnitely not living in ordinary times; tion, apathy, illness and increased one peek at the newspaper and/or absenteeism.” This will reflect in a glimpse of the evening news lowered satisfaction of clients, will quickly convince you of that and a weakened bottom line. sobering fact. We are currently So, just what can managers treading in uncertain economic do to help this situation? First waters and many individuals are of all, lend a sympathetic ear, as experiencing unprecedented and By Holly Culhane, SPHR appropriate, and listen to your overwhelming stress, such as they employees. Communicate that the may not have suffered prior. But employers may company wants to help in any way possible. Make be able to ease the stress a bit. The key, as it is to sure supervisors are trained to recognize tense so many things in life, is communication. situations and employees who may be “at-risk.” In recent years, workplaces have become more Be sure employees are aware of any EAP services involved with stress management as the line be- and encourage them to take advantage of these tween office and home began to blur and work/life programs, making sure they understand it doesn’t balancing became an issue for both employers and indicate signs of weakness or failure on their part. their workers. Over the past couple of decades, Also, provide information that may be useful to companies recognized the need for providing stress struggling individuals such as information on loan outlets and began to offer such things as Employee modification programs, workshops on how to Assistance Programs (EAPs), wellness services, manage money, and seminars to explore positive, and/or even flexible hours or telecommuting op- relatively cost-free activities in which to participate tions for employees. These services, coupled with with one’s family. If employees are concerned about individual efforts including reading stress manage- retirement savings accounts, offer information and ment publications, yoga classes, brief relaxation education to help them understand options they breaks, meditation, etc., may be adequate in ordi- may have in this area. Communicate through enary times but, unfortunately, fall woefully short mails, management blogs, company newsletters, in this taxing era of layoffs, plant closures, home etc. Ask employees for advice on cost-cutting foreclosures, and staggering debt-loads. measures for the company...and then listen to what A recent article in the May 2009 HR Magazine they propose. titled “Workplace Stress? Deal With It!” explains, Local licensed marriage family therapist, Pat “Today’s stresses are not conventional. Today’s Bentley emphasizes, “Employees need commuworkplace stress is generated in part by fear of nication with others who share similar concerns. the unknown, as opposed to the usual stress of Whether via company-sponsored programs or deadlines or people conflict and so forth.” The informal group meetings, employees will be less writer further states management must be involved likely to isolate with distorted thinking when they in “communicating what’s happening, what’s know others can relate to them. When employees expected, and reducing these fears.” experience stress that begins to feel unmanageable, Unfortunately, employers sometimes think they or if they are trying to cope in less desirable ways, should remain silent on aspects of employees’ lives (i.e., drinking/eating/sleeping too much or too little) over which they have no solutions. For example, they may need some professional assistance. Again, they believe if they openly recognize many workers a professional can help open the doors to better are faced with overwhelming economic pressures, communication as well as teaching the individuhome foreclosures, etc., they will be “opening a als to reframe the way they think. When stress is can of worms” and forcing employees to dwell on building inside of us, the key is to ‘dump the trash these issues. The fact is the employees are already can’ before the trash begins to rot. Connecting with fretting about these matters and when management friends, family, colleagues, and possibly professionignores them, seemingly pretending as if every- als will be a first step toward this end.” thing is rosy, the problems are actually exacerbated Most importantly, let everyone know that by the company appearing as “uncaring.” management cares about each individual and Because these are indeed trying times, individu- understands they are making huge sacrifices at the als’ stresses cross over between the workplace and moment and are dealing with horrendous pressures. home. Financial worries, in part possibly caused by Assure them their efforts are appreciated and will the employer, can affect performance on the job, as be remembered when things turn around and the well as irritability at home. Often, people respond economy improves. Communicate that we must all to stress with unhealthy activities such as overeat- help each other and provide the support necessary ing, abuse of alcohol and/or tobacco products, or to weather the current financial storm. even violence. Obviously, this compounds the problems further and can lead to debilitating con- Contact Holly Culhane of PAS Associates for ditions such as depression, heart disease, stomach your human resource needs, (661) 631-2165.


for this risktaker business is simply, well,

On a Roll By Tracie Grimes

Some people have a plan when they pack up, leave the only home they’ve ever known, and hit the road to start a new life. Not Michelle Leveroni. With a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State, a new car, $1,300 dollars in the bank, a well-cut business suit, and her new best friend Brady (a Husky-mix puppy and “the smartest dog ever”), Michelle decided to head West, in search of sunshine and success. “Employed” may not have been the first adjective that described Michelle as she pulled away from her parents’ Michigan home, and a course of action (or even thoughts as to where she was going to live) may not have been sketched out, but the self-sufficient, hard-working 20-something wasn’t worried. Sure, she knew failure was most certainly a risk, but so what? “Ah, the fearlessness of youth is a wonderful thing,” sighs Michelle, now 25 years later and at the peak of her entrepreneurial success as the owner of 17 local Subway Sandwich franchises. Looking back at her decision to just head out and see what happened along the way, Michelle takes a moment to reflect. “Was I nervous? Was I scared? Not really. But would I want my 17-year-old daughter [Bridget] to do what I did? Not really,” Michelle smiles. “I know now why my mom wasn’t home when I pulled out of the driveway that day; she stayed away on purpose because she was scared to death >>

As the owner of 17 local Subway franchises, Michelle Leveroni has tackled her fair share of risks.

measuring success one tasty foot-long at a time

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 35

Risktakers­ for me! But I’d been wanting to live someplace warm since I got out of high school (those Michigan winters can kill a person!), looking into going away to college, but realized I couldn’t afford to pay out-of-state college tuition, so I decided that it was ‘now or never’ after graduation.” So with no particular destination in mind, just a plan to stop over at friends’ houses for a couple of nights in Missouri and New Mexico, then making a stop in San Diego, Michelle decided somewhere along the way that Santa Barbara might be a good place to call home. “But I couldn’t find a hotel in Santa Barbara that would take my dog, so I headed back to San Diego.” Feeling discouraged for the first time since she started out on her “excellent adventure,” Michelle called her mom. “I was pretty home-sick and Mom could tell that I just really needed to be around a family, so she made a call, told me to call Sue and Bill Brine, and Sue gave me directions to meet her at a church. I’ll never forget that she told me to get off on El Cajon Boulevard, and me, being from Michigan and not knowing the spelling of the Spanish names around southern California, was looking for El Kahone Boulevard—just like it sounds.” Michelle eventually found her way through the foreign-sounding streets of San Diego, and with a little help from her friends, the Brines, she found a hotel that would accommodate both her and her canine companion. “I rented a typewriter, started sending out resumes, and landed my first post-graduate job at Cox Cable in San Diego.” That’s where she met her future husband, Pete Leveroni. Their romance was in full bloom when Cox decided to transfer Pete to Bakersfield. Michelle decided Bakersfield was calling her name, too. “I don’t think Pete was too happy when I told him I was moving, too, but he got used to it. And my parents...they thought I

“So who needs a plan when starting out in life? Risk is an inherent part of living.” —Michelle Leveroni

had lost my mind to quit a well-paying, steady job to move to a strange town with this guy I hadn’t known for that long. But they knew me, knew it was a risk I was willing to take.” At some point it dawned on Michelle that she’d probably need some source of income as she and Pete began their life in Bakersfield. She’d been pondering this one day when Pete came home. “He walked in the door and I gave him a big ‘hello’ kiss. He smelled delicious! I asked him what he’d been eating that smelled so good, and he said, ‘Oh, it must be the Subway sandwich I had at lunch.’ 36 Bakersfield Magazine

When it comes to making sandwiches, Michelle knows what ingredients equal success! Fresh-baked bread is one for sure.

“I had never heard of Subway before, and was intrigued. Pete said, ‘Hey, I don’t think there are any Subways in Bakersfield,’ and now Pete tries to take the credit for coming up with the idea of opening up a Subway in Bakersfield,” Michelle laughs. But while being the first on the block, so to speak, and introducing a new business to a city may lead to entrepreneurial success, it also involves taking a few pretty big risks: financing the new venture and marketing the product, just to name two. “Mom and Dad had recently had some good luck on a piece of property they owned; they struck oil, kinda like in The Beverly Hillbillies,” Michelle chuckles. “They gave each of us kids a portion, and I decided I’d use mine to open a Subway in Bakersfield. My parents let me borrow the rest of the money I needed. I insisted on setting up a payment schedule because paying my own way is very important to me. So financing was taken care of.” Marketing the product was a bit more of a challenge, Michelle recalls, because most people had no idea that Subway was a sandwich business. “Back in 1984 there were less than 500 Subways in the whole country, so when I started telling people I was opening up a Subway franchise in Bakersfield, they’d look at me like I was crazy and say, ‘You’re going to build a subway in Bakersfield?’” Never one to back away from a challenge and a little hard work, Michelle decided to take on the risk of opening a business people weren’t really sure about. “I didn’t really stop to think about it. I knew I was a hard worker, and I’ve always loved making sandwiches, so I just jumped in.” And boy did she jump in! Michelle chose the Oak Street location for her first store (which is still open), even knowing that renovation was going to be a huge undertaking.

“I was there all day and well into the night getting the place ready to open. You name it, I did it—laying tile, grouting, painting—heck, Pete and I even put together the walk-ins in that store. But we were ready to open for business!” Fatigued from her weeks of hard labor, not to mention the fact that she didn’t get any sleep during her first 24 hours in business, Michelle decided to fly home to Michigan for a visit with her parents and a little R & R. Exhausted, she had to get back on the plane in a wheelchair, and her doctor admitted her directly to the hospital once she got back to Bakersfield. “I thought I was just tired from working myself to death to get the store open, but it turned out I had Valley Fever.” After weathering a rough start like that, Michelle has been well equipped for the ups and downs the sandwich business has taken her through over the past 25 years. And being the kind of person that isn’t inclined to wake up every morning saying, “Okay, I’m going to do this,” or “Gee, here I am, a woman who’s starting out a business that’s brand new to Bakersfield; I wonder if I’m going to make it,” Michelle decided it was onward and upward for her Subway franchises. “I’m not the kind of person who ‘tests the waters.’ It’s more like ‘jump in the deep end and plug your nose,’” Michelle laughs. “I never thought twice about opening a second store; I just knew I was going to do it not only because there was room for more Subways in Bakersfield, but because I knew I would be successful. “You know, I’ve opened about 40 stores and have been making thousands of sandwiches a week over the past 25 years, have had some pretty awful things happen to me along the way, but I’ve

( 2008 singles pictured )


“Life is a risk. You just have to be flexible enough to allow yourself to figure things out along the way.” —Michelle Leveroni

had a great time. But if I had let the fear of taking risks stop me, I would have missed out on life. I feel like I’ve been a part of so many lives. I’ve seen a lot of kids who used to come by in their little dance leotards grow up and I’ve employed thousands of local people over the years, most of whom have become part of my family. I take what I do very seriously. I just really think God had a plan for me to do this and I pray to Him every night for strength and wisdom. Then I wake up in the morning and just concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other,” she says with a smile. And as she looks down the road at the next 25 years, Michelle realizes her future path looks much like it did when she started out. “I really don’t have a clear cut plan for the next 25 years,” Michelle says thoughtfully. “At one time I had all these grandiose plans of selling by the time I was 40. But as I sit here looking 50 in the eye, I realize I don’t really have an exit strategy. I love making sandwiches, love the flexibility my career gives me to spend time and be there for Pete and our three kids; why would I want out? “So who needs a plan when starting out in life? Risk is an inherent part of living,” Michelle points out. “Life is a risk. You just have to be flexible enough to allow yourself to figure things out along the way.” v

They’re talented. They’re smart. They’re leaders. ...and they’re all coming next issue! During the past six years we’ve profiled builders and bankers, accountants and teachers, healthcare providers, and Realtors, writers, marketing managers, celebrities, local personalities, and every profession in between! These are singles who have been nominated by our readers and business associates, and met the requirements of being confident, caring, innovative, and successful. And yes, smart, funny, and opinionated.

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 37


on Bakersfield’s first lady of publishing


t is with deep sadness that we convey the passing

and Editor until a few months before her death.

of Bakersfield Magazine’s founder, Donna Corum.

She was always excited to discover Kern

She passed from this life on April 23, 2009 following

County’s most extraordinary people, places, and

a long illness, and she leaves behind a loving family,

things, then feature them in the magazine. It was

countless friends, and thousands of readers.

her vision to publish a magazine that offered

Donna started Bakersfield Magazine 26 years

positive stories, noting that there were plenty

ago. Her ideas molded this magazine, her interests

of media sources to give you (bad) news. She

have been expressed within its pages, and her pas-

understood that when people read for pleasure,

sion has kept it fresh and polished. She remained at

they want to be left with a good feeling about

the helm, guiding this publication as Co-Publisher

how they’ve spent their time.



Donna Louise Corum founder . visionary . friend

A Lady in White. Donna’s elegance and grace, which affected everyone around her, will not soon be forgotten.

When it came to the magazine, Donna had an inborn instinct for what worked and what didn’t, whether it was editorial content or graphic design. But Donna also had a knack for business in general. It was a subject she found fascinating and

passion for the magazine, but they are also aware that the most important thing in her life was family—especially her incredible 48-year marriage to Les. Not only did they beat the odds of those who marry young, but also the odds of those who work together. First with an advertising agency, then the magazine, they worked side-by-side for decades and still had things to talk about when the day was done. No one who came within their sphere could ever doubt their love for one another. Donna spoke often of how thankful she was to have Les in her life and how they had grown ever closer as the years progressed and her health began to deteriorate. Through the years, many of Donna’s employees became friends, and friends often beA vision of sunshine even on cloudy days, Donna spent hours in her garden where she found pleasure. came “family.” She was fun to she loved to hear about those who overcame great be around, had a wonderful wit, and unbelievable odds to succeed. She always wanted to learn more. passion. In many ways she was the brightest star Over the years, she met several people whose in her universe, but she was truly interested in the business acumen so impressed her that she would lives of others. If you shared something that you say, “I wish he could carry me around in his shirt were excited about, she enthusiastically joined in pocket for awhile so I could learn from him.” Yet, your excitement. She was honestly happy to see she never seemed to realize the size of her own her family and friends experience their own joys pockets and how many people she carried around and successes. with her who considered her to be their mentor. Many people will tell you how she influenced Donna always recognized something special in their lives (several of these are shared in the folthe people she and Les hired to work at the maga- lowing pages), but Donna had wonderful examzine. If she saw a spark, she’d take a chance on ples to follow in her mother and grandmother. She those with less experience. She could often see in often spoke of her memories of both women—of others what they failed to see in themselves. She their strengths and abilities, and the challenges always hoped to turn that spark into a roaring fire. they had to meet in life. She had particularly fond Sometimes it worked out, sometimes it didn’t, but memories of her grandmother, who died when she never became jaded to the possibilities. Donna was still an adolescent. It became apparent When she saw talent, she offered encourage- that her unlimited energy was inherited, when she ment and opportunity. She challenged people to recalled how her grandmother worked as a school stretch their limits; she nurtured those who would principal, worked at the ranch (including making put forth an effort; and she cheered their every the noontime meals for the workers), and help success. Conversely, she had little time for those found a local church. Her recollections were of a who wanted something for nothing or offered strong, formidable woman. I never saw a photomore excuses than effort. “Can’t” was simply not graph of her grandmother, but always pictured her an acceptable word in her vocabulary. as an older version of Donna. Everyone who knew Donna can tell you of her She told similar stories of her mother, to whom

40 Bakersfield Magazine

Reflections S

remembering she was extremely close. It was from her that DonDonna Louise Corum na received the lessons that gave her such dignity founder . visionary . friend and grace. In 20 years, the only time I saw Donna falter was when she lost her mother. It left a wound Donna’s spirit lives on through her family and that never fully healed, but she found solace in her friends and within the pages of this magazine. She family, the magazine, and her garden. Donna loved flowers and her gardens were al- gave the community a wonderful gift of a high-qualways in bloom. She spent hours planning and ity city magazine. Remember her with each new isplanting her gardens. There was a time when it sue. And think of her when the roses bloom. seemed as if she spent as much time in her garden —Janet Wheeler and greenhouse as she did at her desk. She liked most everything that bloomed, but she treasured Special remembrances a rose Les gave her on an anniversary. When she had a treasured friendship with Donna for 47 moved, the rose went with her. Then she spent years. If you were her friend, you were truly weeks hunting down the particular variety of tree- blessed. roses that she’d selected to line her front walk. In Her joyfulness and sweetness always lifted me the final months of her life—when she could no up. She was my sunshine. Her warm, engaging, longer spend time outdoors—Donna found com- magical way of listening to me, and others, always fort in the view of the flowers blooming in the gar- astonished me. She was direct, but positive, enden she had so carefully crafted. couraging, and sympathetic. When Donna first fell ill, a decade ago, she Her gift of patience, stamina, and determinaquickly absorbed the shock, then faced the road tion to see things grow resulted in her fabulous ahead with incredible strength and unfaltering de- flower garden as well as the Bakersfield Magazine, termination. She planned to do what had to be done which she and Les cultivated in their blossoming then move on with her life. She had projects to fin- world together. What an incredible achievement! ish, a magazine to publish, and a lot of living left to do. Long before her illness, she recognized that we are given a finite amount of time and energy and it is our decision how we use it. She chose to surround herself with positive people and things and not to dwell on the negative. She focused her time and energy on what she loved. She worked at recovery and amazed the medical community (not to mention the rest of us) time and again with her With son Mike. Donna’s intense passion and love for her family kept her battling for many years. ability to rebound. Donna refused to give up and she wouldn’t allow the mediIn my spunky friend’s last weeks, she never cal community to give up either. She outlived medi- complained; she still smiled and giggled with me. cal predictions by at least three years, and she lived She was so courageous! What an awesome inspithose years to the fullest of her ability. When the ration she has been to me. time finally came for her to let go, she did it on her I miss her terribly and will always cherish the terms with the same dignity and grace with which wonderful memories we shared. she’d lived her life. —Lynn Taber


www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 41

Big round hazel eyes and 5’4” of absolute lady—

that was pure dynamite! Donna Corum put all her energy, heart, and soul into her dream: a quality magazine for Bakersfield. She first came through the doors of my life in 1983 to ask if I would join the team to build this magazine, which was then Panache. I was never happier than in those years I worked as her editor. Following that time we remained friends and I saw in Donna what a true businesswoman had to be made of to accomplish her goal. She knew the value of time—snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment. Open your mind, open your heart, open your arms—take it all in! Donna, I will miss you and our times together. —Candus Houchin

I can honestly say that there are only a few people

who have come into my life and changed it forever. One of those people was Donna Corum. I will be forever grateful for all she has taught me and

never took shortcuts, and if there was an obstacle in her way, she would just leap right over it. And more importantly, she would always make sure others around her were well aware that they too could accomplish just as much, if they were willing to put forth the effort. To Donna, nothing was impossible. She stood wholeheartedly behind everything and everyone she believed in with an unmatched conviction, and because of this she has made our community a much better place. I could always go to Donna when I needed to talk and it was always easy to listen to her, not only because of her wisdom and thoughtful words, but because she always found the positive side of things. She always made me and my family feel special with her unconditional love, friendship, and guidance. She was always there for us and spoiled us with her warm smile and laughter. She has left us with many wonderful memories of which we will be reminded of everyday. Donna has graced my life in more ways than can be expressed and she will be missed more than words can say, but she has left me with a vision of a beautiful life and a beautiful lady. —Lisa Crowley

How does one begin to de-

scribe Donna Corum? She was a woman with many sides to her and I was privileged to share some of them. She was strong, independent, proud, Donna’s uncanny ability to blend playfulness with business made her a mentor for many. totally a lady, and had a wickfor the many wonderful times we spent together. ed sense of humor. She was a successful businessMoreover, I am deeply honored to have had the woman, friend, wife, parent, and grandparent. Our opportunity to have such a beautiful, caring per- lively conversations from family to politics were son as a role model in my life. some of my favorite times. Donna had such an enormous heart, filled with She was also so full of life, always maintaining compassion and generosity, and the most unbe- her upbeat personality. I always looked forward to lievable work ethic of anyone I have ever met, and my time spent with her, as I knew I would come she taught me by example; the only way to get away with a smile on my face. She was truly a great what you want out of life is through blood, sweat, lady—her grace and strength showing at all times. tears, and of course, passion! To watch her struggle with her health issues showed She had a relentless perseverance and the ability to me how a classy lady goes through tough times. Almove forward regardless of what life dealt her. She ways smiling and always a positive word to others.

42 Bakersfield Magazine

Reflections How blessed I am to have known her. I will truly miss you, my friend. God Bless. —Diane Tifft

In my Walter Mitty-like imagination, Donna Co-

rum was a maternal figure. She took a chance on me almost 10 years ago when I first moved to Bakersfield and my passion for writing outweighed my competency. Nonetheless, she gave me opportunities. The opportunity to write something that would make her feel good about signing a check. In the early years, those checks were critical to my comfort to say the least. She was absolutely fearless in her opinions and criticism, and above all else honest. I would know the instant she answered her home phone how she was feeling about me and my work. I called it the “Guy Test.” She would say “Hey, Guy.” And it was either in a warm and almost flirtatious tone that would make you want to walk through fire for her, or it was a no-nonsense and downward leaning inflection that would make you want to walk through fire to get away from her. Either way, she made me a better writer and person because you had to be accountable to Donna. She would ask the tough questions, and she knew what she wanted. Because she was so firm and honest with me in not-so-fun times, I believed her when she told me I did a good job. I didn’t have to worry that she was blowing smoke, because that wasn’t her style. She had very genuine and natural reactions to things, so her approval really meant a lot to me. Folks like that are too few. One of the biggest things she impressed upon me was the need to move forward in life and not excessively dwell. I called her after my own father died and we just talked about general things. I didn’t tell her he passed, I think I just wanted to talk to her and absorb some of that spunk and strength. I accomplished that, and even got her to remind me of the importance of moving forward. I wanted to hear her say it, and she did. Even though she was dealing with significant health problems, she was still moving forward; dreaming and making plans herself despite the roadblocks. I will move forward, but I won’t forget that lesson. —Francis Mayer

Grieving is a curious thing—all cultures do it in ways unique to them.



Donna Louise Corum founder . visionary . friend

What I have learned in 40 years is that people tend to grieve the way they live: some wail to the skies with heartbreaking passion while others stare blankly to the ground and say nothing. And it seems that people seem to die in much the same way they lived: some with great exuberance and others with quiet dignity and grace. What I have learned is that all these things are choices. Donna and I had far too few conversations since I’ve known her. But each had an element I will treasure each day: grace and dignity, passion and stubbornness. All choices that drove her forward and brought so many of us along for the ride. —Miles Johnson

Donna never apologized for her sometimes bra-

zen passion for life. It was a passion for all that was good in her Bakersfield...a Bakersfield made up of family, friends, and just as prominently, her magazine. Through some twist of fate, I was lucky enough to not only meet this outspoken and outrageously creative woman, but to spend close to two years learning the ins and outs of magazine publishing at her side. She taught me firstly, through example, that work doesn’t have to seem like work. As long as you are passionate about what you do, you’ll never spend a second clock-watching, she said. She saw something in me that made her want to tuck me under her wing and something that, up until recently, I thought was simply an elaborate mask I’d been able to paint on so that I might fit into the mold she had for an assistant editor. But Donna told me once she saw it as a true mirroring of the passion that she had, and the passion she sought to surround herself with. That conversation will stick with me forever. She was a fierce leader and wonderful mentor because her attitude seemed to be: “It’s never truly finished, so keep working.” I consider myself privileged to have known her—not only for what she’s done to guide me in an unexpected career, but for the confidence

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 43

she gave me while I struggled (often) through the challenges of early adulthood—challenges that sometimes seemed too big to face. Even though all our conversations (eventually) turned to the magazine, she was generous enough with her precious time, even near the end, to mentor a displaced, overzealous, and foolhardy young woman. And I will cherish each lesson I learned from this remarkable woman who was taken from us all much too soon. —Anika Henrikson

When it came to Bakersfield, Donna’s instincts

were golden. She lived Bakersfield, loved Bakersfield, and had an innate sense of what belonged in Bakersfield’s city magazine. I have a notion that when people pass from this world to the next, they move on to the places that most captured their imaginations in life. I see some of us soaring with the ravens, others in the breeze caressing their gardens, and still others perching on Saturn’s ring to watch the wonders of the universe unfold. I know that Donna could climb to the Milky Way and out-dazzle the stars, but I doubt that she’d ever leave Kern County. More likely, she’ll continue to inspire us with story ideas and suggestions—not from afar but very, very close—ensuring that there’ll be a little of Donna in everything we write, on every page. —Donna McCrohan Rosenthal

saw. Then she did something amazing, she let me spread my wings and fly. As we all know though, our first lady Donna was around every corner watching, making sure I was behaving. In my eyes Donna Corum deserves all of the credit for where I am in my professional and personal life. I cherished our time with all of my heart. I’m not sure what other people saw when they looked at Donna or spent time with her, but this is what I saw: I saw a woman that had climbed many mountains and has done it successfully. As many times as she may have been knocked down I am positive she came back 10 times stronger. Everyone loves her; her friends, her family, everyone. I think of her face and I smile. When she, Les, and I would have lunch we would share our stories and laugh until we cried. Donna was a true friend who loved me and was there for me. If I needed her because my day, week, month, or year was bad, she was a phone call away and as soon as I heard her voice, “You can do this Brenda,” it would comfort me. Donna cared so much about other people; she was so genuine. I feel honored and privileged to be a part of her life, her family’s life, and the magazine’s life. Donna Corum truly took her finger and touched my heart as I know she did with many others in her life. I love you Donna. Thank you for loving me enough to make a difference in my life. P.S. Les, I’m your project now, so don’t think you’re getting off easy! —Brenda Farris

I will never forget my first meeting with Donna Corum. Donna Corum was a neighbor and dear friend of I responded to an advertisement for an Account Representative with the magazine. I met this “A” list woman and knew I didn’t stand a chance! I spent only 30 minutes with her, but I knew this woman could change my life, for the good. She was soft-spoken, direct, intelligent, and impressive. I wanted to be a sponge and to have her educate me in life and in business. I wondered what I had to offer her, Les, and the magazine. Well, this is what I discovered. I was definitely taught the business, but oh my goodness, that beautiful lady took me under her wing and taught me so much more than I ever anticipated. Donna Corum knew about life! She spent personal time with me teaching me about myself, my appearance, my behavior, my mannerisms, until she had groomed me into a mature adult. It still amazes me that I didn’t see what she

44 Bakersfield Magazine

mine for the past six years. During this time I grew to know and love Donna deeply. No matter how many difficult situations she faced, she always had a smile for me when I walked in the door. I can still hear her voice saying, “Hey guy, you look great!” Her warmth and caring, in the face of adversity, was such an inspiration to me. The past two years I had the privilege of having dinner with Les and Donna and our neighbors, Jarrod and Heidi, every Wednesday night. This last year, Donna’s health had deteriorated quite a bit. Never once did I hear her complain. Even as I would sit and talk with her, she would be struggling to breath, but her concern was more about how I was doing than about how she was doing. Over the years I learned a lot from Donna, and I feel her passing is a terrible loss to this community and to me personally. Donna

Reflections S


Donna Louise Corum founder . visionary . friend

When I moved back to Bakersfield two years ago,

Her 48-year-marriage was the picture-perfect example of love, friendship, and dedication.

Corum had a big heart and exuded grace, wit, and charm...even during the most difficult days. Donna had a husband that loved her and cared for her every need. I cannot imagine the loss that he must be experiencing. As I recall my blessings, I will count knowing both Les and Donna Corum as a true blessing from God. I’m so thankful that our paths did cross. —Greg Heyart

I’ve known Donna Corum since the ‘70s and it’s

been a pleasure to watch both Donna and Les grow the magazine over the years! I always read Donna’s column first—I enjoyed her thoughts on the efforts that went into creating that particular issue. She shared her dreams and visions for the magazine—always creating new features and story lines that sometimes took years to mature. She was a talented editor and a great organizer. She could develop a story out of the most unseemly topic and make it fascinating! Donna faced her illness with a strong will to live, putting up a valiant fight for a very long time. It was just a few months ago that I sat by Donna’s chair at her home office; her oxygen tank was next to her as we looked at photos on her computer, planning my ad for an upcoming issue. I admired her strength and fortitude and positive attitude so much! She was a great role model for many people! She was sweet and strong and an admirable woman, and she will be missed. —Mary Christenson

there were a handful of people I knew I needed to call during my first week back to get a pulse of what was happening in the community. One of those was Donna Corum. I had known Les and Donna Corum for well over a decade and have been amazed at the exceptional quality of their magazine, the Bakersfield Magazine. During my time with them, they welcomed me back with open arms and shared all the amazing happenings of the city with me. Thankfully, providence would have it that my wife, Heidi, and I would end up being neighbors with the Corums, with weekly dinners together just about every Wednesday. During our time together, my love for Donna grew and grew. She was an amazing lady who never stopped thinking or strategizing. She is an awe-inspiring person who has left her mark on this city and me. Thank you, Donna, for always pushing me to be better and for getting me “out of the box.” —Jarrod McNaughton

Donna was one of my biggest fans. Throughout my journey to get my Ph.D., she would send me messages of encouragement and support, always cheering me on. She found wonder and excitement in simple things, especially when it involved discovering something, or some place, new. The last time I spoke with Donna, she told me she had started to drive again. It was a bit tenuous at first but when she got onto Ming Avenue, she said “I floored it!” Donna touched the lives of many people. To keep her spirit alive, I hope to pass on to others what she passed on to me. First, be someone’s biggest fan. Second, find wonder and excitement in simple things. And third, rediscover something you love...and floor it! —David Lyman

We miss you Donna.

—Bakersfield Magazine Staff

Bakersfield Magazine extends a sincere thank you to Journal Graphics, Inc. for their gracious contribution to this tribute.

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 45


need speed Living life at full throttle

f you heed the advice of Guinn Construction accounts payable clerk Kathy Bernard, you’ll act fast to catch up with company President Gary Guinn. “He’s a moving target,” Bernard says. And she isn’t kidding. He owns a DeLorean, the iconic gull-winged sports car made famous in the Back To The Future film series. He tools around Bakersfield in a souped-up Ford Lightning pickup, complete with the throaty and unmistakable growl of a Hemi. If you meet up with him, and show his powerful collection its due respect, he may even offer to let you drive a specimen. At the very least he will tell you great stories. About how he acquired the DeLorean from Mr. Sangera in a swap for some grading work he did on a poorly draining grape field. “I didn’t want to swap, I wanted the green,” he said with a chuckle, “but I went down there and saw it in the showroom in all its glory, and a few cocktails later, I had a new car.”

46 Bakersfield Magazine

Later, when an engineer from Europe inspected the car, he pointed out to Guinn that the serial numbers indicated it was the third car made available in America. He may tell you about the first hot rod he owned, a homebrew Ford Coupe with a Chevy V8 that he and his father built. They created such a stir during a trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats that photographers from Hot Rod magazine dubbed it “Chevord,” and used it as the centerfold in an issue. If you are really lucky, he’ll tell you the unlikely tale of how he came to be a world record holder at the spry age of 73, piloting a landscaping implement to just over 85 miles an hour at the Bonneville Salt Flats, besting the old world record by a measure of seven miles an hour. “It was an old Montgomery Ward riding lawnmower we got from a fellow at Minter Field. He was using it to tow his aircraft, but the belt was slipping as it was too much work for that machine,” Guinn said. In another small coincidence that contributed to a history-making event, a friend of

the Guinns asked to store a wrecked Kawasaki motorcycle at his equipment yard. “The motor from that sucker fit right into the engine compartment on that mower,” Guinn said, “as if it were built for it.” The 550cc, four cylinder, carbureted Kawasaki motor pushed the mower’s potential to 86 horsepower. With the addition of sway bars and other tweaks, Guinn was ready for history. But not without reasonable reservations. “They wanted me to run it in the quarter mile at the racetrack, but the front end gets a little light at 85. There’s a retaining wall, and if I lost a tire, I didn’t want to run into it,” Guinn said. Guinn doesn’t approach things lightly, despite outward expressions, according to his son and Vice President of Guinn Construction, Tim Guinn. “We’ll be on the lake in his boat going 100 to 110 miles an hour, and if you think that’s fast in a car, you should try it in a boat,” Tim said. “I’ll be digging my fingers into the dash ready for the end, but I look over at my dad,

2oo9manissue Story and photos by Charlie Durgin

Gary Guinn puts the tarmac near his hangar at Minter Field to good use with big toys.

and he’s completely relaxed and in control, as if we are on a leisurely cruise.” While the son does not share the father’s enthusiasm for speed, he respects the pursuit and inherent dangers because he knows his father. “He’s been around racing his entire life, and so when he says something is OK, I believe him,” Tim said. Racing runs thick in Bakersfield’s history, from the early Smokers Car Club to Kevin Harvick’s present day exploits on the NASCAR circuit. And Gary Guinn has a connection to most every racing event in between. He grew up near Roger Mears and his family, spending several evenings in the family garage enjoying beverages provided by the fine folks at Anheuser-Busch. It was on one of these evenings that Guinn spied a hollow midget chassis hanging from the rafters. He inquired as to why it wasn’t being run, and the elder Mears pointed out that there was no engine. So Guinn fired up the company jet and they flew to Fullerton to pick up a Volkswagen engine from

the best maker of midget racing engines. When the mechanic realized the engine would be run by Roger Mears, he took a recently completed motor intended for a professional racer in Australia and sent the men home with it that day. “We crated it up and put it on the plane and brought it back to Bakersfield,” Guinn said. Mears would later break his wrists wrecking the car, but not before winning four

“We’ll be on the lake in his boat going 100 to 110 miles an hour, and if you think that’s fast in a car, you should try it in a boat.” —Tim Guinn

races lapping the field, and losing one on a technicality. “The sponsor was not happy to hear Roger was racing that midget, and they thought he was going to miss a race be-

cause of it, but he didn’t. He drove the sponsor’s ride with broken wrists and didn’t miss a beat,” Guinn said. The proximity to racing history and a supportive family environment have kept him from slowing down. “We do whatever’s fun,” Guinn said. And it’s not just a cliché for Guinn. He’s extremely hospitable, and parties have a way of just happening around him. Take for example, a recent photo shoot held at Guinn’s Minter Field airplane hangar for this story. At ten o’clock in the morning, it was just Guinn and a photographer. By noon, there were close to 30 people in the hangar’s lounge enjoying lunch provided by some men at another hangar who ran out of space and tables. Pretty soon, people are gathered around the granite countertops and Guinn couldn’t be happier in the crowd. His eyes take a special glint when his oldest child, daughter Jana Daniel, drops by. “My dad loves telling stories,” she says, and remembering a favorite, she offers >>

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 47

need speed for

her father a segue, and Guinn instantly begins weaving tales about days hanging out with world-famous pinstriper Von Dutch. Von Dutch has since become a worldwide brand, but Guinn new him when he was making his name. And not always in a friendly way. Dutch was very eccentric, and while he was working in his shop, he didn’t like people talking to him. He still needed to communicate with clients, so he posted a large poster board on the wall, and it was a Rosetta Stone of sorts for speaking to the pinstriping genius.

“It was numbered one through, say, ten. And each number had a response like yes, no, maybe, screw off, and so on and so forth,” Guinn explained. “Well, this loud fella came into the shop while I was there, and he had this Honda Goldwing touring motorcycle that he wanted to have worked on.” The man attempted to speak to Dutch, who kept giving one-word answers that directed the man to the list. “The guy told Dutch that he wanted his bike to look original, like no other bike in the world.” So right in front of Guinn, and without saying a word, he mixed up random odds and ends of paint and, “ended up with a sort of awful bronze and flung the paint at the bike from the bucket. Just poured it all over the bike, and it ran down the engine,” Guinn said. He wasn’t around for the man’s return, but Guinn was pretty confident that Dutch wouldn’t care. “Dutch would say that it’s exactly what the guy asked for.” Guinn takes a pause from his storytelling to talk jets with

The fast and the furious: Guinn’s souped-up lawnmower is a record holder.

48 Bakersfield Magazine

some of the other plane aficionados assembled in the lounge. His plane, a Citation, is used mostly for Guinn Construction business that is scattered all over the Western United States. But he does like to have fun. “You know, if you wanted to have lunch in Vegas, we could be there in under an hour,” Guinn says. The twinkle in his eye makes you feel like he’s daring you to do a little gambling in the desert with him. He’s hardly an aging playboy, jetting around the country, though. Gesturing to another jet owner, he says, “That guy is using his jet to pick up a lady up north who is terminally ill. She wants

to die in her own home and we are going to make that happen.” Guinn himself has used his jet for similar emergencies and mercy trips as well. He doesn’t brag about it, though. He knows the best airfields to land at. The ones that eschew a landing fee in favor of a 100 gallon fuel purchase. The jet is sensible, and not ostentatious. Like many of Guinn’s other luxury purchases including the towing cart for the plane, it was bought used. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t like nice things. On the contrary, Guinn’s hangar is immaculate and he takes great care of his things. His daughter indicates that her father loves the relationships just as much as he loves the speed. Their annual trip to Nevada now involves a large barbecue undertaking that feeds over 200 people. “Dad loves making new friends, and we would go to Laughlin and

Daughter Jana, right, says Guinn loves meeting new people more than anything else.

he’d start telling people, ‘come to my barbecue’ just as he met them during the day, and over time, it’s become a really big thing. People look forward to this barbecue every year,” she says. He’s been able to work in the family business maintaining a legacy started by his own father, and one being passed on to his own children. But they shouldn’t be in a hurry to cash in their inheritance. Their father, despite engaging in high risk activities like piloting boats over 100 miles an hour and setting land speed records when most people are listening to Laurence Welk records, moves around very well and remains extremely active. During one photograph, Guinn notices an orange cone in the background and says he’ll move it. The photographer holds his position, somewhat uncomfortably, and Guinn sprints across the hanger in the fashion of a man half his age. His stride is strong, no wobbly gaits for Gary Guinn. He pulls out the record-setting lawnmower, and its throaty, Kawasaki-fueled growl draws a few men from other hangars. Guinn quickly offers to let them drive it. They respond tentatively, but gamely, and maneuver the mower around the tarmac in the 20 to 30 mile an hour range. Guinn bats cleanup and turns in a brilliant performance. He tears around one corner, quickly leaving his hat in the dust, and gets the mower up over 50 miles an hour. If you haven’t seen a riding lawnmower travel that fast, you really should. He’s without helmet and protective suit during the run, and the two men who test drove it are standing with their hands on their chins, free arm held tightly across the stomach like men ready to flinch. When Guinn wheels the lawnmower back around, his eyes are on fire and he looks completely satisfied. The men, on the other hand, look relieved. “You know you scare us sometimes, Gary,” one says. Guinn, for his part, never broke a sweat or looked like anything less than the picture of control.

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 49



Guys, you just found out you’ve been invited to an event. And by invited, we mean your gal is making you go. It could be a swanky cocktail party or even a black-tie affair. An art exhibit or a charity dinner. But here’s the rub...do you know the difference?





A “dress casual look” is called for There is a difference between cock- Cocktail parties give you the chance B reak out the penguin suit guys, in social gatherings, and certain dining events. These might include the CSUB Fall BBQ or an art opening at Surface Gallery downtown. Think of this style as being the social modification of business casual. Stick with slacks and button up shirts but don’t be afraid to get creative by adding a vest or some funky colors. “A great thing to remember when getting ready for these events is to wear a polished black shoe. Also you can never go wrong with a blazer and a button up shirt,” says Jason Gutierrez, public affairs representative for Kaiser Permanente.

don’t be afraid to get MORE creative by adding a vest or some SLIGHTLY funky colors. 50 Bakersfield Magazine

tail and business cocktail. You always want to look sharp and make an impression at a business event, but you don’t want to look too formal. Remember that you will be amongst current and potential business associates. A good rule of thumb when attending a business cocktail event is: no jeans. We all get tempted to take the easy and more comfortable way out by slipping into our favorite pair of jeans but don’t! Go dressy business for a more formal late-afternoon gathering; opt for slacks and a long sleeve button up or a light-colored suit in the evening. Barry Zoeller, vice president of corporate communications at Tejon Ranch recommends, “you can keep it classy, yet comfortable. Marry a sharp [think crisp] shirt with a blazer and slacks.” This is an optimal outfit for functions at the Chamber of Commerce or something through your own business.

to mingle among friends and acquaintances. Consider the type of invitation before you choose your style. If it came by phone or e-mail, chances are the party is more casual. If you received a formal invitation, and especially if the event benefits a charity or association, consider it a dressier affair. Cocktail usually entails a nice suit and tie. Think color though to spruce up a plain black or blue two-piece. Events like the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Event is a perfect example. Vincent Rojas, CEO of Kern Schools Federal Credit Union says, “Make sure you have polished shoes. With more dressier events, like cocktail parties, you’ve got to wear either a black or dark blue suit. But make sure the suit has a current neck line. Nothing from 20 years ago.” Good advice. You don’t want your suit’s neck line clashing with the size of your tie.

because black tie means only one thing: a tuxedo. It can be an opulent wedding, opening night at the opera, or our local symphony’s Black and White Ball. Personalize this look by selecting a jacket and shirt unique to your taste and then building the look around that. Choose a black tuxedo shirt with a collar stud instead of a bow tie, or a brightly patterned vest or cummerbund. Jacket cuts vary from cropped to smoking. John Stuebbe, president of the Bakersfield Symphony says,“when it comes to pulling off the black tie look, fit is key. It just simply must be tailored right.”

when pulling off the black tie look, fit is key. It just simply must be tailored right.


time to

unwind By Tracie Grimes

ere’s a question for all you manly men out there: you’ve put in a full day at work, taken out the trash, and helped the kids with their homework. Now you feel like a little “me” time—time for some of your favorite things (and I’m not talkin’ chick stuff like “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens”). Leisurely pursuits, aka “hobbies,” are a healthy part of every man’s life, and while the term “hobby” may conjure up quilting bees or knitting needles, the fact of the matter is that hobbies can help guys relax, connect, and learn something new. And some pastimes can even put a little hair on a guy’s chest. Foster Campbell, M.D. Concerns for patients, mounting paperwork; tensions from running a medical practice can really get a guy down. And when it comes to relieving stress, nothing works better for local family physician Foster Campbell than “gettin’ down” with a few of his buddies in Foster and Friends, a local rhythm and blues band. “Music is a serious passion of mine,” Foster says, “and playing the guitar, writing music; these are real stress-busters for me.” Little did he know how important music would become to him the first time he picked up a guitar at the age of 14. “Even though I played the guitar and wrote music, I was never

Hobbies (a.k.a. man-cations) can help guys relax, connect, and learn something new. Rockin’ doc Foster Campbell spends his downtime playing in Foster and Friends, a local blues band, who often perform at the Fox.

really serious about it, never played in a band or anything. Soccer, football—those are the activities I spent most of my free time doing.” Then about 12 years ago, the voice of Foster’s inner musician began to speak. “I’d never really played in public, and started thinking about how cool it would be to play for a crowd. It became a kind of dream of mine. I decided I’d take it one step at a time, so my first goal was to play at a house party. As soon as I did that I got the bug,” Foster smiles. Playing in a club was Foster’s next aspiration. “The guys in Fat Daddy Blues Band were nice enough to give me the opportunity to play the rhythm guitar with them.” >>

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 51

unwind Local dentist Randy Jelmini, pictured here in a local production of Big River, leaves root canal talk at the office and unwinds on stage.

He had so much fun he decided to make performing a permanent part of his life. “I really enjoy live performances. When I see people out there clapping and dancing in the audience, it’s just very rewarding. And if they come up to me to tell me how much they enjoyed the performance, well that’s just the ‘icing on the cake.’ ” But the biggest perks for Foster are the friendships he’s made through music. “The number one criteria for being a part of our group [which ranges between 12 and 15 musicians] is that you have fun,” Foster says. “There are no egos, there’s minimal ‘attitude.’ We’re just all there to play and have a good time.” Singin’ the blues has also opened some pretty big doors for Foster: he’s opened for blues legend BB King, rubbed elbows with Roy Rogers, and loves performing with some of Bakersfield’s “coolest cats.” Randy Jelmini, D.M.D. If Randy Jelmini seems particularly at ease as he’s filling the tooth of a flailing toddler, there’s a good explanation. The man can act. “I got my start [in acting] about eight years ago when my daughter, Diana, was playing the part of Liesl in her BHS drama club’s production of The Sound of Music,” Randy begins. “One of my patients happened to be directing the play, and he mentioned they were looking for someone to play the evil German. I thought, ‘Who better than a dentist?’ ” But although his entrée onto the stage as a Nazi was his first time in front of the footlights, performing was nothing new to Randy. “I was pretty involved in music when I was growing up. I started playing the trombone in fourth grade and I’ve played in local dance bands, the Pep Band at CSUB, and the CSUB Jazz Band.” So after years of performing down in the orchestra pit, and after getting a taste of what it was like to be on center stage, Randy de52 Bakersfield Magazine

cided it was time to come up from the shadows. And it was like fate stepped in to provide him with his next theatrical opportunity—a local production of The Music Man. “They knew they wouldn’t get ‘76 trombones,’ but I could bring at least one,” he smiles. Since then, being a part of a good, old-fashioned theater ensemble has kept Randy performing in two or three shows a year at the Harvey Auditorium or Stars Dinner Theatre. “It gets my mind off of everything else,” he explains. “We’re all just there to learn our lines, have a little fun—no one cares or wants to hear about root canals. “When you get out there and people are cheering and clapping for you, it’s pretty exciting, even for those of us who aren’t the ‘stars’ of the show,” he points out. “In most productions I’m the ‘schizophrenic’ actor who plays several small parts, or I’m like a moving piece of furniture, just standing on stage, looking like I’m doing something. But I did get to play the Nick Arnstein in Funny Girl and got to kiss women on stage. That was fun,” Randy smiles, adding that his wife, Linda, probably didn’t think it was as “fun” as he did.

Mike & Jacky Wood

High speeds, roaring engines—nothing gets a guy’s blood pumping like race car fever. And Bakersfield brothers Mike and Jacky Wood have had the fever practically since birth. “I think I was about a week old the first time I went out to the track,” Jacky laughs, adding that his parents took him out to watch his uncles race.

Brothers Jacky and Mike Wood bond over their love of racing. They even build cars together.

Tom Mestmaker

Fresh air, pristine waters, and the thrill of catching a big one; the lure of fishing has a strong pull on local insurance administrator Tom Mestmaker. “If there’s one day that’s sacred to me, it’s the opening day of fishing season,” laughs Tom. The chance to see some pretty awesome sights while spend-


Jacky Wood’s custom racer screeches in for the win at Bakersfield Speedway.

Big fishin’ is no joke to Tom Mestmaker. He’s reeled in some big ones (and dreams of them at the office).

ing quality “male bonding” time with some guys he’s known since their days at Bakersfield High School are what keeps Tom reelin’ ‘em in. “I just really look forward to my yearly ‘Old Guy Fishing Trip’ because even though we may not see each other much throughout the year, when we get together it’s like we pick up right where we left off,” Tom says of the “school” of 8 to 10 fishing buddies that set out on these annual expeditions. He’s quick to add that it’s not the girly, Sex and the City-type conversation going on; their discussions are quite manly. “It’s not like we sit around talking about our feelings or love lives or anything. We’re just shootin’ the breeze about kids, jobs, fishing...you know, ‘guy’ stuff.” And though the camaraderie is a definite part of Tom’s love of fishing, the places they’ve traveled have been pretty amazing. Idaho, Cabo, Alaska, Chile, Turkey; these anglers have cropped their lines in some of the best fishin’ holes in the world. “It’s great to try out new places,” Tom says. “Each place has its own beauty and we get to see things we’d never see if we hadn’t taken up the sport of fishing.” But it’s not just about the catch, Tom adds. Sometimes the thrill is in the one that you let get away. “A lot of times we’re fishing to just ‘catch and release,’ but that can be just as fun because of the challenge. It’s a lot harder to catch a fish the second time!” Also, it’s not exactly the most relaxing of sports, Tom notes, because the elements can make things pretty uncomfortable. “It’s definitely not for the squeamish since the boat is bobbing around like a cork, but there’s a lot to be said about the satisfaction you get when you win the battle between you and the fish.” PHOTO COURTESY TOM MESTMAKER

“Yeah, it’s been a part of most of our family’s lives from the beginning,” adds Mike, an electrician, ticking off the uncles and cousins who are also involved in racing. Hobby stock car racing is the way the brothers Wood spend their “down” time, looking forward to the camaraderie they find at Bakersfield Speedway each weekend (even though they have been known for some “bad talkin’ ” to the friends and family they may be racing against, Mike says). But their enthusiasm for the sport reaches beyond the track. “I’ve always liked the technical part of racing,” Mike says, “I enjoy building the car from scratch and figuring out what to do to make it a better vehicle. Jacky and I just finished building a 1980 Caprice two-door for me to race, and had a lot of fun. I had to incorporate a little pink (not too much) for my wife Carmen, but it still looks really good.” “Mike and I found that getting in the garage to ‘tinker’ around is a great way to relax,” Jacky, who is in sales, says, adding that racing has also helped him tough out a lot of life’s rough rides. “I’ve been in a wheelchair since I was 11,” Jacky says, explaining that an accident on the dunes in Pismo left him as a paraplegic, “but I found a way to modify my car so I can use hand controls. And I’ve had two other guys in wheelchairs come up to me to tell me they started racing because they saw me doing it. I loved that! I mean, if I can inspire other people to take on a challenge, that’s pretty cool!” But nothing was quite as “cool” as his first win, Jacky adds. “I’d been racing since 1997, trying hard and having a blast, but it wasn’t until June 30, 2001 that I had my first win. That was awesome!”

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 53

Photo courtesy BHS Archives

once a

during football season at BHS, or it could be every Friday night. You see, Driller pride isn’t just an expression, it’s a motto; it’s a lifestyle. Something you live and breathe... Countless movies and TV shows have tried to capture the prestige and drama of high school football; the legendary coaches, star players who’ll do anything to win, championship games. But before these images were plastered on big and small screens alike, they were here in Bakersfield—and had been for a long time. And while they certainly are popular, these films and shows can never do justice to the history created, traditions formed, and emotions felt for Bakersfield’s oldest high school,

because prior to the building of East High in 1938, there wasn’t a single person who didn’t know someone who went to Bakersfield High. It was the only place for high school football. Of course, it hasn’t always been known as BHS. Upon it’s founding in 1893, it was Kern County High and from 1915 to 1945 it was Kern County Union High School. Name changes (and mascot changes) aside, football has remained a constant source of pride for our city, and Driller legends have lived on...both on and off the field. Rick Van Horne is someone who’s known that pride for years. Van Horne’s father played for BHS, he played himself, and his son played as well. But Van Horne’s knowledge came from the hours and hours of re-

Photo courtesy rick nvan horne

he sounds of a quick snap, swift movements of a flawlessly executed play, and thunderous roars from the crowd swirl above Griffith Field. Mingled together, they produce breathable adrenaline and it pumps through the stadium. Every father, mother, uncle, grandparent, and sibling is infected. It could be any Friday night


Rick Van Horne (played 1975-1979) 54 Bakersfield Magazine

1927 Drillers


1916 Bakersfield High School Football Team

driller! deep and inspiring our kids to throw farther, run faster, and tackle harder. “You were selecting from the cream of the crop,” Van Horne continued. As Van Horne discovered, BHS really became known as the football team to beat in the ‘20s. “From 1920 to ‘27 we took the state championship every year,” he explained. “Because of that, BHS’s fan base goes back generations.” Van Horne even elaborated on the totally unique coaching history at BHS. In the 100plus years, there have been only eight coaches. “My son had an opportunity to meet his grandfather’s football coach on the field,” Van Horne said. Where else do you hear of

Photo courtesy BHS Archives

search he did into the depths of BHS football history, which culminated in the publication of a book, Friday Night Heroes. According to Van Horne, BHS is unique in many ways and that has made for an outstanding football program. “For a while BHS was the biggest high school in the state; from 1937 to 1965,” he said. In that regard alone, BHS had a larger selection to choose from for its all-star football team. It may be why today, with 689 wins, BHS is in a heated competition with Long Beach over the most wins in California, is ranked number one in state championships with seven, and holds the record for undefeated seasons with 22. Of course, it could also just be that Driller pride running

1950s Drillers

that happening? It’s moments like these that add to the legacy of BHS football. Guys like Frank Gifford and Jeff Siemon called BHS home and they brought that legacy to the national forefront. However, many players still call Bakersfield home and continue to keep the Driller pride alive. Even before BHS was BHS, Dr. Romain Clerou was passing the pigskin around. >>

field photo ©istockphoto.com/csredon

always a

Dr. Romain Clerou (played 1926-1930) www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 55

Photo courtesy BHS Archives

Drillers 1988 Drillers At 95 years young, this local doctor certainly has his fair share of football memories. “I played because it was fun,” he said, a smile creeping to his face. You couldn’t get a more straightforward answer. But at his age, what else would you expect? Clerou played guard on the Jack Frost Sandab team when BHS was still Kern County Union High School, went on to play guard for Bakersfield College for two years, and was inducted into the BHS Football Hall of Fame in 2007. And while he may have played hard and helped his team to an undefeated season his senior year, it was his contributions to BHS football after returning from World War II that helped earn him a spot in that esteemed hall of fame: Clerou became a team physician. From 1946 to the late ‘80s, he kept the Drillers in prime playing condition. During that time, Clerou did notice a change in the kids playing. “Kids started getting much bigger. Could have been better nutrition,” he mused, a chuckle escaping his lips. “I was 150 pounds play-

ing back then. Now I couldn’t even be the water boy with that weight.” Even though it’s been more than 70 years since he last played football, this alum, known fondly as “Doc,” still relishes the good ol’ days on the field. “That school has been involved in football for over 100 years,” Clerou explained, “so of course it’s going to create tradition.” Pat Preston’s football career at BHS was a tradition with a capital T. Preston’s father played football at BHS and Preston and his four brothers played. “Even my wife was a Driller. So was my father-in-law. And my son played, too,” Preston explained. Currently the principal at Liberty High School, Preston keeps a few mementos of his BHS glory days in his office. Preston played linebacker and tight end for four years until his graduation in ‘66. Some of the mementos, however, are just old relics (like game posters) from the generations before him. Not only did Preston play, he returned to coach for nine years, for the seasons between ‘88 to ‘96. “You hear stories like mine all the time in this town,” he said. Because of the longevity of BHS in the community and the size of the school,

“It was BHS. the name alone was an intimidation factor” —Marshall Dillard

Marshall Dillard (played 1979-1983) 56 Bakersfield Magazine

you’re going to have a lot of graduates, especially football alums, keeping Driller energy high. “That Driller pride goes with you wherever you go,” he commented. “Because in those days, even as a teenager, you understood the tradition and you were proud to be a part of it.” And that pride only helped the Drillers with record-breaking wins. “Those teams coming up against us weren’t just playing our team, they were playing our tradition,” Preston explained. That attitude seemed to spread fear in those teams on the other side of the field from our formidable Drillers. “It was BHS. The name alone was an intimidation factor,” laughed Marshall Dillard. Dillard graduated from BHS in 1983 after playing running back for all four years. “The best thing was the friendships,” he said. Dillard was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.

“I thought it was a prank,” he explained. “They kept trying to contact me to tell me I was being inducted, but I didn’t think it was real.” For Dillard, a lot of the pride he continues to feel for his days on Griffith field come down to a nostalgia factor. “I still have a lot of pride and I continued to follow their seasons after I graduated. Once I moved back into town, it was fairly common for me to attend games. “Anyone who grew up in Bakersfield knew someone who went to BHS. You can connect with almost any family in town because someone’s family member went there. That’s what keeps everyone so connected to that high school.”

“Coaching has changed a bit since i retired, but the game stayed the same...you still have four quarters to kick the hell out of the other team” —Paul Briggs

And after coaching the Drillers for 33 years, Paul Briggs (though he currently lives in Santa Ana) will forever be connected to BHS. “Back then, there was no TV to distract people. And at the time, we were producing an awful lot of good players and so an awful lot of interest was paid to BHS football,” Briggs said, now 90. “My first year, we won the championship, and sure we had our problems, but you just have to ride them out. “I never believed in having football dominate these kids’ lives, but for a while we had six football teams playing, and there were 4,800 students when the college was still on the campus, so it seemed to take over,” Briggs laughed. “Coaching has changed a bit since I retired, but the game >>

Pat Preston (played 1962-1966)

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Drillers Zack Shanklin (played 1998-2002)

58 Bakersfield Magazine

stayed the same...you still have four quarters to kick the hell out of the other team.” Briggs has lectured around the country and says the Drillers are widely known outside of our community as being a beacon of high school football success. “[Frank] Gifford was the one who coined the phrase ‘Keep the fame and the name Drillers’ and that was heard by millions,” Briggs mused. “So there is bound to be a mystique surrounding the name.” Which is why students today continue to fuel the Driller fire. Zack Shanklin wore his jersey with pride as an offensive tackle during his four years at BHS. Shanklin, who graduated in ‘02 knew he was going to play football. “It was assumed,” he laughed. “My older brother played, so I knew how good the program at BHS was.” In fact, Shanklin’s senior year also happened to be coach Tim Hartnett’s last season. Hartnett was only the sixth head coach in BHS history and that year (2002) they were undefeated and won the Valley Championship. That’s definitely Shanklin’s favorite memory. “Football really taught us how to manage our lives, and that hard work pays off,” he explained. And the history and legends of BHS football added to the heightened emotions that the new crop of young men had for their sport. “It’s never been a weak program,” Shanklin said, “and when you’re winning everyone wants to be a part of it, so everyone is at the games supporting you, which only helps you win more.” In its over 100 years at BHS, football has been a way for families to connect, it’s given way to legendary players, and it continues to live on in the minds and hearts of every player whose graced the field under those Friday night lights and whose families still bleed blue and white. After all, there’s a reason so many people tout the phrase “Once a Driller, always a Driller.”

2oo9manissue Fraser’s wife, a concert violinist with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, drives around in this customized 1993 Camaro.

passion for paint By Charlie Durgin akersfield has its name on the map for some pretty blue collar things. Oilfields, race car drivers, and some of the best high school football in the nation. There are more cultivated accomplishments of note to be found, though. Two Bakersfield artists put the Golden Empire on the map with world-renowned artwork. Craig Fraser’s Air Syndicate and Dion Giuliano’s Kal Koncepts have paired their strengths to become one of the finest custom shops in the country. But Fraser cringes at the artist label, even though his finished product can only be called art. Fine art even. “I’m an illustrator,” Fraser says. “As custom painters, we are responsible to the customer, whereas an artist can just paint whatever he wants.” Fraser feels that he and Giuliano are more guns for hire, wielding airbrushes and masking tape to make customer’s dreams come true, and they don’t mind the distinction. “Michaelangelo and Rembrandt were both commissioned

artists, they were illustrators for hire,” Fraser explained. “Rich people commissioned them to do private work.” Utilizing your creativity while pleasing a customer who has told you what they want is a special task, and you don’t have to be Bill Gates to get your hands on their masterpieces. “You know, people are a lot more concerned with what’s on the side of the tank on their Harley than in what’s hanging on the wall of some gallery,” Fraser said. And they aren’t just for the custom car set. During a recent visit to the shop, Fraser was spraying away on a guitar that will make its way to retail shelves at the Guitar Center. He’s also got stencil sets he designed on Wal-Mart shelves. But it wasn’t always a cutting edge custom shop. “Dion bought it from his stepfather Arlen Kurtis back in 1986,” Fraser said, “and it was a boat factory on South H that was based out of Glendale, California. They had a tremendous history in racing boats and Indy cars. Frank Kurtis [Arlen’s father] was the most winningest race car builder of all time, more even than Ferrari.” >> Photos by Craig fraser except where noted

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 59

passion The Rice Fink, a 1966 Subaru mini truck Giuliano and Fraser built, at the 2008 SEMA show in Las Vegas.

Fraser and Giuliano, commissioned by Ford Motor Sports, customized this Ford Flex for the 2008 SEMA show.

The company also was building starter carts for the SR71 Blackbird military plane. The government was having trouble building a starter cart that could fire them up and get away quick enough, but the company came up with something that would do the job. Dion bought the shop in 1986 when the contract expired for the starter carts, “just to keep it alive and do custom painting,” Fraser said. Fraser is the most outward of the pair, constantly writing howto columns and articles in industry trade publications and penning books, and handling the pair’s PR. He’s also traveled the country, and planet—with stops in exotic locales like Japan—teaching his skills, and he took a circuitous route through higher edu-

nationally-ranked pole vaulter in the ‘80s. He still holds the record at Cal State Northridge. “Seventeen feet six and a half, and it’s still there,” he said of the record he set in 1985. Giuliano credits the sport with keeping him in college. After wrapping up his career at Northridge, and carefully putting away his All American awards—four for the pole vault and one in the decathlon—he began training for the 1988 Summer Olympics. Ranked 10th in the country with room to improve, he tore his Achilles tendon in training and decided to pursue his current vocation. “I have no regrets. I don’t think I’d be in the position I’m in now if it weren’t for athletics,” Giuliano said.

“most artists have just enough right brain to be creative, but not enough left brain to get it done.” —Craig Fraser

He’s an assistant track coach at Stockdale High School, and his daughter has carried on the family pole vault legacy with the fourth highest Freshman jump in the state this season. He would get another fortunate brush with Olympic greatness, anyway. “We actually airbrushed rifles for the Chinese Olympic team about six years ago,” he said. If you didn’t catch the Chinese Rifle team on TV, you aren’t out

Not just for cars. Fraser has also done airbrush work for local businesses—like this mural at Fishlips in Bakersfield.

cation, including a study abroad trip to Italy, but it’s a good fit. “Dion’s Sicilian. I hate to make it about this...but, getting to know Italians like I did when I lived there, I know Sicilians are reserved with strangers,” Fraser said. It doesn’t mean he’s a wallflower, by any means though. “When it comes to getting things done and making deadlines and keeping things together, that’s all Dion,” Fraser said. Giuliano knows what he owes it to. “It’s probably my background in athletics; that’s probably why I work the way I do,” he said, alluding to his career as a 60 Bakersfield Magazine

A finished masterpiece. Twin Farms’ Dodge Dakota raced in the quarter-mile national championships.

Photo by Charlie Durgin Photo by Charlie Durgin

Partners in crime. Dion Giuliano and Craig Fraser in their Bakersfield shop.

Dion Giuliano’s ride and an example of the style these two are known for: giving the artwork the appearance it’s floating.

They’ve earned the endorsement of the prestigious House of Kolor paint brand, which isn’t very easy to come by. They earned it in one of the most direct ways you can. “We are the only painters to ever paint one of Don Komalski’s bikes,” Giuliano said of one of the founders of House of Kolor. “He’s one of the top three custom painters in the world, and he let us paint a bike for him.” But the men have a pretty decent pedigree when it comes to endorsements. “Dion and I did all of Jesse James’s bikes and cars for a while. We did pretty much everything for him, from murals in his home to t-shirts,” Fraser said. “I even striped his George Foreman grill one day. He wanted everything, from his toolboxes to his computer tower to his Foreman grill, to be unique,” Fraser said, pointing out the limitless customizing possibilities, and his own ability to make that happen. >>

Fraser’s work extends into the music biz, customizing guitars and drum sets with the same precision.

of chances to see their work in motion. They airbrushed several cars featured in the film The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Fraser values the unique balance in their working relationship. “He’s a very skilled fabricator, owning back to the experience he had when this was a boat shop, and he enjoys doing fiberglass and carbon fiber work. He’s also excellent at laying out designs, so if I’m out of the shop, he can do that.” The merging of Giuliano’s Kal Koncepts and Fraser’s Air Syndicate has been quite successful.

Giuliano clearcoating a Skyline Drift car in Osaka, Japan for Show Up motorsports and Kenta Kita. www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 61



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(above) Fraser paints the hood of a 1972 Corona, a drift race car. He was flown to Japan to do the art in one week for races in Japan.

“Most artists have just enough right brain to be creative, but not enough left brain to get it done,” Fraser says. The pair have 60 plus magazine covers between them, and have been the subject of hundreds of magazine features in the last decade, so the left brain, and Dion’s Sicilian blood, promise many more in the future. Hype alone does not make a shop, though. “We were the first ones to start incorporating different paint styles, making things look like they were floating and ripping apart,” Giuliano explained, “but we’ve taken it a step further, and we’ve always tried to be a little different. We’ve never been against using new materials, unlike some of the old-school guys who didn’t want to switch from lacquer to polyurethane, or to the pearls and flakes.” Between Giuliano’s sport-honed drive and the illustrator’s sensibility displayed by Fraser, Bakersfield has a worldclass custom shop right in its backyard.

Fraser meticulously paints a hood mural for the Dodge booth at the 2005 L.A. Auto Show.

62 Bakersfield Magazine

Strange Illnesses


ern County is a petri dish of cultures, people, and ideas. So naturally, when things in that petri dish start to mingle, you wind up with some interesting specimens. Alright, alright, so it’s sort of odd to refer to people as specimens, and to call our county a petri dish, but when you’re talkin’ medicine and illness, it just makes sense. One person who understands that is Dr. Royce Johnson. As the chair for the Department of Medicine and chief infectious disease specialist at Kern Medical Center he has been in a prime position to observe and treat many of the seemingly rare and altogether strange diseases that one might not expect to find in Kern County. So open your mouth, say “ahh,” and get ready to digest some entertaining and educational information about some of the most prevalent and the most inconspicuous microbes roaming our area. Even some information on infections you thought you knew everything about. When you think of thrush, you more than likely think of infants. But in fact adults can develop this fungal infection, known as oropharyngeal candidiasis. People with dentures and those who use inhaled corticosteroids are on the at-risk list. It occurs more frequently and more severely in people with weakened immune systems and is very uncommon in otherwise healthy people. Symptoms include painless, white patches in the mouth, redness and soreness of the inside of the mouth, or cracking at the corners of the mouth, known as angular cheilitis. And while we all know about chicken pox, some of us aren’t as aware of shingles. Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chicken pox. After a person recovers from chicken pox, the virus stays in the body. Sometimes the virus can reappear years later, causing shingles, which usually starts as a rash on

Virus killer: Dr. Royce Johnson is chief infectious disease specialist at Kern Medical Center.

Insight into Kern County’s most interesting illnesses.

Medical specialties

one side of the face or body. The rash blisters which scab after a few days. It usually clears within a few weeks. Before the rash develops, there is often pain, itching, or tingling in the area where the rash will develop. Other symptoms of shingles can include fever, headache, chills, and upset stomach. More people need to be aware of meningitis. It’s an infection of the fluid of a person’s spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain and is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. High fever, headache, and stiff neck are common symptoms of meningitis in anyone over the age of two. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, discomfort looking into bright lights, confusion, and sleepiness. >> www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 63

strange illnesses OK, OK, enough with the lecture, right? This isn’t a medical guide. So while those might not seem that exotic, remember that infections come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s good to be on guard for any of them—even the ones you think you’d never get...like these bad boys. “We have a broad range of infectious diseases,” Dr. Johnson explained. “We see lots of people traveling from abroad. Factor that in with where we are geographically [in a valley with farmland near mountains and a coast] and you’re going to see that range.” While we might be well-versed in Valley Fever here in Bakersfield, Dr. Johnson still says many of his colleagues view this infection, known in the medical world as coccidioidomycosis, as a strange disease. And one that is fairly unique to our area. “We see hundreds of patients a year with Valley Fever. In fact, Dr. Einstein [our local foremost authority on coccidioidomycosis] calls it ‘our fungus’,” Dr. Johnson laughed. So while not so strange to us, Valley Fever is a fairly uncommon




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diagnosis in other areas of the world and one that sees a lot of research. But one disease that really tips the scales as strange is the plague. That’s right— we’re talking bubonic and pneumonic. Wait! you might be thinking. The last time you checked, we are not living 1340s Europe. True, but believe it or not, in the 30-plus years that Dr. Johnson

Infections come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s good to be on guard for any of them –even the ones you think you’d never get! has been working in Kern County, he has seen six or seven cases of plague. Relatively speaking, though, that’s not many. New Mexico sees many more cases than we do as human plague in the U.S. occurs in mostly scattered, rural areas with an average of 10 to 20 persons each year. In bubonic plague, the bacteria (commonly spread through fleas) causes the lymph glands to swell, called buboes,

and can lead to pneumonic plague if the bacteria spreads to the lungs. Pneumonic plague affects the respiratory system and is contracted through airborne transmission (coughing, etc.). “And it’s important to note that these cases of plague were endemic [the infection was contracted here].” It wasn’t brought into the county, nor did it spread. Rather, each case has been isolated. “The last case I saw was over 20 years ago, and the gentleman who had it had been digging through garbage.” Hear that? As long as you don’t make it a habit of digging through refuse, and you don’t have a flea for a best friend, it’s safe to say you should be plague-free. Another strange illness that the general public seems to think is long gone is leprosy, but Dr. Johnson still treats a small number of patients each week with this illness [known also as Hansen’s disease]. The condition itself is a chronic disorder caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Leprosy primarily affects the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the

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An adjunct Professor of Medicine at UCLA, Dr. Johnson relays information on new treatment options and disease patterns to physicians in Southern California.

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upper respiratory tract, but most people recognize it by the lesions appearing on the skin of those affected. “However, it’s not spreading,” he warned. “We’ve been treating the same patients each week and helping them manage this complicated disease. But have seen no new cases due to spreading.” So while leprosy and the plague sure can make one wary, Dr. Johnson

“We see hundreds of patients a year with Valley Fever. Dr. Einstein calls it ‘our fungus’” –Dr. Royce Johnson

says he hears the most incredulous responses after people hear we still have tuberculosis (TB) cases showing up! “I still hear the public ask ‘What? We still have that?’ But while it’s an ongoing problem, TB does not even rank in the top 20 causes of American [illness].” Cysticerosis is even farther down on that list than TB, but we still see a number of cases here. Never mind the recent outbreak of Swine Flu, this tapeworm

carried by pigs has a worse reputation. “The main manifestation of cysticerosis is seizure,” Dr. Johnson explained. And humans get infected by eating the undercooked meat of a pig harboring the parasite (called Taenia solium) and its eggs or larvae. They travel to the brain and affect the nervous system of its host. Then there’s brucellosis. Various brucella species affect sheep, goats, cattle, deer, elk, pigs, dogs, and several other animals. Humans become infected by coming in contact with animals or animal products that are contaminated with these bacteria, like unpasteurized cheese or milk. Brucellosis can cause a range of symptoms that are similar to the flu and may include fever, sweats, headaches, back pains, and physical weakness. Severe infections of the central nervous systems or lining of the heart may occur. “Brucellosis was common until the 1950s,” Dr. Johnson said, “but I’ll still see cases. Perhaps one a year.” OK, one a year is nothing, right? With only around 100 cases diagnosed throughout the entire U.S. annually, it’s a fairly rare disease. Continued on page 68 >>

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66 Bakersfield Magazine

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 67

strange illnesses Now, before you decide to panic, remember that these are very isolated cases and many of them are in the more rural sections of the county...let’s not forget, one of our prime sources of income: agriculture. So it really shouldn’t come as that much of a shock that a majority of the illnesses infectious disease physicians like Dr. Johnson see spawn from contamination out on the farm. But how do you tell the difference between a common flu and something that could be worse? What makes one fever different from the other? And should we all be worrying about catching diseases like listeria, malaria, or typhoid fever? The answer: no. Even if those exotic diseases have found their way to our city. “But we can’t always diagnose everything,” Dr. Johnson said. “Many infections present alike. You get inflammation which leads to a fever, muscle ache, and headache.” Most people don’t know how to discern the difference and the body fights the infection alone. Thankfully, when we do encounter something presenting as more than your average

68 Bakersfield Magazine

Continued from page 65

flu, we have someone with an extensive background in infectious disease to recognize these microbes when they arrive. “There was an employee at KMC who once fell ill after the big dust storm of 1977 in Kern County. She had recently been out of the country,” Dr. Johnson recalled. “We thought she might have Ebola. Her temperature was as high as 106 degrees at one point. I got a hold of Carl Johnson [an internationally-known virologist who, at one point, worked for the Center for Disease Control] and told him, ‘I’m pretty sure it’s not Lassa Fever [another hemorrhagic virus].’ He said, ‘How do you know?’ Well, I told him I was going through the exact chapter he wrote on Lassa in his book. Right away he said, ‘Oh, well...I’m revising that.’ ” But Dr. Johnson was certainly ready to combat the invisible foe. And he remains so today, fighting for immune systems in our area. Additional source: cdc.gov

Over the past 30 years, the confirmed cases of exotic infectious diseases have been few in Kern.

Grown-up Shots


accinations and immunizations are something that most people think about in regards to their children. Few realize, however, that there are many different immunizations that adults should be kept up-to-date with. Granted, most of us are aware of the importance of getting an annual flu shot, but the hustle and bustle of life tends to make it easy for us to forget even that. “As adults, we don’t think about getting immunizations,” Ann Walker said. Walker is an RN with the Kern County Department of Public Health Immunization Section. “We think to ourselves, ‘Oh, we’re done, we don’t need anything else.’ But adults need to know that vaccines aren’t just for children, they’re for everyone.” And while a general naïvety keeps some adults from winding up on the business end of a needle, others simply worry they cannot afford the cost. The fact of the matter is that some folks don’t have the disposable income to pay for these vaccines and would rather take the chance of contracting an illness than spend the money on what may seem like an unnecessary expenditure. However, the Kern County Department of Public Health offers many immunizations at a reduced cost and they encourage everyone to learn about the importance of immunization for our collective health; it’s about prevention. “This is a really good time to take advantage,” Assistant Director of Disease Control Denise Smith said, referring to reduced-cost immunizations. “While we still have them available to us.” The Department of Public Health offers these services to ensure our safety, however it’s our job to utilize them. We are not the only ones who are responsible for our state of health, but it’s important to realize that we can lead by example. Oftentimes, we rely on the cleanliness of those with whom we come into contact with throughout our daily activities to help us keep unwanted illness at bay.


By J. W. Burch, IV

“As adults,

we don’t think about getting

immunizations. We think to ourselves,

Oh, we’re done, we don’t need

anything else.” –Ann Walker

Medical specialties

“Unfortunately, we are all potentially at risk for Hepatitis A,” Smith said. “If you have ever eaten out, you’re potentially at risk. All it takes is one food server to not wash their hands after using the restroom. Hepatitis A, an oral-fecal transmitted disease, is usually less severe than Hepatitis B, which is contracted from exchange of bodily fluids, either through sexual intercourse, tattoo needles, or other relative situations.” The immunizations are free to the public and it’s recommended that adults receive two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine and three doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine throughout their adult lifetime if risk factors are present, which include intravenous drug use with shared needles and unprotected sexual relations, among others. Currently, the Department of Public Health is offering Hepatitis A and B shots thanks to state-purchased vaccines. Initially only running until December of 2008, the program has been extended throughout 2009. Other vaccinations that are important for adults to use as safeguards include Varicella (chicken pox), Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Td/Tdap), and Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR). These vaccines are also available at reduced cost to the public. All of these diseases are something that Smith says, “adults could and should protect themselves against.” It’s recommended that adults receive two doses of Varicella after the age of 19, one or two doses of MMR during the ages of 19-49, and only one dose of MMR after the age of 50 if other risk factors are present. Those risk factors can include lowered immune system, other infections, or even one’s lifestyle. It’s important to remember that even if you’ve had the chicken pox or you’ve had the vaccine for MMR, immunity declines with age so you should still get these recommended vaccines as an adult. Many immunizations are a matter of precaution; better being safe than sorry. >> www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 69

Grown-up Shots

“Some people do have complications from these diseases,” Smith said. “Especially when contracted as an adult.” Chicken pox is the most regularly known instance of single contraction, usually as a young child. However, if the first (and supposedly only) bout with chicken pox is not a bad enough infection, the body does not develop adequate antibodies to fight off the virus. If contracted as an adult, chicken pox can end up being quite severe. Walker talked of a woman who attended her church who came down with chicken pox a few years ago and ended up “on a respirator in the intensive care unit...it was that severe.” The vaccine for chicken pox is fairly new, being developed in the mid-90s and being instituted as a required vaccine for school children in 2001. Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) come in a single shot. As is the case with chicken pox, once these diseases are contracted as a child, the individual builds up immunity. “With rubella, there is potential risk involved for pregnant women and their unborn children,” Walker said. “It is possible for the mother to pass on the disease to her unborn child, which can result in congenital birth defects and anomalies.” However, anyone born after 1957 should have received the immunization and will not have to worry about the measles, mumps, or rubella. “The tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis immunization is really important because we have had a resurgence of pertussis in our country,” Smith said. “Adults are particularly susceptible to it, because they can be a carrier of pertussis with few or little symptoms.” Better known as “whooping cough,” adults can carry the disease and pass it on to others being none the wiser. In the last three to five years, the Tetanus, Diphtheria, Acellular Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine was developed. But seeing as how a regular tetanus shot (Td) is only recommended every 10 years, a lot of adults probably haven’t gotten their Tdap vaccination since they’re not due for their shot yet. “It is important to get a Tdap, just to be safe...especially if you’re going to be around babies a lot,” Walker said. “Because we can harbor the bacteria as adolescents and adults...and pertussis is really hard on the young ones.” There are different criteria for different immunizations, like gender, that one must meet prior to getting certain inoculations. The immunization for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), for example, is only licensed for women between 19 and 26, who should receive three doses during that time. However, studies are ongoing to expand the age group. There is also hope studies will bring a vaccination for men in the next couple of years. If you’re a regular traveler, immunizations are vital to staying healthy while away from home...especially if traveling outside of the country. If you’re preparing to go on vacation, it would be smart and educational to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (cdc.gov) to find out what specific immunizations may be recommended or required in the area you’ll be gallivanting. Locally, the Kern County Department of Public Health also has a travel clinic, where you can find out more information on specific vaccines and when you should get them. The Kern County Department of Public Health can be contacted at (661) 868-0306, or online at www.co.kern.ca.us/health.

70 Bakersfield Magazine

And one big thing to remember... Physicians don’t offer many vaccines unless they are requested, so it’s important to keep yourself up to speed on which inoculations are right for you and talk to your doctor!

OK, OK, it’s that time... where’s the snack machine?



hen 3:00 p.m. rolls around, you’re looking for that little pick-me-up. What’s it going to be? A Milky Way bar? Maybe a little bag of Doritos? Or perhaps, and this is a big perhaps, you’re thinking that a juicy apple or a handful of almonds sound better. It sure does sound healthier, but for most of us, chocolate wins out every time. Don’t feel bad. You’re like the hundreds of thousands of people who’ve stood in front of that vending machine before you. All those options...all that junk. But we make our purchase, and we have to live with it. So we walk back to our cubicle with our head down in silence, shamefully loving every bite of that caloric masterpiece known as a Milky Way. That’s when we start proclaiming to coworkers that we’re tired of all the fattening things “shoved in our faces.” You tell everyone you wish there was a vending machine filled only with fruit—because you’d pick a banana every time. You vow never to eat another candy bar in your life. The next afternoon, you’re pondering the relative healthfulness of a 3 Musketeers bar. This is a regular occurrence at any office in the country, and Bakersfield is no different.


Madness Sure, that candy bar sounds

delicious, and those chips would be

tasty, but our

community is

looking to get healthy and

stay fit. The

movement starts with you.

Medical Fresh salad bars, like this one at SJCH, are now the norm for patients, family, and staff.


But what we don’t realize is that there are people trying to give us healthier options; trying to make sure we’re surrounded with all the best foods possible—so that when we are sick of greasy chips and processed sugar bars, a veggie plate is near. And they’re just the people you’d think they’d be: nutritionists and dietitians working for our hospitals, our Public Health Department, and our school system. While these institutions certainly aren’t in charge of how we take care of our bodies, they’re here to make decisions for the health of our community. “We’re finding that balance between what people are proving they want and what the healthiest option is,” explained Jarrod McNaughton, associate vice president for San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH). As part of the Adventist Health hospital system, SJCH has always provided vegetarian options, stemming from the practices of John Harvey Kellogg (yes, that Kellogg) in the late 1800s. “In fact, we recently signed with Elaine’s Café to provide vegan options for patients, visitors, and staff,” McNaughton said. “Back then, Kellogg was looking to change people’s eating habits and part of our health system dates back to that idea. We look to provide those options for people today.” “The idea really is to provide an alternative to those unhealthy items,” Kathleen Mershon continued. Mershon is a registered dietitian (R.D.), the clinical nutrition manager, and the assistant director of nutrition for SJCH. “We do have vendors, but they have to work within the parameters of the Adventist Health system guidelines. We make sure that there are things like yogurt bars, fruit juice, vitamin water, and [healthy] sandwiches stocked. And for the patient menu, we try and find that balance between healthy options and familiar items that they’ll want.” As Mershon explained, nutrition is the answer to the body healing, so the types of foods served in hospitals are crucial to wellbeing. >> www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 71

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Gonzalez samples the tasty, and healthy, options in Mercy’s cafeteria.

That’s why Mariafelix Gonzalez, R.D., who is in charge of Food and Nutritional Services for Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield, said every month, Mercy and Mercy Southwest display nutritional information posters in their cafeterias and in other parts of the hospitals as a way to educate the public on the importance of eating right. “They cover different health topics and they serve as a visual. On one we had a picture of one hamburger and the nutritional content of it. Right next to the hamburger was a plate covered in healthy foods you could eat that wouldn’t even come close to reaching the high fat content of that one hamburger.” Those are the types of facts that get people thinking. Gonzalez said the vendors that stock the machines at Mercy and Mercy Southwest are very receptive to managements suggestions. “We told them we wanted healthier items stocked. Well, they began putting in baked chips and pita bread sandwiches, even salads. It’s just that the public needs to realize that these options are here already.” As part of that philosophy, the cafeteria serves fish twice a week and watches the portions that go out. Additionally, as part of the ongoing battle to get people to eat healthier, Gonzalez said Mercy will create informational pamphlets that will be placed around the hospital with nutritional facts. But perhaps the biggest undertaking has been the analysis of the hospitals’ menus. “We’re scheduled to be finished by June, but this has been a long process. We have to analyze each and every item on the menu and create a nutritional index for it. That way, we know exactly what we’re serving, and patients, visitors, and staff know exactly what they’re eating.”

At Kern Medical Center, they’re all about healthy diet education. “Last year, we had a five-week course on nutrition for the staff,” said Megan Eisenzimmer, R.D. “And we always post the nutritional facts for our regular menu items in the cafeteria for both our grill and our hot lunches.” KMC offers Kashi cereals and a vegetarian option for every meal, full of whole fruits and veggies. “And we make sure that our vendors stock seasonal fruits, yogurts, cottage cheese, and other things.” However, the most important notch on KMC’s belt came from their decision, roughly a year ago, to ban all vending machines from the campus. “It was just junk,” Eisenzimmer said. “We do try and stock items by how well they sell in our cafeteria, however. We’d like to ultimately put more healthy items there, so if people buy them, we’ll stock them.” Over at Memorial, Laurie Wallace, R.D., C.D.E, said that oftentimes, she realizes people feel they have to bring their lunch if they’re looking to eat healthy. But those options are available. Wallace is the Clinical Nutritional Manager and explained that Memorial has taken many steps recently to be recognized as a healthy workplace. “Our heart-healthy options are designated. They are items with low saturated fat, 500 calories or less, low sodium, and high fiber.” Additionally, for the staff, Memorial has set up a walking trail extending Memorial’s walking path provides staff a chance to burn around the campus. some calories. “We feel that the staff can provide much better testimonials to the patients. They can educate them by example. We did remove the vending machines from the new tower and put them all in one area, near the cafeteria.” That way, people can see healthier options across the hall if Sharon Briel, right, is in charge of what our kids are eating. they’re looking for that afternoon snack. And lectures for staff on healthier eating habits and nutrition ideas help Memorial improve awareness of these causes. It’s called the MIGHTY program. It stands for Making an Investment to Get Healthy Together Year-round. But hospitals aren’t the only institutions that have seen changes. The Kern High School District has some fairly stringent rules on vending machine items as well as what is served in its cafeterias. Sharon Briel, R.D., is the Food Service Director and is in charge of student nutrition. >>

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“There are no machines on the school campuses themselves, though we do have beverage vending machines near recreational areas.” These include football fields where athletes can get hydration. However, Briel explained, what goes in the vending machines is governed by California legislation. “California took steps to be more restrictive on what is sold a la carte on high school campuses. But this is only in effect during the school day.” The new farmer’s market at the Health Department That said, anything will afford healthier options for our entire community. sold at student stores must be under a certain number of calories, and follow the 35-1035 rule. Meaning the item has to have less than 35 percent calories from fat, less than 10 percent saturated fat, and must have an added sugar level less than 35 percent. They also stock more grain-based chips that are baked. Elementary schools have already implemented these healthier items, which Briel believes will help children and families adjust as they move through the system. “When they get to high school, it won’t be such a shock to not have these unhealthy items. And California has taken great steps to mandate the types of things available.” Schools are in a position to help enforce healthy eating habits at home, but parents do need to take steps as well. Another beacon of health in our community is the health department. People look to this facility to lead by example. Avtar Nijjer-Sidhu, Ph.D., R.D., is in charge of the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program with the Kern County Department of Public Health. The department has incorporated other healthy options, like walking buddies, and bringing in healthy snacks during meetings. Also, Nijjer-Sidhu implemented a weekly farmer’s market for staff to purchase fresh fruit on site for lunches and snacks. “I like to talk to the vendors as well and see what new items we can bring in that will be healthy but flavorful alternatives to other high-fat snacks. Some of the vendors are contracted for all the county facilities and they stock things like nuts and trail mix. That will definitely help our staff. With these items, we want to create a healthy environment for workers and help them adopt a change in their lifestyle. We can build a healthier public health department so that together, we can build a better community.” We need to rally behind these facilities looking to make healthy changes for our community. Public health institutions know what it takes to create a healthy environment but some of these changes can only come if we support them, not just by saying we want apples in the vending machines instead of Snickers bars, but by putting our money and our vote where our mouth is. Better options are available, we just need to prove we have what it takes to utilize them. www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 75

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Golden State Eye Vision Specialists 1001 Tower Way, Suite 150 (661) 327-4499 GoldenStateEye.com In the 30 years Dr. Ronald Morton has been practicing medicine, surgery, as well as being a licensed Medical Examiner. But his practice, he’s had a few near-death experiences. Not real ones, mind you, but Golden State Eye Medical Center, also provides other surgical options strange ones nonetheless. for patients including blepharoplasty, minimization of scars, removing “A friend of mine heard from a fellow passenger on a flight age spots and sun damage, and repairing pigment changes. coming into Bakersfield that I had died. He later told me he said to “But it’s my goal to focus on the person. The procedures are the person, ‘I hope not. I have a meeting secondary; they’re like the spices that keep with him tonight.’ ” it from getting stale.” Dr. Morton has heard stories, not exactly Other ways Dr. Morton keeps his passion like this—but similar, about himself lately. for medicine and ophthalmology? For the past Most of them involve retirement from his 30 years he has been a member of the Amerilong-standing ophthalmology practice. can Academy of Ophthalmology, the AmeriPeople seem to be expecting it. But Dr. can Medical Association, and the American Morton is adamant that retirement is a Academy of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. ways off for him. He was president of the Kern Medical Soci“I’m still loving it after 30 years. It’s still ety, was the chair for the 6th District of the fun...why would I retire?” California Medical Association, and this year In those three decades, Dr. Morton has is his second term as President of the Califorhad the chance to impact multitudes of nia Academy of Physicians and Surgeons. He patients and their families, bringing not has the distinction of being the only person only the gift of clear sight, but a renewed to serve twice as the organization’s president. chance at a better life. Perhaps the best way to see his passion One particular incident stands out to for the community is through the countless Dr. Morton that occurred recently. awards bestowed to him. In 1993, he was “I had a patient in 1976 that I saw while awarded the California Association of Ronald L. Morton I was still working at County [Dr. Morton Ophthalmology Humanitarian Award and completed his residency at Kern Medical the following year received the Melvin Center]. He returned to my practice later after a rifle had explode in Jones Fellow Humanitarian Award. his face. Well, we patched him up and sent him on his way. We lost This year, he earned the California Academy of Eye Physicians track of him for 30 years, but because I’m still in the community, and Surgeons Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding he found me recently. It turns out he had developed a cataract. His contributions to the field. cornea still glittered with glints of brass from the bullet.” Locally he has been particularly involved with our chapter of Needless to say, Dr. Morton helped this patient recover full sight the Lion’s Club, receiving their Humanitarian of the Year award in in the damaged eye. 1986, and twice receiving their International President’s Award. “I love that I get to help people,” Dr. Morton explained. A strong supporter of Surgical Eye Expeditions, Inc. for nearly 30 “Making that kind of change in a person’s life stays with you. It’s years, Dr. Morton has traveled to foreign countries to provide eye gratifying. That’s why I’m always going to meetings to learn about surgery to those unable to afford it whenever he can. new techniques and procedures; so it never gets boring. I want to Additionally, he enjoys teaching young physicians. For many years, he has been traveling to Los Angeles to train residents at the I love that I get to help people. Making that kind Jules Stein Eye Institute of the UCLA School of Medicine, where of change in a person’s life stays with you. he holds the position of Associate Clinical Professor of OphthalIt’s gratifying. mology. And just this year he was honored with the Jules Stein Eye continually refine my practice with the latest advances possible.” Institute Senior Honor Award. One of the newest technologies available to patients of Dr. Dr. Morton has been a part of this community for such a long time Morton is the Crystalens® Accommodating Lens. It is the first that there is hardly someone who has never heard of Golden State and only FDA-approved accommodating intraocular lens that Eye Medical Center or Dr. Ronald Morton. But it’s important for moves and focuses using the actual muscles in your eye, just as a him to have the community and his patients know about his passion normal lens would. The lens’ flexible hinges allow patients to see for this work, which has never faltered, and why he continues to distance, intermediate, and near, where older technologies would love what he does each day. permit focus in only one zone. “There has been constant progress in the field. When I started Trained in LASIK, PRK, Refractive surgery, Keratoplasty, and Laser at KMC in 1975, the patient was in the hospital for three days Skin resurfacing, Dr. Morton is also licensed in general medicine and after surgery. Now, it’s an hour and a half in the office and 20 76 Bakersfield Magazine




minutes on the operating table. The surgery is done precisely and “I didn’t waste a lot of time, no,” he said, laughing. “I wanted is micro-invasive. The devices we have here are so exciting to use.” to know where everything on the plane came from and where it’s The ability to continue providing patients with the best care been, so I bought new. I made sure it had the newest avionics in possible while expanding the practice and utilizing some of today’s it...typical Morton stuff.” most advanced procedures keeps every day fresh for Dr. Morton. So he flew home to Bakersfield in his new plane, dodging And that attitude keeps him happy to come storms, and since then, there wasn’t a into the office and continue to treat the weekend he doesn’t make an attempt to Bakersfield community for years to come, get up in the air. despite what you may have heard on that “I’ve logged somewhere between 700 late-night flight into town. and 800 hours in the air...and I’ve only That’s not to say that this physician been flying for three years. “There are a lot of little details you have doesn’t have his outside interests. to pay attention to when you’re flying. You As someone who admits to getting bored can’t get focused on just one detail to the easily, Dr. Morton is always searching for exclusion of the big picture.” an interesting sport, activity, or subject to It’s really the counterpoint of what Dr. study. That attitude has helped him not only Morton does in his professional life. continually strive to bring in the latest and “When I’m performing a procedure on greatest technologies for his patients at Golden the eye, my entire focused concentration is State Eye, but it keeps his daily life fresh. inside that eye. So it’s the opposite of flyDr. Morton has always been looking for ways ing,” he explained. to keep life interesting and in high school, his But the challenge is similar and it’s something fascinations with airplanes began. However, exciting; something Dr. Morton looks for before he even sat down in the cockpit, he daily. That may explain why he’s getting back learned a valuable lesson from his father. into a favorite pastime: shooting. “My dad made me promise that I wouldn’t Dr. Morton and his Cessna Before he got into aviation, Dr. Morton start flying until I could stay with it,” he explained. Until he was able to dedicate the considerable amount of spent his free time learning the ins and outs of rifles and pistols. “I did some skeet shooting and some defensive pistol work, which time it takes to learn to fly, and continue to put in hours learning new was really something new for me. It was another side of me,” Dr. aviation technology, Dr. Morton chose to heed his father’s advice. So, in 2006, after years of waiting, Dr. Morton was ready to fly. Of Morton said. It was during this five-year period that he learned as much as he course, it helped that he had dropped off of three different boards that he had been a part of. And it helped that his introduction to flying could about combat pistol handling and target shooting by taking came by way of his wife, Ingrid, purchasing a ride at Air Combat every course offered at Second Amendment Sports on Rosedale. USA, for his birthday. But, as he so frequently admits, he gets bored easily. With a slogan like “Be a Fighter Pilot for a day,” you can see how “It wasn’t that I knew everything,” he explained. It’s just that he taking a lesson at Air Combat USA would fit into Dr. Morton’s mold knew enough for the spark to flicker a little. of keeping life fresh. That’s when planes flew his way. But now that he’s reached a point “The morning was spent in the classroom, learning tactics, but As someone who admits to getting bored easily, in the afternoon, we were in the Extra 300L, an aerobatic airplane Dr. Morton is always searching for an interesting heading for a dogfight. sport, activity, or subject to study. “My first time flying, I was up against an 83-year-old grandmother. She had experience, though. I won the first three, but after a while, in his flying where he’s feeling the twinge to discover something airsickness set in. It ended up being an even fight, each of us winning new, he’s decided to reinvest in shooting, and keep his proficiency up—following his dad’s advice. three times,” he said. Four days in May, Dr. Morton spent time learning from Chuck It was all simulated of course, using laser lights and smoke, but the experience left Dr. Morton wanting more. So he headed off to flight Taylor, a premier rifle specialist who stopped in Bakersfield at SAS. Undoubtedly, these activities only serve as kindling for Dr. school here in Bakersfield at Loyd’s Aviation. After getting his private pilot’s license on his birthday in 2007, Morton’s passion for living and learning. And the same attitude that keeps him interested in flying and rifle work, keeps him there was one thing missing: the plane. Three weeks later, Dr. Morton was at the Cessna Factory in seeking to perfect his talents as an ophthalmologist and surgeon for the Bakersfield community. Kansas picking up his plane. www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 77




Quest Imaging Medical Associates Image Is Everything 9602 Stockdale Highway (661) 633-5000 questima.com Quest Imaging Medical Associates is a locally owned and operated all digital imaging center providing a full spectrum of medical imaging in our community since 2004. Quest Imaging employs a knowledgeable and diverse staff and offers a multitude of diagnostic imaging services, including: • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) 1.5 Tesla Open 3.0 Tesla Open • 64-Slice Volume CT Coronary CT Angiography CT Colonography (Virtual Colonoscopy) • Womens Imaging Digital Mammography with Computer Aided Detection (CAD) 2D, 3D, and 4D Ultrasound DEXA • Interventional Radiology • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) with or without CT Fusion • Nuclear Medicine including Nuclear Cardiology • Digital X-Ray

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Recently Quest Imaging installed the 3 Tesla Siemens Verio MRI, the latest MRI technology available anywhere. The magnet strength is double the strength of any locally offered MRI unit. This new technology offers the highest resolution and clearest images possible. For physicians: • Higher resolution images resulting in a more accurate diagnosis and more appropriate therapy For patients: • The stronger magnet means shorter exam times • A 70 centimeter Open Bore gives patients weighing up to 550 pounds access to the best MRI technology Quest Imaging is proud to bring this new technology to the Bakersfield community as part of our ongoing effort to lead the way in service and quality. Our talented group of physician radiologists that interpret the imaging studies are all board certified by the American Board of Radiology and specialize in breast imaging, interventional radiology, musculoskeletal imaging, neuroradiology imaging, and nuclear medicine. As a patient you can be confident that a physician who has met the highest standards in medical imaging is evaluating your exam. The technologists who produce the imaging studies at Quest Imaging are also held to the highest standards in the industry, and the American College of Radiology (ACR) has accredited Quest Imaging Medical Associates in all modalities. The ACR awards accreditation to imaging facilities only after a rigorous peer-review evaluation of the quality of the images as well as the training of the staff. Even with the best equipment and highest quality, personal and timely services are critical in todays health environment. Thanks to highly efficient technologies, the overwhelming majority of patient reports are returned within four hours of completion of the study. Patients and physicians can rest assured that appropriate treatment can be implemented promptly. 78 Bakersfield Magazine

The 3.0 Tesla MRI Suite at Quest Imaging

Quests reputation for professionalism and expertise is preceded by their high level of compassionate care. Past patients have been quoted as saying: “I love Quest! So comforting and so serene. ‘Super’ would describe the facility and the staff!” “I’ve been here several times and the service, atmosphere, and staff have always been great...” “Very professional! The technologist explained each step and asked how I was doing through each part of the test.” With glowing testimonials, the qualifications of highly-skilled physicians and well trained technologists , and the new Siemens 3 Tesla MRI, Quest Imaging Medical Associates can offer an experience that far surpasses any other medical imaging facility in Bakersfield. Quest Imaging Medical Associates is not affiliated with Quest Diagnostics, a local laboratory.




Optimal Hospice Care Caring Support When It Matters Most 4700 Stockdale Highway, Suite 120 (661) 716-4000 OptimalCares.com What do you do if you are the CEO of a business whose biggest complaint from their customers is that they did not choose to receive the service sooner? That is exactly the situation Bakersfield-based Optimal Hospice Care CEO Doug Clary and his management team is in. In response, they have promoted the benefits of increased use of hospice care to residents in Bakersfield and the surrounding communities. Someone must be listening and taking advantage of the amazing services offered by Optimal because they now have seven hospice locations in California. Doug, who describes himself as a “recovering accountant,” started serving healthcare clients during the first stage of his professional career as a CPA with a large accounting firm. He then spent over a decade working in various hospital management positions, always taking special interest in visiting the patient care areas of the hospital to stay familiar with the work done on the front lines and the impact it has on the lives of so many people. In 2002, Doug joined Optimal, working with owner Clark Gustafson, and eventually became Clark’s business partner. Both Doug and Clark could see the aging population in our country was expanding the need for people to receive higher levels of healthcare services in the comfort of their homes. Thus, they made the decision to sell several other businesses Clark had owned for over 20 years, and focus on home health and hospice services. As Doug explains, “shortly after my own father-in-law passed away in a hospital ICU in San Diego, I went out with one of our nurses to visit a man with the same chronic illness and about the same age. He and his wife were so much more comfortable receiving their care and support at home. They described the pleasure of having friends over for dinner, wine, and reminiscing about the good old days. The wife couldn’t stop telling me how much better this was than when her husband had been in the hospital and she had to sleep in a chair and return home to do laundry and other chores. That visit made me certain that we were doing the right thing with our business and I was doing the right thing with my life.” Hospice is a service that helps individuals with life-limiting illness by providing comfort care for the patient, support for the patient and their family, education to the family on how to help care for their loved one, and emotional and spiritual support whenever needed. The hospice team consists of nurses, doctors, aides to help with bathing and other needs, as well as social workers, spiritual counselors, and volunteers who provide companionship and support for the family. Optimal is currently the largest hospice provider in Kern County, providing more days of hospice care in 2008 than all other hospices in the county combined. Using that wealth of experience, the Optimal team has expanded their hospice operations to Lake Isabella, Ridgecrest, Visalia, Fresno, Modesto, and Santa Clara. Each of these offices, as well as Optimal’s two home-health offices, is dedicated to the Optimal mission: combining compassion with the art and science of medicine to help patients and families live life to its fullest. Optimal Hospice Care also believes everyone deserves the best possible care at the end of life, regardless of their ability to pay. Thanks to generous contributions and support from the community, Optimal

Doug Clary – CEO

Hospice Foundation is able to help fill the gap in funding for families who are uninsured or underinsured. As for that frequent complaint from customers, that they did not ask for the service soon enough, Doug explains that Medicare and most insurance companies cover hospice care for anyone with a terminal condition whose estimated life expectancy is six months or less. “We often find that families have the impression that hospice is reserved for the last few days of life, but we can help people enjoy the time they have so much more when we get the opportunity to provide support for the last several months of a person’s life.” In fact, the six month prognosis does not limit how long a patient can receive hospice care. It is a guideline to help determine hospice appropriateness. Some hospice patients are on hospice longer than six months because their condition progresses more slowly than originally anticipated. In a number of cases, people who choose hospice see their condition improve so much that they “graduate” from hospice. While these graduations are often temporary, Optimal believes they are an indicator of the positive impact that focused attention and support in a home environment can have on a person. www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 79




Golden Living Center Experience the Golden Difference Golden Living Centers is changing the face of skilled nursing. What was once known before as “Convalescent Hospital,” “Nursing Home,” or yes, even “Old Folks Home,” has changed over the years.  There are now a number of choices available for the active senior.  Golden Living Center is one company making changes to accommodate those needs, offering as the name suggests, LIVING CENTERS, with full-service meals, activities throughout the day and most with state-of-the-art therapy programs, with the latest in rehabilitation equipment. Options include 24-hour skilled nursing for those in need of short and long term care and Alzheimer’s Care. Patients are now able to rehab in one of the living centers and receive one-on-one therapy that helps build for stronger, faster and longer lasting outcomes following surgery or accident. Shorter stays and faster outcomes have become the new staple in our living centers. “We are changing the way people view skilled care,” says Julianne Williams, Division President for Golden Living. “The patients we once treated are not the same that we are caring for today. Today’s patients want more choices and options and at Golden Living Centers, we are delivering those services to the community.” With two living centers within Kern County to accommodate you, we are confident we have the care you need. We invite you to visit one of our living centers for a tour. You can choose a Nursing Home, or you can choose a Golden Living Center. Golden Living Centers Bakersfield Shafter 3601 San Dimas Street 140 East Tulare Avenue Bakersfield, CA 93301 Shafter, CA 93263 661-323-2894 661-746-3912

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3941 San Dimas Street, Bldg 101 (661) 327-3821 www.johnowensmd.com 80 Bakersfield Magazine



Is it About Time For Your Annual Tuneup?

A Guide to Health & Beauty Men. Guys. Bros. Dudes. However you label them—

self-screenings should be performed; any changes in

it’s a well-known fact that most of ‘em aren’t following doc-

normal appearance or feel warrant a professional test.

tors’ orders. Beer. Pizza. Football (on-screen not on-field).

STD screening. One in two Americans will have con-

These all have a tendency to impact a man’s health. So

tracted a sexually transmitted disease by age 25. Get

if you’re adamant on having that extra pint, the least you

tested every six months if you’re sexually active.

can do is keep up on those doctor’s visits and get regular

Cholesterol test. If you have diabetes, high blood

screenings to ward off these common dude diagnoses.

pressure, you smoke, or if heart disease runs in your

According to the Mayo Clinic, the biggest threats

family, you should have your cholesterol tested regu-

to men’s health are mostly preventable.

larly throughout your 20s.

So use this guide and talk with your doctor to find

High Blood Pressure. Have your blood pres-

out which tests are right for you as you coast through

sure checked every 2 years. High blood pressure is

your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and what ones are vital

140/90 or higher. Nearly one in three Americans has

after you hit 60. Of course, a routine physical ex-

high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart at-

amination is recommended, even if you don’t qualify

tack, stroke, and kidney failure. Get tested more frequent-

as “high-risk” for heart disease, stroke, or cancer.

ly if yours is already high. >>

n 20s — You’re still young...in your prime.


But there are preventative tests you should be taking to ensure you stay in great shape well into old age. Many of these tests should be continuously performed as you age, so just because your blood pressure is okay when you’re 27, doesn’t mean you can slack off! Testicular screening. Testicular cancer is most common among white men between the ages of 20 and 34. Regular

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n 40s — Pay more attention to your body. Generally speaking, when you hit your 40s, the tests get less fun and more invasive.

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relationship with your M.D. Keep up with regular exams for your eyes, cholesterol, blood pressure, and even your joints and muscles. But some more specific ones include:

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oscopies are recommended every five years for men of average risk for colon cancer, along with yearly stool tests for blood,

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Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. The major risk factor for prostate cancer: age! seventy percent of cases occur in men 65 and factor) also contribute. Men over 50 should have yearly screenings. n 60s — By now, you’re a well-oiled machine. If you’ve been things happen fast when you hit retirement age, so be sure to visit Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm test. If you are between the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever smoked, you need to be screened once for abdominal aortic aneurysm, which is an abnormally large or swollen blood vessel in your abdomen. So to keep your body driving smoothly, make sure you take it in for its scheduled maintenance. Nobody wants to see that check engine light come on prematurely! And the longer you wait to take it in, the worse the problem gets. Buddy...dude...bro... if you give as much attention to your health as you do your car, you’ll have to reset the odometer before you have to visit the junk yard.


Sources: ahrq.gov, familydoctor.org, mayoclinic.com, revolutionhealth.com

ssue tI



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In honor of our second-ever Pet Issue, we considered a name change. But “Bark”ersfield Magazine just didn’t have the same ring to it. Then, we opted to invite our furry friends to tell their own tales. After hours of miscommunication (does anyone out there speak Pygmy Goat?), we scrapped that idea, too. Finally, we decided to just fill this section with the funnest, and funniest, animal stories we could put together. We’re fairly sure the goat will like ‘em...but read for yourself.

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 83

It seems strange to announce that we have lucky winners when the prizes include the title of Bakersfield’s Ugliest Pet (not to mention a $100 gift certificate). We were looking for the ugliest pets and boy did we get some uggos. We present to you our picks for ugliest pets...in three distinct categories. And while we are publishing pictures of these mongrels, we’re not responsible for the nightmares that could ensue. Thanks to everyone who entered!



84 Bakersfield Magazine



When the picture of Gremlin first arrived in our inbox, many of us in the office worried that we were cursed. “That’s a witch dog!” was screamed more than once. Gremlin truly has a face only a mother could love. And by mother we mean Joe Smooch. Joe found this pup wandering in his front yard four years ago looking scraggly (hard to believe) with no collar and has loved him ever since. “He’s unique...to say the least,” Joe laughed. “I immediately thought he looked like Spike from the movie Gremlins. I guess it’s not too creative a name. But what are you gonna call him? He doesn’t look like a conventional dog.” Gremlin is cuddly though, Joe said, and loves to go on walks. And while his strength is an ability to shake hands with both paws (he’s ambidextrous) his weakness is Beggin’ Strips. We couldn’t figure out what kind of dog Gremlin is, but our guess is Devil’s Minion.



OK, this was the hardest category to select from, since all pets are kinda cute. But Ringo was our pick for this award. “He can do a few tricks like roll over, play dead, speak, and sit up pretty,” said owner Nina Lawless. But that’s about it when it comes to the skills category. When he’s not busy performing tricks, he’s content just looking ugly. “He stares at me...just stares...and he is cute on some level, but for the most part he’s just so ugly I can’t stand it sometimes,” Nina said, laughing. A Shih Tzu-Chihuahua mix, Ringo is about a year old and named after Nina’s mother’s favorite Beatle. And sadly, Nina explained, he got the worst traits of each breed. “Chihuahua’s ears stick straight up, but sometimes only one of Ringo’s does. And Shih Tzu’s teeth show which Ringo’s do sometimes. Put those together and you’ve got an unattractive dog.” But look at those puppy dog eyes!

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Meet Dookie, AKA Mr. Dukes. How could we not pick him as the winner for this category? Fondly named for his owner, Marco Barba’s, favorite Green Day album, Dookie is a 6-year-old Olde English Bulldog. And weighing in at 65 pounds, it seems this pooch has been eating his fair share of crumpets. But just what made Marco submit Dookie’s photo? “I have this picture in my office. My coworkers think it’s a great, but horrible, picture,” Marco said. “It was taken when I was giving him a good belly rub. And he’s so cheeky that gravity took it’s toll...” Favorite pastimes for Dookie include sleeping, snoring, eating, and chasing balls within a 3-foot radius. He doesn’t want to run too far. Be sure to keep your eye out for next year’s contest! You thought this was it? Hardly! We know there are more ugly pets out there...

It’s Time For The Ultimate Showdown!

as I moved out, I had a cat within three or four days.” The KLLY 95.3 DJ prefers cats for many different reasons. “They’re independent. Dogs are always so busy, they’re always in your face. It can drive you crazy. But a cat wants attention at selected times. Only when it wants you does it come to you.” That works perfectly for E.J.’s schedule. He’s not constantly worrying about getting home to let a dog out so it won’t go to the bathroom on the carpet. He doesn’t have

“Dogs are always so busy, they’re always in your face. It can drive you crazy.”




–E. J. Tyler




he rivalry between canine and feline has been well documented. Where do you think the phrase “fighting like cats and dogs” came from? Somewhere in history, these four-legged friends decided they’d rather not keep company with each other. While this occurred, another phenomenon was taking place—the grouping of people into two distinct categories: those who love dogs and those who love cats. Who knows what causes it...what draws us to prefer one over the other. Some people are adamant that dogs lead the pack as the best pet. Others are followers of the mantra that “cats rule and dogs drool.” Well, whatever your affiliation, we found some Bakersfield pet owners who land on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to their chosen companion. What is it about these animals that makes us love one or the other? “My dad hated cats,” said E.J. Tyler, “so my parents wouldn’t allow me to have one. But I always wanted a cat so as soon

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to make sure he’s got time to take a dog for a walk or give it a bath on the weekends. Cats are low-maintenance. Snoke, named so because his fur is both snow- and smoke-colored, has been E.J.’s cat for the past 14 years, and he takes care of the bathing department himself. “Sometimes too well,” E.J. laughed. “He’s obsessive about his paws being clean. He’ll spend longer than necessary in the litter box making sure he’s clean. I’ve thought about putting a little bottle of Purell outside the door for him.” But Snoke is someone that E.J. knows is always waiting for him when he comes home. “It’s not that dogs aren’t smart—they’re just not intelligent with their affection. They give their love away too freely. Cats make you earn it. That’s smart. They’ve got a discerning palate.” Plus, according to E.J., one of the best things about cats is that they can entertain themselves. If you’re

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 85

not feeling up to throwing a ball for fetch, or playing tug-of-war with an old rag, you don’t have to. Give a cat a little ball of string and it will play for hours. And watch the fun unravel. “I’m pro-cats. How can you not be?” E.J. wondered. That’s a question Shirley Smith has never asked...because she’s never not been a cat person. Sure, she and her husband had the occasional dog in the early years of their marriage, but Shirley is a cat person

he was all set. A cat is so convenient. They don’t need constant attention, but they will love us all the same. “Anytime I lay on the couch, he senses it no matter where he might be in the house. Within a second, he’s on the couch with me.” Cuddling aside, cats don’t require the training dogs do. “You have to teach a dog things. Not to

So what our beloved cats provide in entertainment, our faithful dogs provide in affection. Cuddle kitten. Snoke, with owner and KLLY DJ E.J. Tyler.

through and through. Currently, Floyd, a 7-year-old tabby, is ruling the roost at the Smith household. And at roughly 26 pounds, no one is going to question Floyd’s authority. “He’s a pretty lazy cat,” Shirley laughs. “But he loves to rub his head on shoes and socks. When he does that, he gets this dreamy look on his face.” Floyd’s catty attitude is shared by many a feline. “He hates to be brushed. I can only get one or two brushes in before he starts batting away the brush and my hand.” But for the most part, Floyd can take care of himself. That’s a point for the cat people. “We went camping for a few days and 86 Bakersfield Magazine

go to the bathroom on the floor, not to jump, not to bark. A cat doesn’t work like that.” But that doesn’t mean cats don’t have their quirks.

“We had a cat named Sharky, who was constantly ill, and she was always cold. But she would sit in front of the heater... with her nose within a millimeter of the vent. Once, a stack of our mail got wet, so to dry it out, I turned the oven on, opened the door, and laid the mail out to dry. I come in to find Sharky had gotten into the oven and fallen asleep. That’s entertainment.” So what cats provide in entertainment, dogs provide in affection. At least that’s the thinking behind the dog folks we found. “I’ve been an animal person all my life... but I’ve always loved dogs,” said Rhelda Hughes. Rhelda is currently the owner of a 3-year-old Border Terrier named Friday. “Dogs offer unconditional love and are always happy to see you.” Point for the dog people. That’s definitely the happy attitude of

“There are no pros about cats,” Eddy Aldridge explained, laughing. “I had one once and it was never friendly.” That may be why Eddy hasn’t had a cat since and why his affection lies with the animal that shows the most loyalty: the dog. Australian Kelpies Spooky, 4, and Sheila, 7, are Eddy’s world now, but he’s always had dogs as far back as he can remember. “I had a German Shorthaired in seventh grade, that’s when I got into training and obedience. In fifth and sixth grade I was

Friday, an American Kennel Club Champion dog. “She is a real character,” Rhelda explained of her award-winning pooch. “She’s very smart, but she’s very mellow.” Those are traits you might associate with a cat as well, but unlike a cat, one can actually participate in these canine lives to benefit from such winning characteristics. And that’s exactly what most dog owners choose to do. “You can go places, take a walk, play ball,” Rhelda said. “Dogs are co-dependent and see you as family so they want to be with you all the time. They offer unconditional love. Cats are just too independent.” And so while cats can, for the most part, keep themselves clean, a dog needs a little help—and that’s another bonding area

Shirley Smith and her faithful friend, Floyd.

for dog owners. They become incredible friends, trusting each other. “You can interact so much more with a dog. Give it a bath, train it, groom it. I’m actually learning how to groom her myself now. It’s a real art.” Tell that to your cat when you’re walking toward it with an electric razor. See what happens! “Cats really are easier because you have

“Dogs see you as family so they want to be with you all the time. Cats are just too independent.”

Real puppy love... Rhelda and AKC Champ Friday.

–Rhelda Hughes less to do,” Rhelda mused. But as Friday jumped onto her lap, Rhelda smiled and laughed. The extra work is definitely worth it.

competing with horses. But I thought I could teach dogs to do the same things.” That’s when Eddy started taking classes to be able to train other dogs. And he even hosts a group of folks who want to learn the same techniques in his backyard. But the Kelpies are a fun breed. “They’re agile and fast. Plus, they’re very easily trained. Additionally, they just know when you’re in a bad mood.” That’s when they’ll either steer clear or make every attempt to cheer an owner up. Those skills have helped Eddy lead these pooches to championship brackets in several competitions and dog shows. The many ribbons decorating his home are proof of that.

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 87

Talk about photogenic! Spooky and Sheila pose with Eddy.

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“You see, a dog’s greatest trait is their loyalty, but they’re affectionate and love to play. There are so many words that you can use to describe what a dog is, but at the same time, there’s not one word you can use indefinitely. Dogs are indescribable. There’s so much to a dog. They’re always there when you need them.” Cats are independent, easy to care for, smart, and can be loving. Dogs are loyal, friendly, playful, and dependent. Where does that leave us? It seems the same reason dog peo-

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ple don’t like cats is the same reason why cat people love cats. And the reasons cat people dislike dogs are the same ones that attract dog lovers. It looks like this mystery will never be solved—and the paws will keep flying over which is the better pet. Only, the way we see it, Sir Purrington and Spike aren’t the ones doing the bickering.

Story and photos by Charlie Durgin

The Best Hunting Buddy You’ll Ever Have

Just between Wasco and the I-5, Brian Clasby trains Labrador retrievers to hunt. “What makes a good trainer of any dog is the ability to read the dog,” Clasby says. “You have to adapt your in-

tensive training methods to each dog.” And Clasby does. It’s something that comes easy after his previous career. Clasby worked as a flooring contractor in the Los Angeles area for several years, but lost patience after finding that it was hard to hire good help. “I got tired of dealing with all the heavy drinkers and partiers that just weren’t dependable,” he says.

Hunting dogs don’t have substance abuse issues; their only addiction is work and birds.




t’s not too hard to spot guide dogs in Kern County. With their brightly-colored working vests and differently-abled human partners close by, these dogs are strong symbols of man’s profound relationship with the dog. But they aren’t the only dogs on the clock in Kern County. Our canine friends are punching time cards in some very interesting professions...ones you might never have heard of, and ones you will definitely be in awe of.



...and you thought your job was tough...

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What the labor pool in the San Fernando Valley was lacking, is clearly present in the dogs in his kennels. For one thing, they don’t have substance abuse issues; their only addiction is work and birds. For another, they work so hard, and with such enthusiasm, that Clasby must stay alert to warning signs of fatigue lest they make themselves ill. With around 15 Labradors in his kennel at a time, patience and organization are a must. But each dog has its own personality and demands. They also have room to play. Clasby trains the dogs on a huge spread of land at the California Retriever Training Association’s Goose Lake Property. Clasby’s dogs will find and retrieve upland game birds like quail and pheasant. They will retrieve ducks from freezing waters, and do it

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 89


with a smile. And they will perform obedience drills as if they are being operated by remote control...for a price in the neighborhood of $3,000. The price may sound steep, but you can expect 12 years of life with the dog, which breaks down to about $25 a month or $300 a year for the best hunting buddy you’ve ever had. And for that these dogs get undivided attention from Clasby and a piping hot session of work in the field finding birds, training dummies, and retrieving them with gusto. “The dog doesn’t realize that drugs have ruined our society,” says Sgt. Marvin Johnson of the BPD’s K9 team. “The dog just associates the smell of narcotics with playtime.” The department also has a Bloodhound that gets a lot of work finding lost persons. The patrol dogs in the department are worth over $10,000 a piece. Fortunately for taxpayers, they are purchased with seized criminal funds and are wellworth the expense. Working dogs are animals and not machines, so they are limited by things like exhaustion, hunger, and boredom. The problem is, they can’t speak Eng-

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andersonacresonline.com “I get invited on all kinds of interesting hunts because people want to hunt with my dogs,” Clasby chuckles. “Probably more than they want to hunt with me.”

The Perfect Cop?

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Being a police dog is hard work. And it starts with getting out of the car. “From their standpoint and height, jumping out of the back of the police car to the ground is like a man jumping off a six foot chain link fence. And they get in and out of the car maybe 15 times a day,” K9 Officer Jason Matson said. And that’s the easy part. The Bakersfield Police Department (BPD) has several German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois deployed as patrol dogs. They do drug detection and patrol work, while Labs perform only drug detection. They’re so trained by using toys scented with narcotic signatures.

“The dog just associates the smell of narcotics with playtime.” –Sgt. Marvin Johnson

A dog can be the best friend of a child who’s been through the worst kinds of emotional and physical abuse. they teach the dog skills, in addition to teaching them about physical affection. When a child feels they have no influence over themselves, or the world they live in, the structure and discipline that comes from pet ownership can be the key to growth. Especially with autistic children. Order is vital. “Children with autism can find comtirement from public service, the officer has the option of buying the dog from the city for one dollar, and then he assumes all liability for the highly specialized dog. He also assumes ownership of one of the world’s finest watchdogs and bodyguards. The officers know who gets the best end of the deal, though. “It’s the best assignment in the department,” K9 officer Jeremy Blakemore said.

A Different Kind of Guide Dog

lish. So it’s up to the officer to live up to his part of the bargain. He must be the watchdog of the watchdog. It’s no surprise that animal and handler become attached. At the dog’s re-

Local therapist Cathy Elder has found that dogs can lead a group of special needs children through the heart. Since 1990, she’s been proving that the dog isn’t just man’s best friend. It can be the best friend of a child who’s been through the worst kinds of emotional and physical abuse. Or a child with autism who doesn’t have the type of social skills that are met with great response on the playground. “These are children who didn’t reach out and make friends easily, but they have a common bond over the dogs,” she said. “Using therapy dogs takes away the scariness factor these kids feel,” she said. “It doesn’t seem like a doctor’s appointment,” she added, because during the course of treatment, she’ll have the child communicate and interact with the dog, instead of directly to her. This can be crucial for children too scared to discuss a traumatic incident. And for some autistic children, this type of therapy instills confidence in them as

fort in the office since it never changes—the decorations, who is there, the dogs, all of it is consistent,” Elder said. “My son wasn’t crazy about receiving hugs,” one happy mother said, “but since he got the Chihuahua, he’s been a lot better about it.” These types of stories are similar for other families in Bakersfield and Elder is quick to commend her longtime coworker, Roanna Banducci with making that possible. Banducci helps select and train the dogs that work with children. Her work includes a vetting process to make sure the dogs are absent of aggression and cut out for the special demands of therapy work. She gets them ready to interact

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 91

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with small children, and teaches them basic commands in German, giving clients the added bonus of learning a new language. Some students teach their pets more advanced tricks, like one whose Chihuahua jumps through hoops to make her happy. Literally. Underneath it all, the dogs serve as a vehicle for the daily help Elder seeks to give children and the advice she wants to pass along to their parents.

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“We want parents to understand that these kids all know when they do something wrong, but they need to know when they do something right,” Elder said.

“They’re so cute!”

By Naomi Moss


Gemma Kline and her mom, Shiloh, love the “cuteness factor” that miniatures have.




Personalities in miniature animals range from peopleloving to spastic, like that of full-sized animals. (humans included!)


ust mention miniature animals to people and that is the answer you get. From hamsters to horses, mini animals are pets people of all ages enjoy. Other than being cute, the smaller size can be easier for children to hold and less intimidating for first-time owners. If space is a problem for a full, commercial-sized rabbit cage (who knew there was such a thing as a commercial-sized rabbit cage?), a smaller species, such as a Netherland Dwarf, may be just the thing. Personalities in miniature animals range from people-loving to spastic, but the range is not much different than in full-sized animals (or people for that matter). Other than aesthetically pleasing to owners, there are many qualities mini animals possess besides their cuteness. When Shiloh Kline was looking for chickens to purchase with her daughter, Gemma, they both fell in love with the Bantam variety. What started out as a desire to have chickens for their eggs and compost, and possibly showing them in the fair, turned into enjoyment the duo didn’t realize they could have with chickens. “Because they are smaller, they don’t eat

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a lot, you can have a smaller cage, and they are easy to take care of,” Shiloh claims, the reason for her love of Bantam chickens. Gemma insists it’s the cute factor though. “They are fun to have. I like when their little heads bob and when they walk,” Shiloh adds. “Their eggs are even super little.” Gemma’s love affair with cuteness isn’t with just chickens. She also has a dwarf hamster. “He was given

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 93

(companionship in a horse?)

trusting with their young, nor are they as creative. Lois and Lora agree. “We have one horse that will use a stick to get hay on the other side of the fence. They are so smart. When we hitch one up to work, the others start asking to go, too.” A common theme with miniatures is their care. A bale of hay goes a lot further with a miniature horse than with a full-sized one. And on their property, each mini is allotted ample room to run and toys to boot. With a 20 by 40 foot pen, their horses are happy campers. Tanglewood has seen an increase in demand for miniature horses. With less food, smaller room requirements, and reasonable equipment, it is easy to see why people choose minis over full size. Lois offers other reasons to love a mini: “They are more personable than larger horses. Most people buy minis for companionship.” Companionship in a horse? They greet their owners, play with people and other horses, and love attention. Their curiosity and temperament make for great companions. Since they love to work, pulling a cart is the biggest joy you can give a mini, along with Red Vines as a treat. If horses still seem a little intimidating, even after seeing those cuties up close, and a hamster or chicken is not up your alley, take a look at pygmy goats. If your first thought is ‘He’ll eat my clothes!’ think again. Pygmies are very different than their larger counterparts. Actually, they have more of a dog personality. And city zoning classifies them along with dogs as domesticated pets. Move over Fido; here comes Gerty the pygmy goat!

animal taller than them can be intimidating. This is where miniature horses come in. Tanglewood Farms owner Lois Anderson, along with her sister, Lora, and brother-in-law, Chris Bozarth, know minis more than anyone. In fact, their farm is nationally-known as having great miniature horses and people from all over the U.S. use Tanglewood’s breeding services. “We’ve been doing this for 38 years,” says Lois. “These horses love people and love to work.” It is the minis’ love of people that attracts many first-time horse owners to purchase them. Young three-week-old foals will leave their mother to come and sniff your hand or play with you while mom casually eats her hay. Most other horses are not as

Sierra Finney gets a tiny kiss on the nose from a tiny friend.

A horse is a horse...of course. Sisters Lois Anderson and Lora Bozarth, have been breeding mini horses for almost 40 years.


to me because he had a tumor and they couldn’t sell him,” Gemma explained, while showing off Peanut during an interview. Able to fit in her pocket, he was content to stay in her hands while she answered questions. “He’s really sweet too,” Shiloh added, noting dwarf hamsters tend to have a bit more attitude than other hamsters, but she’s quick to say that Peanut is nice. When three of Jodette Finney’s four children decided to get pet rats, her daughter Sierra picked a mini mouse instead. Being a previous owner of a hamster, she wanted something small and cute again, but with a different personality. Rats were just too icky for her (Jodette later said it’s because Sierra hates their tails). But a mouse is perfect and just slightly larger than a dwarf hamster. Their reputation is a little better too, if you are looking for a cud-

Mini horses: smaller than the exercise equipment they use.

94 Bakersfield Magazine

dly, smaller-than-a-baseball-sized critter. Let’s talk size (as if we haven’t been already, right?). Along with the physical size of miniature animals, it stands to reason their cages and pens do not need to be full size either. Gemma and Sierra can easily keep their small pets in their room on a dresser or shelf. They are perfect for compact living quarters. But miniature does not always mean shelf-sized. Some people have an interest in horses, but the thought of caring for an

“They are more personable than larger horses. Most people buy minis for companionship.” –Lois Anderson

Sometimes bigger isn’t better...

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Pygmy goats keep Emily Salinas more than a little busy.

Lilly and Emily Salinas have been raising their pygmy goats for over three years. They show them in the fair and since pygmy goats do not go to market after the fair, they get the opportunity to show them year after year. They are all unique and are treated more like one of the family than a fair project. Lilly shares, “They are like dogs.” “But cuter,” Emily interjects. Lilly continued on with a smile. “They will run and play with you and are very interactive. They are low-maintenance, too. You have to trim hooves every other month and keep up with vaccines, the same as with a dog (and his nails).” “We weren’t sure about a goat in the back yard,” mom Annett said, but agrees with her girls. “They love to jump and play. They never get out of their pen and they aren’t destructive like other goats.” But she does caution, “they are herd animals. We got friends for each of the girls’ goats. They do fine with each other and love other animals, too.” Each daughter has two pygmy goats to show and they enjoy the different personalities. Since their goats are at a friend’s house they get to play with the resident horse. “Puzzle [the horse] loves the goats and will call them over,” explained Annett. The pygmy goats respond and enjoy the time near their equine friend. Other reasons for a miniature friend, be it pygmy, dwarf, or just tiny, are health issues. They do not have the same troubles as their larger brethren. Bantams live six to eight years longer than other chickens; miniature horses live into their 30s where the average horse lives 25 or 30. Lois adds, “They [the minis] just don’t have the health issues the larger horses do.” Pygmy goats can live 16 years and small dogs live considerably longer than large breeds. Just another benefit to having a miniature. Yes, there is something about a cute animal snuggling up for attention, but if it’s a mini animal...you’re that much more captivated. From dwarf hamsters bedding down against your shirt and miniature horses greeting you with their small one-foot tall foals, to pygmy goats running about the yard, there are options for every animal lover to embrace their love of itty-bitty creatures. Miniature animals may be smaller than their large and well-known relatives, but their hearts are just as big.

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2029 21st St, Bakersfield Jeanne Schamblin (661) 631-2036 With over 25 years of experience in the Financial Services industry, Andy has held management positions with several investment firms. He is the owner and president of California Retirement Plans (CRP), and holds professional designations of “Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist,” and “Certified College Planning Specialist.” He also provides financial education, conducting “Financial & Retirement Planning” workshops to companies such as: Boeing, Pacific Bell, NASA, Department of Navy, Lockheed and Shell Oil. California Retirement Plans specializes in helping Small Business and their employees as well as individuals and their families, manage their retirement assets and retirement income by utilizing investment areas, which are safe, guaranteed, and offer tax advantages.

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Andy is a father of three and an active member of the community. He is involved in several charitable causes, namely St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

4540 California Ave., Ste. 540 • 661-631-4355 CA Insurance License #0803635 www.CalRetirement.com www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 95

DJ, KUZZ Radio Though we have dogs, they’re technically my wife’s. We did have a turkey as a pet once—we got it for the kids...and for Thanksgiving. We named it Noodle Nose and it would rub its head against you and wander around our farm. He was part of the family. When Thanksgiving came around, we were just hoping the kids didn’t realize what they were eating...but I think they did; they’re in therapy now. It was a true family Thanksgiving that year.

Michael Rubio

Fifth District Supervisor, Kern County My chocolate lab, Levi, has been a great friend and companion for many years. In spite of being hit by a truck a few years ago, Levi has persevered and rejoined me during my long triathlon training days. When I go on my 2-plus mile swims, 100-plus mile cycle rides, and 20-plus mile runs to prepare for triathlons and marathons, Levi is right there alongside me. Truth be told, he out swims and outruns me every now and then, but he has never been able to beat me on the bike. Lucky for me, he has trouble reaching the pedals. Though he is definitely more of a listener than a talker, I can always count on him to give me 110 percent of his attention and love at all times.

“He out swims and outruns me every now and then, but he’s never been able to beat me on the bike.” Dreams of turkey dinners dance in Steve’s head.

–Michael Rubio

Kevin Bartl



96 Bakersfield Magazine


DJ Dog? KRAB should look into that.


A relaxing tank for Bartl—Bucky wouldn’t agree.

VP, Communications And Voice of the Bakersfield Condors Back in March, I got a fish tank for my office...I thought it would be a good way to relax. I had always wanted cichlids but they’re an aggressive fish, and they say not to put them in a communal tank with other species. So I got four African cichlids and named one of them Bucky after a co-worker who was leaving. One day, Bucky was missing a fin, the next day he was missing the other fin, and another day he was floating on the surface. These fish are vicious. I even got a red-clawed crab to put in the tank, but he would pinch the fish. One day, I came back from out of town and I couldn’t find the crab. A few days later, I saw his upside down shell on the bottom of the tank...empty. I guess he got his.

e Annual P


Steve Gradowitz

Supervisor Rubio and Levi go for a dip.

Francis Mayer

DJ, KRAB Radio I was on my way to pick up a male chocolate lab pup when I got the call about this one...and at the end of the day, I had a female yellow lab pup with a black birthmark on her ear. And it’s been a great fit. Belle followed me around from the minute we brought her home, and sometimes she follows me to work. Not that it’s a problem. The whole KRAB team is into animals. Meathead’s house is more den than house; he’s got three dogs right now. Miranda has a German Shepherd she walks every day. The Real Bruce Wayne has two Miniature Pinschers, and Danny Spanks has, like, seven cats and a couple dogs. I think he also has some kind of reptile living on top of his TV. I’m not sure if Robin has a pet, but I’ll take a guess and say she does...and that it’s an iguana named Bruce Campbell. My love of my pet even extends to my paycheck. I’ve told my boss that in lieu of a raise, he could just let me bring my dog to work every day, no questions asked. I’m still waiting to hear back on that one! Continued on page 131

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 97

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www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 99

100 Bakersfield Magazine




from the likes of The Beagles, Marty Haggard, and Brandon Cash. But the highlight was definitely the tasting and judging of dozens of grill teams presenting their best barbecue, professional, civic, and amateur alike. The best part of all this? The entire proceeds went right back to our local kids! Those funds will help Memorial continue to expand their children’s services, all a part of being a Children’s Miracle Network partner. By 2010, Memorial will have a fully-


functioning pediatric intensive care unit, the only one between Los Angeles and Fresno. So with more community support, we can continue helping local youngsters served by the Children’s Miracle Network grow up strong. If you’d like more information about our Children’s Miracle Network, please call (661) 327-4647, ext. 4640. v






the money raised stays local,” said Janelle Capra, director of fund-raising for the Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation and our Children’s Miracle Network. That means for every dollar we spend on those little yellow and orange balloons in the grocery store, that’s a dollar that stays here to help sick children in our community. Places like Rite-Aid, Costco, and Wal-Mart are nationally tied to the Children’s Miracle Network, so our local stores participate in fund-raisers at different times throughout the year. And they do their part, too. Capra explained that one store alone has raised close to $20,000 so far this year. “We are helping children get




—Janelle Capra




“ What’s so wonderful about Children’s Miracle Network being in Bakersfield is that all of the money raised stays local.”

better,” Capra said. “And we can see the impact that fundraising has had.” With those funds, Memorial is able to purchase equipment to better treat the children who come through the doors. Specialized equipment like the Giraffe® OmniBed®, which is a highly-advanced alternative to a regular incubator in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This advanced bed allows doctors and nurses at Memorial to treat critically ill infants without disturbing the infant since many procedures, including X-rays, can be done from the bed. But they come at a cost—nearly $60,000. And with support from our community, Memorial now has six of these beds in their NICU. But funds don’t just help the tiny babies by providing medical equipment—they also go toward helping children of all ages from all backgrounds with any disease or injury imaginable. Because the funds provide the hospital with money for research and education— things that will help children in our community grow healthy and strong. And the fund-raising opportunities keep coming. In early June, Memorial hosted the Bakersfield Biggest Baddest Barbecue Championship, a two-day event that was the first of its kind here in Bakersfield. Held at Stramler Park, and sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, the event hosted live entertainment



Since 1991, children in Bakersfield have been benefiting from the presence of the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN). That’s the year that Memorial hospital got involved with CMN. The national nonprofit organization raises money to help the children their partner hospitals serve and this relationship has brought some wonderful, and much needed, resources to Bakersfield. “What’s so wonderful about Children’s Miracle Network being in Bakersfield is that all of






www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 101








The Epilepsy Society of Kern County 17th ANNUAL




Saturday, June 20th Begins at 8:30am • STRAMLER PARK

Your City. Your Life. Your Magazine.

Bakersfield v

Epilepsy Society of Kern County 5117 Office Park Drive Bakersfield, CA 93309 661-634-9810 Fax 661-634-9814 eskc20@aol.com

102 Bakersfield Magazine

Get ready, get set, and mark your calendars for The Epilepsy Society of Kern County’s 17th Annual Mud Volleyball Tournament. Enjoy the great outdoors and bright sunshine at Stramler Park (just north of the Kern County Museum). Your participation in this event will help support the programs and services offered by the epilepsy society to the clients we serve here in Kern County each year.


home & Garden

story & photos by miles johnson

Spruce up & enjoy your

Outdoor Spaces

Put the “living” back into your backyard areas

AFTER Moving at the Speed of Spring Usually, it’s quite enough having to create and maintain the interior of ones’ home. So it comes as no surprise that the outdoor spaces are sometimes the last to feel the effects of a caring eye. Now that spring has, well, sprung and summer is quite literally hot on its heels, it’s time to put the outdoor spaces back into order. A short weekend is all it takes to put the living back into your backyard patio. Start by collecting all the furniture, cushions, pots, and decorative items to give them a good cleaning. The owner of the home I visited had allowed an entire winter season of dust to collect on the outdoor furniture After a generous bathing of mild, soapy water, the fauxwicker furniture frames were good as new. I also used a Bissell cleaner to deep-clean each cushion and pillow. Of course, the only way to prevent such dramatic cleaning measures is to invest in patio furniture covers. These can be purchased at any department store and will easily off-set the cost and time in cleaning your furniture season after season. Arranging your patio furniture is really no different than any other room in your house. Simply observe flow of traffic, balance, and aesthetic when making placement decisions. In this case, an obvious living area set-up was the best use of the space. The settee placed at a shallow angle to the wall softens a hard edge of the house. In triangular fashion, the chairs are placed facing the couch and a wonderfully repurposed tile-mosaic


tabletop, which had an original base far too tall for comfortable conversation. Instead, I placed the tabletop on an unused terra-cotta pot.


www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 103

home & Garden r esou r ces

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Tip: To give faux-wicker furniture that “just-purchased” shine, lightly spray with Armor-All and wipe to a lustrous finish.

The second, and most major step, was to begin choosing plants and filling in the patio with life and color. I chose plants based on two criteria: ease of care and gratification. When it comes to potted plants, the

Is Filthy Grout Making You Crazy? Restorative cleaning is a very economical way to rejuvenate ugly old tile and remove years of dirt, grime & build-up. Dramatic results can usually be achieved in one day for less than 10% of replacement.

most important thing I’ve learned is to water them. A lot! Because of evaporation and limited root systems, potted plants simply need more aquatic attention than their earth-bound counterparts. Being able to move the plants for different effects is key when altering the outdoor space from lounging to grand entertainment. Gratification comes in two stages: instant and patiently waiting. Gerbera Daisies provide instant color to any outdoor space and are a cinch to maintain, while bulbs of varying types will produce blooms for future enjoyment. Looking into the future, we potted up a small salsa garden. The garden should include the following: jalapeños, a preferred variety of



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onion, cilantro, and tomatoes. We also planted Big Jim peppers, strawberries, snow peas, and other low-maintenance, high-yield vegetables.


Salsa al Fresco 1 can diced Tomatoes 2-3 fresh Plum Tomatoes 1/4 cup finely iced Onion (yellow, white, or red) 1 bunch diced Green Onion (I planted and used mild yet perky White Lisbon onions) 1-2 seeded, diced Jalapeños A generous bunch of freshly picked Cilantro 2-3 cloves minced Garlic 1 Tbsp. fresh Lemon or Lime Juice Salt and Pepper to taste

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Drain the canned diced tomatoes. Combine ingredients in a large, glass mixing bowl and fold until well-blended. Cover and chill for at least one hour so flavors will meld. Adjust seasoning or spice to individual tastes. Serve with your favorite whole-grain chips.

By giving yourself ample time to work and learn, you can create amazing outdoor spaces that can offer comfort and sustenance.


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Please, no pinching! I’m enjoying my amazing

Dream Garden

M By Lynn Pitts

rs. P must warn you. What you are about to read is sentimental drivel, and if that sort of thing puts you off, then proceed no further. I suspect that many of you, like me, have two gardens: an actual garden in Bakersfield and the garden of your heart. The garden of our heart is an ideal we save for our dreams and is something we imagine as we slowly fall asleep after a busy day. It may have been inspired by a halfremembered garden from childhood, a garden we’ve visited, or even one pictured in a book or magazine. June always reminds me of my dream garden because it is the month when I realized I had such a dream. It happened when I fell in love with two gardens in separate countries in June. The first was Filoli, about 25 miles south of San Francisco in Woodside, and the second was The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Both were started by wealthy women in the last century with an eye for vivid colors against backdrops of magnificent trees. Both required small armies of gardeners to maintain. Both were gardens that featured hanging baskets overflowing with masses of summer flowers. Ah yes, hanging baskets; those floral fiestas entertaining us with bushy, trailing plants; usually gorgeous fuchsias or tuberous begonias. OK, wake up time. A Bakersfield summer is not—repeat not— the optimum climate for these plants. After years of trying to copy those luscious baskets of my dreams, I gave up. They prefer the cooler coastal weather

and not our aridity. I’ve worked on re-creating “the look” with trailing ivy geranium, petunias, portulaca, alyssum, and impatiens instead. In my garden of the heart, someone else is keeping my hanging baskets consistently watered and fertilized. In my real garden, I add polymers to the potting soil. These tiny gels absorb hundreds of times their weight in water and hold the moisture much better than ordinary soil, thus letting me stretch my time between watering in hot temps. The big trick is to separately mix the dry gel with water first to let them expand and then thoroughly mix into the potting soil you’ll use before planting. This is clearly mentioned >> www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 107


In my garden of the heart, someone else is busily keeping my dreams consistently watered and fertilized.

Gardening with Mrs. P

108 Bakersfield Magazine

beds. Dreaming about these villages helps me get through the coming steamy months. It inspires me to create the look of a June garden all year. Climbing roses, camellias, and azaleas are good basic shrubs to plant along with vines such as star jasmine, wisteria, honeysuckle, and evergreen clematis. These plants have good fragrance, too. Oh, before I forget, don’t plant Butterfly Bush! Yes, I know, Buddleia aka Butterfly Bush is always touted as having lovely flowers and scent. It’s supposed to attract butterflies, hence its name. It’s supposed to be a “dream plant.” Well, suspend belief because it holds a dirty little secret. Every year each of its flower clusters releases tens of thousands of seeds, which are carried far from home by nature and humans to create fast-growing seedlings. These invasive bullies out-compete native plants that feed the caterpillars that would become butterflies. Did you know that Butterfly Bush does nothing to nurture the caterpillars that would become butterflies? In fact, they’re nothing but a noxious weed! But don’t take my word for it, even professors of horticulture and nursery crop agents on the west coast are trying to forbid commercial production of Butterfly Bush and some states’ Departments of Agriculture and State Weed Boards have decreed these plants persona non grata. What should a home gardener do to prevent their Butterfly Bush plants from reseeding? In summer, prune the plant down to 18 inches from the ground. Not only will this remove all the potential seed, but will promote a more compact, dense, and flowery plant. In other words, keep those seed heads off. There are huge areas in New Zealand, a country with a climate similar to ours, where Butterfly Bush has created dense monocultural stands, meaning areas where nothing else but Butterfly Bush grows. We don’t want that to happen here which is why laws are being passed to outlaw the sale of this plant. Otherwise, we might wake up from dreaming to find Miss Marple poking around in our real life gardens! v PHOTO BY LYNN KIMMERLE

on the manufacturer’s labels, but I skipped Murders, despite the always improbable this fundamental step initially, forgetting to and often incomprehensible plots. The main go inside for my reading glasses. Another redeeming features of these series are those faux pas of mine was to ignore the rate perfect English villages with gardens galore recommended on the un-read label. I mixed in full summer bloom. I’ve actually walked in too many of the polymers. This resulted in my plants getting root rot and dying. I’ve also learned that using a wand attachment on my hose is easier on my back than lifting a heavy watering can for each hanging basket. Foliar fertilizing is something else they do at Filoli and Butchart Gardens. Keep a plastic spray bottle handy filled with a half strength dosage of water soluble fertilizer. Half strength is incredibly important which I’ve also learned the hard way. A couple of squirts around the basket every few days will promote growth without burning. Think outside the box when choosing hanging basket plants other than the above mentioned standbys. Last year I tried “Giant Snowflake” Bacoba, otherwise Buddleia known as Sutera cordata. The a.k.a. Butterfly Bush words “giant” and “snowflake” Beware! This hardy plant will compete with every plant sold me. A native of South in your yard and win! Rethink planting this prolific bully. Africa, my Bacoba did very well and resembled a big white puff. Another year I planted trailing pink through a few of these dream villages in the nasturtiums (from seed) along with Algerian Lake Country and around the Cotswolds ivy, another pretty combo. When I visited in England. They are purely delightful. my dream gardens, Filoli and Butchart, I saw My English village dream garden is even other hanging baskets devoted to greenery better because I have a full-time gardener with colorful leaves. They contained coleus; t r y f o l i a r feed i n g tropical plants which require indirect light and light shade—not an easy requirement Spray half strength, water-soluble in Bakersfield—but do-able in north-facing fertilizer in your hanging exposure. There are some types of coleus that can take sun, so do bring your glasses baskets every few days. to read the plant label. Coleus are a little weird. They like their stems being pinched. with a name like “Mr. Sykes,” who wears They like it a whole lot. This will encourage a battered trilby hat, worn tweed jacket, branching growth so it’s acceptable behavior, and Wellington boots. We trade village botanically speaking. gossip at the end of the day over a glass Besides gardens of the heart, there are of sherry and compare notes on the flower entire villages of the heart; places filled with those clichéd rose-covered cottages. One Lynn Pitts, better known as Mrs. P., is a native imagines they are places where Miss Marple Californian, master gardener in four counties inmight have traded geranium cuttings with cluding Kern, a garden writer, and professional botanical artist. She has been featured on “The her neighbors when she wasn’t tackling Art of Gardening,” on PBS, and has conducted grisly murders. I am addicted to any British flower workshops throughout California for botelevision murder series, like Midsomer tanical gardens and arboretums.


By Donna McCrohan Rosenthal

ll the pleasures of home, even from the middle of a swamp... Recently, Bakersfield Magazine staffer Laura Turner and husband Mike went camping on the coast of Northern California. Mike recalls: “When my family went camping years ago, entertainment was provided by a good book or a board game that the whole family could play. Now, technology is everywhere. There were 12 people in our group, all of us had cell phones, most had MP3 players, all three cameras were digital, and four of us had laptop computers. That doesn’t include all of the electronic games that the kids had and the portable DVD player and a bunch of DVDs to watch.”


What’s cooler than an internet-ready watch?

Think about it. Fewer than 50 years ago, “hitech” on a camping trip meant a Coleman stove and a Swiss Army Knife, and on the road, the novel inducement of “in-room TV” stirred joy in the hearts of vacationing families. Then came color in-room TV, then digital cameras, MP3 players, laptop computers, mini-notebook computers, cell phones, Blackberry and Bluetooth technologies, mobile solar power, a dazzling array of portable media storage solutions, the iPhone (with apps from banking to Facebook to eBay, flight status, and Bloomberg financial news) and tweeting on Twitter. The list grows, and at Bakersfield Magazine, we borrowed a page from Mike’s description and went wild. We investigated the latest devices, many due to hit the market right about now—everything from the Eviant portable television “that could render cable obsolete” to games that essentially shrink an arcade or theme park into gadgets that fit in the palm of your hand. Take a deep breath, because we’ve assembled an amazing round-up of gizmos from communication to movies to garments worthy of James Bond. Once upon a time, in the pre-credit-card, pre-ATM era, only travelers checks made it possible to journey without carrying huge sums of cash. More recent breakthroughs include electronic banking and pre-loaded cards, such as prepaid foreign currency Travelex Cash Passports that stay ahead of conversion rates because the conversion occurs at the point of purchase. The ordeal of booking

PHOTO ©istockphoto.com/sdominick



flights and hotels has also evolved, allowing people to handle details from their computers and cell phones. At www.1800CabRide.com, they can order cabs and prepay a flat rate plus tip in advance for 25 major cities. But that’s only, as the saying goes, the beginning. Prior to flying, you can print your boarding pass from your home, office, or hotel computer—and Continental is testing an entirely Paperless Boarding Pass, an electronic ticket that passengers can display to airport personnel on a cell phone or PDA. With Magellan’s small, packable digital luggage scale, you can weigh your bags before you leave. Meanwhile, Registered Traveler (RT) programs promise to move passengers through airport security more quickly; they charge membership plus a fee to cover the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)’s background check, and some throw in identity theft protection. If you need a passport, National Association of Passport and Visa Services will answer questions at www.napvs.org. Hotels regularly upgrade and renovate rooms and business centers, and WiFi’s reach continues to expand. If you want >>

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 109

A New Experience in Flying



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110 Bakersfield Magazine


Great Getaways to carry your office with you, eWallet from Ilium Software lets you password-protect confidential information and secure it in a single file accessible on your mobile device. Cell phones span the globe, but roaming charges can add up. One solution when abroad is using equipment from local phone rental companies, particularly when their deals offer an hour or two of international minutes. If you’d like to prepare for the weather, Microlink FR150 self-powered AM/FM/ NOAA weather radio comes with torch, solar power, hand crank power, and cell phone charger. If you’re worried about worse, federal regulators are developing a nationwide mobile alert system for sending text messages about natural disasters, terrorist threats, and other emergencies to cell phones. For a power source in the wilderness, Ritek’s DIY (Do It Yourself) small solar power system installs in campers and remote offgrid locations. It has a power converter (charger, inverter interfaces, and so on), rechargeable battery, and a photovoltaic module for DC/AC or DC/DC output. And if you’re an elephant in Kenya, don’t expect to wander too far from the conservancy compound—because “elephant texting” from the SIM card worn in your collar will notify rangers that you’ve headed for a populated area. GPS simplifies navigation, whether installed in a car from the outset or rented en route, and some destinations have sweetened the prospect. Oroville, CA, for example, has a toll-free number that taps into a self-guided cell phone tour, and Mono County has just released “395 Roadside Heritage,” an audio tour of the Eastern Sierra—a CD-ROM available for free at visitor information centers in Mono and Inyo Counties. In the Canadian Rockies, the palm-sized GyPSy Guide available for rental from gpstourscanada.com triggers location-specific commentary. If you drive, a vehicle with OnStar can call for help in the event of an accident. If someone steals anything containing your cell phone, tracking devices might lead you straight to the culprit. In the realm of athletics, swimmers can explore their documentary skills with underwater viewing systems and waterproof camcorders, and listen to music with underwater MP3 players. Hikers and runners can plug into moving music by wearing the Go-Sleeve MP3 Armband and Scocket™ MP3 Enabled Scarf from LimbGear with an earbud management system and pockets for carrying the player. Also from LimbGear, the Noggin Net™ breathable fleece skullcap holds an MP3 player and earbuds. For the pedaling crowd,

TECH SNEAK PREVIEW: Vivid underwater photography will be a lot easier with Liquid Image’s new digital camera mask.

electric bikes and scooters from ELV Motors can go up to 40 mph on a 10-cent charge. We have online games, video games, and eBooks, and you don’t have to bother to pack your favorite DVDs because you can pick them up from redbox vending machine. Imagination Games Planet Earth has produced SeaLife and WildLife DVD Board Games based on the popular Discovery Channel series. BC Ferries terminals in Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver, Canada, have an Interactive Coastal Awareness Game for families to play in the lounges. The Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii controllers can both run on batteries. The iRecord transfers Even famous Swiss Army knives are not immune to technology.

A laser light and USB flash drive are featured on some models.

TV programs to portable devices. Small micro or “pico” projectors, almost candy bar-sized, can project movies, DVDs, and other visuals onto a wall from an iPod, cell phone, or similar apparatus. Eviant’s portable digital TV sets receive over-the-air digital broadcasts without any additional hardware or subscription service. MiRoamer, in partnership with Blaupunkt, has announced the world’s first Internet car radio. It puts vehicles fitted with Blaupunkt stereos into miRoamer’s tens of thousands of radio stations worldwide. AT&T CruiseCast can deliver 22 satellite TV and 20 satellite radio channels (more than in many hotels) into your car thanks to a small podlike antenna attached to the vehicle’s roof and a receiver that mounts inside. Avis and Budget will have the system in their rental fleet as early as second quarter 2009, or you

can buy it through dealerships and sign up for service by monthly subscription. Perhaps most remarkable, you can don Siano Mobile TV Goggles to receive television broadcasts in front of your eyes without cellular networks or cables; and the Neutrano WristFone™ all-in-one mobile phone watch combines phone, music player, and camera in a high-tech-bordering-on-spytech multi-function digital wrist watch. In the 1950s, we had basically two approaches to shooting pictures—snapshots or movies on film—and if you lost your film or the airport X-ray machine ruined it, you returned home empty-handed. In 2009, we have choices ranging from cell phone, digital camera and camcorder, to any number of other possibilities, and storage runs the gamut from sharing options and remote storage to portable backup such as Iomega®’s compact portable hard drives that don’t require external power supplies. The future no doubt has more in store. Sneak preview: Liquid Image has an underwater digital camera mask. Strap it on your face when snorkeling (or climbing into a shark tank...), descend as deep as 35m, and document what you see! And so? Mike summed up his experiences with objective aplomb, observing that, “The campsites are offering new services as well. Our first campsite at Cassini Ranch had cable TV and WiFi Internet that came from a satellite dish. The second campsite at Richardson’s Grove didn’t have TV or Internet. Clearly, the State Park Systems is behind the times. I don’t know if the technology enhanced our camping trip or not. We still roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over the campfire, sang songs, and played cards like we always have but we also watched Star Wars and did office work. At least the cell phones didn’t work anywhere.” Bottom line: It’s up to you. Pick what suits your personal style. Ignore the rest. And if you decide to buy a Swiss Army Knife, realize that some models boast, along with the familiar corkscrew and other attachments...a flash drive. v

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 111


summer cravings Summers always make us crave avocados. OK, that’s a lie. We crave avocados all the time. If it’s got avocado in it, chances are, it’s good. And then mention artichoke hearts and you’ve got our attention. That’s why we’re as pleased as punch that Michael Rodier (who just so happens to be the general manager at Wood’ys Grill & Bar) and his crew created an avocado appetizer just for the readers of Bakersfield Magazine. It’s flavorful, it’s made with locally-grown produce, and it’s easy (and quick) to prepare.

Quick & Easy Wood’ys Fried Avocad cu p Bu tte rm ilk 1 rip e Av oc ad o • 1 (fr es h) 4 Ar tic ho ke He ar ts ur ch oic e) (yo x Mi 2 cu ps Br ea din g

Wood’ys General Manager, Michael Rodier, holds a plate of these taste explosions.

o R ings

e) ee se (sh red de d fin 1/ 2 oz . Pa rm es an Ch c rli Ga 1/ 2 tsp. Gr an ula ted pp er h) • 1 tsp. Bla ck Pe 1 tb sp. Pa rsl ey (fr es

avo cad o in hal f— er’s ins tru cti on s. Cut the fry r you to ing ord acc dee p fryer e ma kin g app rox im ate ly Sta rt by heatin g oil in a Contin ue to cut wid th- wis n. ski and pit ove rem use. wid th- wis e— and are cle ane d and rea dy to e you r art ich oke hea rts sur ke ma oke xt, Ne gs. rin five lated gar lic. Dip the art ich bla ck pep per and gra nu h wit x mi ng adi bre the xtu bre adi ng mi re. In a sep arate bowl, mi x diately coat the m in the me im n the and ilk rm tte the in the bu or. As the y com e ou t of hea rts and avo cad o rin gs til the y tur n a go lde n col un or tes nu mi 1/2 1 ly che ese De ep fry for app rox im ate coo l. Mi x the Par me san ere d in a pap er towel to cov te pla a on m the ce fryer, pla pro du ct. spr ink le ove r the fin ish ed and par sle y tog eth er and

lsa* Dip Buttermilk Ranch and Sa ier tha n that. Mi x we ll. No thi ng’s eas

bowl. on e par t sal sa in a chi lled r pre ference! Take three par ts ran ch to at any heat level. It’s you sa sal of d kin any use *N ote : You can

You won’t find a better dish to make for an impromptu summer gathering, or even just an evening on the patio with a good book and a glass of iced tea. n 112 Bakersfield Magazine

Cuisine: heaven at your fingertips


Switch on the burner, grease up the skillet, or spark up the coals, it’s time to get eating. It’s not hard to eat a meal fit for a king—we’ve done the research for you. Whether you’re searching for juicy new recipes to thrill dinner guests with or looking for a new, exciting place to dine out with family, our Food Section has all the spice and flavor you’ll need.



We’ve got reviews, recipes, entertaining tips, and more! This is the place to explore local eateries that have good food and good service, find out which ones cater to your budget and your taste buds, and get culinary inspiration to bring back to your own kitchen. Sumptuous, mouth-watering meals await you whatever your mood— grab your apron and peruse these pages for your favorite recipe. Bon Appétit.

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 113


Just when you thought it was safe...


When we told people we wanted to put on another Foodie Tour, they scoffed! You’ll never top the first one, they said. Well, the joke’s on them because we did. We chose five fabulous restaurants, booked one seriously swanked-out limo, and invited The Fellowship of the Food Prelude: In the beginning there were five strangers. Yvonne Cavanaugh, one-half of the Surface Gallery partnership and vivacious mistress of ceramics. Trish Reed, A-List contest winner, mother and professional at the Kern Economic Development Corporation. Maggie Cushine came to us by way of the Boys and Girls Club of Kern County as their Resource Development Director. Siemny Chhuon, KBAK & KBFX morning anchor and self-proclaimed food adventurer. Dustin Legan, overly health-conscious half of the sibling duo of 101.5 KGFM’s morning show. And me, (Miles Johnson) intrepid host and wordsmith. The “Gandalf” to our Fellowship if you will. Both guide and follower, speaker and listener, supporter and critic. But a Foodie Tour of Bakersfield wouldn’t be complete without the posse: a well-oiled machine including Anika (our taskmaster and manager deluxe) and Isabel, photog and perpetual smiling face. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Bakersfield Magazine event if the night wasn’t documented, so with a film crew from KBAK/KBFX hot on our heels, and capturing exclusive footage, we began our evening. This year’s Foodie Tour was all about striking a balance; blending the new with the old. That is why I chose to begin our culinary soirée at the hot, new downtown art-spot, Surface Gallery. Co-owners Yvonne Cavanaugh and Vikki Cruz have made it their personal mission to expand on the premise that downtown Bakersfield will be the next, big art-spot in the San Joaquin Valley. And meeting at “Surface G” (my pet name, not theirs) was definitely a winner for all concerned. A recently-opened show of juried works using recycled materials was a hit, partnered with a delectable selection of wine, fresh fruit, and cheese. What better way could there be to starting an evening out on the town but by enjoying some fine wine and exceptional art? As the Fellowship convened, introductions were made, acquaintances were renewed, and a tickling sense of anticipation began to settle lightly in the art-filled loft. Before long it was time to begin our tour of the Down114 Bakersfield Magazine

town food scene. One by one we made our way to our waiting limo (yes, we roll in style) and met our tour guide: driver and captain of the transportation, Gary Johannesen of Limousine Scene. We all made ourselves comfortable, relishing in the ambiance of dim lights, and were whisked away to our first stop of the evening. Act I: Welcome to Sandrini’s Before Sandrini’s claimed the space, it was called Lucky’s; a basement with the atmosphere of a smoky nightclub. But with the Sandrini family, a new and exciting food spot was born. With a lively bar, music-filled stage, and a kitchen of impeccable skill, this was the obvious place to begin sampling our fill of food and drink. After navigating the stairs we were escorted to a cozy corner booth and attended to by our server, Tyler. With crisp efficiency, the first of several rounds of drinks was brought to the table and passed around. A sampling of international beers began to whet the palate as well as loosen tongues beginning with a delightful sip of Belzabuth, an inspired French ale and quickly followed by Wells Banana Bread and a lambic-style, raspberry-infused frambois called Lindemans. This was certainly a nice change of pace from the American pale-ale standards. But Sandrini’s owner, Al wasn’t about to let us be swayed by imported, carbonated beverages alone. Plates of the most sumptuous breads were brought to the table with disarming ease. Fresh, crusty artisan bread with a variety of toppings helped to pave the way for stouter drinks. Freshly prepared pesto, roasted red tomato, olive tapenade, and a classically rustic bruschetta were the perfect complement to the selection of cocktails we were treated to. Raspberry Lemon Drops and a tongue-numbingly strong Manhattan served “up” brought a little more character to our little group. However, the crowning jewel of our stop at Sandrini’s was the hearty and possibly sobriety-inducing Sausage Bread made freshly on premises. Al let us know that the Sausage Bread was perhaps their biggest seller and for very good reason: this appetizer can take on the solo performance of being a meal in itself! Stuffed with savory sausage and Italian cheeses, this family-inspired nosh didn’t last long at our table.

tour II


for gluttons! a camera crew to come along for the ride. What follows is the chronicle of our friendly Foodies as they embarked on what was to be the most delicious and most By Miles Johnson glamorous Foodie Tour to date... With a name and roots (almost literally) deeply planted in the Kern County landscape, it came as something of a surprise how amiably Al spoke with us. His quiet disposition almost belies the passion with which he elaborated on the recipe for the Sausage Bread. Without hesitation, Al expanded on the deceptively simple list of ingredients so that we might attempt to recreate the hearty bread at

home. But with such friendly (and quick!) service it begs the question, “Why?” A romantic evening sampling international beer and nibbling Sausage Bread while ensconced in the uniquely subdued charm of Sandrini’s is the perfect excuse not to cook. Before we could finish signing autographs and pose for a couple pictures we were escorted back to the waiting limo and sent dizzily on our way. >>

5friends 5restaurants 5hours

(l to r) Dustin Legan, Miles Johnson, Maggie Cushine, Trish Reed, Yvonne Cavanaugh, and Siemny Chhuon.

CUISINE : foodie tour II

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 115

CUISINE : foodie tour II without peer. Last, but certainly not least was the presentation of the most sumptuous deep-fried whole red snapper this writer has ever seen. Unable to contain myself, I grabbed the plate and began removing the flaky flesh from the bones and mingling it with the sautéed selection of fresh julienned vegetables. With ample portions for us appetizers. nown for its sumptio Sandrini’s is well-k everyone to taste, the family-style meal commenced with gusto. years ago, Bill Lee’s has remained a staple of the food-goYvonne Cavanaugh starts her night with a grand entrance at Sandrini’s. As we sipped mojitos, the con- ing public almost as long as there has been a food-going Interlude: Seeking the experience: Limo rides, painting versation turned to the ownership of Mama Roomba. Rid- public in Bakersfield. No more profoundly was this point ing a successful crest of three years in business, Victor Hugo driven home than during an impromptu magic show at ceramics and surreptitious cell phone pictures. Casas and Executive Chef Isaac Mancilla both have much the bar—but I’m getting ahead of myself. Act II: Mama Roomba—the Plot Thickens A round of Mai-Tais appeared as if our hosts were Hearkening to the ambiance found mainly in urban to be proud of, not the least of which is a strong comsidewalk cafes, Mama Roomba opens into a tiny, 10-table mitment to the patrons that dining area with a cozy bar and outside seating along the have supported them since sidewalk facing Eye Street. Warm and eclectic, the atmo- day one. Most in our group sphere begs to be enjoyed time and again, especially with noted that both Victor and their minty mojitos (even the non-alcoholic variety) that Isaac are perpetual figures, assuring the finest of foods keep summer temperatures at bay. On the table waiting were some of the finest tapas in a comfortable, family-like available: sweet potato fries lightly seasoned and piled setting. It is, in fact, one of high, fried cheese with a delectable guava dip, and a cool, the common denominators refreshing shrimp ceviche (my personal favorite) served of all the long-lived estabwith fresh avocado and a corn relish that is quite simply lishments the Bakersfield Magazine Foodie Tour has visited in the past two years that the owners are as much First stop! The gang hit Sandrini’s for wonderfully-prepared cocktails. a fixture of their business as the food and spirits they serve. But as the saying goes: you reading my mind. And as we settled comfortably into don’t own a restaurant, it owns you (or something to that our booth, excitement grew as some of our company effect). As if on cue, Victor dropped by our table to wel- admitted to having never experienced the unique lounge come us. Ever the charmer, Victor is, to me, the paragon atmosphere of Bill Lee’s. Sherman Lee, son of the founder, of the Downtown business owner. His sincere desire to breathe much-needed life back into the downtown area is (hopefully) an infectious one. En route to the waiting limo, we were again asked to pose for pictures and acknowledge the anticipating crowd of Foodie Groupies. Interlude: Divining the future, “faux-ality”T.V. shows, and “we don’t do retail.” Act III: Bill Lee’s Magic As we maneuvered our way through the curious onlookers we were ushered from the red carpet reception at Bill Lee’s front door into the Patrick Nagel-inspired interior of the lounge. Frequented since their opening some 70 Mama Roomba’s deep-fried red snapper is simply delicious. Downtown staple—small, but intimate.

116 Bakersfield Magazine

provided a bit of history as well as optimistic speculation on their future, crediting the loyalty of their long-time customers as well as good old-fashioned hard work and dedication to quality. Boiled and perfectly seasoned shrimp accompanied by crowd-pleasing pot-stickers made their way around our table as Sherman recounted how Bill Lee’s has been

value is a legacy that Mr. Bill Lee established so many years ago and continues through the dedication of Sherman and Ken to this day. It took some convincing to get us to remove ourselves from the relaxing enclave of Bill Lee’s lounge. How could one possibly top dinner and a show? Interlude: Second chances, bracing for more, ghost stories, and Foodie stalkers. Act IV: Pulling Out All the Stops, Uricchio’s Pulling up to Uricchio’s, it became evident that this was the one stop everyone had been to before. But conversation Bill Lee’s bartender Ken wowed the Foodies with amazing magic between dishes! on the topic dissolved as we were met with another throng of Foodie Groupies vying for pictures and autographs. This and a family-inspired braised chicken and Italian sausage proved advantageous since the packed dining room created with fresh vegetables in a rich brown sauce named for Nick, a bit of a wait for our party. One-by-one fans were assuaged, the owner and founder. As an added surprise, our gracious t-shirts were gifted, and pictures snapped as our table be- host Claire gave us a pre-dessert stop tasting of Vanilla came available. Escorted by Claire to a table with prime Cheesecake, a signature Chocolate Windmill, and a Crème viewing, we made our way past the open kitchen. I couldn’t help but stop and say HI to Rafael, Uricchio’s Executive Chef and an Sinfully seasoned sh rimp were devoured by the plateful. old acquaintance of this writer. a dependable mainstay to the Bakersfield downtown While the place bustled with ferfood scene since 1938. As generation after generation vent activity, Rafael still found a flow through their doors, it comes as no great surprise moment to chat for a spell. Like clock-work, beverages that people who have left Bakersfield inevitably crave this and appetizers began appearing landmark whenever they come back for a visit. To their added credit, Bill Lee’s is famous for its consistency. For as on our table. A plate piled with Sherman pointed out, some of their staff has been with delicately fried calamari and a the restaurant for 40 or more years. Which brings us to the Salad Caprese so fresh the bufHungry Foodies anxiously awaiting Bill Lee’s oriental specialities. falo mozzarella squeaked when real magic happening behind the bar... Frivolity ensued as patrons around the bar felt compelled you bit into it. Before the plates had a chance to make a full Brulee cheesecake that simply melted on the tongue. As we devoured each entrée, conversation turned to to participate in our festivities by throwing napkins to get round of the table a number of splendid entrées were preour attention. But as a warm Asian Chicken Salad, savory sented: a classic, yet amazing, Chicken Piccata, penne pasta the factors that have made Uricchio’s a cornerstone of the Asparagus with Beef, and spicy Kung Pao Chicken Chow with scallops and shrimp tossed in a sublime pesto sauce, Downtown eat-scene. Echoed time and again are the two most common factors: excellent food and a keen eye Mein made its way to our table, I found myself too easily for developing long-term relationships within the distracted. But not distracted enough not to community. Open for both lunch and dinner, the upenjoy a good round of magic tricks performed scale Uricchio’s serves a non-stop parade of shopby Ken between mixing his world-famous th pers, business folk, and Italian cuisine enthusiasts. libations. Coming up on his 50 anniversary And whether you’re a first-time diner or a weekly with Bill Lee’s, Ken Brenneman began his caregular, the staff and leadership of Uricchio’s never reer as a busboy at the tender age of 15. As lets you feel like anything less than family, which is a personal friend of Mr. Bill Lee, Ken has seen why leaving Uricchio’s took such an effort. some amazing changes to his workplace; as BaInterlude: Wrapping things up before you go-go. kersfield has grown, so has Bill Lee’s to meet the Act V: Punishment for Gluttons—The grand needs of its community. However, no amount of finale: Just Desserts at Maxwell’s history lessons could have prepared us for the It’s usually about this time in the tour that amsheer joy in which Ken performed his magic. razzi. costed by the papa ac e ar ies od bition flags. Not because the last stop isn’t >> Fo e Th Clearly, entertaining his guests with charm and www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 117

CUISINE : foodie tour II worth every delicious mouthful, but because heads and stomachs reel with an overload of information and flavor. Still, Terry of T.L. Maxwell’s went above and beyond to ensure our final destination was sweet torture.

Foodie Tour was all about striking a balance? Yes, I did. Our server, Kam, delivered the dessert menu with such delicate precision that it suddenly became impossible to imagine the night without a spoonful of T.L.’s brand of punishment. Or two or three. Fortunate for us (and you, dear reader) many businesses will happily consider flexing their services/hours to suit the needs of their customers. Be it offering banquet and special occasion rooms or just staying a bit late, places like T.L.’s have built solid reputations on delivering both exquisite cuisine as well as spot-on service. As is customary with family and new-found friends,

rtings fore we go. Tasty pa ’s! hio icc Ur of y tes ur co

A bite of dessert be

Staying open a bit past their normal time, T.L.’s pulled out all the stops in presenting and serving some of the most sinful desserts you will find in Bakersfield. Delivered to our table with an understated flourish, all the desserts tempted, teased, and cajoled their way into already-full bellies. But most notable among the offerings were the signature Malva Pudding, traditional Crème Brulee, Kahlua Fantasy, and the Angelica. Honestly, entire articles could be written on the amazing dessert selection T.L.’s offered. All bringing a soothing balance of sweetness that didn’t over-power their intended flavors. After all, anyone can throw some sugar on a plate and call it “dessert.” It is the thoughtful chef that can strike a balance between fruit, nuts, vanilla, and chocolate. And didn’t I say from the very beginning that this

Emotions run high—keep your mitts off my food.

118 Bakersfield Magazine

T.L. Maxwell’s serve

r Kam, delivers the

perfect dessert.

spoons and forks dove randomly into the decadent selection of desserts. As was touched on during last years’ Foodie Tour, anyone willing to try something new and adventurous can coordinate their own progressive dinner throughout Bakersfield. By simplifying the process (one needn’t visit five restaurants in one night) a roaming party of friends can enjoy the best Bakersfield has to offer by gathering at a local gallery, taking in some art, then meandering between two or three restaurants within walking distance. Having a limo helps add to the ambiance but it isn’t a necessity (unless someone over-imbibes). Keeping an open mind and “going with the flow” is key when putting together a night for friends and family; chasing down the tastes that make Bakersfield unique. Epilogue: This Show was recorded before a Live Audience Anyone who has followed

Maxwell’s signature desserts tempted and teased Foodies to enjoy just a little gluttony.

the Foodie Tour, read about the Foodie Tour, been or wanted to be part of the Foodie Tour knows that there is always a moral to the end of our journey: Keep it local, keep it fun, and (of course) keep it safe. In this day and age of innumerable methods of communication, there is something each of us can do to support our local businesses. Twitter, Facebook, or Blogger are instant methods of telling your friends and family about your amazing local experiences in and around Bakersfield. This writer believes it is no longer enough to simply leave the tip. You’ve got to pay it forward by spreading the good word about your favorite locally-owned hot-spots. You’ve got to give second chances. And you have got to be willing to step outside your comfort zone so that you can rediscover Bakersfield for all it has to offer all over again. Sweet Culinary Dreams, Miles n

We bid farewell until we rock Bakersfield again with more Foodie fun!


fusion fantasy By Mike Stepanovich

I have one disappointment about The Orchid, the Thai fusion restaurant and wine bar in northwest Bakersfield: that I didn’t dine there earlier. Talk about a special place! Bakersfield is certainly seeing a surge of fine-dining establishments of late. And when it comes to The Orchid, I was late to the party. But you know what they say: better late than never. And if you’re like me, and have been planning to visit The Orchid soon, quit procrastinating and go now! Part of the problem was my ambivalence; I’m OK with Thai food, but I don’t go out of my way to find it. So even though I didn’t have to go out of my way—I live nearby—I didn’t have great motivation to visit. But I kept hearing how good the place was, that it wasn’t simply Thai, that it was blended cuisine. When a friend told me, “That place is great! I can’t believe you haven’t been there,” that was the nudge I needed. My wife, Carol, and I pulled up in front of The Orchid, in Brimhall Square at the corner of Calloway Drive and Brimhall Road, on a recent Tuesday evening. I had to confess that the place looked inviting. Upon entry, we were greeted by a smiling young woman who asked if we would

was the firmness of the seats. No sinking down (we usually opt for tables for that reason); we could actually enjoy the intimacy of the booth. The light fixtures are unique and aid the ambiance; a stacked-stone waterfall on the room’s north side adds to the room’s romance. The food is true fusion, a blending of cultures to create dishes unique and exciting. Some of the dishes lean more toward Thai, some lean more toward European, some toward the Far East. But nothing dominates; all the dishes we enjoyed on this and subsequent visits were in perfect harmony. We found an extensive appetizer list, so we asked our server, Scott Gebhardt, for some recommendations. He suggested the Orchid Crab Cake ($8),

The food at The Orchid is true fusion, a blending of cultures to create very unique and exciting dishes.

which had already caught my eye, and the Singha-battered Coconut Shrimp ($6), which had caught Carol’s. What serendipity. Two moderate-sized crab cakes arrived—about 1½ inches diameter—

prefer the wine bar or the dining room; either had dinner service, she said.

beautifully presented with three aioli sauces for dipping. Here’s where the

We glanced in the wine bar, but looking for a more intimate dining experi-

cultural fusing was first evident: the crab cakes had a touch of curry that

ence, we opted for the dining room.

embraced the sweetness of the crab meat; the aioli, a Mediterranean tradi-

We were seated in a comfortable booth, and the first thing we noticed

tion, provided an elegant trio of flavors. The first aioli had a touch of >>

Cuisine: no fear dining

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 119

Cuisine: no fear dining curry and chili, and complemented the cake wonderfully. The second one was mild and creamy...more of a traditional garlic flavor. The third one was darker red and bold, but never overwhelming the crab. The shrimp had a delicate coconut crust served with a mild mango-flavored aioli. It was not overly sweet, and Carol loved it. We decided to share a bowl of Tom Kah Lobster Bisque

Aioli sauces complement the crab cakes.

($8), which Scott assured us we would like. The menu ghettini ($14), which was topped with a stir-fried

says it’s “a perfect blend of East and West.” The descrip-

We toured the wine bar following dinner. It has a good

tion is spot-on. It was a wonderful fusion. The soup looks

selection, and has the pneumatic dispensers operated by

like lobster bisque, with a large piece of lobster meat in

a debit card. You decide on a dollar amount to put onto

One mouthful was all it took for Carol to start saying,

the center topped with caviar. But it has a delicate un-

your card—$20, $40, whatever amount you like—and

“Wow! Mmmmm! Marvelous!” This wasn’t your cafete-

derpinning of coconut that works well with the richness

insert it into the slot on the front of the dispenser. This

ria-style macaroni and cheese; it had five cheeses—

and creaminess of the soup. It was a splendid creation.

gives you access to the different wines available from

Gorgonzola, Fontina, Mozzarella, white Cheddar, and

the dispenser; lighted prices tell you how much each

Parmesan—and large chunks of lobster.

For our entrées, Carol chose the Glazed Walnut Shrimp

chili-basil chicken.

($14), while I opted for one of the house specialties, the Red Curry Ribeye Steak ($24). The six large shrimp had a cream sauce and glazed toasted walnuts, and slender white-rice noodles over a mixed green salad. And it tasted as good as it looked. My steak was another beautiful, appealing presentation. The thinly sliced, eight-ounce steak was over a bed of steamed coconut rice, with thin French green beans topped with red and blue tortilla strips. The spicy red curry sauce was also slightly sweet and a great complement to the meat. I enjoyed every morsel.

Blue Crab Avocado Salad is simply divine.

About that time the owner, June Boerger, walked by and asked if we were enjoying our evening. A few min-

taste will cost. Press the button of your choice, and the

I equally loved my dish. It featured thin red and green

utes of conversation revealed that she moved to Bakers-

machine automatically dispenses a measured pour and

bell pepper slices, basil, and grilled onions over the

field from Southern California and opened The Orchid

debits your card the appropriate amount.

chicken and pasta in a creamy, cheesy sauce. To further

because she couldn’t find Thai fusion here. She had come to know Bakersfield because she frequently would visit

Needless to say, we were hooked, so on a subsequent visit decided to focus on the pasta selections.

spice things up, I had my choice of four chili sauces. I detected a flavor that I don’t usually associate with pastas. “Do I taste a hint of peanuts in this dish?” I asked

the mountains, and on her return to Southern California

We couldn’t pass up the Blue Crab Avocado Salad

she would stop for dinner. She loves Bakersfield, and

($12). It simply sounded too good. Our server, Katie

plans a long run with The Orchid. “I love the people here,”

Berumen, was happy to split the salad for us. The crab

We took our desserts home with us that night.

she said. “They’re so friendly, so hospitable.”

and avocado was molded and placed on a bed of greens.

And so much for ambivalence: we’re looking forward

Katie. She smiled and said yes, it was peanuts.

with great anticipation to our next visit.

Of course we had to have dessert, so Carol tried a car-

Halved cherry tomatoes on scored cucumber slices com-

amel cheesecake, while I had a triple chocolate mousse.

pleted the appetizing presentation. Drizzled on the salad

The Orchid, 9500 Brimhall Road, Suite 501, is open

Wow! They were so good we forgot about being full. The

was creamy sesame dressing, topped with two kinds of

Monday through Friday for lunch, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., for

caramel cheesecake, served warm, was rich and fabu-

caviar. We couldn’t believe how good the salad was!

dinner, 5 to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m.

lous. The mousse had exceptional chocolate flavor, but was light with a delicate texture. 120 Bakersfield Magazine

For our entrées, Carol chose the Mac ‘n’ Cheese ($16) with lobster, while I picked the Chili Basil Spa-

to 10 p.m. For reservations, call (661) 587-8900. Major credit cards accepted. n


expecting the unexpected By Mike Stepanovich

You never know quite what to expect at Souza Family Vineyards in Tehachapi. If you don’t believe me, just ask owners Bob and Patty Souza. They’re as baffled as anyone. During a recent visit, a Bentley drove up and disgorged four people, including a classical guitarist from Colombia, who first sat with his companions in the Souza’s barrel room, which also doubles as a

Patty & Bob Souza

banquet hall, and sang classical Spanish songs while enjoying the Souza’s trademark “Tehachapi Wine & Cattle Co.” primitivo. He then moved into the tasting room where he regaled visitors

four tall chairs, where guests can sit and enjoy a cheese platter with

with tune after tune. And the guy was good! After each song the

Tuscan bread and summer sausage along with their wine. In the

tasting room erupted with applause. A wine-tasting and impromp-

southeast corner of the room is a fireplace with overstuffed chairs in

tu concert all rolled into one.

front. Tasting-room employee Marilyn Kish takes care of visitors, com-

When the smiling troubadour left, he told Bob, “You should hire table Photo courtesy of souza family vineyard

or so. A few feet from the bar area are three cocktail tables, each with

me every weekend.”

ing to each table and chair, pouring the next selection. The view out the windows is splendid: mountains—still snow-

That’s the way it is at Souza Family Vineyards: expect the unexpected.

capped in early spring—surrounding the Cummings Valley. The

But the tasting room lends itself to that. It’s designed more like

gift displays that take up the rest of the room have a wide array of

a European tasting room, where thoughtful evaluation of a wine’s

winery trinkets; shirts, caps, glasses, and such.


merits is the norm, rather than the large bars typical in California designed to handle big crowds. The Souzas’ bar is small: it can accommodate a half dozen people

CUISINE : Tehachapi wine www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 121

CUISINE: Tehachapi wine Souza still can’t quite believe it. “It’s incredible, amaz-

They consulted with Sunridge Nurseries in Bakers-

and its natural acidity from its mountain origins makes it

ing,” he said. “People are coming to us from all over.”

field, and chose to plant primitivo, a close relation to

Which is all the more astonishing since the winery is a

zinfandel. They put in four acres on an upslope to the

Fruguglietti convinced the Souzas that in markets

half-mile down a dirt road.

west of their home, so the vines catch more direct rays

outside Tehachapi, the place name would be a detriment

A couple walked in, and Souza asked where they were

from the morning sun. Friends and neighbors pitched in.

to sales; unlike Napa, Sonoma, or Paso Robles, to name

from. Long Beach, was the reply. “I’m not surprised; a

After all, it was quite a novelty having a Tehachapi vine-

a few places, Tehachapi had no cache as a wine region.

a great match with food.

So the Souzas developed two labels for their one wine:

The other day we had a couple of B-1 pilots in here (Ed-

the label for the Tehachapi market is Tehachapi Wine &

wards Air Force Base is not far). It’s not unusual to have 50 to 60 people in here at one time. We’ve had guests from Finland, Sweden, Canada, Texas, Illinois, Washington, Hawaii. One guy said he was from Mars.

Photos by prospect design studio

large percentage of our visitors are from Orange County.

Cattle Co.; for the rest of the world it’s Quattro Stagioni, which means four seasons in Italian (Tehachapi refers to itself as “The Land of Four Seasons”). While the strategy may well have helped the Sou-

“I have to tell you this has exceeded all our expecta-

zas’ sales, it didn’t do much to advance Tehachapi as an

tions. We’re busy every weekend.”

appellation. But serendipity came into play. The Souzas

Probably nothing, though, has matched their open-

wanted to know how their wine stacked up against oth-

ing weekend. “We opened Friday, July 4, 2008, and our

ers, so they entered the San Francisco Chronicle Wine

first day we had a thousand people come. That Saturday we had another 400, and on Sunday we had 700. On

Souza Family Vineyards opened for business on July 4, 2008.

opening day, cars were parked all the way down the dirt

Competition, held in January 2007. Their wine won a silver medal, and suddenly the world wanted to know about this Tehachapi wine.

road, almost to the pavement; people walked a half-

Shortly thereafter, a woman came in and bought

mile to the tasting room.

a case of their first vintage—and sold it on e-Bay for

“We’re drawing from a long way off,” he continued.

$200 a bottle as a collectible. “At first I was mad about

“We’re getting less from Los Angeles than I thought, and

that,” Souza said. “But then Patty said, ‘She just set the

more from Bakersfield than I thought.

ceiling for us.’ And you know what? She’s right.”

“We’ve hit a niche here that no one knew existed, just

That success helps explain why the world is find-

this pent-up demand. People don’t have to go to the

ing its way to the Souzas’ tasting room. Their success

Central Coast to taste good wine.”

has put pressure on their inventory; at press time, they

All this because the Souzas paid no attention to convention and decided to plant a vineyard near Tehachapi. The Souzas moved to Tehachapi in 1990 because they wanted to get away from the Los Angeles rat race.

Guests relax and enjoy the wines in the Souza tasting room.

were almost out of 2006, and they really hadn’t wanted to start selling 2007 yet, but had no choice. The 2006

yard. In 2005, their first crop was ready, so they trucked

has raspberry and bright cherry mouth-filling flavors.

it to Paso Robles to crush and ferment it.

At 13.5 percent alcohol, it’s a nicely balanced wine. The

They bought the Elijah Stowell Estate, an 1888 Victorian

The local Albertson’s agreed to sell it, plus three Te-

2007 comes in at 13.1 percent alcohol, and is tighter

home and outbuildings on 60 acres on the north side

hachapi restaurants included it on their wine lists. Ba-

than the 2006, though it shows potential as it begins to

of the valley. After restoring the old home, they decided

kersfield restaurateur Ralph Fruguglietti, whose popular

come into its own. Souza thinks it will be every bit the

that they would plant a vineyard, but of course common

Frugatti’s Italian Restaurant focuses on regional wines,

wine the 2006 is, perhaps more.

wisdom said that was impossible.

added the Souzas’ wine to his list. He liked it so well, he

He and Patty still pinch themselves, not believing

The Cummings Valley is at about 4,000 feet, and the

encouraged his diners to try it, including me. I liked the

what’s happened in a few short years. “We’re living the

best minds in the wine business said this was not wine

wine as well; it’s balanced, flavorful, not overpowering,

dream,” he said. “Everything we’ve tried has worked.” n

country. Well, why not? thought the Souzas; don’t know why it can’t be wine country, just because nobody else has tried it. It has cool nights and plenty of summer sunshine, the perfect recipe for wine-grape growing. But it’s 4,000 feet up, they were told. So what? 122 Bakersfield Magazine

Mike Stepanovich is an award-winning journalist who has been writing his Life is a Cabernet wine column since 1985, and reviewing restaurants for Bakersfield Magazine since 1997. Stepanovich has taught wine and food pairing classes for many years, and teaches a wine appreciation and history class for California State University, Bakersfield. He began judging wines in 1987, and now judges at major international wine competitions throughout the United States. A home winemaker, Stepanovich resides with his wife, Carol, in Bakersfield.


dining for charity By Tracie Grimes

The Lunch Bunch crew enjoyed exquisite cuisine atop The Petroleum Club during April’s gathering. Elegant surroundings and the wideranging menu at this Bakersfield institution–the Petroleum Club opened over 65 years ago–were punctuated by excellent service, making us feel like we were on top of the world. “We really strive to put the ‘wow’ on for our patrons,” explains Petroleum Club Manager, Lili Marsh. “Our chef Robert Alimirzaie creates fare that is as diversified as Bakersfield itself. He loves to use his imagination; we have several patrons who will come in and say something like, ‘I feel like seafood tonight...surprise me!’ ” And surprise us he did—Robert sent the most sinful desserts to our table! Crème Brule, Chocolate Lava cake, Mango Sorbet...all delicious and Robert assured us that he had taken out at least half of the calories. “I can usually resist desserts, but these were amazing!” said Sue Benham, adding that her salmon salad topped with Pink Lady apples was “excellent.” “They really know how to ‘do’ salmon,” agreed Pat Loyd, who also had the salmon salad. My ahi salad was also a winner and Colleen McGauley, our guest, enjoyed her vegetable quesadilla. We were all enamored with Colleen, who is the executive director of Kern County’s CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). Her descriptions of how our CASA volunteers work to give children hope by giving them a voice within the foster care system were deepened by the budding trees and flowers on the streets below us. It was the perfect setting for our topic of “hope.” “Colleen is an inspirational leader,” Sue said. “CASA is one of the outstanding nonprofits in Bakersfield and I always enjoy hearing about the CASA volunteer’s dedication to the children they represent.” “What a wonderful insight into CASA and how they operate,” added Patricia. “The love and dedication that is so obvious in Colleen is contagious and affects those around her.” And it’s no wonder commitment to CASA practically oozes from Colleen; as a graduate of the first CASA training class in Bakersfield in 1994, CASA has been a part of Colleen’s life for the past 15 years. “We’ve trained over 600 volunteers who’ve worked hard to make sure foster kids don’t ‘fall through the cracks’,” Colleen said. “Last year alone our 200 citizen advocates gave over 11,000 hours to help 503 children and 97 percent of those kids found forever families.” But those impressive numbers barely scratch the surface of the figures needed to provide advocates for Kern’s abused and neglected children. It’s not just volunteer hours that keeps CASA going; dollars are needed as well. “It costs about $1,685 a year (about $140 a month) to give a CASA to a child in need, so we really have to cast our ‘net’ out wide to make sure we can give our neglected children a chance to succeed in life,” Colleen explained. And CASA’s “wide net” offers many opportunities for Bakersfield’s >>

Salmon Salad

Ahi Salad

Mango Sorbet

CUISINE : on top of the world www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 123


Dining for Charity is an ensemble of local ladies who lunch at a different area restaurant six times a year. The group welcomes special guests to the table each luncheon. These guests are people who are passionately involved in local charities and nonprofits, whether they be the director or simply a long-time volunteer.

(l-r) Colleen McGauley, Tracie Grimes, Patricia Loyd, Sue Benham

community members to become involved, including: Circle of Hope, a monthly gift that goes directly to CASA of Kern County in which contributors can donate as little as $5 a month. Celebration Parties, through which individual community members host parties to raise money for CASA of Kern County. In looking at some of the upcoming line-up of parties thrown by some of our Bakersfield neighbors, creativity is definitely at work...there’s the “Evening in CASAblanca” event on June 6 at The Petroleum Club; Second Annual “Wastin’ Away Again in Margaritaville” on June 27 at Randy Urner’s Outside, hosted by Joe and Jan Drew, Renee Goodwin, Ted and Sharon Pierce, Randy Urner, Jeff and Jenny Vaughan, and PK and Jane Zander; “Date Night” at Jezabelle’s on August 1, hosted by Jezabelle’s & Christine Hennings; “Bollywood in Bako” on September 19 at the Vaughan residence, hosted by Larry and Pat Bentley, Bill and Marjorie Nixon, and Jeff and Jenny Vaughan; and “The Pig Party—A Party with a Purpose” on November 7 at the Sandrini residence, hosted by Robert and Patt Sandrini. Becoming a CASA volunteer, which is the real nuts and bolts of the program. It involves 36 hours of training and between 9 and 15 hours per month on a case. Usually it lasts for the 12 to 18 months the child may be a dependent of the court. But it doesn’t take a lavish party or big bucks to contribute to CASA and make a difference in the life of a child, Colleen pointed out. “Sometimes at the top of our ‘wish list’ is something as simple as a ream of paper, some pens, or an old office chair,” Colleen said. “We have one little old couple that writes out a check every month for $15. It just warms my heart every time I see the familiar handwriting on the check, which gets shakier and shakier each month. I want more people like them!” ~lunch bunch updates~ Spring was a busy time for Judi McCarthy and the Women’s & Girls’ Fund of Kern County (which is part of the Kern Community Foundation). She reported that in March, local artists Jeanette Richardson, Jen Bowles, and C & C Hardware were honored at the Fund’s annual “Women in Art” celebration. In April, Fund volunteers sponsored two sessions at the Women’s Business Conference entitled “Ordinary Women of Extraordinary Spirit.” New grants from the Women’s and Girls’ Fund were also announced in April at the 5th Annual Luncheon Celebration on April 29. The grants supported mentoring for junior high girls from single parent families in the Kern River Valley; African American female students at Foothill High School as they complete A-G course requirements needed for university admission; and the expansion of the Garden Pathway’s capacity for mentoring services that benefit both children and adults. 124 Bakersfield Magazine

Sue described a busy spring for Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, too. On April 21, BMH and the Physician Leadership Campaign honored Hans E. Einstein, MD, for his outstanding community service and lifelong contributions to medical research. The BMH Foundation will also be sending out invitations for community members to become a part of “The Miracle Society,” which supports the Children’s Medical Center at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. June 5 & 6 was a fun weekend as “Bakersfield’s Biggest, Baddest BBQ Competition” was held at Stramler Park. This exciting event was sponsored by the Marriott to benefit Children’s Miracle Network programs at BMH. Keeping Kern animals from being euthanized has been near and dear to the heart of Patricia Loyd. Through Alpha Canine’s voucher program to help low income or senior citizens spay/neuter their dogs, Patricia reminds community members that we can drastically reduce Kern County’s euthanasia rate of 80 percent of impounded animals by altering our pets. Not only can Alpha Canine help by giving vouchers, volunteers can provide transportation to the veterinary hospital. Jillian Fritch-Stump is very excited about the BAM After School Program.


THE PETROLEUM CLUB BAM is working with XCOR Aerospace experts and other local STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) professionals in bringing the building of student constructed rockets and launches to life. BAM’s hands-on learning experiences are designed to inspire young people to imagine themselves as scientists, inventors, engineers, and mathematicians and to connect them with local professionals, Jillian explains. Ann Hansen had to miss our wonderful lunch, but wanted to give an update on a program close to her heart, our local Teen Enrichment Program. She explains that the program began 12 years ago and is focused on mentoring 10th grade girls at local high schools. “Our sessions are for two class periods, once a month. We serve lunch and present a program that enhances life skills, goal setting, adversity issues, and so much more. We are always looking for new women to help with our program. We will be having a lunch and a two-hour training seminar this summer, but the date has not yet been selected.” Please contact Ann Hansen at (661) 549-1834 for information. To learn more about how you can help CASA, call (661) 631-2272 or log on to kerncasa.org. Or, to learn more about the charities our Lunch Bunch supports, please call (661) 834-4126 or visit bakersfieldmagazine.net. n

24th Street Café

With a list of daily specials a mile long, we have been a local favorite for over 20 years and continue bringing Bakersfield the good eats. From our classic homemade soups and comfort foods like meatloaf, to our sandwiches, omelets, and salads, we make everything fresh. Wrap your mouth around the tri-tip pasta with mushrooms, green onions, and a creamy garlic sauce. Or better yet, visit us for breakfast and you won’t forget it! We’ve got banana rum crepes, savory Portobella mushroom omelets, cinnamon apple pancakes, and so much more. But don’t leave without trying our Bloody Mary. It’s good for what ails ‘ya! Open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch, 6am-2:30pm. 1415 24th Street. (661)323-8801

T.L. Maxwell’s Restaurant & Bar

Every city and town in America has a classic restaurant. A restaurant that combines ambiance, great food, tradition and history. T.L. Maxwell’s Restaurant & Bar is that restaurant for Bakersfield. It is part of the Haberfelde complex, located in the oldest building in downtown Bakersfield. T.L. Maxwell’s has an award-winning wine list that matches the traditional full menu and the creative specials that are offered for lunch and dinner. Owners Terry and Paula Maxwell are both locals. So go where the locals go (and lots of out-of-towners): T.L. Maxwell’s Restaurant & Bar. Banquet facility available. Most major credit cards accepted. Hours: Tue-Fri 11:30am-1:30pm and 5:30-8:30pm, Saturday 5:30-9:30pm. Closed Sun-Mon. 1421 17th Place (between 17th and 18th streets) on the east side of Chester. (661)323-6889

Frugatti’s Italian Wood-Fired Oven

Real Italian by Real Italians! Whether dining in or al fresco on our new patio, come in and enjoy our new menu that’s bursting with flavor for lunch, dinner or just dessert. You’ll love our steaks. We use only the highest quality Certified Angus Brand® Beef. You’ll also love our chicken, seafood and pizzas cooked in our imported Italian wood-burning oven. We also offer a wide selection of pasta dishes and other Italian favorites. For dessert try our homemade New York cheesecakes or Tiramisu. Come experience our friendly atmosphere. Hours: Mon-Thu 11am9:30pm, Friday 11am-10pm, Saturday 11:30am-10pm, Sunday 11:30am-9pm. All major credit cards accepted. 600 Coffee Rd., corner of Truxtun and Coffee. (661)836-2000

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 125

The Dining Guide

Mauricio’s Grill & Cantina

Enjoy all the flavors of Mexico at Mauricio’s Grill & Cantina. Select from our large selection of seafood and vegetarian specialties, or choose your favorite classic south-of-the-border dish. Whether you’re in the mood for fajitas, carnitas or just a couple of tacos, Mauricio’s Old World ambiance offers a relaxed atmosphere for lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch (Rosedale restaurant). Join us for Happy Hour in our full bar, 3-7pm, daily. We also offer outdoor patio dining and a banquet room for large groups. All major credit cards accepted. Hours: Mon-Thu 11am-9:30pm, Friday & Saturday 11am-10:30pm, Sundays 10am-9:30pm. Two locations to serve you: 10700 Rosedale Hwy. (661)589-5292 and 6401 White Lane. (661)837-9570

Jake’s Tex-Mex Cafe

Celebrating its 23rd anniversary, this fast casual restaurant sets the standard for Tex-Mex in Bakersfield. “Cowboy Grub” is the description for slow roasted pit beef, mesquite smoked tri-tip, garlic chicken, multiple salads including the most popular taco salad. Chocolate cake nobody leaves without. “This ain’t no refried bean kinda joint.” Hours: Mon-Sat 11am to 8pm. Closed Sundays. 1710 Oak St. www.jakestexmex.com (661)322-6380

Benji’s French Basque

The Dining Guide

Benji’s offers something a little different from Bakersfield’s Basque fare. In addition to traditional Basque entrées of lamb, chicken, veal and beef, Benji’s has pan-fried frog legs with garlic lemon sauce, lobster tail, roasted duck, escargots and calf liver. And the beef isn’t just tri-tip; Benji’s serves a scrumptious filet mignon and New York steak with pepper cognac sauce. All dinners are served with the customary Basque family style set-up. Don’t forget Benji’s specialty soufflés flavored with Grand Marnier, raspberry, chocolate or lemon. Basque family owned and operated for 20 years. Banquet facilities available. Conveniently located 2 blocks west of Highway 99 at 4001 Rosedale Hwy. Open daily 11:30am-2pm and 5:30-9:30pm except Tuesdays. Lounge opens 11am. (661)328-0400

Asia Market -Teriyaki Bowl

Asia Market & Teriyaki Bowl carries a wide selection of all Asian foods, including Chinese and Japanese favorites! The best part about our store is that after you have chosen your favorite item, you can either take it home and prepare a meal for yourself, or you can come into our restaurant and have us prepare a delicious meal for you using your selection! We have a full-service store and restaurant, so you can come in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Join us today for excellent food provided by a friendly staff in a great atmosphere! Hours: 9am-9pm daily. 7701 White Lane. (661)837-0982

Red Pepper

A Bakersfield Institution – Newly Remodeled! For over 25 years, the Red Pepper has been doing the ordinary and the extraordinary in an exceptional fashion, from traditional Mexican favorites to gourmet Mexican cuisine. Owner Gilbert Sabedra has made some exciting additions to their critically acclaimed menu. Specialties include lobster, shrimp, crab and halibut dishes, or steak, pork, chicken, and lamb entrées, all with an extraordinary Mexican flair that the Red Pepper is famous for. Now offering Central California Coast wines, or enjoy one of the best margaritas you’ll ever have. Hours: Lunch daily from 11am, Dinner Mon–Thu until 9pm, Fri-Sat until 9:30pm, Sunday until 8:30pm, Sunday Brunch from 10am–2pm. Most credit cards accepted. Located just off Freeway 178 at 2641 Oswell Street, Suite G. (661)871-5787


Looking for a restaurant with quality food and service with a bar that has a Cheers-like atmosphere in downtown Bakersfield? Walk down our stairs and that’s what you’ll find. Come for lunch or dinner and choose from an assortment of delectable Italian and Basque dishes, all prepared in house with the freshest ingredients. Come for drinks and find an excellent wine list with an exceptional selection of more than 110 beers and 80 premium whiskeys to satisfy your palate. Live entertainment every night. Family style dinners every Sunday. Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri 11am-2pm, Dinner Mon-Sat 5-9pm, Bar Mon-Fri 11am-close, Sat-Sun 5pm-close. Reservations Accepted. All major credit cards accepted. 1918 Eye St. (661)322-8900

Valentien Restaurant and Wine Bar

Valentien...French cuisine with California fusion. The atmosphere at Valentien is unique; both laid back and elegant. Every dining experience is different with our ever-changing menu. Valentien offers something for everyone’s palate, from seafood, poultry, beef and exotic game to vegetarian options. Showcasing seasonal fresh and local produce, we utilize the bountiful agriculture that Kern County farms are known for. As often as possible our chefs use organic ingredients. We are constantly seeking out the freshest products available. For example, we often will have our fish flown in from Hawaii. No matter the origin, we always strive for a less than 24 hour sea to plate turnaround. Valentien also serves only the highest grade beef and premium meats and poultry. We feature an extensive wine list primarily focusing on boutique and artisan wines. Call for more information about our frequent wine tastings and other upcoming events. Valentien…a dining experience like no other in Bakersfield. Hours: Lunch Tue-Fri 11:30am-2pm Dinner Tue-Sat 5-9:30pm. Wine bar open until midnight on Friday & Saturday. All major credit cards accepted. Reservations recommended but not required. 3310 Truxtun Ave., Suite 160. (661)864-0397

126 Bakersfield Magazine

The Orchid

If you’re looking for the perfect blend of traditional Thai flavors and modern twists, The Orchid is the place to try. With mouthwatering specialty dishes like Red Curry Rib-Eye Steak and our Lamb Chop with Spicy Mango Sauce, we dare you to find a restaurant offering more pow for your buck. We offer take-out and catering services, but our elegant dining room is perfect for a lunch meeting or an intimate night out—and you should get there early to find a seat by the soothing waterfall! Daily lunch specials include many classic Thai entrées like Panang Curry and Crunchy Cashew stir fry, a sweet and spicy dish made with onions, bell peppers, water chestnuts, and roasted cashews. Join us Mon-Thu from 11am-10pm or Fri & Sat from 11am-11pm. 9500 Brimhall Road. (661)587-8900

Luigi’s Restaurant & Italian Delicatessen

Enjoy an old world Italian delicatessen since 1910 with over 200 wines to complement your lunch. From sandwiches to Pasta Bolognese, you’re sure to find flavorful choices to make everyone happy! Don’t forget to shop the gourmet delicatessen for unique gift ideas, wine and authentic foods. Restaurant Hours: Tue-Sat 11am2:30pm, Deli Hours: Tue-Sat 8am-4pm. 725 East 19th Street. shopluigis.com (661)322-0926

Hourglass Kitchen & Bar

Hourglass Kitchen & Bar offers a wide variety of choices to satisfy everyone’s tastebuds. Our popular appetizer, yellow tail tuna tartar served with avocado salsa, is just one of the many favorites. Indulge in gourmet sandwiches and salads, and seafood, pasta, and entrées straight off the grill. All steaks and hamburgers are made with Harris Ranch Beef. Located at the corner of Calloway & Brimhall. Open MonSat 11am-10pm for dining and open for late night cocktails. Also available for large parties & catering. Closed Sundays. (661)679-1977

Bill Lee’s Bamboo Chopsticks

Anxious to taste traditional Chinese cuisine? If you haven’t been to Bill Lee’s Bamboo Chopsticks yet, what are you waiting for? Since 1938, Bill Lee’s has been cooking up flavorful dishes inspired by the culinary styles of the Far East. They also boast a full service bar and several fine banquet rooms which feature antique carvings and original artifacts from the Orient: terra cotta figures from the Xian Museum, including General Li, an archer, and a full size horse. You taste only the freshest ingredients in all their dishes. Open for lunch and dinner Sun through Thu, 11am-9:30pm and Friday and Saturday, 11am-10pm, or eat at home with their fast home delivery and take out service. 1203 18th Street. billlees.com. (661)324-9441

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 127

The Dining Guide

El Portal West

We invite you to enjoy our newest Mexican Grill and Cantina, El Portal West. We offer a great selection of appetizers, soups & salads, seafood, and our specialties are chicken, steak and shrimp fajitas. Our full service bar features the best margaritas in town! Happy Hour Mon-Fri 3-7pm (bar only), Lunch specials everyday, 11am-2pm. Fabulous Sunday Brunch, 10am-3pm, reservations accepted. 1100 Calloway Drive. (661)829-2737

Café Med

For a cozy, intimate setting and fine dining with a unique atmosphere, Café Med is the place to go. Choose a selection from our extensive menu and your taste buds will surely be satisfied. Start off with an appetizer-perhaps you might try our Grilled Shrimp Cocktail or Hummus with Lamb Meat-a house specialty. Then choose from a variety of entrées including Mediterranean salads, steaks or even pasta. An excellent dish to try is our Fisherman’s Pasta-a mix of shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams & the catch of the day sautéed in a tomato, basil and mushroom cream sauce. Come by Café Med today for a delicious variety and friendly service. Open 7 days a week 11am-close. Live music on Friday & Saturday nights. Reservations accepted. Visa, MC, AE, DC. 4809 Stockdale Hwy. cafemedrestaurant.com. (661)834-4433

Izumo Japanese Restaurant & Sushi

The Dining Guide

Variety and style is what you can expect at Izumos. Experience our casual atmosphere where you have your choice of dining experiences. Visit us to enjoy the teppan-yaki, sample the sushi bar, or our more conventional order-off-the-menu setting. The teppan-yaki comes one dish at a time as the chef prepares it in front of you - they will amaze and impress with their skill and expertise. Our relaxed dining gives customers a chance to really enjoy our food and friendly service. Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, Mon-Sun 5-10pm. Reservations accepted. Visa, MC, AE. 4412 Ming Ave. (661)398-0608

Hungry Hunter

Yes, we have the best prime rib in town, but we’re so much more than a great steakhouse. Come in for lunch and enjoy our fresh ground 1/2lb. Angus Burgers or a homemade infused salmon burger. We’ve got soups and salads as well to complement our many entrées. Our dinner menu is just as varied with Australian lobster tails and fettuccine alfredo. Our delicious steaks are hand cut to ensure the freshest steak possible, so wrap your mouth around our black & bleu ribeye, or a tender filet mignon. We offer a great wine list that is sure to pair with any meal. Locally owned and operated. Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 2-6pm, Hours: Mon-Fri, Lunch 11:30am-3pm, Dinner 3-10pm, Saturdays 4:30-10pm, Sundays 12-9pm. 3580 Rosedale Hwy. (661)328-0580

T-Bones Ranch House

Yee-Haw! Bakersfield’s favorite steakhouse is now serving breakfast! All the flavors you love at lunch and dinner are available for early risers! For the adventurous buckaroo, the chicken fried steak will leave you very satisfied. It’s the best in Bakersfield and is served with all of your favorite sides. Or wrangle up one of our Iron Skillets, loaded with your choice of meat, eggs, and hashbrowns! And come back to enjoy the rest of our extensive menu for lunch or dinner. But be sure and try our homemade Chocolate Gravy before you leave—it’s great on our biscuits! Breakfast 6am-2pm Mon-Sun. Lunch 10:30-am-2pm Mon-Sun. Dinner hours are MonSun 4pm-close. 8020 District Blvd. TbonesRanchHouse.com (661)398-1300

128 Bakersfield Magazine

La Costa Mariscos

Serving the best of the best for over 15 years, La Costa Mariscos offers a wide variety of quality, freshly-prepared Mexican and seafood dishes in a cozy, unique atmosphere. We are a family-oriented restaurant with a fast and friendly attitude. Come in and enjoy our many delicious entrées made from traditional recipes. Our enchiladas are savory and delicately seasoned and our salads are crisp and light. Or, if you’re looking to entertain guests, we can bring the food to you; serve La Costa Mariscos from the comfort of your own home as we are available for catering. We’re ready to satisfy your taste buds daily from 11am-9pm. 716 21st Street. (661)322-2655

Wood’ys Grill & Bar

“We’re having a great time at Wood’ys!” For almost 25 years, Wood’ys has been delighting Bakersfield families with a menu of California favorites, a lively bar featuring exotic cocktails, icy Mondo beers and multiple screens for that special sports event. Enjoy a mini-vacation in a casual atmosphere while enjoying a wide variety of delicious appetizers, garden fresh salads, sandwiches, fish tacos, gourmet burgers, baby back ribs, juicy steaks and delectable desserts! Catch the wave into Wood’ys. Open daily at 11am for lunch, dinner, and late night dining. Happy Hour 4-7pm; 9pm-close. 5555 Truxtun Ave. www.woodysgrill.com (661)324-7400

Uricchio’s Trattoria

Nestled in the heart of Downtown in the historical Haberfelde Building. Steaks, chops, seafood, and classic Italian dishes, complemented by an extensive wine list, have made Uricchio’s a mainstay for over a decade. Uricchio’s San Francisco style setting is family owned and operated, and the perfect spot for a business lunch, or a romantic dining experience. After your meal save room for the fabulous desserts from LaMousse of Beverly Hills. Inquire about our Monday Prix fixe 3 Course Meal. Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri 11am-2pm, Dinner Mon-Thu 5-9pm, Friday & Saturday 5-10pm. Reservations recommended, lunch reservations for large groups only. 1400 17th St. Downtown. (661)326-8870

Prime Cut Meats & Eats

Quality doesn’t always cost a lot. Prices have dropped and we are passing the savings on to you. We are locally owned and operated and enjoy serving our customers. We pride ourselves on our signature dishes prepared fresh daily. We specialize in Steaks, Cajun Dishes, Burgers, Sandwiches, etc. Inside our restaurant we have one of Bakersfield’s oldest Old Fashioned butcher shops featuring USDA Choice and higher meats, poultry and pork. We also create a variety of hand made sausages, salads and heat and eat items. We are looking forward to earning your business. Hours: Open daily at 11:00am. 9500 Brimhall Rd. #100. All major credit cards accepted. (661)831-1413

The Nines Restaurant at the Marriott

Located inside the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center, The Nines is a chic, trendy place to dine serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week for all your culinary desires. Come in and enjoy the delectable flavors from our Executive Chef, from our beautiful Sunday brunch complete with carving stations to our daily lunch specials including Blackened Salmon Caesar Salad for only $10. Nightly dinner specials featuring Prime Rib Tuesdays and Seafood creations on Fridays. Reservations recommended but not required. Hours are Mon-Sun 6:30am-2pm and 5-10pm. 801 Truxtun Ave. (661)323-1900

Wool Growers Restaurant

Come to Wool Growers downtown in Old Kern for a dining experience you won’t forget! We serve delicious Basque cuisine and also have an excellent wine list. Much more than a culinary experience, within the walls of this restaurant, you are our family and you’ll be served delicious & abundant food in a warm, inviting and relaxing atmosphere. Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-2pm, 6-9:30pm. Closed Sunday. 620 E. 19th Street. Reservations are accepted by fax, (661)327-4440, and phone, (661)327-9584

Bon appétit Bakersfield Magazine Dining Guide


www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 129

The Dining Guide

The Bistro

With new manager Danny Williams at the helm and a new menu, The Bistro is the place to dine in Bakersfield. Recently remodeled with L.A. style décor to match their “California fresh” cuisine, The Bistro is supporting local growers by using Alpha Produce and is proud to serve Harris Ranch beef. Try the Harris Ranch filet mignon with a rich Veal Demi Glace or for a real sweet kick, taste the Wild Sweet Orange-crusted Ahi Tuna with Citris-ginger sauce. And you don’t want to miss the Herb Cream Cheese Artichoke Heart Tempura with Honey Dijon Glaze. Come by for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or join us in the lounge for a romantic evening. Open 8-10am for breakfast, 11am-2pm for lunch, and 5-10pm for dinner. Lounge hours are 11am-11pm. 5105 California Ave. (661)323-3905

Grandview Asian Cuisine

Take a trip to the Far East in this amazing restaurant located on the corner of Ming and Ashe. Try Grandview’s for a delicious variety of Asian cuisine and a relaxing atmosphere. Dine on some of the best Dim Sum Bakersfield has to offer while listening to the gentle splash of a waterfall. Whether you have a craving for fine Asian dining, or desire a place to unwind after work, Grandview Asian Cuisine provides the perfect place to get away. Hours: 10am-9pm daily. Visa, MC, AE, DC. 2217 Ashe Road, Bakersfield. (661)832-2288

Bakersfield Optical

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Jack McGee State Licensed Dispensing Optician

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N Ride “N” Comfort N Sheepskin Specialists

“It’s all about Comfort” Switch Flops San Joaquin Community Hospital 2615 Chester Ave. • 395-3000

V.I.P. Grooming Pet Spa & Boutique Since 1996

All Breed Dog & Cat Custom Grooming

3015 F Street


130 Bakersfield Magazine

Seat Covers & Accessories • Baby Items Medical Products • Designer Rugs

i 834-5262 i

6723 Meany Ave., Suite B

Sugardaddy’s 5512 Stockdale Hwy.


Continued from page 96

Jenn Neumann

DJ, KLLY Radio When I first moved here, I took Aubrey everywhere with me, even shopping at the mall. She has her own mock-croc hot pink “purse” that I carry her in and she just sits or lays down in it and can poke her head out to look around when she wants. One day I took her over to the mall to buy a gift for my friend’s son at KB Toys and was looking around with Aubrey and she had her head poking out, just quietly looking around. I found the gift I wanted and went to stand in line at the check out. Once I got up there, I was busy talking to the cashier and not paying any attention to Aubrey. I thanked the cashier and started to leave the store, when the sensors went off. I looked around and saw that I was the only one trying to leave the store. The manager hurried over and asked me if he could look

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To catch a thief! Jenn and Little Miss Aubrey.

in my bag. I said ‘Sure’ and handed him my bag and the receipt. He looked at it and said ‘OK, try going through again.’ I did and it went off again. He then asked me if he could look in my purse, so I handed it over to him. After finding nothing he asked if he could look in the pink bag, where Aubrey was. I said ‘OK,’ opened up the bag all the way, and there was Aubrey holding a tiny stuffed animal in her mouth looking up at us with her tail wagging. She was obviously very pleased with herself for getting a new toy when I wasn’t looking. I was so embarrassed that I’m sure I turned the brightest shade of red anyone has ever seen, but I also couldn’t help laugh when the manager started giggling over what he found in the bag as well. I apologized and, thankfully, the manager just said it was OK and let me pay for it.

Our Lady Of Perpetual Help Parish

124 Columbus Street

Parish: Voice Mail: Youth Ministry: Religious Education: RCIA: School: Pre-school 323-9906

323-3108 716-1002 327-0712 322-7200 716-1005 327-7741

Monsignor Michael R. Braun

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church

A newly established Catholic parish in Northwest Bakersfield. Masses are being held at Frontier High School Allen Rd. & Kratzmeyer Rd. g Sundays g 8:45am & 10:30am All Are Welcome!

Parish office: 661-587-3626 Pastor: Fr. Perry Kavookjian 12803 Montbatten Place

First Assembly of God Completing its 61st year of Excellence in Catholic Education

Sunday Services: 8:15am, 10:45am and 5:30pm. Sunday School: 9:45am – All Ages Wed. Night: Family Dinner 5:306:30pm. Classes for all ages 7pm.


4901 California Ave.


Stockdale Christian School • Preschool through 8th Grade • Credentialed Faculty • Science and Computer Labs • Special Education • Athletic and Music Programs • Independent Study Programs • Extended Daycare

4901 California Avenue (661) 327-3927 Educating For Eternity

132 Bakersfield Magazine

Part of the Foursquare Family SUNDAY SERVICES: Elective Hour 9am Worship Service 10:30am

Pastors Jerry & Sandy Ruff

bakersfieldnbc .com

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI PARISH CHURCH Rev. Msgr. Craig F. Harrison, V.F. Pastor Rev. Kris Sorensen, Associate Rev. Ralph Belluomini, Hospitals Fr. Denis Ssekannyo, Visiting

Mass Schedule Saturday 8:00 a.m. (Honoring Mary) 5:00 p.m. (Vigil-English) 7:30 p.m. Vietnamese Sunday 6:30 a.m. NEW TIME (English) 8:00 a.m. NEW TIME (Family) 10:00 a.m. (Family), 11:30 a.m. (Latin) 5:00 p.m. (Spanish), 7:00 p.m. (English)

900 H Street (1 block south of California Avenue) 661-327-4734 – FAX 661-377-0363

PARISH SCHOOL CELEBRATING OUR 100TH YEAR 1910 to 2010 2516 Palm Street – 661-327-9266 Preschool – 8th Grade Cindy Meek, Principal If you are an alumni of St. Francis School please contact us for Centennial Celebration Activities

4101 Patton Way • 431-6229

Religious Schools & Worship Services Directory

Masses - Saturday Vigil 5:00 PM Sunday - 7:30, 9:00, 10:30 AM, 12 Noon, 5:30 P M Every Weekday - 6:30 AM Reconciliation- Saturday 4:00 PM


Abby’s Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Trent Nyswonger (Adele Jeane Galli) April 11th, 2009

p The Grand Ballroom

Picture This Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Alfonso Garcia (Alicia Lucero) May 9th, 2009

Ladies and Gents

p First Assembly of God


Lacey’s Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Scott Joseph (Nicole Rockwell) October 11th, 2008

p The Bell Tower

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Todd McClusky


Mr. & Mrs. David Windtberg (Kristi Crawford) July 4th, 2008

p San Diego Jessica Moncrief Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Dewayne Stubbs (Tilisa Dean) April 4th, 2009



p Best Western-Buck Owens


Kate Radi Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Joshua Huber (Pamela Sill) November 8th, 2008

p San Diego

Artisan Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Ozzy Ruiz (Becky Kohr) February 14th, 2009

p St. Francis Church

To submit your wedding photography log onto www.bakersfieldmagazine.net


L ist e x tra


www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 133

BAKERSFIELD MAGAZINE Sunday: • 10:30 am Tuesday: • 7:00 pm



For more photos from these parties visit bakersfieldmagazine.net

Special Teen Service Tuesdays • 7:00 pm

Co-Pastor: Senior Pastor: Duane Meadors Ron Roberson 912 New Stine Rd. (661)836-0272 www.HGCBakersfield.com

Jeanne Radsick

Debbie Gonzales

Cristen Apodaca Cheryl Collins, Andrea Hernandez & Silvia Benavides

Tyler Anderson & Art Caballero

March For Babies

Locals laced up their sneakers and got their marching faces on for healthy babies. The March of Dimes hosted their annual walk at Liberty Park, where teams gathered to support this great cause. In addition, folks enjoyed breakfast and lunch, competed in a T-Shirt contest and water balloon toss, and heard heartfelt testimonials from families impacted by the March of Dimes.

Daniel & Ruth Celedon



Lorritta & Susan Butler

Gabriella Alvarez, Irene Flores & Beatriz Briseno

Erin & Renee Nuanes

JoAnn & Gary Larson

Robin Gagnon & Natalie Cox

Christen Mercer & Karen Odie

Lisa Plank & Alissa Carlson

Candice Porche & Linda Ephorom

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717 East 21st St. 322-7159 134 Bakersfield Magazine

Linda Hartman & Bob Ruiz

Andrea Sobrien

BARC Lunch

Bart Hill

Shelley Husband & Julia Bae

Ever dreamed of being served lunch by a local celebrity? How about your boss? Well for the lucky guests of BARC’s Celebrity Waiters Luncheon, they got their wish! With funds benefiting BARC programs, this lunch, held on Administrative Assistant’s Day, was a smashing success with delicious food, a touch of class, and fabulous raffles and giveaways!

Linda Wight & Valerie Encinas

Sally Ellis, Nancy Chaffin, Shanon Mallard & Christina Malton




For more photos from these parties visit bakersfieldmagazine.net

Dave & Melody Spalinger

Carolyn & Jack Pandol

Stacey & Dr. Peter Bae

Key Event

Stockdale Country Club was the setting for Bakersfield Christian High School’s first annual Key Event. Before a fabulous dinner, guests got the chance to sneak a peek at the wonderful auction items available. Dressed to the nines, folks enjoyed the jazzy tunes of a live student band while funds raised will help the school offer financial aid to incoming students.

Breann Goodmon & Vinny Oddo

Vyn Goodmon & Roberto Ramirez

Joyce Mow, Gail Visser & Kate Bos

Gladys Sepulveda

John & Diane White

Jim & Michelle Bloomquist

Lyle & Ronna Azevedo





Amos Brown

MS Walk

Jan Oblak

Melinda Kemph

David Chavez


Tim Hugo

Hundreds of Bakersfieldians gathered at Yokuts Park to show their support for the MS Society. Walkers, runners, and cyclists cheered each other on as they helped raise awareness and money in honor of locals living with multiple sclerosis. In addition to all the fun and games, tasty snacks were served, and lively music set the beat on this uplifting morning.

Wendy DeVoy & Debbie Horne



Dean Vanzant


Kelly Lawrence & Linda Bloomquist


Megan & Jordyn Dutto

Melanie & Gina Coon


Peggy Estay & Audra Miller


Mary & Steve Alfieris



Danny Garcia & Cory Edgmon

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 135

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They are women, hear them roar! Celebration was the name of the game at the 20th Women’s Business Conference. Keynote speaker Vickie Lawrence was icing on the cupcake during a healthy lunch—but the wonderful sessions and presentations that empowered local business women were the real reason to attend (not to mention the great prizes!).


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136 Bakersfield Magazine

Cynthia Huggins

Shelley & Ron Fraze

Laurie Bustamante, Jeanne & Michael Young, Javier Bustamante

Michael & Maggie Cushine

Zane & Amy Smith

Patrick Paggi

Viva Mexico!

Judith Harniman & Mimi Audelo


Sue Lewis

Harley Amos Brown Pinson

Hosted by Joe and Mimi Audelo, this CASA event was a blast! There was no need to go south of the border—the party was here! With authentic fajitas and margaritas, guests celebrated Mexican American heritage in style while raising money for CASA programs! Salsa dancing lessons, a live mariachi band, and a tequila tasting capped off this delightful evening.


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Dianne Calderon

John & Susie Fallgatter

David & Marilyn Hurst, Joe Audelo




For more photos from these parties visit bakersfieldmagazine.net

Victor Flores

Mike Bennett

Linda Voiland & Florence Marantos

Kelli Lewis & Kimberly Weigand

Red & White Fest

Looking for a Solution?

Elder Care Problems? We Know Where To Look.

The second annual Red & White Wine & Food Festival at Bakersfield College was a complete success! More than 60 wineries from all over California brought their finest selections to wow guests. Folks also sampled an incredible array of food, prepared by the students of BC’s Culinary Arts Program. Funds go toward scholarships for future culinary arts students.

We can find an effective solution to your problems with dementia, wandering, forgetting doctor’s orders, confusing behavior, safety issues,… Kristen Lane & Deidra Russell


Senior Care Management (661) 861-8628 Carol Hatton, MHA, CMC Patricia & John Carter

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Finally, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is receiving the most advanced, dignified and cost-effective care available. Cynthia Munoz Dianne Calderon

Diane Alburger

Janet DeHart, Gregg German & Kimberly Binchi

Roberta Zapf & Karen Dewalt


Joe Roberson & Pam VanHorn

Darlene & Harold Mohlke

Jessica Low-Ken & Janelle Downs

1516 25th Street Bakersfield, CA, 93301 Allen Salazar & Renee Massey

Victor Mungary

Angela Mauldin

Raquel & Carlos Velez

Evening at the Races

Carrie Vallembois & Kim Johnson

And they’re off! M.A.R.E’s annual Kentucky Derby-inspired event couldn’t have been finer. With guests dressed in their best and enjoying delectable bites from Café Med, everyone perused the tables of great silent auction and raffle items while waiting for the races to start. The evening was a smashing success, with proceeds benefiting the wonderful programs at M.A.R.E.

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www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 137

bakersfield’s sound


boom-town celebrates

Photo courtesy CHRIS BREWER

Parade watchers gathered at the corner of Chester Avenue as the procession traveled down 19th Street in this 1880s photograph.

cannon is a terrible thing to waste. That’s probably why, in the 1880s, Bakersfield Fourth of Julys were not only legendary...they were loud. What better way to kick off our country’s independence than by firing an artillery weapon used to win our freedom from the British? Makes sense to us. That’s probably because patriotism runs deep in Bakersfield, and nowhere is that more apparent than in early photographs capturing the city’s famous Independence Day celebrations. Fourth of Julys in the 1880s boasted parades that stretched down several blocks of 19th and Chester. Horse-drawn carriages, draped in flags, proudly strolled down the street; jovial pops of firecrackers echoed throughout the town; and Bakersfield’s belle, wearing her sash, waved at bystanders. We really celebrated in style. That style came by way of a decree. The town’s committee sent store owners a letter urging them to decorate their shop’s porch. And so it was proudly done. Store fronts, even saloons, were decked in red, white, and blue bunting; and American flags hung in every window, or were stuck in potatoes that hung from porch roofs. While the parade lasted, flags never flew higher, and patriotism seemed it would never fade away. County newspapers have since proclaimed it was a time “when parades were really parades.” While we don’t have horse races or chicken-pulling contests anymore, we still know why we gather together every July 4. Sparklers have replaced firecrackers and we use potatoes for potato salad now, but the American flag still waves proudly in Bakersfield. Now, who do we have to talk to about getting that cannon back in commission?

the story of bakersfield is all around us, you just have to look — and listen. 138 Bakersfield Magazine

www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Summer 2009 139

Your City. Your Life. Your Magazine.



1601 New Stine Road • Suite 200 Bakersfield, CA 93309

Visit us at bakersfieldmagazine.net


Bakersfield is a unique city, full

It was her dream to see Bakersfield continue to

of entrepreneurial people who believe

blossom as a wonderful place for families to live and

in a better life. And no one believed

businesses to grow. Her passion was unrivaled and

in the potential of our city like

her positive attitude, and the words she published,

Donna Corum. She was a woman

carried this city when others’ voices fell short. With

who knew exactly how to channel

a tenacious spirit and an unrelenting drive, she sang

her passion into something that would benefit our entire community. For 26 years, as the founder and co-publisher of Bakersfield Magazine—Bakersfield’s city magazine— she promoted the best of our great city in every way

nothing but praise for the city we call home. San Joaquin Community Hospital would like to recognize her spirit. It’s a spirit we recognize in ourselves; a passion and commitment to serve the wonderful community of Bakersfield.

she could, living by the credo “100 percent positive, 100 percent local.” She would say, “People already get enough doom and gloom from the media.”

Thank you, Donna, for believing...in our community, its businesses, and its people.

Chester Avenue at 27th Street / 661.395. 3000 / www.sjch.us

140 Bakersfield Magazine

Profile for Bakersfield Magazine

Bakersfield Magazine • 26-2 Man Issue  

Men, Pets, Medical Specialties, and All the Rest of Our Regular Features...PLUS Foodie Tour II - Punishment for Glutons!!!

Bakersfield Magazine • 26-2 Man Issue  

Men, Pets, Medical Specialties, and All the Rest of Our Regular Features...PLUS Foodie Tour II - Punishment for Glutons!!!