Bakersfield Magazine • 28-1 • Generations

Page 1

“A-ha” Moments: Would You Go For It? VOL. 28 NO. 1


Most Expensive Burger in Kern




Curlers in Your Hair?

& Other Uproarious Morning Moments

Wake Up! B•Town The Official Unofficial Guide to

How Bakersfield Starts its Day

What’s for Lunch? Brown Bagging it,

Grown-up Style This Ain’t Junior’s PB&J We’re everywhere you are.

Say Aaaaahhhhhhhh.


Good news for the kids of Bakersfield—It’s OK. Now that the brand new Children’s Medical Center at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital is open, Kern County kids can get state-of-the-art pediatric care close to home—and their parents can breathe a sigh of relief. We provide a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for newborns and preemies. We have specially trained pediatricians here 24/7, along with compassionate nurses and staff to care for kids. This summer, we’ll open the only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for infants, youngsters and older children in the area.

So, whether it’s simple or more serious, with Memorial’s new Children’s Medical Center you can rest assured…it’s OK, we’re always thinking about you. PEDIATRIC RESOURCE GUIDE P For F a free 16-page guide on kids k health and wellness, call: 1.877.854.4BMH (4264). 1

Memorial Physician Referral & Resource Line 1.877.854.4BMH Become a fan on Facebook Health Information Library: Access our free health information library at or You’ll find hundreds of health topics of interest to read about.

PRE-REGISTER TODAY! Save time and be better prepared for an emergency or hospitalization by pre-registering your child at or call 661.327.4647 ext 4866.

420 34th Street Bakersfield, CA 93301 • 661.327.4647 / Spring 2011 3

4 Bakersfield Magazine

BMW 5 Series Sedan 1-800-334-4BMW

The Ultimate Driving Machine®


A 5-star crash test rating is no longer handed out; it’s earned. The 2011 BMW 5 Series is the only luxury car to be awarded an overall 5-star rating from the government’s new crash test. The New Car Assessment Program testing criteria involve new standards in the rating system, including a test representing a vehicle crashing into a tree or pole, side impact test at a higher speed and a new female crash test dummy. Joy is embracing the new standards. The story of Joy continues at


BMW of Bakersfield 661.396.4040

©2011 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks. European model shown. The 2011 BMW 5 Series received a 5-star overall rating from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s program ( Other 2011 luxury vehicles tested include Audi, Cadillac and Infi niti. Each received a 4-star overall rating. All BMWs come with BMW Ultimate Service and Warranty standard for up to 4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever occurs fi rst. Roadside Assistance comes standard for 4 years. See the Service and Warranty booklet for more details and specifi c terms, conditions and limitations. Based on $0 cost for the BMW Maintenance Program. IntelliChoice estimated cost of maintenance for a BMW for 4 years or 50,000 miles, excluding tires, is $0. / Spring 2011 5

SPRING 201 1

Holiday Brunch

Easter April 24th Mother’s Day May 8 th


f e at u r e s

Our picks for the hot items around town

Stuff We Like......................18

NE W ! Located in our Grand Ballroom 10am-2pm • Adults $25 Seniors $21 • Children 5-12 $15 4 & under FREE Call The Nines Restaurant to make a reservation

N e w R e g u l a r Fe a t u re ! I t ’s a re a l “ 1 0 ”



An ongoing chronicle of local histor y

Kern county shapers


What’s “new” with the Historical Society?

Past and Present History...........53

p! wake u n B•Tow

The official unofficial guide to all things a.m.



Local resources to fill out that family tree

TRACING Your roots


Generations Profiles This year’s featured longstanding and family-owned businesses.

Bakersfield Marriott

When only the best will do!

661.565.9319 801 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield, CA 6 Bakersfield Magazine

Before we learn to write, we learn to color



100+ 75-99 50-74 25-49

58 64 69 81







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r de



! / Spring 2011 7

SPRING 201 1






D E P ART M E N TS Colonel Baker’s field is our field, too

Letter from the Editor.......13 A little section with a lot of big information

Kern Facts

With high fashion, one size doesn’t fit all

The Bakersfield Look........27 We’re in “love” with this pro tennis star

Citizen Ker n....................29






1032 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield CA •


8 Bakersfield Magazine


This growing business started with an “a-ha”

A recipe that’ll have you hook, line, and sinker


Quick Bites....................107

When generations collide in the workplace

A “factory” churning out world-class BBQ

Human Resources...............44

What’s Cookin’..............109

Do home remedies really cure stretch marks?

Swirl and burble— ­ wine geek speak

Looking Good, Feelin’ Good...93

Life is a Cabernet...........111

The Mix Lounge at Mandalay Bay

How to spend your day at Mandalay Bay

Taking your lunch has never tasted so grown up

Jack was on to something with those beans

This drink will really have you praising Mary

Gardening with Mrs. P......99

Bottoms Up....................118

Trees help the environment...and your wallet

These party pics are worth 1,000 words

Great Getaways


Entertaining the Bakersfield Way


Going Green...................101

Party Chatter....................135

Lighting turns ordinary into the extraordinary

The 1911 race that started a local love affair

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

Bakersfield’s Sound..........138


Rob and Judi McCarthy PA R T N E R S





e loves to dress-down; she loves to dress-up. He’s in a t-shirt and shorts; she’s in pumps and pearls. He loves hunting and motorcycles; and she loves, well, not hunting or motorcycles. And while they say opposites attract, Rob and Judi McCarthy have spent years together, committing themselves to one common goal: giving back to the Kern County community. Rob started his business, Lightspeed Systems, Inc. in 1984, and has dedicated his talents to transforming education in the United States through the development of educational software. “We design software that provides a safe learning environment for children while using the internet,” says Rob. “We’re doing some really good stuff here that will improve children’s learning experiences.”

“…we feel the need to do something for our community…” —Judi McCarthy

For all the business success Rob has achieved, Judi has been equally successful in the many endeavors she has pursued since moving to Bakersfield in 1982 with this home-town boy. From her dedication to volunteering for many local nonprofit organizations to supporting her children and their many school activities, Judi knows first-hand the meaning of giving back to the community. Judi is the immediate past Chair of Kern Community Foundation and Founding Chair of The Women's & Girls' Fund, a leadership initiative that makes grants to local nonprofits to improve the lives of women and girls in Kern County.

“Aside from our current giving of time and resources, Rob and I have talked about the need to do philanthropic things with our earnings once we’re gone—we feel the need to do something for our community,” says Judi. The couple established the Robert and Judith McCarthy Family Fund at Kern Community Foundation to help facilitate these plans.“We like the concept in that we've got a way to make gifts during our lifetime that will continue making a difference long after we're gone.” “Plus, utilizing Kern Community Foundation provides tax strategies that allow us to give more efficiently,” Rob adds. “We believe that by using the Foundation, even after our deaths, our philanthropic wishes can be fulfilled.” Rob and Judi McCarthy encourage others to join the growing community of donors who have established a charitable fund at Kern Community Foundation. Established in 1999, the Foundation helps local donors practice smarter giving to achieve greater impact from their philanthropy. The organization holds individual, family and corporate funds valued at approximately $14 million, and offers a variety of giving options including scholarships and nonprofit endowments. The Foundation also accepts a wide range of assets, such as: cash, appreciated securities, real estate, life insurance, IRAs, partnership interests and bequests. For more information, call 661.325.5346 or visit

Fo r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n , c a l l 6 6 1 . 3 2 5 . 5 3 4 6 o r v i s i t w w w. k e r n f o u n d a t i o n . o r g / Spring 2011 9


MEDICAL PROFILES Medical Profiles..................92

Kern Health Resource Guide...98



inspired by classic old world design


Green Pages........................101

home & Garden resources

Home & Garden..................104

The Dining Guide The Dining Guide.................119

661.587.9816 |

community partners Community Par tners..........124

Religious Schools & Worship Services Directory Worship Director y...............130

Shoppers Bazaar..............132

everafters... Weddings...........................134

Ranked “Highest Overall Satisfaction for Home Sellers Among National Full Service Real Estate Firms” by J.D. Power and Associates. In a challenging market, Prudential Real Estate’s exceptional knowledge, innovative marketing strategies, and commitment to service can help you sell your home with more confidence. See why we have the highest average home sales price in America. And why, now more than ever, Americans are sold on Prudential Real Estate.

661-654-1600 10 Bakersfield Magazine

THE real


MEDICAL SPECIALTIES g in E m Co JUN 11 20 / Spring 2011 11


Donna Louise Corum founder . visionary . friend

Vol. 28 No. 1


Spring 2011

Publisher Les Corum

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

Wine & Food Editor Mike Stepanovich Creative Director Chuck Barnes Graphic Artist Laura Turner

Systems/Production Ryan Turner

Director of Sales/Marketing Mark Corum

Sales & Marketing Mike Broida, Lisa Corum Douglas “Dale” Heflin, Greg Johnson Photography/Editorial Assistant Isabel Alvarez Contributing Writers Kali Campbell, Charlie Durgan Camille Gavin, Tracie Grimes Jason Gutierrez, Matthew Martz Robin Paggi, Tom Xavier

Accounting/Human Resources Melissa Galvan Distribution/Circulation Brigit Ayers David Corum Cover Art Nina Malyna

Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. 1601 New Stine Road, Suite 200 Office (661) 834-4126 Fax (661) 834-5495 Email: website: Bakersfield Magazine is published bi-monthly by Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. ©Copyright 2011 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 1 year, $18 for 2 years.

Secure PayPal Gift Subscriptions 12 Bakersfield Magazine

Letter from the Editor

It’s Not Only Colonel Baker’s field– it’s our field, too... Grandma Sally was reflecting on the events of the day my mom was born. As I remember the story, it was a very hot July day in the thick of WWII. Grandpa Don, who was serving his country as an oil man, was able to stay in Kern County. Per Uncle Sam (the country’s uncle, not mine specifically), his expertise was needed at home. Sally had been saving their ration coupons (six months worth!) to surprise him with a steak dinner. Well, Don was about to sit down to the biggest, thickest, juiciest steak dinner this side of Texas when the phone rang. “It’s a girl!” Sally surprised him, all right. Don would always joke that he should have eaten the steak instead... When you’re younger, you overhear things: bits and pieces, whispers, musings, parts of a phone call, a snippet of dinner conversation. You run across newspaper clippings in a drawer, photos in a suitcase, yearbooks on a shelf. Old stuff—names, places, faces—you don’t give them much thought at the time, but you tuck them into that place in your memory marked “important.” Sally was always happy to add a little insight into local lore. Being a rancher’s daughter, it was only natural. She knew most of the farmers; she had gone to school with many. Between her and Don, who knew most of the business owners, they practically knew everyone in town. Don, on the other hand, would rarely share when it came to his childhood. When he did, he would tell you of growing up just past the Bluffs, being a member of the KCUHS Marching Band, picking up fossils at Shark Tooth Hill, and his days of working for Standard Oil in Taft before leaving the oil patch to help out at his father-in-law’s ranch. Then there were the stories of farming cotton on land he leased from the Kern County Land Company (across from what is now Stockdale High) and, later, his adventures in wildcatting at Lost Hills. Mom always spoke of the characters she met while growing up at Kern Lake, BHS Driller Pride, hanging out at Stan’s and Michener’s drive-ins, Christmastime at Brock’s Department Store, how she met Dad, about us kids, and business. Dad likes to talk about cruising Chester Avenue, Andre’s Drive-In, drag races at

DRE Lic.00818891

Mom (center) and ”us kids” exploring Kern Lake, December 2000.

Famoso, his early years at Channel 29, the magazine, his grandkids, and, of course, Mom. They’re the little things...snippets of yesteryear, glimpses of the past, stories of adventures, tales of good times and bad. All of them with a single common thread—they all happened here. And that is the premise behind this issue’s “Kern County Generations.” What started out as an idea to do a feature on Kern’s early days, has blossomed into what we hope will be an ongoing chronicle of the history of Kern County. From the people whose passion and purpose contributed to the building of Kern, to the longstanding and family-owned businesses that have helped shape, and continue to guide, the direction of the city we call home. It’s a history lesson of sorts, bringing all those little snippets that have been “tucked away” to life, all the while uncovering new ones, complete with a website dedicated to the cause. Generations starts on page 45. The website can be found at: But, all work and no play makes for a long day, so we are also thrilled to unveil this issue’s other great feature: Wake Up! B•Town—the official unofficial guide to how Bakersfield starts its day. It’s a fun romp through mornings and the people who help us start the a.m. Wake Up! starts on page 35. These, and all the regular features you’ve come to love, are inside. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together. This issue is definitely one to treasure!

Mike Corum

14009 Yokuts Ln. • $1,600,000

KERN RIVER! Priceless views and quality in this 5+ bdrm, 5.5 bath, + guest house custom home on 1.35 acres. Hardwood, slate & stone floors, volume ceilings, floor to ceiling windows--all blend harmoniously into the gorgeous setting of foothills, canyon and river. Huge glass-tile infinity-edge solar heated pool. 5 car garage.

11307 Fulbourne • $1,179,000 Gorgeous Brandt-built custom home on corner lot in privacy-gated Brighton Estates. Almost 5,000 sq.ft. of luxury living. Office near Master Suite, upstairs game room with bath/closet. Private casita bedroom w/outside entrance & bath. Fenced pebble tec pool/spa, outdoor kitchen, gym/play area, half basketball court in motorcourt between garages. Rich amenities!

Grand Island • $995,000 Seven Oaks Golf Course! Originally Ron Froehlich/builder’s own home. Pool, spa, two trellised patios, plantation shutters, tiled floors. 4 separate wings, formal living/dining, family room opens to granite island kitchen. Downstairs master, upstairs game, balcony golf course views, two 2-car garages.

Seven Oaks Showcase IV• $1,295,000 Seven Oaks Privacy-gated. Jolliff-built! Over 6,700 sq. ft. 6 bdrms + office, 5.5 baths, theatre, game room, 4-car garage. Heated pool/spa, bbq, big patio! Hardwood floors, crown moldings, double-island granite kitchen w/dbl appliances.

Signature Properties, Signature Service! / Spring 2011 13

Ba ke rs fie ldH eartHo spita l .com

How much do you know about

Peripheral Vascular Disease?

Peripheral Vascular Disease affects about eight million people in the United States.



TRUE. Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) causes the narrowing of vessels that carry blood to the legs, arms and other organs. Individuals with PVD are at greater risk for heart attack, stroke and loss of limbs. It is a very serious medical condition, yet the symptoms of PVD are often mistaken as signs of arthritis, fatigue or old age. Don’t take chances with your vascular health—know the facts. Schedule your quick, painless PVD screening at the Bakersfield Heart Hospital TODAY. To learn more or to schedule a FREE Screening Call


14 Bakersfield Magazine

3001 Sillect Avenue | Bakersfield, CA 93308

We’re here to help.

Kern Facts

People People •• Places Places •• Events Events

He’s the CEO of ARRC Technology and she’s the head of Corporate Administration, but this busy power couple keeps the romance alive any way they can...even in a construction zone.


& Hers

Be honest—what was the first thing you thought when you met your future spouse for the first time? Monique: “That is the biggest cowboy hat I’ve ever seen!” Alex: “Why is she at my party? I need to meet her.”

What is the funniest thing that happened while you two were dating? Monique: There are things that should never be in print for public eye—yikes! But, I do remember once we went on a hike and I lost my footing and slid down a ridge into the river. The water was freezing and I was soaked! He pulled me out and I had to wear some of his clothes home. That was an interesting conversation with my parents! Alex: This is a G-Rated magazine—I cannot tell you that! But, it had to do with me getting dressed really, really fast in the dark and ending up wearing her pants... which were nine inches shorter than mine!

What is the craziest thing your spouse has ever done for you? Monique: While I was delivering our first child, he put a rubber surgical glove on his head in the delivery room and acted like a chicken—to make me laugh through the pain. Alex: One time we were driving back from a trip and I was dead tired, so she steered the truck while I closed my eyes for 15 minutes on cruise control! What is your spouse’s biggest phobia? Monique: Really scary movies. Oh, and spiders that “run really fast.” Alex: The fact that I might cuss in church! She is so afraid of that! Who’s the first one to admit when they’re wrong? Monique: Alex likes a good debate, so even if he does agree with me, he will never admit it. So, often, we just agree to disagree. And then I don’t make

in step with:

Alex & Monique Rogers "So, often, we just agree to disagree. And then I don’t make dinner for a week and use his toothbrush for odd cleaning jobs around the house!" dinner for a week and use his toothbrush for odd cleaning jobs around the house. (I win!) Alex: Monique, because she always is! What is your spouse most passionate about and why? Monique: If I had to pick one thing he is passionate about, it’s fishing. No doubt about it. But, he is also passionate about helping others succeed in business. He really enjoys working with people who listen and execute. In fact, our company, CharTec, is really about helping other IT companies throughout the nation, like ARRC Technology, build stronger businesses. Alex: Monique is most passionate about our family and employees, which are our second family. She really enjoys taking care of others.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Bakersfield and why? Monique: We love taking our kids to the movies. I know it sounds cliché, but we still hold hands and share popcorn. Every once in a while, we sneak a kiss while the kids aren’t looking. Alex: Four-wheeling in the Canyon, looking for snow. What is your least favorite thing about your spouse and most favorite thing? Monique: Least– the way he drives. It makes me insane. We often drive separate cars to the same event. Favorite– his sense of humor and laugh. There are times he thinks I am laughing at what he says, but I’m really laughing at him...laughing! Alex: Least–she never changes my toothbrush. Favorite–her sense of humor. She can always crack me up! brush© / Spring 2011 15

Let us make your space matter.

Kern Facts

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Five bucks for the first her! person who cracks this cip

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want to serom now on, when we with readers, cretly communicate er, we’ll be inserting a we’ll be using ciphers. Or rath phones equipped with QR Code (which most smart ere on a page of the the free app can scan) somewh s to online extras—the magazine. These are quick link y, an A-List extra, or code will either take you to a stor gical, secret place it might just take you to a ma Special way, you’ll be a part (like an online Narnia). Either Offer b Clu s The Baby-sitter of our secret QR Club; it’s like and actual babysitting. without all the tween drama


Our Design Team and knowledgeable Sales Staff can guide you through choosing the most efficient office design for your business.

5300 District Blvd. 661.397.5300 Mon-Fri 9am to 6pm

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(Editor ’s Note: Probably bec

by the numbers


6 Inches of snow Bakersfield received in 1999 27 Number of call boxes along the Kern River Parkway Trail 64 Estimated number of Pop•Tarts our executive editor eats each month! 1945 Year the Kern County Museum opened 15,000 Estimated dollar cost of a trained BPD K-9 Unit dog (funds come from seized assets) 2,600,000 Pounds of recyclable material diverted by BARC each month Sources:,,

16 Bakersfield Magazine

52 pro duc tion wild es y



Been Joker’d?


to c our t

ure, there are a lot of games to try when you’re cruisin’ the tables in Vegas. But why not try your hand (yes, pun intended) at a game that was developed locally and just so happens to be available in Sin City? Forget Craps, forget Texas Hold ‘ gotta try Wild 52. “I created the game years ago,” explained Joel Nord. It was a type of poker game he could play with his buddies and his family. In 2010, Nord and longtime pal Ken Noack started thinking the game could be easily adapted into a table-style game; one where players are pitted against a “We were given one dealer. It turns out, it could. table with six seats What followed was a whirlwind and by the second day, experience for Nord and Noack. people were lined up Since Noack is no stranger to three-deep to play.” high-stakes poker games in Vegas, he was able to use some of his contacts at Caesars Entertainment Corporation to see how well the game would do out on the floor. “I had gotten to know the managers over the years and wanted to give them first shot at testing the game,” Noack said. It was instantly accepted—the game is well-structured, fun to play, and easy to learn. True Bakersfieldians through and through, the guys even utilized local vendors to make the signage, shirts, and other promotional materials that are being used in Vegas. “The game went through two months of beta-testing at The Flamingo in February and March of this year,” Nord elaborated. “It was meeting and exceeding everyone’s expectations during testing,” Noack continued. “We were given one table with six seats and by the second day, people were lined up three-deep to play.” Talk about a successful run. Come May, the game will be receiving its licensure, meaning the guys can start negotiating with other casinos to get Wild 52 on floors throughout Las Vegas. And if this seems like a Cinderella story of sorts, that’s because it is. Of the more than 100 games that come across a major casino’s desk in a year, only one percent are selected for trial. But maybe that has to do with the catchy slogan the fellas have come up with for winners: “I got Joker’d in Vegas.” Well, here’s to getting Joker’d! If you’d like more information, visit or, you know, head to Las Vegas.

What can cost $500 and leave you feeling very satisfied?

burger at Ten ounces of juicy ham ille. For over rnv Ke the Airport Cafe in in and n making the extra flight 25 years, pilots have bee of a burger ns bu the b Airport to gra out of the Kern Valley given it the t flight and fuel costs have that is actually only $6, bu say she’s le who have made the trip mile-high reputation. Peop ve up these ies in the cafe not only ser worth every bite. The lad e you wind ll jump on the radio to giv tasty temptations, but wi rger, that is. how you want it...the bu reports and ask you just / Spring 2011 17

Kern Facts Backless Summer Cocktail Dress, $129 Calypso Boutique 5009 Stockdale Hwy. (661) 396-1609

Personalized Bow Pads, $15-35 Socially Yours (661) 325-3585

Shoot Sac, $209 Henley’s Photo 2000 H St. (661) 324-9484

stuff we like

Floral Easter Basket, $65 Flourishing Art 407 East 19th St. (661) 861-8600

18 Bakersfield Magazine

Animal Tape Measurer, $9.95 Classy Kits and Yarns 1839 F St. (661) 325-7226

Become B-Town Famous!

Be the envy of fri ends and family! Impress your neigh bors and co-worke rs! Get your name in your city magazin e and your photo on the world-wide web... and best of all W IN! Log on to www.bakersfie t for details and entry form...

Good Luck!

Powerbuilt Golf Hybrid 500 Stand Bag, $110 Golfcraft Custom Clubs 2602 F St. (661) 327-1567

Isabella Fiore Handbag, $225 Chica’s 4725 Panama Ln. (661) 396-7090

Did You Know...

The movie The Running Man opens with a scene depicting the “Bakersfield Food Riots,” after which Arnold Schwarzenegger's character is framed as “The Butcher of Bakersfield.” Source:

A-List rewards



hen we ran our last Pop Quiz, there wasn’t a single person in the office who didn’t think we’d found the image to stump you all. Much to our chagrin, tons of readers emailed us with the correct answer within days of the issue hitting newsstands. Our confidence was short-lived. But, ever the optimists, we’re sure the image we’ve selected for this issue’s Pop Quiz will be harder to crack than an unripe pistachio. Email your guesses to comments and, if you’re correct, and we randomly select your name from all the entries, you’ll take home $30 in Russo’s gift certificates. Last Issue’s Answer: Stained-glass windows at the Bell Tower Club on Truxtun.


o say that we love our A-List members is a bit of an understatement. We love to treat them to dinner at amazing restaurants, give them tickets to cool local events, and even toss out free gift cards from time to time. This is one of those times. We randomly select names from our A-List Database and list them below. The first A-List member to spot their name and email us at will win a $100 gift certificate to Sorella Ristorante* where they can dine on fantastic, local Italian food. If you’re not an A-List member, what are you waiting for? Sign up today! It’s free and easy. Jason George Ali Bakoo

Darcell Debusk Teri Elliott Jimmy Phillips Maggie Suda Andrew Yom

Christina Vasquez Jane Parker Cory Morris Mila Bolanos Richard States

*contest eligibility for A-List members only who have not won a prize in the past three months. / Spring 2011 19

Kern Facts

Like to Win? They do, too!


We offer multiple packages from 100 to 350 guests Park Place is a special event location, privately owned and operated. We are an outdoor park venue with an enclosed area for guest comfort in any weather condition. Our main interest is making weddings very special for your special day. For more information please call: 661.746.6765 Or visit: 28144 Fresno Avenue Shafter, California 93263

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ward Season may be gone, but we’re still in a giving mood. That’s why we’re happy to announce some big winners from the last few months—folks who’ve taken home certificates, tickets to local events, and even Bakersfield Magazine gift baskets from charity auctions. These are our versions of golden statues. A-List Contest Winner James Whitehead Stuff We Like Winners Patricia Cervantes—Log Cabin Florist Renee Stahl—La Ti Da Salon Ramon Carriedo—Ladies & Gents Bridal Tom Turner—Spoiled Rotten Laura Stewart—In-Kind Spa Package Audrey Polanco—Little White Dress Go Red Luncheon Gift Basket Mary Lopez Pop Quiz Winner Craig Holland Bakersfield Symphony Terry Norris David Cannon Gina Alfaro CSUB Casino Night Martha Benavides Leticia Chavez CSUB Casino Night Gift Basket Sandy Hughes

“Our Commitment, Your Sight for Life”

8501 Brimhall Rd., Bldg. 400, Ste. 401 & 402

Small Business & Group Benefits Specialists

Call for a FREE Consultation Jim & Brenda Lencioni Independent Associates

20 Bakersfield Magazine

661-978- 5518


Just West of Coffee Rd.


James White

Mary Lopez


Patricia Cerva

Craig Holland





People • Places • Events

Can’t Live Without Becca DeCarlo tells us the things she can’t live without...for the time being.

Nike Free Running Shoes.

10 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

They always make me feel like an athlete...even when I’m running after an ice cream truck.

There is a song for every mood and I always feel like it’s playing just for me.


Nook Color.


One of the best gifts I have ever received; full access to magazines, books, newspapers, and even the Internet.

André Champagne. $4.99 has never made me feel more classy.


6 As an esthetician, there’s always an opportunity to talk to someone about their skin concerns (shameless plug).

Hands down, the best anti-aging and protection you can offer your skin.



This little guy keeps me busy day or night, rain or shine.


Frugatti’s Italian Eatery.

Business cards.

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic and Sheer Physical UV Defense with SPF 50.



I hate to admit it, but my nonfat chai tea latte is my must-have pick-me-up.

The food and atmosphere are amazing and you always feel like family.


Moleskine notebooks.

There’s nothing like the new beginnings of a fresh notebook. / Spring 2011 21

Kern Facts


Local M

Chasing moments and sharing an experience through the stroke of a brush defines Gita Lloyd’s 'Dionysian’ artistic endeavors.

isty green eyes stare down through tousled blonde hair on a split canvas that hangs in the corner of Gita Lloyd’s living room. Brush strokes define a face that bears a striking resemblance to Lloyd’s daughter, Ursula, who passes in and out of the room while parakeets chirp from a large white cage. Lloyd has painted her daughter, caught in a moment. Chasing moments and sharing an experience through the stroke of a brush is what Lloyd’s art is all about. Lloyd, 56, began her career at the age of five when she won her first art award. “They called my name and I ran and hid,” she chuckled. But she knew she was an artist. At 10 years old, she set a goal. She would give herself 10 years to draw everything she had in her mind. Twenty years and nearly half-a-million drawings later, she was there. At 17, Lloyd went to North Texas State University for a classical education in drawing, but the university art scene of the ‘70s was anything but. “They were doing action drawings of chairs, which I thought, ‘you know what, that chair ain’t going anywhere,’” Lloyd laughed. Lloyd craved criticism and learning, so she became an apprentice with an animation company in Texas. She soon went to Hollywood and began running production on television commercials. She set another goal, “When I have three (commercials) in a row that don’t need re-shooting, and 22 Bakersfield Magazine

that’s hard to do, I’m quitting.” The next stop in Lloyd’s story is with Western Publishing where she did illustrations for the iconic Golden Books for nearly 20 years, including one very

After marrying her musician husband, David Nigel Lloyd, the couple moved to the southern Sierras but it was a specific ballet school for their daughter that brought

Lloyd would give herself 10 years to draw everything she had in her mind. Twenty years and nearly half-a-million drawings later, she was there. famous big red dog, Clifford. “It’s iconic, but it also gets colored in and thrown away and that’s the part I like. Somewhere in Germany, on a playground, there’s some little torn out Winnie the Pooh that I know I laid out in ink,” said Lloyd.

the Lloyds into Bakersfield. “Kern County is beautiful,” described Lloyd. Her commissioned art can be found in businesses all over Kern County and she spent a year working on a project she called “Bakersfield Alive,”

By Kali Campbell when she painted people from all over the city, capturing moments that, when brought together, create the strange and wonderful culture of Bakersfield. Congressman Kevin McCarthy is a collector of Lloyd’s work and a historical piece she did called “Horse Back Padres” hangs in his Washington, D.C. office. Years of drawing has lent itself to the speed necessary for Lloyd to capture moments in time, and the experience of seeing people do ordinary, yet heroic, things. She paints quickly in order to create the work she describes as “experiential. “I’m not in to subjects; all my work is live. I’m not trying to make a depiction,” Lloyd explained. “Everything looks like a painting to me. Everyone walking around looks so beautiful.” Lloyd takes a Dionysian approach, where she attacks the canvas all at once and embraces the messiness that comes with it. She sees that the messiness makes her paintings almost impossible to memorize and therefore always presenting something new....and refreshing. As an artist, Lloyd believes she fills a social role, and that society needs art and should do what it can to support those who fill that need. Lloyd refers to all artists like her as kindred spirits who share a common purpose. “I don’t think I am any different from any artist that ever lived, and, in fact, I feel very close to all artists who ever lived.” / Spring 2011 23


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the most important town 8


t one time, “Havilah was the most important town in the county, although [the area was] not lacking men who could foresee that Bakersfield was soon to outstrip it in the race for supremacy. A. D. Jones, editor of The Havilah Courier, was one of these, and on December 22, 1869, he had moved to Bakersfield, changed the name of his paper to The Kern County Courier, and had gotten out the first issue. In the deissue of January 18, 1870, the scribes the town: Bakersfield, laid out about four months previous to that date, contained the stores of Livermore & Chester and Caswell & Ellis, one telegraph office, a printing office (the Courier) the blacksmith, and carriage shop of Fred Macking, a harness shop belonging to Philip Reinstein, Littlefield & Phelan’s livery stable, John B. Tungate’s saloon, a carpenter shop, a school house with fifty pupils, and two art©

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boarding houses. The professions were represented by Dr. L. S. Rogers and attorney C. H. Veeder. A hotel and grist mill were in contemplation. The Baker toll road was in operation between Bakersfield and the county seat; there were good wagon roads to Visalia and Los Angeles, and a

grade up the mountains to Tehachapi was in progress. The town was protected from flood by a levee built by Colonel Baker, and the whole [county] was supplied with fuel for a long time to come by the logs washed down by the flood of of 1867-8. Of the lands on [the] lower Kern River, 129,625.34 acres had been entered under the state laws, and 40,000 had been patented for reclamation purposed by individuals. No reclamation districts had been formed under the new law, which provided for the appropriation of $1 per acre for the reclamation of swamp lands. This would make a fund of $129,625.34 available for the reclamation of lands in Kern County, an amount believed to be sufficient to accomplish the task and make nearly 200,000 acres of fine land available for cultivation. All this land was considered among the potential assets of Bakersfield. The town was just recovering from an epidemic of fever during the summer previous, and the cause of the fever having been ascribed to drinking water from shallow wells and irrigating ditches, an agitation for deeper wells was under way. Residents of the new town were looking forward to the building of the projected railroad up the valley and were worrying about how they were going to feed the great number of people who would come with the laying of the tracks. They even went to the length of organizing the Kern County Agricultural Society for the promotion of agriculture, so that plenty of food would be assured for the newcomers.”

Source: History of Kern County, California by Wallace M. Morgan. Historic Record Company, Los Angles, California, 1914.

Skilled Hands

Free-Form By Charlie Durgin

“It’s all freehand,” explained Jeff “Four Eyes” Beitzell. “I just find a center point, start there, and branch out.” Beitzell is a pinstriper. Pinstriping is the art of painting symmetrical designs on (mostly) classic automobiles. The lines curve, intertwine, loop back on themselves, and add a very artful—but not overwhelming—aesthetic to hot rods. In Beitzell’s case, he’ll pinstripe anything. “In the beginning, I’d stripe anything flat,” he said. Whether it was pieces of glass scavenged from downtown remodeling projects, yard tools, or an old mirror, he’d grab his trusty paint pens from his “striping box,” the most im-

“ My dad would take me to car shows and I’d take tons of pictures. Later, I realized I didn’t have pictures of cars— I had pictures of the pinstriping on them.” —Jeff Beitzell (Four Eyes)

portant accessory a striper has, to bedazzle them with intricate freehand designs. Beitzell’s own box, a family heirloom, is a wooden crate with his nickname, “Four Eyes,” painted on the front. “Fortunately, I’d been in the hot rod scene, so friends would let me practice on their cars, which was great because you get spoiled working on flat surfaces,” he said. He laughed self-consciously before saying, “I just do what feels right...whatever flows

Jef f Bei tze l l

and looks good on the car.” He starts by looking at the piece to be painted. “Sometimes, I feel like I’m cheating for even putting that piece of masking tape down to find the center line.” After that, he just goes with the flow. “You’ve got to get kind of awkward with it to pull that line in different directions,” he said of the postures he adopts while striping. “The center is the bullet, and my fingers are my measuring tape. I’ll pull one line down and immediately swap back and forth to make it symmetrical.” Beitzell began working with paint pens because he “hated painting.” One night, a friend came over to his garage and saw a design he’d done on an old mirror. “He saw the shamrock I’d done with paint pens, and he

gave me a striping kit,” Beitzell added. Still leery of painting, Beitzell let the kit sit untouched for some time. “Then one winter night, I came out to the garage and messed with it, and thought, ‘Why have I been messing with paint pens?’ ” He hasn’t looked back. “It took me about a year to get the confidence to do a buddy’s car, and another year after that to charge for my work,” he said. Despite not striping until he was 30, the seeds were apparently planted very early. “My dad would take me to car shows. I’d take tons of pictures of cars and get the film developed later, and I realized

I didn’t have pictures of cars— I had pictures of the pinstriping on them,” he said. He also had a mentor. “Gormo,” a veteran pinstriper from Riverside, saw some of Beitzell’s work at a show during the time Beitzell was actually considering giving up the craft. “Gormo came up to me and said, ‘Keep it up kid, you got chops,’ and it meant a lot to me,” Beitzell said. Sadly, Gormo passed away last July and Beitzell was humbled when Gormo’s family presented him with the veteran’s striping box. As for his own striping box, it’ll probably end up in the hands of his son. “Parker is going to be that 8-year-old kid at the car shows laying down lines,” he said with paternal pride. In the meantime, Beitzell has kept his day job as a dental technician, building crowns, bridges, and other dental appliances. But if his current work is any indication, his side job might become the job. / Spring 2011 25

26 Bakersfield Magazine

Ian J. Anderson, 27 Occupation: Food Bank Program Manager Are you a Bakersfield Native? I’m originally from San Clemente. However, I’ve been here since kindergarten, so I claim Bakersfield as my hometown. Is there a style product that you absolutely can’t live without? Hair gel.

Do you think Bakersfield has a style? Bakersfield has a very eclectic style and it depends on what part of town you’re in. Rosedale style is completely different from that of downtown, all the while contrasting the very western look of the farming community.

Describe your personal style. I try to be put-together and professional as often as possible. How you dress is an extension of how you feel about yourself and I think it’s important to put your best face forward. How long does it usually take you to get ready in the morning? Usually not more than 30 minutes.

Is there a celebrity or person in your life that you get your style from? I read GQ. It provides an interesting perspective on fashion.

What are you wearing? Clothes are Express, shoes are Steve Madden, and the sunglasses are Ray-Ban.

What is your favorite item of clothing? Jackets. A good jacket can enhance any look. Are you a bargain hound? If I find something that fits well, I’ll get it. However, I am conscious of the price.

Does your style change when you are not at work? Yes, quite a bit. In my line of work, it’s important to look professional but approachable. Running the Community Action Partnership Food Bank means that I need to be prepared for a new interview one minute and work with clients the next. So, I take great care in trying to strike a balance between the two.

How do you personalize your “business” look? I try to add moderate color whenever possible. Also, I’m a big fan of watches, so I try to match my watch to what I’m wearing.

What are your favorite places to shop in Bakersfield? Express in Valley Plaza, H. Walker’s, and I don’t shy away from Plato’s Closet.

What is the biggest fashion mistake you have made? Since I have a smaller build, it’s often difficult to find clothes that fit me right and that I like. I have, on occasion, purchased a shirt or slacks that I really liked but don’t fit me properly and tried to pull it off. It does not work. What mistakes do you think women make when they dress? Not dressing for their body type. Everyone is built differently, and we all do not have supermodel bodies. I think the biggest mistake anyone can make is not wearing clothing that flatters them.


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TENNIS PRO: dream job if you can earn it.

Personal Stats: Name: Hank Pfister Age: 57 Birthplace: Bakersfield, CA

How he got started: Born into a family of tennis players, Pfister picked up his racket early and never looked back. “I really had no aspirations to be a professional tennis player,” Pfister said, laughing. “When you find you’re good at something, you tend to enjoy it—it was just something I had fun doing.” After undefeated seasons at BHS and BC, Pfister was given a scholarship to San Jose State and didn’t lose a match his entire first year. “I honestly still thought I was going to be a P.E. teacher.” That didn’t stop him from training with (and beating) John McEnroe during McEnroe’s early years.

His heroes: Tennis pro Brian Gottfried, a friend, who happens to have been ranked #3 in the world in ‘77, makes the cut. But, for Pfister, tennis legend Stan Smith takes the cake. “I grew up watching Smith when I was in high school and college, when Smith was winning Wimbledon. To find myself playing him in front of 10,000 people later in life was surreal,” Pfister explained. Pfister would go on to beat Smith.




Not only is tennis a sport that can be played forever... it’s also great exercise.

His favorite part of the industry: Who can pick just one thing? Not only is tennis a sport that “can be played forever, it’s also great exercise.” Plus, as a teacher, Pfister is able to watch people improve at their game and play with them at tournaments. The travel is a big part, though, playing in France, England, Australia, and across the entire US. “I was even invited to a fundraiser in Warsaw, Poland,” he said. “And we wound up dining with the Vice Prime Minister of Russia.”


Career highlights: You wouldn’t think anything could top competing with tennis greats Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, and Arthur Ashe (and beating them), being a US Open Doubles finalist, reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon and the Australian Open three times, or being a twotime French Open Doubles Champion, but Pfister was rubbing elbows with Hollywood’s rich and famous. One “player party” had him on a couch between Kirk Douglas and Lloyd Bridges.


Photos Courtesy of: Brett Weinstein (McEnroe), Robbie Mendelson (Stan Smith), Kern Community Tennis Association (KCTA Logo)

Title: Director of Tennis and Fitness, Stockdale Country Club

What he’d still like to accomplish: While he still plays in tournaments to this day (including the Barber Honda City Tennis Championships), Pfister has been looking forward to developing a Community Tennis Center through the Kern Community Tennis Association. “We finally got some land next to BHS,” he added. Pfister, for all his accomplishments, is being inducted into the Bakersfield City School District Hall of Fame this year. / Spring 2011 29

30 Bakersfield Magazine


How can we use our information systems to make the world a better place?

“a-ha” moment


By Tracie Grimes

bout to receive his master’s degree in social work from UC Berkeley, Jim Damian wanted to find work that he would love, but work that would also make a difference in the world. “Saving children, one child at a time” was his mantra. It seemed like a perfect fit when Damian landed a job in the child welfare department in Oakland. He was sure this was a place where he could really make a difference. But it didn’t take long for Damian to realize that saving the children, or even one child for that matter, wasn’t as easy at it sounded. “When we would find a young child...there was a certain protocol we’d have to follow to get the child the services he needed. And following protocol meant weeding out information and procedures from volumes and volumes of manuals. Most of the time, critical information would be missing from the manuals. It was beyond frustrating.” Soon, Damian found a new mantra: “There’s gotta be a better way.” And that’s when Damian had the “a-ha” moment that changed his career path and lead him down a road riddled with risks. “After working as a social worker for a while, I moved up into the position of information systems manager. This move didn’t change my dreams of making a difference in the world; it just tweaked them a little. I started thinking along the lines of ‘How can we use our information system to make the world a better place?’ I began building information systems and feeling good about being able to help out on this level, and then one morning I woke up and it was just like a light bulb turned on right over my head.” Damian said his entrepreneurial epiphany could help more than just the children; anyone who has to rely on forms, manuals, photographs, and documents of any kind, could benefit from his idea. But there were some pretty significant risks involved. “I would have to leave a great job that paid well, had great benefits, move my young >>

“ I began building information systems and feeling good about being able to help out on this level, and then one morning I woke up and it was just like a light bulb turned on right over my head.”

Jim DAMIaN / Spring 2011 31


family from an area we all really loved, and run the risk of going from this fantastic life and amazing career track to something that may not work out. It’s pretty scary; I found that you really put yourself out there when you make a huge change like this because, for me, like most people, the sense of who you are is tied to your career. The marketplace dictates who wins and who loses, and you’re taking a big risk personally when you make a dramatic change that has a possibility of failing.” So, in 2005, Damian acted on his entrepreneurial impetus, moved his family to Bakersfield, and founded Stria, which means “channel” or “groove,” to fill a unique niche in the business world. Stria provides high-speed document scanning for any type of business, from government entities and hospitals, to lawyers and doctors, allowing organizations to streamline their miles of paperwork. “On a day-to-day basis, our clients have a more efficient business model because we can scan the data at a high rate of speed and convert it into a format instantly recognizable by the client’s information system. We use a method called ‘SecurePaper’ to convert any physical document, i.e., anything that is paper or film (maps, charts, blueprints, photographs, etc.), and automatically put it into a format that allows users to access information using a keyword. This process can save hundreds of business hours a week because employees don’t have to manually search for the documents they need.” An added bonus to having Stria scan and digitally organize a business’s documents is that digital documents are more protected, not only in the event of natural or manmade disasters, but from the standpoint of keeping information secure. “Once we’ve processed the data, the files can be returned to the customer, stored in the Stria facility, or destroyed. If the company opts to have the paper destroyed, BARC (Bakersfield Association for Retarded Citizens), one of our partners, comes in to shred the papers.” Establishing company headquarters in Bakersfield not only made sense from a geographical standpoint (“We can have

“We definitely want to grow the company, but we don’t necessarily want to be the biggest. We want to be the best.”–Jim Damian staff in northern or southern California within a few hours”), but it also meant that Damian would be coming back home to Kern County. “I grew up in Tehachapi and know that Kern County grows hard-working, eager, ethical workers that have the drive it takes to get a start-up company on its feet.” A tour of Stria’s Bakersfield offices (Stria has offices throughout California and Dallas, Texas) makes it plain to see that organization is the name of Stria’s game. Executive desks at Stria are free of those stacks of paper and files one normally sees overflowing onto chairs, credenzas, and even floors. Save for a “Two-for-one” dinner coupon or free drink ticket (“Those aren’t going in any scanner! I’m using those ASAP!” he laughs), Damian's desk is neat as a pin. The only evidence of paper is the massive amounts that are feeding through the high-octane scanners on the scanner-operators desks. 32 Bakersfield Magazine

Once the data is scanned and processed electronically, companies can opt to store the original files safely at the Stria facility. “The key to doing massive scannings is document preparation,” Damian pointed out, noting this involves setting up barcodes for each page and box of documents, plus staple and paper clip removal, and ensuring a good quality scan. “It sounds simple, but we can take out paper clips and staples and fix ripped documents incredibly fast. We are experts in that. Not everybody can say they are experts in taking out staples, but our guys can.” Stria employees are not only experts in the staple-removal arena, they are trained to ensure each scan is readable, which is no small task considering the scans are flashing across their computer screens at an incredibly high rate of speed. Although Stria prides itself on being able to create jobs to help our local economy, the company has some pretty tough standards employees must live up to. Each employee must go through a background check before they can touch any of the documents going through the Stria facility. Staff members are trained and certified to deal with the multiple requirements each industry they work with has. They’ve been certified to work with and manage the special and sensitive documents each client uses and Stria does not offshore any work, Damian added. “Security is a key component to our business. We take confidentiality very seriously because whether we’re getting a

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shoebox of tax returns from a small business or an airplane hangar full of documents from a large company, these records are showing the ‘DNA’ of that entity. That’s not something we take lightly around here. We feel honored that we are able to preserve the ‘life force’ of every company we work with.” It’s this commitment to professionalism that has helped Stria find its “groove” and place number 722 on the Inc. 5000 list in 2010, Damian said proudly. “You know, when I first started the company, people thought I was crazy. Now, I look at the fact that we’re scanning about two million documents per week (as opposed to 20,000 per week when we first started), are on the INC 5000 list, are doing business in about 10 states, and have about six or seven teams ready at any given moment to mobilize and

“You’re Not Just Buying a Car... You’re Helping Me Reach Out to our Wonderful Community.” Let’s make this year the best ever for all of us in our community. We have an obligation and responsibility to add value to everyone’s life. It has been our privilege to do business in this community for the last 18 years. I hope that every customer feels the same way about us. I’d like to thank God for reminding me of my beginnings and those who came and added value to my life. —Jose Arredondo

“Security is a key component to our business. We take confidentiality very seriously because these records are showing the ‘DNA’ of that entity. That’s not something we take lightly around here.”–Jim Damian go on site practically on a moment’s notice. I don’t think I was crazy,” Damian smiled, “but I know I didn’t get here by myself. My two co-owners, Rory Banks and Scott Williams, are big risk takers just like me and another risk taker is joining us to direct business development—Scott Garrison, the former President and co-owner of Lightspeed Systems.” Damian and his co-owners have developed quite an appetite for growth, he said. But it’s not growth just for the sake of building up the number of clients. “We definitely want to grow the company, but we don’t necessarily want to be the biggest. We want to be the best.” And Damian, Banks, Williams, and Garrison aren’t afraid of the new set of risks facing them in their quest to become the best. “We’ve survived the risks of starting up a new company and have come a long way in making a name for ourselves within the industry not only because we offer unparalleled expertise in document conversion, but because we’ve established strategic alliances with industry leaders such as Autonomy, BCS Systems, CMJ Information Technology, InfiniSys, PSIGEN, RICOH, and SpringCM. These partnerships allow Stria to offer a host of document lifecycle services that extend far beyond conversion and bring us into the realm of information management, records management, and on-demand workflow,” Damian explained. Stria is ready for the risks that face them in the future, which includes being flexible enough to know when its time to switch gears. “We plan on being around for a very long time and to do that we need to be flexible. For instance, a couple of years ago, we were working mostly with governmental clients. Now, we don’t have any; our client base has diversified into the medical, law, and energy fields. Things change because of the economy, because of technology, because of a lot of factors, and a company that’s able to withstand the test of time has to recognize that and address the changing clients and the changing needs of the clients.” v

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34 Bakersfield Magazine

! p u e k a w

n w o T • B

Let’s get one fact straight—how you wake up (or, more specifically, how you start your morning) sets the pace for the rest of your day. Think about those days when you sleep through your alarm, jolt out of bed, hastily get dressed, and speed to work. You feel like you’re playing catch-up all day. What about the morning you forget your coffee? Seems like time is moving by at a snail’s pace. But how many of us have actually thought about our morning routine? How many of us go to work or school with a play-by-play of what happened that morning in our head? The answer is no one. That’d be silly. Thankfully, we’re here to think about that stuff for you. Why? Because we wanted to find out just how Bakersfield starts its day. So, sit back, relax, and "WAKE UP" with Bakersfield Magazine. / Spring 2011 35

: t s a f k e a l e y r t B own S B•T


till, thanks to our AListers, we learned just how varied our city is when it comes to a Monday-Friday breakfast menu. And not one single person admitted to eating Pop-Tarts! A majority of folks did, however, profess to eat oatmeal and fresh fruit on a regular basis. Eggs and toast was a close second. Bagels rounded out the top three. Our favorite entry came from the A-List member who wrote in saying that their typical breakfast consisted of a turkey and cheese sandwich, a Snickers bar, and water. Talk about nutrition. Some of us at the office have no room to talk. A double fudge brownie has been on our breakfast menus from time to time— but only because it follows Bill Cosby logic: “Eggs! Eggs are in chocolate cake. And milk! Oh, goody. And wheat! That’s nutrition.” (Editor’s Note: Please don’t eat chocolate cake for breakfast.) Everyone we polled seemed to heartily enjoy a fruit smoothie for breakfast. That includes Congressman Kevin McCarthy. And because we (read: he) is so generous, we’re happy he provided us with his favorite recipe for a healthy, tasty smoothie. “It’s a quick breakfast food,” he said. “It’s a great drink when you’re on the run.” And, let’s face it, no one runs more than a politician.

36 Bakersfield Magazine

PHoto provided by Kevin mccarthy

ay. f the d meal o who eat t n a t r o s ost imp the one cheese is the m hat way are d t e s s a f s k e rea el t roc e that b who don’t fe e on, guys, p e r g a ople eople (com stem!). Most p essing the pe r waking up your sy r o e f u t f d g a o We’re oofs shortly be go g can’t p cheesy in the mornin rly that ea


McCarthy’s “The Whole Banana”

Breakfast Smoothie Ingredients 1/2 cup strawberries 1/4 cup blueberries 1/2 to 1 whole banana (McCarthy always uses the whole banana) Juice of half of an orange 1 cup milk or yogurt • 1 tsp. honey 1/4 cup uncooked oats


ut if you’re not much of a weekday breakfast food eater, our guess is that you like to really fill up on the weekend...but where do you go? Here’s a riddle for you. Where can you find 300 biscuits, 15 pounds of chicken fried steak, and 3 gallons of gravy on any given Sunday?

Directions Put all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. We recommend using the frappé sounds cooler. McCarthy drinks his smoothie with two eggs over easy, but that’s not required. Although, do you really want to disobey a Congressman? We didn’t think so.

Cap’n Brunch Answer: Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. Okay, so that wasn’t really a riddle. But it was a good way to get your mouth watering and to introduce the A-List pick for favorite local brunch place. Chances are, you’re a local who’s never set foot in the Crystal Palace for brunch. That’s okay. Mathy Hufford, the operations manager, said

she’s constantly meeting longtime residents of Bakersfield who are coming in for the first time. “I’ve met people who say they’ve lived here for 20 years and have never come in for brunch. But after that first time, they’re regulars,” she quipped. Here’s a list of what we discovered on our last visit: two kinds of scrambled

It was a wonderful day... in 1984 when IHOP introduced the Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity® Breakfast to their menu. And there was much rejoicing.

eggs, thick strips of applewood smoked bacon, sausage patties, sausages, their famous chicken fried steak, cheesy hash brown casserole, mashed potatoes, red potatoes, biscuits, gravy, bacon green beans, enchiladas, rice, fried chicken, an omelet station, a waffle station, a fruit and salad station, a dessert station, and a meat station with tender tri-tip, ham, and ribs...sliced for you at your request. “We try to keep the same items because we have regulars who demand them,” Hufford laughed. “We’ll try a new dish and put it out for a few Sundays and if it doesn’t seem like people are enjoying it, we don’t put it out again. But when we put out the cheesy hash brown casserole, I knew we found a winner.” But just how much food do they go through during the

course of a Sunday brunch? We got Hufford to give us some figures, some of which are listed above, that may surprise you.

Crystal Palace

On Any Given Sunday... 320 people served 60 pounds of eggs 50 pounds of bacon 30 pounds of

If you haven’t tasted what the Crystal Palace is offering, we suggest you make a trip next Sunday. And don’t worry if you’ve lived here for a while and the trip will be your first. Hufford and the staff won’t make fun of you...too hard. But as there are some other great local breakfast places in town, we thought we’d give you a rundown of the other places our A-List members suggested to grab a great plate. Survey said:

20% 24th Street Cafe 15% Lorene’s 12% Spencer’s 8% Village Grill 8% Knotty Pine Cafe

red potatoes

1,700 people served

Other favorites listed were:

for their famous Mother’s Day Brunch

Milt’s Pappy’s on Rosedale Donna Kayes

Paging Homer Simpson The largest doughnut ever made was an American-style jelly doughnut weighing 1.7 tons (3,739 pounds), which was 16 feet in diameter and 16 inches high in the center. D’oh!

Just Five More Minutes... out of work by 2 p.m. every day makes it all worth it. PHOTO COURTESY ROBERT MANUEL

It’s 4:10 a.m. and Robert Manuel is waking up for work. For 22 years, Manuel has been a supervisor for the City of Bakersfield Solid Waste Division and has been up and at ‘em before dawn. Manuel said his body is timed to wake up early (although he laughingly admits that he needs a lot of Pepsi) and on the weekends he’ll “sleep in” until 6 a.m. The pay off? Manuel quipped that getting

In 1894, John Harvey Kellogg and W.K. Kellogg invented the corn flake.

Here are some of our A-Listers whose wake-up calls beat the crack of dawn. DMV Hearing Officer 5:50 a.m. Land Analyst 3:30 a.m. Hospital Admit Clerk 4:45 a.m. Lactation Consultant 4:00 a.m. Student Teacher 5:23 a.m. Investor Relations Coordinator 4:20 a.m.

up! n w o T B•

wake / Spring 2011 37

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of it, to think e m o .C rounds from bars. ointed e p p tion to m a o ir h odifica way m m the ir o r le e f y h t t s s r for the life s on rme e) long ce and t perfo ustrious type m ifi n a r e f c r a id r e s t t rg these s less ind ire significan , not hambu es, g ill keep s people, or qu in w e r m r w n g flat tir a o e f s in t n f f d s le o r ! (o e lu t k o c u m n n ld in b , t, ho pu na y, or slee ractive esirable MacDo usiasm and s d in their wa . r rain, n walkers, inte stry’s most d ld make Old n h e a t t eld h n s fi it e t s e r h h N du ou wit ake mig eet with B p early less of what g the in hours that w will str p u n r u o e e r h e m a it k a a e y g e n e who w , regard hifts ar mornin , but th Their s eeping early p early n a daily basis re the people u ly n o a o not in. K deliver s. They mainta ese folks are ut they sistent alarm b h , t n , e w stm con pillo ren’t po emen, and in c They a li o p eaning well-m


he siblings Legan have been fixtures on Bakersfield’s airwaves since Marconi first sent electrical signals through the air and called it radio. Sure, it’s a small exaggeration, but radio years are like dog years. One year in radio equals five calendar years. Rachel Legan is all about pluck. She shows up for work every morning ready for the catwalk. Dustin shows up for work every day ready for cat calls. They form an odd couple of sorts, with Dustin not shying away from the nightlife, and Rachel’s nightlife consisting of keeping a bedtime that would make a fourth grader scowl. She goes to bed early because she wakes up early,

“I listen to the theme from Rocky while I get ready. I need a lot of work.” –Linda H. 38 Bakersfield Magazine

Story a


Rachel and “Dirty” knowing that thousands of Bakersfield listeners would be lost without her. “Why do I wake up so early? Well, it’s for really deep reasons...I like to have things to eat, a place to live, and a car to drive,” she said. Rachel downs two sugarfree Red Bulls every morning when putting herself together. Dustin’s routine is far less complicated. During a recent visit to Hot 93.1’s studios, the male Legan sported house

During a visit to Hot 93.1’s studios, “Dirty” sported house shoes, pajama pants, a casual top, and a hat that looked like something your Uncle Jesse would wear pig hunting. shoes, pajama pants, a casual top, and a hat that looked like something your Uncle Jesse would wear pig hunting. Their studio’s central location also makes them privy to some of the wilder things that happen in Bakersfield when everyone else is sleeping. “I’ve seen a lot of strange things in our complex,” Ra-

chel said, “including, but not limited to a man wielding a sickle, and a law enforcement officer hiding in the bushes—needless to say, he no longer wears a badge.” Some of the biggest laughs come from having studios close to a budget motel. “We are right next to the Motel 6 on California Avenue, so the price of love on any given day can be seen from the studio window,” she added. Getting up early has its advantages. For one thing, you don’t see much traffic. But on the other side of the coin, the traffic you do see is pretty strange. “I was driving to work one morning, and I saw these kids ‘car surfing,’ which, in case you didn’t know, is standing on top of a car while it’s moving.” she explained. Ever the maternal figure,

Rachel rolled her window down and screamed at them to stop being idiots and she’d give them a shout out on the air. Later, the youths called into her show and said they’d keep their promise since she kept hers, and she hasn’t seen anything in the obituaries to indicate otherwise. While their schedule can wreak havoc on normal sleeping patterns, Dustin can nap under any circumstances, while Rachel is wound a little tighter and makes the most of her days. Even on weekends. “Sure, I sleep in on the weekends. If, by sleeping in, you mean waking up at 5:30 a.m. I mean, I’ve got to watch Law and Order reruns and get my makeup ready for the gym or jujitsu,” Rachel said. Makeup for the gym? “Yeah, totally! Get over it!”


e’s been waking up KUZZ listeners for 25 years. And doing it with country music requires a little creativity with the playlist sometimes. “There are a lot of ballads in country, and I don’t think people want to hear about divorces and dogs dying when they are starting their day, so sometimes, I change the music up a bit to start the day on a brighter note,” Gradowitz confessed. He starts his own day in a similarly bright fashion. “I get up at 4 a.m. every day and I absolutely love it. I’ve hit a schedule. We have great listeners, and we start our day together. We have coffee and breakfast together, we talk, it can’t get much better than that,” he said. And his coffee isn’t Folgers Crystals; it’s pretty highfalutin for a country boy of Gradowitz’s pedigree. He brews his own joe in a fancy French press. Both he and show producer Geoff Emery enjoy a cup of hand-pressed “I usually hit the snooze button four to six times in the morning.” –Scarlett S.

Steve Gradowitz coffee to start the day, and Gradowitz adds a cup of sliced grapefruit to round out the morning meal. “If you are going to keep this kind of schedule, you’ve got to have a routine or you’ll burn out quickly,” he explained. His routine extends to the number of times he hits snooze. “I hit it once at 4 a.m. Then I get out of bed at exactly 4:01,” Gradowitz said. Exercise is the only thing that doesn’t have a place in Gradowitz’s routine, despite the fact that he works in the most finely-appointed studio in Bakersfield. “It’s not just me! Zero people work out. Buck Owens once offered 300 bucks to any employee who worked out three days a week for a month! But what we found out was that people like to work out in gyms with other people,” Gradowitz said. He even has a solid routine in his down time.

“I’ll come home; watch The View, you know, so I can get the real story on things; take a 30 minute nap; a dip in the spa; and then my wife and I will play in the afternoon. Lately, it’s been making cakes because of the show Cake Boss, and on Friday afternoon, we head to our place at the Central Coast where we zip around on our fire-breathing scooters that reach a breathtaking top speed of 40 miles per hour.” And that’s how you stay married for 44 years, fellas. That’s also how you keep a good record in the industry. Remember the “radio years” analogy? Gradowitz is a veteran’s veteran. And he doesn’t take himself too seriously, recognizing his peers and his place in the universe of Bakersfield. If he keeps his routine, he might have another 25 in the tank, unless that scooter at the coast gets the best of him.


Aaron Perlman

t was a broken heart that led KBFX Eyewitness News’ Aaron Perlman to being a morning weather man, and it’s worked out quite well. He’s a hard worker by nature, and even keeps a second job to take advantage of the hours in a day. “I was living in Phoenix, and I was planning on proposing to a girl I’d been dating, and she ran off to another state with a different guy that day! Deeply depressed, I watched the weather forecaster on TV, and I realized, everybody likes the ‘weather guy.’ ” Perlman got it in his shiny head that he’d get the girl back, or make her jealous at least, if he >>

up! n w o T B•


“I’ll listen to “Age of Consent” by New Order when I need a pick-me-up.” –Devori K. / Spring 2011 39

could only be on TV when she got back. He called meteorologist Sean McGlaughlin and asked him how he could do what he did. A year later, McGlaughlin would give him his first internship. He also called the local Fox affiliate anchor, Rick D’Amico, that same day and got to do the weather the next day on live television. “It was when I forecasted on air for the first time; I realized it wasn’t about the girl anymore, it was about reaching people in an entertaining manner to get a point across. That could be weather, life, or anything the news media allowed me. As for the girl, truthfully, she was jealous and realized she made a mistake. She called me and told me exactly that. I did forgive her and we are now friends,” Perlman said. But once he got the gig, he had to keep it and the new love he found on the way. “Two people get me up. My wife and God. Mindy will give me a swift kick or punch to the gut if it’s 3 a.m. and I’m still in bed. I’ve been late before and it’s embarrassing. I

love her and God, and I know He’s put me in the public eye to be a positive example, and I try to relate that to viewers every day,” he said. His time is at a premium, and his day is regimented. Not only does he lead a virtuous life, he also fills his days with productivity. “Since I get up early for work at 2:30 a.m., and work at my second job from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., I basically never sleep. So my relationships are crazy, at best. Sometimes, I have band practice, so it means an even later night and earlier morning than usual. So, when I hang out with family and friends, it’s not for long, because I’ve got to sleep. However, I always find time for my wife.” Perlman, paused, wondering if he really has. “I can’t get enough of her, really. Um, gee, I hope it’s the same for her,” he said before an unintelligible voice interjected in the background of the phone interview. Perlman confirmed with relief, “it is!”

Mike Hart

Cambi Brown

Crystal Figueroa

Kiyoshi Tomono

KERO 23 Good Morning Kern County Co-Anchor: Favorite rise-n-shine song? “This morning, it was AC/ DC ‘Back In Black.’ ” Any wacky “I’m late” stories? “The only ones I have are ones that happen in my are dreaming that you are waking up and it’s 4:05.” Have you gone to work with your pajama bottoms on? “No, but only because we have in-studio interview guests. That’s the only reason I don’t go in wearing slippers. When I used to do sports, there were a couple of times I showed up with flip-flops and shorts on under the desk.”

Early Morning Reporter for KBAK Eyewitness News: What time do you get up? “I get up at 2:30 a.m.” Favorite breakfast food? “Cherry Coke and PopTarts—strawberry frosted Pop-Tarts…I eat ‘em cold.” Strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your way to work? “This is a good one. On 24th Street, someone was going the wrong way, and they were coming right at me! My mom worries because I’m driving to work when people who have been out drinking all night are driving home.”

More of our local morning hosts...

o kph ©istoc

Some more of our local morning hosts tell us about their “before-dawn” call times and how they wake up with Bakersfield.


m co


e it hBi sho p

40 Bakersfield Magazine

Danny Hill

Klly 95.3 Danny and Niki in the Morning, Producer and Co-host: Can you sleep in on the weekends, or do you still get up at the crack of dawn? “I sleep in. I could sleep in every day. I love sleeping. Money makes me rise, sleep makes me shine!” Ever stayed out so late that you went straight into work from “socializing”? “Yes, several times. I usually don’t go to bed until midnight...I sleep from midnight till five.”

KERO 23 Good Morning Kern County Co-Anchor: Favorite breakfast food? “Honest to goodness, it is pepperoni pineapple pizza slices and that’s what I’ll have for breakfast today.” Exercise before work and where/what? “No, no I don’t go to the gym. I think my workout routine consists of dancing with Mickey Mouse and chasing my one-year-old.”

Anchor, 17 News at Sunrise: Any wacky “I’m late” stories? “Every single one of us, at some point, has overslept. When you first start on the [early morning] shift, you constantly wake up shouting ‘What time is it?’ But in TV, and HD, it’s brutally obvious if you haven’t shaved or put yourself together, so you can’t be so late that you don’t have time for makeup.”

September is National Breakfast Month.

So...what’s your excuse?

n’ i s e n Jo r fo

A V A J Dagny’s Coffee 1600 20th St. Mossman’s Coffee Shops 1819 30th St. AJ’s Coffee House 2813 North Chester Ave. Pappy’s Coffee Shop 10595 Rosedale Hwy. Jag’s Coffee House 1028 Truxtun Ave. Caffe Amante 1905 17th St. College Coffee & Donuts 2697 Mount Vernon Ave. #C Bonnie’s Best Cafe 1900 21st St. Lorene’s Downtown 1531 23rd St. Lorene’s 6401 Ming Ave. Filling Station 1830 24th St. Caffeine Supreme 2000 F St.


This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but rather a list of local places that our readers recommend for a drop (or mammoth-sized cup) of the ol’ java.

I was speeding because...

I was late for a court appearance. (betcha he go another court d t ate)

“I was late to work once because I had to pick up a pack of Trident cinnamon gum at the grocery store. No gum equals a cranky Jolie.” -Jolie B.

up! n w o T B•

wake / Spring 2011 41

.com/ mstay


f we polled a million people, we bet nearly every single one would admit to occasionally putting the pedal to the metal on those days when they’re running a little late for work. Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for our city’s safety, this is something police officers are aware of. They know we’re often in a hurry in the morning and they are on the lookout—especially in school zones. Sergeant Allan Abney of Bakersfield Police Department Traffic Enforcement Detail has some reminders for those of us who’ve forgotten the rules of the road when it comes to school zones. “The speed limit in a school zone is 25 m.p.h. whenever children are present. This means that when children are walking to and from school or to or from a school event, the zone is in place,” Sergeant Abney explained. “This is really a common sense rule; when children are present, drivers need to go slow and be cautious.” Because if you don’t, expect a hefty fine. “Fines are based upon the number of miles per hour over the limit. The fines can be substantial. [For example,] if you are on Hageman Road, where the normal speed limit is 45 m.p.h. and you are doing 50 m.p.h. in a school zone, then your fine is for going 25 m.p.h. over the limit.” But surely people have tried to offer up a good excuse for why Sergeant Allan Abney they’re speeding. As Sergeant Abney explained, they’re pretty much what you’d expect. “We’ll hear that the driver needs to use the restroom or that they’re late for work,” he said. But there’s one ridiculous excuse Sergeant Abney told us that takes the cake. This one has to make an officer chuckle after pulling over a morning speeder. “We’ve also heard that the driver is speeding because he or she is late for a court appearance.” Swing and a miss. A good rule of thumb to think about before you floor it is this: You’re already late. Sure, you can be even later, but don’t speed. Just make up a great excuse for your boss. Editor’s Note: Bakersfield Magazine cannot be held responsible for you fibbing to your boss.


People seem to be pretty split on their coffee habits. Some people have to have that cup of coffee in the morning before they can start their day. Others like it as an occasional morning treat. A small portion of the people we polled even said they dislike coffee. But judging from how many local places there are to pick up a cup of coffee on the way to work, you’d think Bakersfield was a coffeelover’s paradise.

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Welcome to

hell morning


ou know, it’s one of those days that just starts out bad and keeps getting worse. Your alarm clock doesn’t go off. The dog wound up sleeping on your freshlypressed, freshly-laundered black slacks. The kids won’t get out of bed. And, to top it all off, there is a long line at the coffee house drive-thru window. You just can’t get to work on time. Now, some people will just fess up, tell the truth about over sleeping or having to stand in line at a coffee house. And while we promised to keep the identities of our polled A-List Members a secret, there’s no way we could keep their best “why I’m late” stories to ourselves. Here are some of our favorites: “My cat hit the button on my alarm clock before I could wake up and I overslept.” –Anika H. “My daughter used the car the night before and didn’t replace the gas.” -Lorraine C. “The light at the main intersection I have to drive through on my way to work was malfunctioning. It didn’t turn green for my lane for close to 10 minutes. I couldn’t call in because it’s illegal to use cell phones in the car.” –Jake G. “I thought it was Saturday.” –Tyra P. “I had to clean up dog mess in the living” –Tom S. “First, I got in an accident on Olive Drive. Next, my on-ramp to the 99 was temporarily closed. As I was taking the detour on Airport Drive, I hit something in the roadway and got a flat. My spare was also flat, so I had to wait for a tow truck and the tow truck got in a wreck on the way to rescue me.” –Jim L. Of course, the drive to work can be eventful, too, even when you’re on time– mainly because Bakersfield is a quirky city full of zany people. Here are some of our favorite responses to the question:

e h t m o tales fr

g n i n r o M mmute Co What is the funniest thing you’ve seen on your morning commute? “The older gentlemen who runs down California Avenue boxing into the air. It’s like watching Rocky.” –Monique M. “A woman eating a bowl of cereal while driving.” –Jim L. “A Christmas tree in the middle of the road with gold icicles all over it. It was pretty ghetto.” –Les H. “Landscapers blowing the leaves off of the sidewalk into the street on a very windy day.” –Trish R.


And since, as humans, we’re guaranteed that something will go wrong before 8 a.m. Monday through Friday, we thought it would be fun to share some of our A-Listers’ hilarious weekday morning stories. What’s scary is how many times we’ve all gone to work with two different shoes on, our shirts inside out, and rollers in our hair. At least we can all be comforted by the fact that we’re not the only ones who’ve left the house in our pajamas. Of course, SpongeBob SquarePants “I sprayed air freshener in my hair instead of hairspray.” pajamas are a little more embarrassing. –Linda L. “My cat, Simon, loves to steal my make-up brushes [in the morning]. Then I have to chase after him.” –Rolinda L. “I have gotten halfway to work and realized I was still wearing my purple fuzzy slippers.” –Patricia M. “One day, I put my kid’s lunch money in an envelope that I had jotted random notes down on, from work stuff to gibberish, instead of the one with her class info on it. When I realized “I was so tired it, I called the teacher to explain. She said, ‘Oh, good—that exone morning plains it! What exactly do you do I put my pants for a living?’ To this day I don’t on inside out know what was on that enveand didn’t notice lope!” –Samantha O. until lunchtime. “I realized that I had a pair of Nobody said underwear up in the leg of my anything, either. pants. They were clean but must And it WAS have got caught in there somenoticeable!” how in the laundry.” –David C. v –Nakei K. / Spring 2011 43


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What were you watching ticulturalism, environmentalon television when you were ism, and rewards systems. As growing up? a result, they generally value *Howdy Doody, Texaco Star volunteerism, respect for diTheater, Amos & Andy versity, achievement, and *The Ed Sullivan Show, The sociability. They tend to be Mickey Mouse Club, Bonanza, optimistic but realistic, techStar Trek, Get Smart nologically savvy, and street *All in the Family, Mary Tyler smart. Moore, MASH, Charlie’s Angels, According to the book GenSaturday Night Live erations at Work, “There’s a *90210, South Park, Friends, serious new problem in the By Robin Paggi Seinfeld, The Simpsons, X- Files workplace, and it has nothWhile identifying the TV shows we ing to do with downsizing, change, foreign viewed during our youth may not seem rel- competition, pointy-haired bosses, cubicle evant to the world of business, according to envy, or greed. Instead, it’s the problem of Law Practice Today authors Diane Thiel- distinct generations...crossing paths and foldt and Devon Scheef, “the sum total of sometimes colliding.” The authors say that experiences, ideas, and values shared by today’s workplace experiences clashes over: people of different generations makes for *work ethic (Boomers and Veterans think a melting pot of work approaches and pri- Xers and Yers are “slackers.”) orities.” In other words, the things we ex- *established ways of doing business (Xers perienced with those in our age group (like do things their own way—which frustrates watching certain TV shows during our for- Boomers and Veterans.) mative years) impacted our perspective and *technical competence and comfort (Xers how we approach the business world. and Yers think Veterans and Boomers are inThere are basically four generations at ept and clueless.) work today: *loyalty (Veterans and Boomers criticize *Veterans (born between 1930-1945) Xers and Yers for their lack of it.) grew up during the time of the Great De- *balancing work and family (Boomers put pression, World War II, and Korean War. career first. Xers say, “Get a life.”) As a result, Veterans generally value hard *perks (Boomers want status. Veterans value work, dedication and sacrifice, respect for honor. Xers disdain both.) rules and authority, duty before pleasure, *people skills (Xers consider them a much honor, conformity, and patience. lower priority than Veterans and Boomers. *Baby Boomers (born between 1946- Yers lack them because of their preference of 1964) grew up during the time of Vietnam, communicating through technology.) civil rights, the sexual revolution, space *entrenched notions of gender roles (Yers race, prosperity, and children in the spot- are the most accepting of “gender bending.”) light. As a result, Boomers generally value *change (Xers and Yers see it as inevitable. optimism, teamwork, personal gratifica- Boomers and Veterans remain skeptical.) tion and growth, youth, and work. They Every generation has something to oftend to be driven soul-searchers who are fer the workplace. Unfortunately, we tend to allow our differences to prevent us from willing to go the extra mile. *Gen Xers (born between 1965-1976) seeing the value that other generations grew up during the time of Watergate, bring to the table (“he’s old and out of it,” latchkey kids, single parents, MTV, com- “she’s young and doesn’t know what she’s puters, and Wall Street frenzy. As a result, talking about”). The most successful orgaXers generally value diversity, thinking nizations recognize that no one has all the globally, work/life balance, techno litera- answers and finds a way to let every gency, fun and informality, and self-reliance. eration be heard. This appreciation of diThey tend to be practical, risk-takers, versity allows each group to contribute and skeptical, family-oriented, and think about be a part of the growth of an organization, the job, not the amount of hours worked. which benefits everyone involved. *Gen Yers (born between 1977-1991) grew up during the time of technology, school Contact Robin Paggi MA, SPHR-CA, CPLP at shootings, 9/11, child-focused world, mul- KDG HR Solutions. (661) 328-5267

B An Ongoing Chronicle of Our History b From pioneers and sheep herders to roughnecks, entertainers, and entrepreneurs, ours is a community built on the dreams of people with moxie and grit. Folks with nothing to lose and everything to prove. This section and the accompanying website ( are dedicated to them.


The famous and not-so-famous names associated with not only the founding of Bakersfield and Kern County, but with the rapid growth the area saw. This is an ongoing chronicle of the people who built Kern.

The people dedicated to preserving our history and honoring families that have called Kern County home over the past 145 years. These stewards look to keep the past alive and instill pride in the roots that have been planted here over many generations.

The long-standing and family-owned businesses that have shaped the community we call home. Without the tenacious visionaries and hardworking men and women of these businesses, our county would be a very different place.

8 / Spring 2011 45

Photo Courtesy chris brewer

Kern Island , the way Colonel Baker first saw it.

SHAPERS By Gordon F. Lull


he Bushwhackers, Confederate sympathizers also known as the Mason and Henry Gang, had one stated goal: kill every Union man from Kern County to San Francisco, thereby eliminating any opposition to making California an independent republic. Their intended victim on one night in 1865 was Harvey Skiles. The plan was to get to him through his sworn political enemy, Col. Thomas Baker. That was why six men saddled up and rode in darkness to the Baker home to lay out their proposition. All Baker had to do was summon Skiles out of his home where they could get clear

Editor’s Note: This is the inaugural presentation of an annual feature chronicling families who have shaped Kern County.

46 Bakersfield Magazine

shots. The gang would ambush Skiles, ventilate him good, and retreat to their hideout over in Grizzly Gulch. It seemed a good deal both ways. John Monroe, James Henry (aka Spotty McCauley), and their murderous colleagues would

six revolvers pointed his way, he stood the men down and refused their offer. He had invested too much capital and labor in this “Kern Island,” as it was called. His dream was to build a modern city, not a lawless waste.

Photo Courtesy chris brewer

Kern County

Rich soil yielded bountiful crops.

be one kill closer to their secessionist goal. Baker, for the cost of a simple invitation, would dispense with a bitter enemy. The plot would have worked but for one flaw: the character of Baker himself. Standing on his front porch, unarmed and unflinching,

After the Bushwhackers left, Baker rode over to the Skiles place and sounded the alarm. There was no need. The gang had abandoned the plan and moved on to easier kill. Just before the dawn of Mark

Twain’s Gilded Age, as Civil War raged from Arlington to Atlanta, and men with names like Mellon, Morgan, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, and Carnegie began forging their empires; while Edison, Bell, Watson, Morse, and Westinghouse set about perfecting technological breakthroughs that would launch civilization into modernity; while across the country’s western frontier steel tracks laid down a relentless march to San Francisco; while all these things were happening, what we now call Bakersfield and Kern County lay as a vast, unfriendly marsh, alternately soaked by rivers and baked by sun. The building of Kern County and Bakersfield was to be the work not only of pioneering individuals, but of families. Their dreams, risks, sacrifice, and persistence would partly determine where we live, what we do, what we eat, and how we raise our chil-

Photo Courtesy chris brewer

dren. The descendants of some of those families still reside in Kern. While the following is only a selection, and by no means comprehensive, these sketches summarize how some of these families helped carve a “golden empire” from marsh and desert. Colonel Thomas Baker Thomas Baker had what today’s pundits might call “the vision thing.” He was born in Zanesville, Ohio November 5, 1810, the second of five children, with ancestry rooted in British nobility. A number of those British ancestors immigrated to pre-Revolutionary America (his grandfather, also

Kern Island Dairy

in Iowa. In Illinois, he was noted for his skill in dealing with Native American tribes. He became the first Lieutenant Governor of Iowa district and, after its formation as a state, President of its fledgling legislature.

However, the frontier beckoned. Perhaps prompted by the pioneering spirit he inherited from his ancestors, and encouraged in no small degree by California’s gold discoveries, Thomas Baker decided to strike out to the west. He arrived in California in the autumn of 1850, living first in Benicia, then in Stockton. In 1852, he moved south to Tulare County where he helped found the city of Visalia with Nathaniel Vise, performing most of the surveying work. In 1855, he was chosen as a member of the California State Assembly. The following year, he was named Receiver for the United States Land Office and, in 1861, he became the region’s first state senator and served two years. Baker’s political career in Sacramento was not without its difficulties. A fall at his quarters on Mission Street left him severely injured in 1862. Later that year, he was arrested on suspicion of being a secessionist. And it was in that same year that his connection with what was to become Kern County was made. He rode south with his son, James Baker

(d. 1883 in Visalia), to examine a land franchise owned by the Montgomery brothers. The land included thousands of acres along the Kern River. Baker saw more than fetid ponds, reckless rivers, and undulating mounds of tule grass. What he saw, in his mind’s eye, was a rail line across the Tehachapi Mountains; stage routes from the east, south, and north; streets; houses; merchandise stores; and fields rich with crops. He purchased the franchise and determined to become its first citizen. Initially, although he seemed to have found his true home in this place called “Kern Island,” he hesitated to bring his wife—this was his second wife, whom he married in 1857—and two children to this wild place. Her response >> Photo Courtesy chris brewer

Col. Thomas Baker

named Thomas Baker, fought for the colonists), settling in Virginia and Kentucky. As a young man, Baker took a keen interest in land and law, avidly reading land grants and studying surveying. He was admitted to the Ohio bar at age 19 and later appointed a colonel in his home state’s militia. In 1830, he moved to Illinois. For the next two decades, he recorded impressive accomplishments there and

Photo Courtesy chris brewer

Photo Courtesy kern county museum

Downtown Bakersfield late 1800s. Picture shows J. Niederaur & Company Furniture Store and Undertakers. Next door is the establishment of George Reich, Merchant and Tailor.

The old Baker Homestead

“Those who have attempted much, have seldom failed to perform more than those who never deviate from the common roads of action…” –Dr. Samuel Johnson / Spring 2011 47

Photo Courtesy Chris brewer

Kern County SHAPERS

The Niederaur Block is seen on the right side of this 1890 photograph of 19th Street taken from K Street. Jake Niederaur operated a furniture store and undertaking parlor downstairs, and an opera house upstairs. Next door is the Alphonse Weill Store and then the Burnap Building, which was constructed in 1890 and burned in 1903. The Southern Hotel and its wonderful flying dragon spire are seen in the background.

to that hesitation, according to Naomie Bain’s history, was decisive: “If you are going into that God-forsaken country full of Indians, bandits, and Heaven only knows what else, I am going with you.” On September 10, 1863, Baker, his wife, son, and daughter crossed the Kern River, by ferry boat, at the foot of China Grade. They were the first settlers on Kern Island, with their nearest neighbors, far to the east, digging for gold in Havilah. Within two years, Baker, with the help of 30 Native Americans hired from Tejon Ranch, had reclaimed most of the land, drained marshes, redirected rivers, and laid out streets for the future city. By 1870, the renovated land boasted more than 600 inhabitants. The name of the city came from a suggestion made by Philo Jewett, and we can thank the poor luck of the Mason and Henry gang for his offering. After failing to convince Col. Baker to assist in killing Harvey Skiles, they made Philo Jewett one of their targets. They tried to gun him down at his ranch but one of the revolvers jammed (they did manage to kill two of his employees). Jewett escaped through a back window. He was later to witness the gen-

48 Bakersfield Magazine

erosity of Baker. Travelers came to learn that they could find a welcome oasis of food, safety, and forage for their horses at an alfalfa field he fenced off. “Baker’s Field” became a common refuge. Jewett suggested

California Disasters: 1800-1900), it “probably [grew] more rapidly than any other town in the state. It lies in the center of one of the most productive plateaus on the coast, where irrigation on dry tracts and drainage in the swamps have converted desert and marsh into a veritable garden stretching away for hundreds of miles.” The Brothers Chester Long before Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, Bakersfield’s George and Julius Chester learned how to leverage other peoples’ money in pursuit of fortune. In their cases, the main benefactor was H.P. Livermore, a wealthy San Francisco druggist and investor. The brothers were born in Groton, Connecticut; Julius in 1830, George in 1835. They came to California seeking their fortunes in 1854, settling in the Bay Area. In 1866, having obtained the backing of Livermore, they arrived

George B. Chester’s store, Chester and 19th, 1871.

Photo Courtesy kern county superintedent of schools

calling the city itself “Bakersfield.” Baker died in 1872 from pneumonia which developed from a bout with typhoid fever. His legacy lived on in the unfolding of his vision for the city he founded. His son, Thomas A. Baker, became Kern County’s Justice of the Peace. After Col. Baker’s death, Ellen Baker married Kern County rancher and family friend Ferdinand Tracy. Within two decades of Baker’s death, Bakersfield was the largest city in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle in 1889 (according to the Secrests’

in Bakersfield with money and plans for great enterprises. Their company, Livermore & Chester, began in South Kern County with a sawmill operation, critical to the construction of new communities. During the same time, they established an adobe general merchandise store, Bakersfield’s first, to supply settlers with goods. Located in what would later be the Fish block section of town, its importance led to the city’s main thoroughfare bearing their name. Among the earliest settlers, the Chester brothers engaged, sometimes successfully, sometimes

not, in a series of enterprises, including lumber, land sales, cotton, grain, publishing, and livestock. George became the city’s first Postmaster, Julius the first president of the California Cotton Growers Association. Today, Chester Avenue runs through the heart of downtown Bakersfield. Other streets and numerous businesses still bear their name; however, George and Julius both died childless. Julius had surrendered ownership of what would become the Californian in 1879 and moved to northern California, according to his obituary, “for the benefit of his health,” although mounting debts and political opposition may have played no small part in his departure. He succumbed to pneumonia, at age 59, in the spring of 1890. His younger brother remained in Bakersfield but also fell upon difficult financial times. He died in the Kern County Hospital in October 1903. The Twisselmans Heinrich “Henry” Twisselman came with relatives to America in 1862 from his native Germany, arriving in San Francisco as a merchant seaman on a Danish whaling ship. Like many of his fellow whalers, his dreams no doubt included striking it rich in California gold. When the vessel docked, Heinrich went ashore and made a career change, working as a longshoreman. In 1876, he met Elizabeth “Lizzie” Meng, a native of Switzerland who was staying with relatives at a local boarding house. In 1878, the couple moved to the San Luis Obispo area, where they established Chorro Dairy. Within six years, however, Heinrich was dead from tuberculosis, leaving Lizzy Twisselman with five small children to feed. She moved her three sons and two daughters to a homestead in the hills above Cholame, east of Paso Robles. There, she joined her parents and siblings in the area, farming grain and raising livestock. She became one of the pioneers of the California frontier. In 1914, her middle son, Christian and his wife, Nora Anderson

The Wegis’ ranch in Cuyama Valley.

suit resulted in a 1988 award of nearly $11 million to Wegis and two co-defendants. After appeals reaching the Supreme Court, a 1992 settlement resulted in an award of $16 million plus interest. Ken Wegis died at the age of 73 in October of 1995.

Frank Sales Wegis

vestment, and crops grown on nearly 7,500 acres. One of its directors is Wegis’ son, Frederick “Rick” Wegis. Cotton and the Camps Rags to riches stories are not uncommon in Kern County’s history, particularly when the subjects have learned how to profitably engage the huge potential in the region’s agriculture. One such story concerns two brothers, Sol A. Camp and Wofford Benjamin “W.B.” Camp, who arrived separately and of meager means but built empires. Wofford Camp (known as “Bill” Camp) was the first to come to California. He was sent by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop cotton as a vigorous western crop, >>


Photo Courtesy pamela green

The Wegis Family The story is told of a young man who left the village of Weggis, near Lake Lucerne in Switzer-

In addition to operating Wegis Ranch, Ken Wegis served as President of the Kern County Farm Bureau and the Water Association of Kern County. Today, Wegis & Young, located in Buttonwillow, is a diversified agricultural conglomerate with emphases in management, in-

Photo Courtesy pamela green

Twisselman, purchased Temblor Ranch from the Obispo Oil Company. This property, historic as both a stage stop and way station for Spanish missionaries, passed into the hands of the couple’s son, Carl Twisselman. To this day, the Twisselman descendants are the primary landholders in the region which includes western Kern County and eastern San Luis Obispo. The many descendants of Heinrich and Lizzy Twisselman have forever left their mark on the history of agriculture in Kern County. One of Chris and Nora’s sons, Henry A. Twisselman, has left his accounts of ranch life in western Kern in two books, Changing Times (1998), and Don’t Get Me Started (1995).

known for his David vs. Goliath litigation victory over one of the largest cotton-growing conglomerates in the world, the J. G. Boswell Co. (the dispute and trial are recounted in the book, The King of California: J.G. Boswell and the Making of a Secret American Empire). A verdict in the

Photo Courtesy pamela green

Photo Courtesy

Chris and Nora Twisselman

land, moved to Baden, Germany, but could not stop speaking of his former home. He spoke so much about it, in fact, that his neighbors in Baden began calling him “Weggis,” a name that ultimately displaced his given surname. That, in any case, is one story of how the family name developed. True or not, Frank Sales (or Salas) Wegis (someone dropped a “g”) was born in Itendorf, Germany on February 18, 1858, one of nine children born to Johann and Fedelia Wittmer Wegis. With brothers Anton and Gebhardt he immigrated to the United States in 1892, journeying to California’s central coast. At first, they settled in the San Luis Obispo area where Frank found work as a bartender. His dream, however, was to be a farmer. According to one genealogical website, Wegis and his two brothers traveled throughout Central California, coming to Kern County by foot, always looking for an area that reminded them of their home in Germany. They found what they were looking for in the Upper Cuyama Valley, in Ventura County. Frank bought 320 acres there and built a small adobe house and barn. From that beginning, the operations grew along with the family. The Wegis family members have spread throughout Kern County with a concentration in the Buttonwillow/Wasco area. One descendant in particular, the late third-generation farmer Ken Wegis, became nationally

The Wegis family in 1913.

W.B. Camp (center) doing what he did best. / Spring 2011 49

Kern County SHAPERS

Photo Courtesy kern county museum

Photo Courtesy kern county museum

“We were always serviceoriented,” said John Brock Jr., who took over the business after his father’s retirement in 1980.

As the largest store in town, Brock’s was a downtown Bakersfield anchor.

John Brock Sr.

Malcolm Brock

principally because it was a critical component in military aircraft. Born in Cherokee County, South Carolina in 1894, Camp saved his wages from picking cotton until he could afford his first semester’s tuition at Clemson College, where he studied agronomy and horticulture. His academic success led to a job upon graduation with the USDA and his particular interest in cotton was recognized by the Washington

50 Bakersfield Magazine

panies. Today, that firm, directed by grandson and attorney James S. Camp, is involved largely in real estate development. Although a multi-millionaire from his farming operations, Camp earned prestige and wealth from another line of investment which, according to one story, began with a $50 bet. Camp, along with fellow farmer Bob Neuman, ridiculed Shafter businessman Bill Lachenmaier’s

Photo Courtesy john brock jr.

later, he headed to Washington, D.C. where he was to spend three contentious years with the federal government’s newly-formed Agricultural Adjustment Administration. He returned to farming the San Joaquin Valley in 1936, the year he founded W.B. Camp & Sons, a diversified farming operation later directed by his son, Don Camp (Bill Camp, Jr. is a Southern California real estate developer).

office. He was sent to study the prospects of growing cotton in the West. Within days of his arrival, in 1917, he had planted 96 rows of various cotton varieties. Soon, experimental patches were growing in Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. So successful and necessary was his work to the USDA that his attempt at enlistment during World War I was turned down and he was encouraged to continue his research. By 1922, he had established and was directing the Cotton Research Station in Kern County and was known nationwide as the “King of Cotton.” In 1929, he became an advisor and appraiser with the Bank of Italy (soon to become Bank of America), and later became director of California Lands, Inc., a bank subsidiary. Five years

Bill Camp received many awards during his life, including a special commendation from President Lyndon Johnson for his contributions to agriculture. In 1984, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale presented Camp with the Horatio Alger Award. Camp was inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame posthumously in 1993 as “one of the most important thinkers in the history of agriculture.” He died in Bakersfield on August 1, 1986. Bill Camp’s older brother, Sol A. Camp, arrived in Kern County in 1923. Initially, he worked for the Kern County Land Company. In 1925, he and his wife, Nellie Camp, invested the money they had managed to save in a tiny Shafter area farm. The couple worked the fields themselves with son James Y. Camp and daughter Willene Camp. He soon formed an agricultural partnership (Camp, West and Lowe) which purchased land near Lerdo Highway and Highway 99 (now known as Cawelo). In 1947, with son James, he formed his own company, S.A. Camp Com-

purchase of a trotting horse. Lachenmaier bet his friends that the horse would win a harness race that very afternoon. Lachenmaier won the bet and Camp, in addition to forking over $50, contracted a lifelong case of horse racing fever, ultimately operating one of the most coveted horse racing operations in the nation. The Brocks “We used to build civilizations. Now we build shopping malls.” –Bill Bryson Joan Rivers once quipped that one of the advantages of living in America is that you can now shop while you’re in bed, by watching television and calling a toll-free number. Entrepreneurial geniuses like Malcolm Brock, however, knew that the retail shopping experience involves far more than the bloodless transaction of money for goods. He was born in San Francisco on March 28, 1878, to Julian and Mattie (Hockheimer) Brock and educated in San Francisco schools, after which he struck out

sociation, and held membership in a number of civic groups. Upon his death in 1962, son John Brock Sr. took the reins of the company. He also was to play a major role in community organizations and business growth. The four-story Brock’s Department Store stood at the southwest corner of the Chester Avenue-19th Street intersection (the old store lettering is still visible from J Street). Today the same building is home to Timeless Furnishings. Jim French, owner of that business, recalled the magnetic attraction exerted by Brock’s. “It was really stunning,” he said, “and the store, especially on the weekends, was the place to be. I think what made it stand out was the service you got from every employee, from top to bottom.”

Photo Courtesy chris brewer

for Cordova, Alaska. He spent 13 years in the rugged north, established several banks and a retail merchandise store. At some point, he determined that the remote area where he resided offered no opportunities for the growth he had in mind. He moved his family to Bakersfield where his wife’s father had opened a department store in 1900 known as Hockheimer & Co. In 1924, he bought the company and opened Brock’s Department Store, which was to become an anchor for downtown Bakersfield and the largest store in Kern County. In addition to acting as president and general manager of The Malcolm Brock Co., he also served as director of the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, president of the Bakersfield Merchant’s As-

In its heyday, Brock’s Department Store was the place to shop in Bakersfield.

David Provencio, a barber for 45 years in the city, and whose shop still sits behind the department store building, recalled one aspect of that service. “You would not believe it,” he said, “the return policy was like this. You took your item up to Mr. Brock and told him you didn’t want it. He just gave you your money back or let you exchange it, no questions asked.” “We were always service-oriented,” said John Brock Jr., who took over the business after his father’s retirement in 1980, “because excellent merchandise and excellent service really was our business. The face of retailing has really changed now.” As the city grew, observed Brock Jr., it became increasingly difficult to hold onto customers in the outlying suburban areas, for whom multi-store malls under one roof were more accessible. The store was sold to the Fresno-based Gottschalk’s chain. “I suppose that our downtown became like other downtowns across the nation,” said Brock Jr., who now works in commercial real estate with Gregory D. Bynum and Associates, Inc. “The stores went where the people were and the people were not downtown.” Haberfelde and the Ford Although some came to California for gold, Johann Haberfellner came for the oranges. Haberfellner—the name was later changed to Haberfelde—was born in Germany and immigrated to

Photo Courtesy chris brewer

Photo Courtesy kern county libraRY

John Haberfelde established the Ford dealership in 1913.

America during the 1870s. Along with his wife, Barbette, he settled in Chicago, Illinois where he started a successful picture framing business. The couple raised four sons and a daughter. But lucrative as his business was, John (as he was later called) Haberfelde heard about the orange groves of Southern California and sold his business to purchase a grove in Chula Vista. The family came to California in 1889, settling first in Chula Vista (where the children walked two miles each day to school) and later in National City, where John and Barbette owned a small ranch. After several years in National City, however, John Haberfelde made yet another major business decision: he traded the ranch for a small hotel operation in San Francisco. The couple and their five children (Henry, George,

George Haberfelde

John, Will, and Louisa), relocated to the Bay Area. While Will pursued his fortune in San Francisco, George headed south for Bakersfield. After George established himself in Bakersfield, according to Barbara Haberfelde Bates, Will Haberfelde’s daughter, he made his living selling sewing machines door to door. Haberfelde later bought out the furniture business of Jacob Niederaur at 19th and K streets. The little frame building where he first started in business was later replaced by the Fish building designed in 1938 by Charles Howatt Biggar. Early on, he had a total capital of only $200. Little by little, >> / Spring 2011 51

Barbara Haberfelde Bates says that the one quality her generation had was a fierce, unbreakable bond between family members.

Photo Courtesy barbara haberfelde bates

he increased his stock of furniture until it represented a valuation of about $8,000. Fatefully, when he had only a small insurance protection of $600, a disastrous fire entirely destroyed the building and left him penniless. Undeterred, Mr. Haberfelde sought to reopen. By 1908, his business would occupy most of the quarters in the Dinkelspiel building on 19th Street, where he became a pioneer furniture dealer. At 5:12 a.m. on an April morning in 1906, life would change for-

1937 Haberfelde Ford sales event.

52 Bakersfield Magazine

ever for the Haberfeldes. The San Francisco earthquake and subsequent fire destroyed the hotel business and the family was evacuated to an area north of the city which is now Golden Gate Park. George Haberfelde readied a team of horses and drove from Bakersfield to San Francisco, bringing back several family members with him. Will Haberfelde remained behind and, from 1912 to 1917, operated a successful newspaper delivery service for the San Francisco Morning Call. George Haberfelde linked his dream for fortunes with that of Henry Ford. He purchased the downtown Ford dealership from the widow of Benjamin Brundage and established Haberfelde Ford in 1913. As the dealership grew—it remains one of the largest in the nation—he enlisted the help of his brother, John, who established a branch operation in Delano. Then, in 1917, he asked brother Will to come down to Bakersfield to assist with growth at the downtown Bakersfield headquarters. Will, ac-

cepting the offer of a 70 percent cut in pay, closed down the distribution business and headed south. In 1970, Will Haberfelde received an award for his 51 years of service in the industry from the Kern County Automobile Dealers Association. Two years later, Ford Motor Company honored him as the oldest active dealership in the nation. The Haberfelde family’s legacy is embedded in the many civic and charitable causes they have championed. George Haberfelde served as Bakersfield’s Mayor from 1923 to 1925. In 1927, he donated funds for the construction of the Haberfelde building, located at the corner of Chester Avenue and 17th Street, and still home to upscale eateries and retail businesses offering alternatives to the sameness of mall shopping.

close relatives worked with one another. Nowadays, it just seems that the young people kind of go off into the Netherlands.” Whether the land shapes its people or the people the land, is a question best left to academics. What is clear, though, is that in the mysterious alchemy of human ingenuity meeting nature’s limits, several qualities identify those who seize the governor of history and direct its course. They include: vision for what can be, as when Col. Baker gazed upon the undeveloped marshlands of Kern Island; willingness to risk capital and safety in face of uncertain outcomes, always at the heart of pioneering enterprises; persistence in failure, the mark of entrepreneurs, farmers, businessmen, and statesmen; serPhoto Courtesy chris brewer

Kern County SHAPERS

Haberfelde donated funds in 1927 for a building that still bears his name.

Will served as director of the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, helped organize the Kern River Golf Course, was on the Board of Directors for the Hotel El Tejon Corporation. John, while managing the Delano branch of George Haberfelde, Inc., was extensively involved in the civic life of Delano. Barbara Haberfelde Bates, Will Haberfelde’s daughter, observed that the one quality that set her generation and its forebears apart from contemporary culture was a fierce, unbreakable bond between family members. “It’s a different age now,” said Haberfelde, who resides in Bakersfield. “There seems to be a loss in valuing things that we did; things like family, church, and local institutions. In the old days, families and

vice to others as primary, especially in business; and a devotion to family that transcends the immediate, extending back to ancestors and forward to descendants. Bernard de Chartres observed that his contemporaries were dwarves seated upon the shoulders of giants. So it is in our time. And there exist advantages for giant-riding dwarves, particularly when the way ahead is dark. They can rise higher, they can see farther, and they can remember why. n

Editor’s Note: Please visit for more information on this feature and our Generations plans for the coming years.

HISTORY By Camille Gavin


Past & Present

or history buffs—and I’m certainly one of them—the past is a link to the present. And no one knows that better than Ken Hooper, president of the Kern County Historical Society. “I have been historically surprised at every single program I have attended,” Hooper said. “Recently, we had a program on the voice of American radio towers in Delano; people were in attendance that had first-hand knowledge and insight into the operations—one in Korea, the other in Vietnam.” The programs have always been the soul of the society, he added. Experts or people interested in a certain subject are invited to speak at monthly luncheon meetings that usually are held on Saturdays at a local restaurant. On May 14, Hooper will talk about the Japanese-American experience in Kern County during World War II. “It will focus on the high school students,” he said, “but will answer many questions as to how and why the evacuations in 1942 took place.” But the society’s members don’t just talk about things. They take action. For example, a year or so ago, Bakersfield attorney Timothy Lemucci spoke about Elisha Stevens, who came here in 1860 and is considered Bakersfield’s first permanent resident. At the close of the presentation, John Codd, a member, asked Lemucci if he knew where Stevens was buried. “He didn’t,” Codd recalled. “And I said, ‘Well, I do.’ ” Codd, who also belongs to the Kern Genealogical Society, explained he had discovered Ste-

vens’ unmarked grave in a research study he’d done on Union Cemetery (Editor’s Note: See our June 2010 issue for a little more on this story). Now, thanks to the society, Stevens’ last resting place has a headstone inscribed with a brief account of Stevens’ role as leader of a wagon train of pioneers on the Oregon Trail and his importance in the history of Bakersfield.

Bowl migration and the defense industry, fit in with the state’s requirements. He’s developing guidelines to aid teachers in other county schools who want to incorporate local history in their curriculum. “I can’t do that in other counties in California, but I can in Kern County,” he said. “I am working with the museum to make this a reality.” Both Jeff Nickell, director of

Kern County Historical Society

Kern County Museum

Jeff Nickell Lori Wear

Ken Hooper

Since its founding in 1931, the society, an independent nonprofit organization, and the Kern County Museum have been partners. And Hooper, who heads the social science department at Bakersfield High School, intends to continue to strengthen those ties. “My two most important goals are to keep the Historical Society growing and financially solvent, both of which are happening,” he said. “Educationally, I would like to make more local history curriculum available for teachers to integrate into their standards.” Hooper explained many aspects of local history, such as the Dust

lished by the society—Basques to Bakersfield, The Chinese in Kern County, and The Curtis Darling Post Card Collection, among others. Another vital role for the society is doing independent research. Lori Wear said the museum often gets requests from individuals inside and outside the county for information about a particular event, individual, or even a geographical location.

the museum, and Lori Wear, curator, would undoubtedly agree with Hooper’s statement. Each is directly involved with the society on a regular basis. “For most of the time the museum has been in existence, museum staff have either been board members or helped the society with projects such as [providing images for] Dr. Harland Boyd’s Chinese in Kern County,” Nickell Said. “We are partners because both organizations are working to preserve Kern County’s wonderful heritage.” The Museum Store, he added, is the major outlet for books pub-

“We don’t have the staff to do that kind of research,” Wear said. “There are several members of the society who do research all the time, so when I get a request, I e-mail one of them, which is fantastic.” Some time ago, the curator got a request for information about an old railroad siding in the Rosedale area. She passed the request on to the late George Gilbert Lynch, and it turned out he had a wealth of material on the subject. Gilbert Gia, she added, is another active researcher whom she relies upon. Donald Arnot, a native of Taft, handles the publication of the >>

For history buffs, the past is a link to the present. Kern County’s Historical Society routinely digs out this information and preserves the very essence of who we once were. / Spring 2011 53


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Historic Quarterly, which contains articles on local history and is sent to all 321 members of the society. A former oil company employee, Arnot and his wife moved back to Bakersfield from Los Angeles when he retired. “I like to go [to meetings] and listen to things people are talking about now,” Arnot said. “We don’t want to forget what’s going on now and we’ve got to quit throwing away buildings that don’t need to be torn down, like the [J.J.] Lopez house; we were able to save that one and that was real neat.” Conservation and collection of artifacts is another function of the society. It serves as a conduit for people who want to give things to the museum. Each year, the society contributes $1,000 to the museum. Some of this money is used Kern County Historic Quarterly

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54 Bakersfield Magazine

for preserving artifacts. For example, a charcoal drawing of noted author Mary Austin, who once was the nanny of Darius Mack Pyle’s children, was sent to an expert conservationist in Oakland who took steps to remove acid from the paper and applied a rice paper backing. The expert also repaired water damage to an architectural rendering of the Kern Abstract Building. It was designed by Orville Clark who also was the architect for the original Standard Oil building and the C.A. Barlow house at 18th and F streets, which now is the home of the Guild House. Hooper wears several hats and one involves the Kern Veterans Memorial at Truxtun Avenue and S Street. By searching through old records and databases, and spending hundreds of hours peering at microfilm, his students at BHS have uncovered the names of more than 1,000 men and women who died fighting for their country. Without the student horsepower in the classroom,” this teacher said, “it never would have been done. n

ROOTS By Matthew Martz


itting amongst the seemingly endless columns of books that rest silently on the shelves of the Beale Memorial Library Genealogy Room, Shirley Jackson is hard at work assisting kindred explorers in finding the hidden gems that paint a portrait of their family’s ancestry. Jackson, who has called Bakersfield home for 83 years, is one of more than 10 volunteers who tender their time at the downtown family research room. Her fervor for tracing family trees is obvious, as she leaves no stone unturned when providing her keen expertise to her fellow investigators. In a book bursting with pages on the table before her, she eagerly points to the tiny boxes laid out on a document containing various typed and handwritten names and dates of family members. “It’s fairly easy to get started. You begin with yourself and then start branching out from there,” she said, playfully. Jackson also pointed out that tracing your family genealogy is like following a treasure map. Imagine a jigsaw puzzle with pieces scattered across the country. Some of them are blank; others missing, carelessly discarded over the centuries. While you never really know what you are going to stumble upon, you know half the excitement is the search. According to an American Demographics study done in 2004, 19 million people were actively tracing their heritage, while 113 million expressed an interest in embarking on their own genealogical journey. In fact, tracing your family tree has become so

Tracing Your

popular, that it’s the inspiration for NBC’s television series Who Do You Think You Are? But years ahead of genealogy’s emersion into pop culture, Jackson was busy shaking the leaves on her own family tree. “My grandmother’s cousin was a very faithful writer and I was able to get a hold of some old let-

Like Jackson, some time travelers get so hooked, they become history detectives. One mystery leads to another as they trek across the landscape, networking with fellow researchers online or at local libraries and historical societies. “People come from all over to use the facility here, not just

Kay Keith and Dee Dahleen help bring real people to life through genealogy.

ters she had written,” explained Jackson, a self-taught genealogist. “That’s what got me interested in genealogy, and I’ve never quit.” Before long, she had traced her own family tree back to the 16th century. She was amazed to find that her relatives were some of the first to arrive in the New World. In a short time, each individual she discovered became a link in a chain that reached into the far past, as well as forward into the future.

people from Bakersfield,” Jackson added, proudly. “You just need to have a little patience and an interest in your family to begin, and we can help guide you from there.” As with any journey, plenty of thought and preparation is required, and a voyage back through your family’s history is no different. It may begin by sorting through old photographs, or ascending into the cramped attic to open those dusty boxes that might just contain the birth, death, or

marriage certificate that could get you started. Chatting with family members is also important, hearing stories of the people who make up your family history. Chances are, once you start talking, you are likely to come across a myriad of memoirs and narratives. On this day, Jackson is collaborating with Wayne Drouillard, a retiree from Seal Beach. Sitting behind his laptop and scattered papers, Drouillard has traveled thousands of miles, combing mass amounts of books and newspaper abstracts, and has been visiting the Beale Genealogy room for nearly two years, claiming to have identified 23,000 people on his family tree. “One of the most important things in getting started is remembering all of the stories you have heard. They are just as important as finding all the bits and pieces of information,” said Jackson. That’s what Drouillard did. “When I started, I knew very little about my family past my grandfather,” elaborated Drouillard, whose great grandfather lived in Bakersfield. “I was told several stories that he had been killed by gunshot, but after examining an obituary in a Bakersfield newspaper, I found out that he passed away of nothing more than natural causes.” Drouillard’s example is not unusual, as many of us can seldom recall the details of the tales that our parents and grandparents passed on, let alone possess the first-hand knowledge that provides the proof that these accounts were based on. “A lot of people come in trying >>

“Tracing your family genealogy is like following a treasure map. While you never really know what you’re going to stumble upon, you know half the excitement is the search.” / Spring 2011 55

Tracing Your Roots

to verify stories that they have heard, or people that they are related to,” added Jackson. “And, often, they are surprised when they find out something entirely different.” Most libraries have old newspapers where you will find obituaries, which can be a treasure trove of information. Libraries are also a great place to comb through old city directories, so you can see where your ancestors lived. “It’s like a puzzle, or being a detective,” said Delores “Dee” Dahleen, Vice President of the Kern County Genealogical Society and member of The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). “You may find an old diary, newspaper article, or bible that has clues that will lead you to other clues, and so on.” Through Dahleen’s own research, she discovered that one is a repository for more than three billion names, and thousands of genealogical records. of her mother’s Revolutionary War ancestors accompanied General George Washington when he made his historic crossing of the Delaware River on that cold and dreary December night in 1776. “I also discovered on my father’s side,” Dahleen elaborated, “that Washington stayed at a family member’s farmhouse just two days prior to the Battle of Trenton.” It’s those types of historical events that get these researchers’ juices flowing. So, bush leaguers beware. Every document you find leads to another clue, and before you know it, you’re addicted, like Kay Keith. Keith, a DAR member herself, traced her family tree back several centuries, and has sniffed out the secrets of her ancestry, documenting her lineage as far back as King Edward I in the late 1200s. “The royal stuff is kind of fun to play with, because you never 56 Bakersfield Magazine

know what you might come up with,” explained Keith. “Those guys did some pretty weird stuff back then. One of my relatives was smothered with a mattress so they could take his land.” Today, thanks to rapid advances in technology, genealogy enthusiasts are no longer limited to church records, newspaper clippings, and government censuses. Collaborative efforts from the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints,, and local genealogical societies throughout the nation are making tracing your ancestry easier and less costly by providing valuable information via the Internet. The flagship of the revolution is The website is a repository for more than three billion names, and thousands of genealogical records. The Kern Genealogical Society, which celebrates its 90th anniversary in April, is actively involved in this new research medium. Volunteers have been busy transcribing records that are being made available on-line and on microfilm in the Genealogy Room at the Beale Library. But you can’t digitize what doesn’t exist, and eventually most genealogists hit a brick wall or discover a gap in the historical record, a place where the paper trail simply vanishes. Last names change; people move, adopt, disappear. The first step is to start the search. Visit to find out more about our local Genealogy Society or call (661) 868-0773 to talk to a volunteer. Whether using the Internet, science, or good old paper and pencil, these hobbyists are determined to crack the secrets of their ancestral code. “The reward is being able to put a face to a name,” said Keith. “Until I started doing genealogy, the names were just that—names. But now, I have connected these real people to places and events, bringing them to life.” n / Spring 2011 57

The Bakersfield Californian


or more than 100 years, The Bakersfield Californian has served as the much-trusted source of local news in Bakersfield and Kern County. Today, the family-run local business remains committed to chronicling the growth of a dynamic community into the 21st Century. The Bakersfield Californian is the direct descendent of Kern County’s first newspaper, The Weekly Courier, which was first published on August 18, 1866, in Havilah, California. Havilah was a small mining town about 50 miles northeast of the present site of Bakersfield. It was the center of the 1864 gold rush, which brought the first major population influx

Alfred E. Harrell to Kern County. The newspaper’s name was later changed to The Havilah Weekly Courier. In 1872, the newspaper moved to Bakersfield and set up shop as The Kern County Weekly Courier. In 1876, the Courier merged with another Bakersfield newspaper, The Southern Californian, to form The Kern County Californian. With the advent of daily publication, the newspaper changed names to The Daily Californian in 1891. In 1897, Kern County Superintendent of Schools Alfred E. Harrell, purchased the newspaper. Harrell gave The Bakersfield Californian its present name in 1907. In 1926, he moved the

58 Bakersfield Magazine

newspaper into its present location in downtown Bakersfield at 1707 Eye Street. The structure was placed on The National Register of Historic Places, the official list of the nation’s cultural resources worthy of preservation, in 1983. Harrell served as editor and publisher of the newspaper until his death in 1946. Under Harrell’s leadership as an editor and publisher, The Bakersfield Californian was recognized as one of California’s finest papers, winning over 40 state and national awards for journalistic excellence. During his almost 50 years in the newspaper business, he came to be respected as one of the best newspapermen in the country. In 1969, Harrell became the 24th person to be named to the Newspaper Hall of Fame. After Harrell’s death, his wife, Virginia Harrell, became President of The Bakersfield Californian. She held that position until her death in 1954 when the Harrells’ daughter, Bernice Harrell Chipman, assumed the position of

president. Chipman died in 1967. Berenice Chipman Fritts Koerber, granddaughter of Harrell, was the President of The Bakersfield Californian from 1967 until her death in 1988. Through Koerber’s leadership, the company sustained strong growth and, in 1984, constructed a $21 million state-of-theart publishing facility. This facility, Harrell-Fritts Publishing Center, is located near Meadows Field, north of downtown Bakersfield at 3700 Pegasus Drive. When the publishing facility was completed, The Bakersfield

Californian became one of the most technically-advanced newspaper companies in the United States. Included in the facility is a state-of-the-art offset press built by Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho, Ltd. of Japan. The news and advertising copy gathered at the downtown office was transmitted to the facility using an underground fiber-optic cable system, which was the first of its kind for a newspaper in the nation. Ginger Moorhouse, daughter of Koerber, was elected Chairman of the Board of The Bakersfield Californian in January 1989.

Bernice Chipman, Bob Copper, Berenice Chipman Fritts Koerber

1707 Eye Street, Bakersfield, CA n 661-395-7500

For over 100 years, The Bakersfield Californian has evolved with the ever-changing newspaper industry so that it can continue to provide news to our community. She is the fourth generation owner, publisher, and chairman of the board. Also, she serves as President of The Bakersfield Californian Foundation, established to provide financial assistance to nonprofit charitable organizations in Kern County. In 2003, Editor & Publisher Magazine named Moorhouse Publisher of the Year. During the period of 2003 and 2004, the downtown building underwent a redesign, spiffing up the lobby and reconfiguring the third floor, now the newsroom. The paper received the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism for its coverage of the stabbing death of an assistant district attorney in 2004. Over its long history, the newspaper industry has been revolutionized by technology from radio, television, the Internet, social media, etc. The Bakersfield Californian has learned to evolve with time and accept the fact that the newspaper industry isn’t what it was 100 years ago. Even with all the changes that surround it, The Bakersfield Californian is ready to provide our community with ethical news every day. The award-winning Bakersfield Californian continues to exert a positive influence on our community through its investigative reporting and focusing on those people, places, and institutions that make this such a wonderful place to live. The advent of the Internet has changed the news industry landscape forever and The Bakersfield Californian has embraced it by creating, the largest internet portal in Kern County and a dozen other websites for our community. In addition, the glossy monthly publication BakersfieldLife puts a positive spotlight on the people who

make our community so special. And while the paper chronicles the news, the family-run Bakersfield Californian Foundation yearly gives out tens of thousands of dollars to deserving local charities. It’s just another way the family

says thank you to the community. The company is re-focusing journalists on high-impact and high-interest journalism, letting its consumers be more interactive through Facebook and Twitter, and implementing self-service advertis-

Tape Room

News Room

Ad Alley

ing for its small budget clients. The self-service tools are designed to help allow for better service to readers and simpler, faster, and more accurate ways for ad order processing, ad delivery, credit, billing, e-tearsheets, and more. As your community newspaper, The Bakersfield Californian offers a variety of things to appeal to all lifestyles such as our e-Edition, a digital reproduction of the print newspaper edition delivered right to your email, allowing you to connect anywhere. The newspaper puts together expos such as the Healthy Bakersfield and Taste of Home Cooking School. Throughout the year, it has special features within the paper such as the Home and Garden Show, Boat and RV, and Non-Profit Directory. The current executive staff consists of Richard Beene, President and Chief Executive Officer; Logan Molan, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; John Wells, Senior Vice President of Revenue and Marketing; Nancy Chaffin, Vice President of Administration and Operations; John Arthur, Vice President and Executive Editor; and Michelle Hirst, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Simply put, the company is learning to better manage costs, merge operations, and form partnerships. The Bakersfield Californian is getting its proverbial ducks in a row for the future. Its success has been based on the community and the values it has upheld for generations. Its motto is simple— “we put our customers first; we are honest and ethical; we value initiative and teamwork; we hold ourselves accountable; and we are good stewards of our community.” The Bakersfield Californian, a part of your Kern County for generations to come.



Established 1897 / Spring 2011 59

Emporium Western Store


he Emporium Western Store, a familiar local landmark at 1031 19th Street in Bakersfield, California, was started over 100 years ago by an unknown family and has been serving valued customers ever since. The store was founded in 1909 as a true “emporium,” or general store, in the heart of downtown Bakersfield. In 1928, it was purchased by Isaac Rubin, grandfather of the current owners, and has remained in the family through three generations of ownership. In 1946, operation of the store passed to Rubin’s daughter and son-in-law, Rose and Al Goldwater. It was in 1948 that Al Goldwater began to convert the store into a specialty Western clothing store, one of the first of its kind in California, and changed the name from The Emporium to Emporium Western Store. This change was at the urging of a young lady named Juanita “Nita” Clark, who started working at the store as a teenager in 1943. She came from a rodeo family that had to travel around the state to find the types of cowboy boots and hats they both needed and wanted. Nita thought it was high time for a store to carry them in Bakersfield and kept after Al until he gave in. Al always credited Nita with the timely conversion to a Western store. In 1952, at the time of the Tehachapi earthquake, which devastated so much of downtown Bakersfield, Emporium Western Store was located at 1219 19th Street and, like many downtown buildings, had a second story hotel located over it. The quake, unfortunately, knocked down the hotel and the second story was never rebuilt. During the rebuilding of the ground floor, the store took over the space next to it, which doubled the size of the business.

60 Bakersfield Magazine

& Stephen Goldwater urst Carol Goldwater D In April of 1984, the store relocated to its present block-long location. It was at the time of this move that Emporium Western Store acquired one of the few Big Red Boots distributed to key accounts across the country by Justin Boot Company, and, ever since, customers have been urged to “look for The Big Red Boot” when they come to the store. Currently, Emporium Western Store is owned and operated by the Goldwaters’ two children, Stephen Goldwater and Carol Goldwater Durst, who carry on many of the family traditions at the store. In addition, Carol’s daughter, Stacy Durst Kupfer, and both of Stephen’s children, Justin and Erin Goldwater, worked at the store during their high school and college years, making a total of four generations that have been involved in the establishment. Emporium Western Store is a well-known institution in Kern County, as well as in the Westernwear industry. In fact, the business has been recognized frequently by

manufacturers and other organizations as being the best in the state and even the country. The store has won awards such as the “Wrangler PRCA Dealer of the Year,” the “Justin Boot Company Dealer of the Year,” and the “Resistol Hat Windy Ryan Award.” In 1995, Emporium Western Store was the first Western store out-

1031 19th Street, Bakersfield, CA

side the state of Texas to win “The Western Image Award Retailer of the Year” for a single location store. Locally, it has been voted the “Best Western Store in Kern County” every year since 1998 when The Bakersfield Californian started its annual readers poll. There have also been many longtime employees over the years. For example, in 1965, a 6’ 1’’

“Cowboy Al”



In today’s world of chain stores and online shopping, Emporium Western Store continues to supply a personal touch and service that cannot be found elsewhere. young man named Alfonso “Al” Gonzales came to work for 5’ 2’’ Al Goldwater. Before long, people would telephone or come into the store and simply ask for “Al.” The reply was usually a question: “which one?” Soon the nicknames “Big Al” and “Little Al” were applied to the two gentlemen, and Big Al still works at Emporium Western Store today. Over the years, his specialty became hats and he is one of the most knowledgeable hat experts and hat shapers in the country. Big Al is such a staple in the hat industry that Larry Mahan Hats actually makes a hat named after him. Big Al always greets customers with that big smile of his and can’t wait to share one of his many stories with them. Emporium Western Store has also been proud to serve many celebrities over its 100 years in business. Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and Brad Paisley might seem obvious, but Tony Curtis, Kiefer Sutherland, Jack Palance, and Chuck Connors are others who were outfitted. The store has served rodeo stars like Larry Mahan, Ty Murray, Tuff Hedeman, and many others. The store is also proud to have dressed almost every Kern County Sheriff since the early 1950s. Over the years, the company’s strength has been the emphasis on personal service, selection, and value. You can find a wide selection of boots, hats, jeans, shirts, belts, as well as all the other favorite Western accessories and gift items. Emporium Western Store carries a wide selection of hats from Stetson to Pendleton and has a boot for everyone in the family, carrying such brands as Justin and Georgia Boots. Of course, because it is a Western store, you can get your tried and

The Rubins

Exterior 1219 19th Street

Interior 1219 19th Street true Western clothing brands like Wrangler and Carhartt, as well as all the latest brands of both male and female Western-wear. And the variety and quality in their belts, buckles, leather goods, and other accessories is just as impressive.

But it is the store’s philosophy that continues to be such a point of pride for the current owners. It’s good old-fashioned customer service at Emporium Western Store—where many customers are welcomed by name as they enter.

Many longtime local families have been shopping at the store for three or four generations and old friends are always running into each other while doing a bit of shopping. The owners have always been proud of their employees and think of them as their own family. They continue to be proud of the fact that the business has provided hundreds of jobs over the years. Emporium Western Store has been involved in many community events, such as the Buck Owens Rodeo, the Kern County Sheriff’s Reserve Stampede Days Rodeo, the Great Kern County Fair Livestock competitions, and many other equestrian and youthoriented events. It has proudly supported the local community through direct involvement or the volunteer effort of its family members and employees in charities such as the Exchange Club, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and the American Cancer Society by holding Relay for Life fundraising barbeques in the parking lot. And that list is just the tip of the iceberg. Emporium Western Store prides itself on being the oldest and largest locally-owned, fullservice Western store in Kern County, and the store where real cowboys shop. It has remained a local favorite by supplying current styles requested by lovers of the Western lifestyle and by continuing to stress service to the valued customers who shop there. In today’s world of chain stores and online shopping, the challenge now and through the 21st century is to offer great value and outstanding service at a level that can not be found elsewhere. The personal touch is still very important at Emporium Western Store!



Established 1909 / Spring 2011 61

New City Cleaners


ew City Cleaners has had a long and prestigious history of serving the people of Kern County and beyond. It’s a patient and steady dedication to quality and service that has set the 100-year-old specialty cleaning business apart, and possibly been the secret of its success and longevity. A full-service cleaner that offers a range of expert cleaning services just begins to explain this Kern County cornerstone. When Martin Fetchner founded City Cleaners in 1910 at its current location, it was on the outskirts of town. Garments were picked up and delivered by horse and buggy. After Charles DeCew and Jay Mahler purchased City Cleaners in 1914, the route service continued even when a street-car system was installed on Chester Avenue and Eighth Street. At that time, a call office was added and the name was changed to New City Cleaners. Henry and Esther Brandt purchased New City Cleaners in 1944 and so began the line of family ownership that continues today. Soon thereafter, they changed the layout of the plant and remodeled the call office. In 1955, all the belt-driven equipment was replaced by modern equipment. In 1959, New City Cleaners received the first Adjust-A-Drape machines west of the Rocky Mountains. The call office was remodeled and a new fur storage vault was installed in 1962. The most extensive remodeling was done in 1966 when five different areas of the business were placed under one roof, allowing for easier production. In 1982, New City Cleaners was set on fire by arson, destroying the production area of the plant. Having built a strong business, the Brandts weathered

62 Bakersfield Magazine

this storm and were back in operation in seven weeks. New City Cleaners celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1985 as the Mayor of Bakersfield gave a proclamation honoring the company for its longevity and commitment to the community. Henry Brandt

was known in the industry for his excellence in pressing, spotting, and cleaning. Brandt showed a dedication to top-quality work and his reputation reflected the respect he achieved from his loyal customers. After graduating from West-

New City Cleaners Tapedelivery Room van, 1926

Cleaning NewsRoom, Room 1928

Cleaning Ad Room, Alley 1955

mont College in Santa Barbara at the age of 22, Jarrell Epp, the grandson of the Brandts, found himself in a similar job market as new graduates today. It was 1986 and Epp took a leap of faith with his savings and bought New City Cleaners from his grandparents. With some very big and well-kept shoes to fill, Epp found that he would have to prove that he could keep the same level of quality his grandfather’s customers had come to expect. Brandt took the time to very successfully transfer not only the business, but the ideal of upholding quality as the top priority. The call office was remodeled in 1988 in preparation of hosting the first California Sanitone Licensee Seminar. This seminar has now grown into a semi-annual meeting which includes all west coast Sanitone Licensees. In 1989, Epp married Amanda Schatzel and the couple carried on the family tradition of running the business as a husband and wife team. She worked as the office manager until they started their family and they now have five children: Jatson, Jarret, Alexa, Jenner, and Ainsley. New dry-cleaning machines were installed in 1992 in order to continue using Stoddard solvent, which ensures a high calibre of dry-cleaning and restoration, as the gentlest solvent in the industry. Although cheaper solvents have been introduced to the industry, they have come at a cost to the environment and quality and New City has stayed true to what it knows is safe and works the best. More time and labor are just part of creating its reputation for the highest quality. In 1996, New City Cleaners opened a second store at Coffee

1201 24th Street, Bakersfield, CA n 661-324-9414

New City Cleaners is on the cutting edge of cleaning technology but maintains a superior level of quality that can only be found in a long-time, family-owned business. & Truxtun, and, in 2006, a third store was opened at the corner of 24th and L streets. In addition, New City Cleaners operates three residential and commercial routes that serve the greater Bakersfield area. The additional pick-up and delivery service is just another way that New City Cleaners sets itself apart from its competitors. Epp’s company, KZDC Enterprises, Inc., acquired six Kleenerz locations in March 2008. Epp differentiates the two; Kleenerz is their 4-star service while New City is still their 5-star service. Not to be confused with a difference in quality standards, Kleenerz is merely a more streamlined operation that focuses exclusively on clothing. For years, Epp worked on the idea of an additional cleaning brand in Kern County at a middle price point and when the opportunity came to purchase the Kleenerz locations, it became a quick reality. With Kleenerz, Epp’s company can be more competitive in the market, as well as bring the level of quality New City Cleaners is known for to a lower price point. The company does this using different processing so that it can have a faster turn-around than specialty work to serve more people and keep its prices competitive. Epp knows that each cleaners serve a different niche in the professional cleaning market and aims to cater to both with the highest of standards. The community has played such an integral role to the success of New City Cleaners with its loyalty and Epp firmly believes in giving back. Epp is active in the Rotary Club of Bakersfield Downtown as well as a member of the board for the Bakersfield Rescue Mission and Salvation Army. Epp is also a

New City Cleaners board member of the National Cleaners Association. The managers and staff of New City Cleaners have been an equally longstanding part of the business. With New City, it’s not just a summer job, staff members have built careers there. The company knows it’s been blessed with an excellent and experienced staff. The list of specialty services that New City offers is as long

100 Year Annivers

ary Celebration

as it is unique. Expert cleaners can handle anything one can imagine from drapes to heirlooms and hats. One of the most delicate and intensive services it offers is its wedding gown and heirlooming service, for which employees actually reinforce any beading and sequins by sewing them before and after the careful and detailed cleaning process. New City Cleaners takes

Henry Brandt, 1965

the extra care to ensure that the things that are important to Kern County are restored and preserved. Epp even has customers that move away from Kern County and actually ship their hats and purses to New City Cleaners so they can be cleaned. In 2010, the company celebrated 100 years of business and was, again, commended by the Mayor. As the second-oldest dry-cleaning operation in the country, New City Cleaners is on the cutting-edge of cleaning technology but maintains a superior level of quality that can only be found in a long-time, family-owned business. New City Cleaners is proud to have such a high success rate in restoring treasured garments from Kern County residents and giving them a “new again” look. With five children, the Epps hope their business and passion for quality cleaning will continue on into the next generation.



Established 1910 / Spring 2011 63


n a short one-hour drive from Bakersfield, you can step back in time and discover Kern County’s historic Rankin Ranch, located in the beautiful mountain valley of Walker’s Basin. The Rankin family has welcomed thousands of people from all over the world to stay at their ranch since the family’s third generation, when Helen Rankin opened their guest ranch in 1965. For 148 years, since 1863, the Rankin family has lived in this remote eastern corner of Kern County and raised White Face Hereford cattle.Today, you and your family can be a part of this western lifestyle and enjoy horseback riding through the mountains, where this early pioneer family settled over a century ago. In 1854, Walker Rankin, at the age of 22, headed to Cali-

Rankin Ranch ridge Mountain and milled on the ranch. Nails used were handforged in the ranch blacksmith shop. The local Paiute Indians helped build this beautiful California ranch house. Today, Walker and Lavinia’s great, great granddaughter, Amanda, and her husband, Brian, live in this historic ranch home at Rankin Ranch headquarters. Shortly after Walker and Lavinia completed their house,

The Rankin Family

Marcie Thedinger from Missouri said of the Rankin family, “You are guardians of a vanishing way of life, and we applaud your effort to preserve it.” fornia from Pennsylvania in search of gold. After being fairly successful at mining, he tried his hand at dairy farming and raising stock at various locations in California before eventually settling in Walker’s Basin. In 1868, Walker married the girl next door, Lavinia Lightner, whose family came to California in 1849. The Rankins built their home in the southern end of the Basin in the mid-1870s, and raised their seven children in this house. It was constructed from “sugar pine,” cut on Brecken-

64 Bakersfield Magazine

Rankin Ranch became a stage stop for travelers en route to Havilah and Kernville, when Havilah was the Kern County Seat. Walker took care of the teamsters and tended to the horses. Lavinia was a wonderful cook, and, for a time, provided meals for the travelers (sometimes as many as forty at a time) and lodging for a few of them. This tradition of “taking in” travelers continued when Helen Rankin diversified the cattle ranch 46 years ago and

built six cozy mountain cabins nestled in the oaks and pines overlooking Walker’s Basin. Lodging, three home-cooked meals, and horseback riding were all part of the package. Today, fourth, fifth, and sixth generation Rankins—Bill and Glenda and their children and grandchildren—continue the cattle ranching tradition that their ancestors started. They enjoy sharing this way of life with others through the guest ranch operation that is

open from April to October. Guests love horseback riding through the mountain and meadow cattle country and down Walker’s Basin Creek. There are wonderful hiking trails, trout fishing, hay-wagon rides, meadow barbeques, a supervised children’s program, and fun evening activities for everyone. Every guest will dine in a beautiful, spacious area which is now a part of the century-old ranch house. It is surrounded by huge locust trees and lilacs that were planted by first generation Lavinia Lightner Rankin. Take a moment to step back in time and enjoy the breathtaking view of Walker’s Basin, just as six generations of Rankins have done since 1863.

23500 Walker Basin Road, Caliente, CA n 661-867-2511



Established 1863


he year 1919 could easily have been considered “challenging” for our county. Financially, local businesses and families were still recovering from World War I. But it was the year that Bakersfield residents David E. Urner and Errol P. Janes entered the business community in a big way — they opened Home Appliance Company, later known as Urner & Janes, and known today as Urner’s. As two high school teachersturned-entrepreneurs, Janes and Urner honed their selling skills during the summer, when Urner, specifically, successfully sold Wear Ever Aluminum Cookware off the back of his bicycle.

Urner’s David H. Urner & Steve Illingwor th

many family members have worked in the businesses in various capacities over the years, including David E. Urner’s daughter, Margaret, and granddaughter, Pamela. From day one, Urner’s focus has always centered around the customer, emphasizing a personal touch in business, which is still evident at the store today — with their knowledgeable, friendly salespeople to whom many customers return year after year. That focus also helped Urner’s survive The Great Depression and World War II, during which the store supplemented sales with dishes and toys, when metal was being diverted to supply

Their business philosophy remains true today: “cater exclusively to providing an easier way of living for Kern County.” When they opened their doors on September 19, 1919, the men had a vision to run a new type of store; offering an impressive line of “modern” appliances, including washing machines, freezers, gas ranges, automatic dishwashers, and small appliances. Urner dreamed that the store would “cater exclusively to providing an easier way of living for the women of Kern County.” That business philosophy remains true today and has remained the focus of each of the four generations that have worked at the store. While Urner’s son, David H. Urner, is the current president, and his step-grandson, Steve Illingworth, is the vice president,

the country’s war efforts. That resilience remains a point of pride for the entire family, allowing generation after generation of Kern County families the opportunity to patronize Urner’s. And just as important is Urner’s contributions to the commu-

nity. David E. Urner was instrumental in the development of many organizations in the early 1900s, including the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, and the Merchants Association. Urner’s has been involved with nu-

4110 Wible Road, Bakersfield, CA



merous organizations including the Kern County Musical Association, Memorial Hospital’s House of Hope, Teen Challenge, the Bakersfield Symphony, Houchin Blood Bank, the Bakersfield Rescue Mission, and the Bakersfield Art Association, just to name a few. David H. Urner inherited his father’s civic pride and has been a key component of Bakersfield’s Sister City Projects in both Japan and China. As it has done for over 90 years, Urner’s continues to watch for growth opportunities. While this has meant relocating, it has always allowed for expanding product lines, including cutting-edge 3D and Internetready TVs, for the families in Kern County. It’s this effort that has earned Urner’s annual recognition among the Top 100 Appliance Retailers in the United States and it will allow the business to continue offering “better products for better living” for generations to come.



Established 1919 / Spring 2011 65


he Brandt family has been in the building industry since the 1920s. Brandt Homes is a family company with strong ties to Bakersfield. Bob Brandt began building homes more than 25 years ago, and has brought his daughter, Allison Brandt Oliver, into the operation to carry on the company’s legacy. Even as the new generation employs new ideas and technology, Brandt Homes remains committed to creating the highest quality home while serving clients with professionalism, honesty, and integrity. If these ideals appear to be rooted in the past, it’s because they are.

Brandt Homes selling for $5,535, including the lot! Generations of Bakersfield residents have depended upon the fine craftsmanship found in these homes and the tradition continues. As in days gone by, the Brandts build relationships as well as homes. Buyers get to know each member of the Brandt family, starting with Bob. He will meet with every client so that he can learn about their needs, desires, and the vision they have for their new home. He offers his input as needed, whether it’s to help with the design or simply to offer advice along the way. “We encourage our clients to

Allison Brandt Ol

Henry James Brandt developed the first “subdivision” in Bakersfield

Even as the new generation employs new ideas and technology, Brandt Homes remains committed to creating the highest quality home.

Tuscan villas, to traditional style, or a Frank Lloyd Wright-type contemporary, not to mention the several remodels where they have been able to help clients transform their houses, no design is too difficult. Most recently, the company developed a 28-lot subdivision in the northwest of Bakersfield, just east of the intersection of Hageman and Renfro, off Patrick Lane, called Tiburon. They have built several custom homes in this beautiful community of large lots and have a few lots ranging in size from 14,000 to 23,000 square foot still to offer. Brandt Homes mainly builds within Castle & Cooke communities, but also builds in other luxury home developments and, of course, on buyer-provided lots. Since Bob and Allison pride themselves on their relationships with the community, they are always ready for a personal consultation to discuss building someone’s dream home.

When Bob Brandt decided to build homes, he had a solid foundation to build upon. He followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Henry James Brandt, who began building Bakersfield homes in the 1920s under the name Brandt Investment Company. Henry developed the first “subdivision” in Bakersfield that boasted street lights, paved streets, and sidewalks. The neighborhood was called Sunset Park. He also developed an area called Union Square which is located between 1st Street and Chester Lane and Oleander and H streets. Homes in that era were

get very involved in the building process,” Allison Brandt Oliver says. “The homeowner really feels a part of the process and like they’ve helped build their home.” Direct communication between the buyer and builder minimizes the likelihood of con-

66 Bakersfield Magazine

2410 Brighton Park Drive, Bakersfield, CA n 661-665-0091

struction snafus. Brandt says, “We want our clients to enjoy their experience so communication is important.” The Brandts are most proud of the variety of homes they have been privileged to build. From huge modern super customs, to

iver & Bob Brandt



Established 1921


or nearly 90 years, Asbury Transportation has been providing California with quality transportation and logistics service. Having received its original operating certificate in 1922, Asbury Transportation is one of the oldest transportation companies in the United States. Headquartered in Bakersfield, the operation, originally founded by five men, is strategically located to serve California, as well as Arizona and Nevada. Two of the founders were Asburys—hence the name. As transportation needs changed throughout the years, the company continued to grow and adapt.

Asbury Transportation ployees. Today, the company owns 21 trucks and over 100 trailers, low beds, double drops, and step deck trailers. Asbury Transportation also runs a Hot Shot service. Of course, over the last 20 years, the company has branched into different areas in the industry. They specialize in all facets of transportation, over-sized and extra-long loads, hydro-crane services, and, as more and more clients required its services, they created a 24-hour service. Still, those changes haven’t impacted the way Asbury Transportation conducts its business. The goals are still to grow the company in positive ways; to of-

(l-r) Rick Boyer, Be tsy Dunkel, Mary Korn, Rolando Ramos, Er ic Mullen

Over the last 20 years, Asbury Transportation has worked toward its goal of offering dedicated services to clients and the best logistical support in the area. Asbury Transportation is currently owned by Rick Boyer, who purchased the company in May of 1991. Boyer, who was once an employee of Asbury from 1979 to 1983, immediately put together a plan to grow the company by providing high-quality services. With over 37 years of experience in the transportation industry, Boyer was the ideal man to lead Asbury into the future. And that has been proven time and again as his plan has resulted in an average annual growth rate of over 25 percent. When Boyer took over the company, he bought five trucks and 30 flatbed trailers for the eight em-

fer dedicated services to clients; to offer the best logistical support in the area; and keep good people employed with the company for years so they can have a good life. That philosophy has paid off as numerous employees have called Asbury home for many years. Bet-

sy Dunkel, Jim Fagan, and Mary Korn have all been with the company for nearly two decades, and Eric Mullen and Rolando Ramos are right behind them in their years of service to Asbury Transportation. In fact, three of Boyer’s sons have worked for the company

and two of them continue to work there today. Cory is in operations and Chris is in the truck shop. While the logistics may have changed, the operations have stayed the same. The company’s fleet of tractors and flatbed trailers can haul products such as steel, pipe, building materials, and fabricated tanks. A point of pride for Asbury Transportation is that its entire fleet consists of Day-Cab tractors. That means employees can haul, on average, 2,000 pounds more per load than its competitors for the same price. And because the company operates a 45-acre yard, it can provide full loading/unloading, storage, and inventory services to its clients. They also have a rail spur service by BNSF & UP Railroads. With an experienced team and a long history in this community, Asbury Transportation has a lot to be proud of—and a lot more success to look forward to.



GROWING 2144 Parker Lane, Bakersfield, CA n 661-327-2271 Established 1922 / Spring 2011 67


n the mid-1930s, during the Great Depression, Morris B. Chain began his practice in Bakersfield as a criminal defense attorney. Chain’s flamboyant and successful courtroom style became legendary and, with his success, the firm took root. The firm then developed a personal injury and wrongful death expertise which, today, is the core of the firm’s practice. Over the years, the firm also pioneered Group Legal Services for numerous public and private employee groups, including state and county workers, and also members of several major credit unions. For over 75 years,

It’s been over 75 years since Chain|Cohn|Stiles formed, and the group continues to be one of Kern County’s leading law firms. Chain|Cohn|Stiles has been a leading provider of legal services for Kern County and the Southern San Joaquin Valley. Today, the firm’s Managing Senior Partner is David K. Cohn, who has practiced with the Chain firm since 1975, directly upon graduation from law school. A Bakersfield native and graduate of West High School and USC, Cohn attended Southwestern Law School and now manages the practice from his offices directly across from the Kern County Courthouse. Senior Partner David V. Stiles is also a Bakersfield

68 Bakersfield Magazine

Chain | Cohn | Stiles native and served as ASB President at Bakersfield High School before attending UCSB and Hastings College of Law. He also returned to Bakersfield directly after graduation to start work with the Chain firm. Partner James A. Yoro also hails from Bakersfield, attending Garces and Cal Berkley, before

(l-r) Paul A. W elchans, Marsh all C. Frasher, David K. Cohn David V. Stiles, , James A. Yor o, Matthew C. Clark

David V. Stiles & David K. Cohn

David V. Stiles & David K. Cohn graduating from Boalt Hall for law school. Partner Paul A. Welchans is a native of Chicago, Illinois, and attended USC law school before joining the firm. Likewise, Junior Partner Matt C. Clark is a native of Bakers-

field, having attended Garces, Loyola, and McGeorge School of Law before joining the firm. Although Morris Chain passed away in 1977, the firm’s traditions have been carried forward by many attorneys and

1430 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, CA


employees who span the years with the Chain firm. The greatest source of satisfaction and pride for Chain|Cohn|Stiles is the fact that the firm helps clients who truly need help in times of great loss and distress. The firm has recovered millions for its clients over many years; one client at a time, doing its part to help their recovery from difficult injuries or losses. Chain|Cohn|Stiles is positioned to maintain its leadership role in representing the citizens of the Southern San Joaquin Valley. The focus of the firm is on representing those with serious personal injury and death cases in keeping with the tradition of vigorous, successful representation the firm is known for. At the same time, Group Members can receive free consultation and reduced fees on most cases from a knowledgeable and respected legal provider. Chain|Cohn|Stiles will continue to fight for this community’s rights in the 75 years to come.




Established 1934


Kern Schools Federal Credit Union

or more than 70 years, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union has served the needs of its Members and the Kern County community. From its humble beginnings, when a small group of concerned teachers formed a Credit Union for school system employees, their mission of “People Helping People” was introduced, and still rings true today. Originally named Kern County School Employees Federal Credit Union, the Credit Union was founded in 1938 and granted a Federal Charter in 1940. Kern County was a much different place in those

(l-r) Rick Boye Prr,esBe ents t Da y Dy un - 20 ke11 l, Mary Korn, Rolando Ramos, Er ic Mullen

Kern County, with 11 branches and over 50 conveniently located fee-free ATMs, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union is a fullservice financial institution with $1.3 billion in assets and more than 170,000 Members. Within its Membership are generations of families who have built a lifelong financial partnership with Kern Schools Federal Credit Union. “Sixty years ago, I took my first teaching job at a local rural school and found myself in need of a new car,” says Bob Otto, a Member since 1949. “I joined Kern Schools Federal Credit Union. We used to say that

Kern Schools Federal Credit Union opens the doors to its Ming Avenue branch in 1974

Within its Membership are generations of families who have built a lifelong financial partnership with Kern Schools Federal Credit Union. days; with slightly more than 135,000 residents, and the Second World War looming, locals sought a safer way of securing their savings. Unlike a bank, which is driven by profit and shareholders, the Credit Union was founded on Membership — a sharing of resources. With 141 Members and $1,336.84 in assets at the end of their first year, a oneperson volunteer maintained a small office in the library of Bakersfield High School. Membership was originally exclusive to Kern County public school teachers. Now, as the largest Memberowned financial institution in

Originated on the grounds of Bakersfield High School as Kern County School Employees Federal Credit Union

‘having a good friend in your banker made life so much easier.’ Thanks to our good friends at Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, my family has realized many dreams over the years.”

Today, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union provides a wide array of services to its Members, including an extensive loan program, DataNet online banking, DataVoice, merchant

P. O. Box 9506, Bakersfield, CA



services, investment and insurance products, and direct lending with many of Kern County’s auto dealers. In their continued efforts to meet the needs of their Members, they recently introduced “Balance Financial Fitness & Education,” a program in which certified counselors help their Members at no cost with money and debt management, credit report review, identity theft solutions and other personal financial assistance. Membership does make a difference. Members of Kern Schools Federal Credit Union experience personal service and attention each and every time they visit the Credit Union because, “Together, we have something special.”™ The Credit Union strongly believes that its Members have made the organization what it is today, and they will continue to serve Kern County’s financial needs for another 70 years and beyond.



Established 1938 / Spring 2011 69

Bakersfield Rubber Stamp


akersfield Rubber Stamp first opened its doors in 1942 and, believe it or not, the business still has the phone number it was issued that year. While it was Edna Garrett who first started the business, her daughter, Ruth Garrett Brown, took over Bakersfield Rubber Stamp in 1950. During those first years, stamps were made using linotype machines and by hand-setting individual letters into a chase. The chase was then heated and a form was made by pressing the chase and the matrix board together. A piece of natural rubber was put on top of the matrix board, pressed and heated, and then the rubber was

In the early 1980s, computers brought a new, clean process to stamp making and as computers have obviously continued to improve over the last thirty years, improvements in the stamp-making process have also improved. Snow has made a commitment to stay up-to-date with all these digital and technological advances in order to best serve the clients of the business. Of course, nothing tops quality customer service, and the fact that Bakersfield Rubber Stamp has a longstanding record for great customer service in addition to a quality product is something that they continues to be proud of today.

Bakersfield Rubber Stamp

Shawna McCune,

Tonya Nixon & Jo

adult to work for the company. Today, the company works incredibly hard to provide a variety

Floyd Burcham

For nearly 70 years, Bakersfield Rubber Stamp has weathered the ups and downs of our local economy by working hard, perfecting its products, and serving the county. ready to be made into stamps. That’s actually how the stamps were made when Mike Fleming and Peggy Snow purchased the business from Ruth Garrett Brown in 1979. Unfortunately, in 1980, Fleming passed away. Snow then purchased the balance of the business and became the sole owner of the established local business. Peggy dove into the business with gusto, working hard to continue growing Bakersfield Rubber Stamp in the Bakersfield community.

70 Bakersfield Magazine

It’s also a point of pride for Snow’s children, both of whom worked at Bakersfield Rubber Stamp during their summer vacations. In fact, her son, Dean, enjoyed his time at the business enough that he came back as an

of services to businesses and individuals in our community. Bakersfield Rubber Stamp also provides self-inking stamps, daters, address stamps, custom artwork stamps, state-certified notary stamps, business cards, copies,

825 19th Street, Bakersfield, CA n 661-327-8102

anna McCune

embossers, corporate seals, engineer seals, signatures, stencils, labels, engraved signs, and other stamp supplies. And as if those services don’t keep the company busy enough, they are also generous with their time. For the past few years, Bakersfield Rubber Stamp has provided posters and flyers for the Kern County Officer Down Foundation, a nonprofit organization that honors the officers who have fallen in the line-of-duty and recognizes the sacrifice of those loved ones left behind. As a small, locally-owned and locally-run business, Bakersfield Rubber Stamp strives to be the best at what it does and continues to grow and change with technology. All of the staff are always grateful for the supportive customers who have patronized the business for many years. Having been present in the downtown Bakersfield business community for nearly 70 years, Bakersfield Rubber Stamp has weathered the ups and downs of our local economy by working hard, perfecting its products, and serving the county. And that’s just what they’ll do for the next 70.



Established 1942


or over 66 years, Pyrenees French Bakery has been the endeavor of the Laxague family. The Laxagues are members of the ancient and colorful Basque culture, which extends throughout the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain. At the age of 18, Pierre (known to his friends as “Pete”) Laxague arrived in the United States to work as a sheepherder. Five years later, he set out to learn the techniques of making highquality sourdough French bread at a Southern California French Bakery. He then married a young Basque girl named Juanita Ermigarat and raised a family, daughter

Pyrenees French Bakery and markets. Pierre continued to use an old-fashioned brick oven and his own old-world formula for the bread dough. The Pyrenees Bakery expanded to ten times its original size. The entire Laxague family has been involved in the operation of the bakery. Pierre and his son, Michel, were the dough masters, Juanita assisted in the business end and deliveries in the early years, and their daughter, Marianne, assisted in finances and management. Michel passed away in 1979, Pierre, in 1993 and Juanita in 2009.

The Laxague Fam ily (l-r) Jean-Charles, Anna, Marianne, Za chary, Cheri, Rick

Working with the same recipe that founder Pierre “Pete” Laxague brought to the oven 66 years ago, Pyrenees French Bakery has been feeding our area for generations. Marianne and son Michel. Following a successful partnership in Southern California, the Laxagues moved to Bakersfield in 1945 to start their own bakery. That same year, they purchased the Parisian Bakery on East 18th Street from Pete Borda. In 1947, Pierre and Juanita purchased the Kern City French Bakery (established in 1887) from Mr. & Mrs. Joe Gueydan and changed the name of the bakery to Pyrenees French Bakery in honor of their native province. Pierre would arrive at the bakery daily, before 5 a.m., to make each day’s bread and Juanita would deliver it to the restaurants

(l-r) Michel, Pierre, Juanita, Marianne Marianne continues to run the business today with the help of her nephew Rick Laxague and wife Cheri, who are both full-time employees. Nephew Jean-Charles Laxague, who is a medical physi-

cist, works part time. Greatgrandchildren, Zach Laxague and Alisabeth Laxague, also work part time. The Pyrenees French Bakery prides itself on customer service

and the dedication of its employees. Of its twenty-five employees, seven have been employed over thirty years, six over twenty years, and three over fifteen years! Because of employee loyalty and commitment, the bakery can offer an excellent product to the community. Today, Pyrenees sourdough bread is still baked in brick ovens using the same recipes and techniques that Pierre Laxague brought with him in 1945. In fact, today’s sourdough “starter” is a direct continuation of the sourdough “starter” brought to the bakery by Pierre. The Pyrenees Bakery is a seven-days-a-week operation, selling bread in its retail store at its East 21st Street location and delivering the bread to most of the major restaurants, delis, and grocery stores in the area. The bakery also continues to ship bread across the states to those who enjoy its distinctive flavor. A Bakersfield Original — Taste the difference.



GROWING 717 East 21st Street, Bakersfield, CA n 661-322-7159 Established / Spring 1945 2011 71


Clifford & Bradford Insurance

lifford & Bradford Insurance has served the business and personal insurance needs of the Bakersfield community for more than sixty years and yet its products and services today are as modern and up-to-date as to be termed “state-of-the-art.” However, ask Wes Bradford what he attributes the company’s real reason for success to, and he’s quick to respond that there is no substitution for service. Bradford is proud of the fact that Bakersfield has grown tremendously in the last 20 years, but the city has retained its small town values. To Bradford, that means people still expect a high level of integrity and respect. And those two qualities are what the company was, and is, based on. Founder Gerald B. Clifford, a graduate of local schools and the University of California,

agency’s roots go back even further if one considers that one of the operations that merged in, the Louis Banducci Agency, was formed in the early 1900s. As is the style of Bakersfield business people, Clifford was always very active in the community, serving as a City Fire Commissioner, on the Redevelopment Agency, with the Boy Scouts of America, the Chamber of Commerce, and he was a past president of Rotary and the Bakersfield Board of Realtors.

than 40 national carriers that the agency acts as broker for today. He has a talent for gaining a competitive edge in his chosen career field, but he main-

From the original two companies that Clifford represented in 1946, Bradford has increased that to more than 40 national carriers that the agency represents today. Berkeley, obtained both insurance and real estate licenses in 1939. However, before he really got started on his dual careers, World War II erupted and he went off to fight for his country, serving in the European Theater and finally being discharged as a Major. He held the rank of Lt. Col. Ret. In 1946, Clifford established the insurance agency that was to grow dramatically in the years after, partially as a result of the acquisition of six other agencies, and become the basis for today’s Clifford & Bradford Agency. The

72 Bakersfield Magazine

Wes Bradford joined Clifford as a result of one of the mergers and, in 1986, Clifford moved to the position of “Advisor Emeritus.” The company officially took on the moniker Clifford & Bradford in 1987. Building on the strong base established by Clifford, Bradford has brought the business to a position of prominence in Central California. From the original two companies that Clifford represented in 1946, Bradford has increased that roster to more

tains there is no “magic” to it. Bradford insists it has to do with serving customers by answering their insurance requirements and anticipating their future requirements. His goal is to offer the unique Clifford & Bradford service to the individual policy holder as well as to the business owner, whether the business is a wrecking yard or a bank. Today, Bradford enjoys the industrious life of a business owner, managing the activities of his professional team. He also

1515 20th Street, Bakersfield, CA n 661-283-8100

makes time to serve in community activities such as the Golden Empire Bowl, Bakersfield College Athletic Foundation, and the Bakersfield Hot Stove Dinner. Clifford & Bradford’s portfolio of consumers covers the full gamut, from the small “mom and pop” business to the very large. Workers Compensation, Health and Life plans, 401-K retirement plans, and a full range of liability policies are the principal products offered, along with a willingness to create virtually any sort of Captive Insurance program that a client may require. On the personal insurance side, homeowners’ policies are a vital part of the company’s business in addition to automobile and umbrella coverage. It is certainly clear that Clifford & Bradford Insurance Agency truly has the Valley covered.



Established 1946


Jost Carpet One Floor & Home

n October of 1946, Jost Floor Company began when brothers Chester and Martin Jost from Kansas set up their home in Bakersfield. After serving in the army, the brothers bought flooring equipment and tools from the army surplus store. The self-taught pioneers started out sanding and refinishing existing hardwood floors and gradually migrated into new hardwood floor installations. In 1950, a partnership was formed with Jim Ledbetter. Jost & Ledbetter Floor Company became the largest wood floor business in the county. After a few years, the Ledbetter partnership was dissolved. Chester and Martin continued installing school gym floors up and down the state. Then, in 1952, they built a warehouse at the southwest corner of Oak Street and California Avenue. Flooring materials were unloaded from railroad cars that ran be-

the most from Jost.” Fresh out of college in 1968, Chester’s son, David, started working the family business. Two years later, the company built and moved into its present location at 320 Oak Street. Chester’s second son, Duane, left a career in agriculture and returned to the family business in 1977. In 1990, the company joined CARPET ONE, one of the largest co-op marketing groups in the nation that offers the best

(l-r) Troy Jost, D

uane Jost, Ryan Jo

Jost Carpet One’s long history of quality service proves just how accurate the company motto is: “You get the most from Jost.” hind the building. This was one of the first jobs Chester’s sons and some of their friends had during the hot summers of Bakersfield. To meet the new demands of not only builders but consumers, a small carpet store opened in Westchester. This gravitation away from hardwood floors ushered the flooring business into a full-service store with a variety of products. In 1960, Chester was able to buy out his brother and moved his store to his warehouse property at 1201 Oak Street. A short time later, the store’s jingle became a familiar household tune. “You get

warrantees in the industry. At the time, the transition from supporting hometown businesses to the lure of the larger megastore was fully evolved. Jost took on the challenge of convincing customers that it was still the right choice over big box stores. This alliance has afforded Jost Carpet One Floor & Home the ability to compete and survive in an everchanging industry. Something that has never changed, however, is Jost’s dedication to the community. Over the

years, the company has forged ties to many local organizations including Laurelglen Bible Church, Teen Challenge, Veterans, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and cancer awareness. Change was in store for Jost when David and Duane partnered and bought the business from Chester in 1991. Duane’s sons, Troy and Ryan, also grew up in the business. Troy started working full-time at Jost in 1998, learning the business from the floor up. Currently, he works in


commercial sales, he schedules crews, and tackles other administrative jobs. Ryan joined the army after high school and, after tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, joined the business with renewed energy in 2009. In 2010, Duane bought out David, whose contributions to the business over his 40+ years of service earned him the opportunity to enjoy retirement. But David isn’t the only employee to have given years of service. Jost is most proud of the generations of family members who have been involved with the business and the many employees who have been with Jost for over three decades! In addition, there are generations of locals who have shopped with Jost. The Jost business started with hard work and integrity and that same commitment continues on today in its third generation.



GROWING 320 Oak Street, Bakersfield, CA n 661-327-7701 Established / Spring 1946 2011 73


here’s hardly a person in Bakersfield who’s never heard of Stinson’s Stationers. That’s because the Stinson tradition of service and complete customer satisfaction began in 1916 when Ben F. Stinson Sr. arrived in Bakersfield to establish the Stinson Grocery Co., a company that would flourish for over 20 years. However, it was Ben Sr.’s son who would cement the family’s name into Bakersfield history. Ben F. Stinson Jr. grew up in Bakersfield, the second oldest of five children. After graduating from Kern County Union High School and Bakersfield College, Stinson Jr. moved on to UC Berkeley where he would graduate with a degree in business. His goal was to become a teacher with the Kern High School District and while he began teaching at the “new” high school in East Bakersfield upon

The positive business philosophy and focus on customer service, started by Ben Jr., continues today as Stinson’s celebrates over 64 years of service to our community. returning home, World War II interrupted his teaching career. After a distinguished and decorated service to our country, Ben Jr. married Mary Miller, a school teacher. The year their first daughter, Sally, was born, Mary decided that Ben needed to put his business degree to better use. After a lot of research, they decided to open an office products company. Stinson Stationers opened in 1947. They were the first tenants in the Lemucchi family’s new Tejon Theater building on Baker Street in Old Town Kern. The business took off and,

74 Bakersfield Magazine

Stinson’s after a short time, Ben Sr. came into the business to help customers on the retail floor. By 1952, the business had outgrown the building so Stinson’s relocated to the corner of Baker and Kentucky where there was three-times the square footage. Ben Jr. created a warehouse and distribution space and, for the first time, began official delivery service to offices around town. Prior to this move, he would deliver on his lunch break or on his way home. The year 1954 was a big year for Stinson’s. Ben and Mary had

1108 Baker Street. In 1977, Mary retired from her teaching career and began her role as spiritual leader of Stinson’s growing “fun stuff” department.

Name Here, Name Here a second daughter, Liz, and Ben purchased his first delivery wagon, a 1954 Chevy. It was christened “Honeybun.” The business continued to grow, as did the family. In 1956, Ben III was born. While in second grade, Ben III predicted his future by declaring that he was going to follow his father’s footsteps and become a “Stationery Man.” In 1966, Ben Jr. took another major step and expanded the business to its current location, a 25,000 square foot building at

It was 1979 when Ben Jr. made an offer to his son to join the family business. Ben III couldn’t resist and in 1981, became president of the now incorporated Stinson Stationers, Inc. Just two short years later, Ben Jr. passed away. But his footprint and spirit are still felt by the entire community. His love for Bakersfield and the people here lives on in Ben III. Stinson’s continues to support numerous organizations in Bakersfield and Kern County. The company was one of the largest

contributors to the success of the $100,000 grant given to the community foodbank by Walmart by getting the word out to locals. They’ve also put on shoe drives for the Bakersfield Homeless Center, supported the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County, and have hosted blanket and food drives for local animal shelters. The opening of Stinson’s southwest location on Stine Road and New Horizon in 1984 expanded the retail shopping environment and provided a centralized warehouse and distribution center. And improved technologies, like the Internet, have helped the business grow even during tough economic years. In fact, today, 60 percent of the business comes from online ordering. Yet, the positive business philosophy and focus on customer service, started by Ben Jr., continues today as Stinson’s celebrates over 64 years of service to our community.

1108 Baker Street, Bakersfield, CA n 661-323-7611



Established 1947


hen Joseph Eglin discovered that local core samples from our oil fields were being sent to Los Angeles and the Bay Area for testing, he decided to meet Bakersfield’s need for a local laboratory. Eglin’s dream to build the largest family-owned environmental laboratory in the Central Valley was realized in 1949, when he and his wife, Bea, started the business in the single-car garage of their family home on Quincy Street. BC Laboratories, Inc. humbly began as Bakersfield Core Laboratory and specialized in analyzing oil well core samples. As the oil industry grew, the lab business increased with it. Even after Eglin added seven additional feet to his garage to accommodate the expanding lab, it was decided that the business would need more room to continue growing.

BC Laboratories each location into Organics and Inorganics. Union Ave. was the Organics Division and Pierce Rd. was the Inorganics Division. In 1990, they moved to the present location at 4100 Atlas Ct. with 23,000 square feet under one roof. Inorganics and Organics departments were finally together in the same building. Eglin had fulfilled his dream of taking his business from a single-car garage to an expansive laboratory with nearly 90 employees. Eglin loved the work he did and the pride he

Carolyn Jackso

water, drinking water, soil, hazardous waste characterization, and site-specific remediation testing. It is currently run by Joe’s and Bea’s children, Carolyn Jack-

Joe Eglin made growing a business look easy, turning BC Laboratories from a small company in a single-car garage into one that needed 23,000 square feet of operations space. In 1952, BC Laboratories moved to 3016 Union Ave. After a short time, the Eglins purchased the building next door (3014 Union Ave.), giving them a total of 3,000 square feet. Joe, a chemical engineer, did the analyses while Bea kept the books and helped with sample testing. The company would grow again in 1977, when they purchased property at 4100 Pierce Rd. (later renamed Buck Owens Blvd.). They operated the Union Ave. location and the Pierce Rd. location simultaneously and, eventually, separated

had in his family-owned business showed in his eyes. He saw no reason to retire, so he worked every single day until his 90th birthday, continuing to work the business even after Bea passed away in 1996. Today, BC Laboratories, Inc. is a state-of-the-art independent, full-service environmental laboratory, providing analytical testing in accordance with a variety of federal and state regulatory programs. They provide special analysis in groundwater, waste-

n, President

son and Rich Eglin. Jackson became the president in 1997 and Rich Eglin is the vice president/ director of sales and marketing. The company’s goal has always been to provide quality service, defensible data, and competitive pricing. This mission is enforced as strongly today as it was 62 years ago. Computers and the automation process of the instrumentation have been the biggest change over the years for BC Laboratories. But as client needs have

remained relatively the same for the past 20 years, a majority of the focus has been on keeping up-to-date with federal and state regulations. This ability to adhere to new regulations and grow as a company is a point of pride. And that pride extends out into the community. Jackson is a member of Bakersfield East Rotary Club and is currently serving a three-year term as Secretary of Bakersfield East Rotary Foundation. BC Laboratories has consistently been a part of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. BC Laboratories is a longtime member of Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau as well as a Certified Woman-owned Business by Women’s Business Enterprises plus PEMA, WSPA, CRWA, CBWA, and VCWA. It’s safe to say, Joe Eglin would be proud of the fact that his children are carrying on his dream into the future.



GROWING 4100 Atlas Court, Bakersfield, CA n 661-327-4911 Established / Spring 1949 2011 75


hen Don Hall joined his would-be wife’s family business in 1950, no one could have guessed just how well the young man would take to the craft. Though he married into a family of established jewelers in Bakersfield, Hall would be the one to branch out on his own, start his own company, and, over the years, lovingly craft thousands of custom rings for generations of men and women in Kern County. Today, Jon Hall, Don’s son with Nancy Wickersham Hall, runs the shop. Jon’s greatgrandfather, Charles W. Wickersham opened Wickersham’s Jewelers in downtown Bakersfield in

Don Hall Jewelers eda, where she owned a jewelry store with her second husband. Jon worked around the shop with his step-grandfather and it was this experience that got him interested in watches and gemology. Of course, being around his father didn’t hurt. Still, Jon would attend West High, Bakersfield College, and the University of California, Davis, before enrolling in the Gem Institute of America. After all, he always knew he would be a jeweler. Jon has been active in the business since 1977. He took over as store manager during a time when Don served as President of Wickersham’s. However,

Jon Hall & Don H and, soon after, moved the business to its present location in Fountain Plaza at Coffee Road

Don Hall Jewelers has created custom pieces that celebrate the joys in people’s lives for four generations. 1901, so one could say that the trade is in his blood. He started wrapping packages at Wickersham’s when he was just seven years old. And Jon’s family’s talent and love for the work is also apparent on his finger; he wears a ring given to him by his mother that has been passed down from his great-grandfather, who crafted it. In 1967, Don Hall opened Don Hall Jewelers in Valley Plaza. He was one of the first to open a shop there. The store was later moved to Stockdale Highway. As Jon grew up, he spent time with his grandmother in Alam-

76 Bakersfield Magazine

Floyd Burcham

the Halls no longer have an interest in Wickersham’s. Jon took over as store owner in 1990, when Don Hall retired after 40 years in the industry,

and Truxtun, next to Frugatti’s. Don Hall Jewelers is a family business through and through. Jon’s sister Kathy Hall is secretary-treasurer of the store and


another sister, Vicky Fiore, is a gemologist (though in Texas). And the “family” attitude extends into the community. Jon is a longtime member of East Lions, is a past president of the Active 20/30 Club, and the business actively supports Catholic charities in town, not to mention any community tennis event. For Jon, the reputation of Don Hall Jewelers is a major point of pride. The family has created custom jewelery for generations of Bakersfield residents; the family has created pieces that celebrate the joys in people’s lives. And, as a fourth generation business, Jon is continually proud of the fact that he still sees pieces crafted by his grandfather and father come in for resizing and upkeep. People bring their jewelery to a place they can trust—to jewelers they can trust. That, for Jon, is a huge reason why he continues to love his work after a lifetime of being in the business. It’s also why he continues to look forward to the many years of service Don Hall Jewelers, currently celebrating its 61st anniversary, has in store for the community.

600 Coffee Road, Ste. G, Bakersfield, CA n 661-832-5200



Established 1950


Wallace & Smith General Contractors

R. “Bud” Wallace and E.O. “Smitty” Smith went to work as plumbers after World War II ended. Bud and Smitty met each other one evening in 1950 while playing Bridge at Hugh “Bart” Bartenstein’s home. Bart was Bud’s brother-in-law and the owner of Bart Electric Company. That evening, Bud asked Smitty if he would like to join him on a plumbing project that was bigger than he could handle. Bud and Smitty Plumbing was formed before the day was over and licensed in January of 1951. In June of 1951, a general contractors license was obtained in the name of Bud and Smitty Builders. Bud and Smitty Builders began to build houses and the company name was then changed to Wallace & Smith Contractors. Bud and Smitty then teamed-up with Jim Wattenbarger to form Wattenbarger, Wallace & Smith to build a

Jake Smith (son of Bob Smith) began working with Wallace & Smith and is now a project manager. In December of 2005, Alison Wallace Farler (daughter of Bart Wallace) joined the team and is now director of human resources/safety coordinator. Drew Wallace (son of Bart Wallace) began working in January of 2008 and is now an assistant superintendent. In September of 2004, Chris Cooper (son of partner Paul Cooper) became a member of the staff and is now a superintendent. For 60 years, Wallace & Smith

Bob Smith, Bar

t Wallace, Pau

company utilizes both Union and Non-union businesses in the industry to remain competitive and produce a quality product. The company sees its responsi-

For 60 years, Wallace & Smith has worked to provide its clients with professional, honest service and versatile, efficiently-designed, highquality buildings. tract of homes. After completion of that job, Wallace & Smith then ventured into the field of commercial building by bidding and building a new office facility for Kern Oil Company in 1957. Since then, a number of family members have entered the business. Bart Wallace, Bud’s son, came to work for the company full time after graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1975. Bart Wallace and his childhood friend, Bob Smith (no relation to Smitty), assumed control of Wallace & Smith in September of 1983. In January of 2001,

has worked diligently to provide its clients with professional, honest service and versatile, efficiently-designed, high-quality buildings on time and within budget parameters. Wallace & Smith approaches each project with a spirit of teamwork. Wallace & Smith has contributed to the community by building a more beautiful Bakersfield, one building at a time. And though the landscape of construction has changed in our community, Wallace & Smith have kept up-to-date. Today, the

l Cooper

bility as a general contractor to provide clients with qualified, knowledgeable subcontractors. With experienced staff and the advent of improved technology, the company seems to be building projects faster than ever before. Information and technology in both software and building systems has made the construction industry much more precise and controllable. The company continues to be very proud of its reputation and staff. The team at Wallace

& Smith provides a vast pool of knowledge necessary for daily operations. More and more of the staff are degreed professionals. Wallace & Smith treats clients, business associates, and employees with respect and fairness which has created a workplace environment that is relaxed but very productive. Part of that productivity involves being supportive of local nonprofits, including Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, Shafter Chamber of Commerce, Kern Economic Development Corporation, Kern County Builders Exchange, Boy Scouts of America, and St. Vincent De Paul. As Wallace & Smith has grown, so has the size and complexity of its projects. Everyone at Wallace & Smith is in the construction business because they have a passion for building and each one of them believes that Bakersfield will continue to grow and provide the basis for the next generation of Wallace & Smith to move forward successfully.



GROWING 3325 Landco Drive, Bakersfield, CA n 661-327-1436 Established 1951 / Spring 2011 77


loyd Burcham came to California from Eram, Oklahoma with “California or Bust” written across his Model T in 1935. Like most who came to Kern County, his first jobs consisted of chopping cotton and swamping potatoes. After serving in World War II, Floyd returned to Bakersfield to continue his dream of owning his own business. He met up with his old friend, Pat Savage, who was then operating a war surplus store. The enterprising Burcham could see opportunity in piles of boxes in all shapes and sizes so he took his Army savings, teamed up with Savage, and opened three

Floyd’s Office Solutions passed away and this brought Floyd back into the business full time. Then, in 1994, Floyd moved past retirement age and sold the general merchandise stores but retained ownership of Floyd’s Office Furniture Store, now known as Floyd’s Office Solutions. However, Floyd’s family stayed in the business and, today, Floyd’s is locally owned and operated by Floyd’s daughter, Joanna McCune, and his granddaughters, Shawna McCune and Tonya Nixon. And because “giving back” was a way of life for Floyd Burcham, Floyd’s Office Solutions regularly supports a diverse

Shawna McCune,

Tonya Nixon & Jo

evolved from the days of a war surplus store, especially over the last 10 years. In 2001,

Floyd Burcham

From a war surplus store to office solutions, Floyd’s has grown as a local business generation after generation. more stores in Porterville, Tulare, and Dinuba. As the years went by, life was good to Floyd. He declared that the secret of his success was a lot of hard work and a little bit of common sense. He managed to build his legacy with General Merchandise Stores, Floyd’s Block-Long Emporium, a Canvas Shop, and an Office Furniture Store. In 1981, Floyd’s son-in-law, Larry McCune, sold his real estate business to join Floyd in the hardware business, which would allow Floyd to enjoy trips to the coast and work on his golf game. Unfortunately, in 1989, Larry

78 Bakersfield Magazine

group of organizations to this day, including M.A.R.E, Kern Bridges Youth Homes, Kern County Veterans, Kern County Alzheimer’s Disease Association, and local schools and sport programs. That said, the business has

Floyd’s Office Solutions became the only authorized Steelcase dealer in Bakersfield. This allowed this local office furniture business to expand its contract furniture division into large corporate accounts. In 2005, it became WBENC certified (Women’s

5300 District Blvd., Bakersfield, CA


anna McCune

Business Enterprise National Council), and three years ago, Floyd’s eliminated the stationery supply portion of the business to concentrate on furniture. Today, they carry many lines of office furniture such as Hon, Global, Faustino’s, and Maispace. For Floyd Burcham’s daughter and granddaughters, it is an honor, privilege, and great responsibility to have taken the reins from such an individual like Floyd. While following Floyd’s motto of “the joy is in creating and not maintaining,” the company sees continued growth while expanding their involvement in the contract furniture market. And, to this day, Floyd’s family continues to be proud of the company’s beginnings and the fact that the business is in its third generation of ownership and management. Floyd would love the fact that his grandchildren are a part of the day-to-day management of the legacy he built, as well as the fact that the core values of honesty and integrity are still as much a focus of the business today as they were 59 years ago.




Established 1952


ome of the best meats in town, Wood-Dale Market is an old-fashioned meat market that has been fully operating since 1955 off of Stine Road, in between Belle Terrace and Stockdale Highway. Owner Israel Vasquez, who manages to keep that old-fashioned feeling while providing great customer service, has operated Wood-Dale for the past six years and previously worked in the grocery industry for over 25 years. “Wood-Dale is a dominating mom-and-pop store, which is favorably high preference for the Bakersfield community that avoids large supermarkets, long lines, and non-convenient parking,” said Vasquez. Wood-Dale has almost all meats needed for any occasion

Wood-Dale Market to keep old-fashioned traditions alive, even when a business has different owners over the course of its history. These traditions include a variety of different meats served with excellent customer service and selling dairy and produce from local companies such as Knudsen. “I love small stores and I don’t like big supermarkets,” Anna Toy said. “I enjoy it when I hear everybody say, ‘Hi Anna’ when I walk in the door. They’re my friends.” Toy has been a Wood-Dale customer for over 40 years and prefers to shop at this local-run market rather than a grocery store. “When you go into a super-

Israel Vasquez & to customers is still a priority. “Wood-Dale has been under many unique ownerships and ev-

Floyd Burcham

An old-fashioned, friendly market, WoodDale has been serving up fresh food and quality customer service for over 55 years. no matter how big or small. Some of Wood-Dale’s most valued items are Harris Ranch “Choice” beef, nearly seven different personalized meat baskets, and a variety of over 30 homemade sausages. Vasquez has also managed to keep up-to-date on new ideas like providing customers with organic grass-fed beef, organic free-range chicken, and unique items like veal, bison, venison, and lamb. Vasquez said it’s important

market nobody knows you and you don’t know where anything is. Here at Wood-Dale, you don’t have to look very far for things,” she added. Toy also said that the old-fashioned feeling has never left the market and that the attention

the Butcher crew

ery owner seems to bring a new order into the little old novelty meat market that’s been around for decades,” said Vasquez. “Wood-Dale has been a family store and has continued that tradition throughout each new ownership.”

250 Stine Road, Bakersfield, CA



“I’ve never had anybody here that I didn’t care for. It’s personalized, I guess you could say,” said Toy. Working alongside Vasquez is his nephew, meat manager Richard Vasquez, and assistant meat manager Oscar Enciso. Vasquez said he feels that he has started the new generation that will continue these highly respected traditions. Vasquez said that in the near future, he can foresee WoodDale’s business spreading to various areas in Bakersfield. Wood-Dale also has contributed and donated to many other organizations such as Relay for Life, Girl Scouts of America, Kern County Museum Foundation, Wine Fest, small churches, and school events for children. Wood-Dale’s operating hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. With a lot of pluck, local spirit, and gumption, Wood-Dale Market will be serving up quality customer service and fresh food for years to come.



Established 1955 / Spring 2011 79


Daniells Phillips Vaughan & Bock

hen Leslie Watts opened an office in the Sill Building at the corner of 18th and Chester in 1956, he was the sole practitioner of an accounting firm that would grow to be one of the most well-respected and diversified firms in Bakersfield. In August of 1959, Noel Daniells became a partner and the firm became known as Watts & Daniells, Certified Public Accountants. Shortly thereafter, Tom Phillips joined, turning the firm into a team of six. Unfortunately, in 1961, Leslie Watts passed away, but the business continued under the proprietorship of Noel Daniells until January 1964, when Tom Phillips became a partner. While the founder was no longer present, the team upheld the level of integrity, professionalism, and passion that Watts instilled in the business. And they have done this over the

where it remains today. However, more staffing changes were on the way. Jim Bock joined the firm in 1977, became a partner in 1979, and was named managing partner in 1991. Dave Bedke joined the firm’s tax department in 1984 and was admitted as a partner in 1988. Nancy Belton (l-r back) Patrick Paggi, Nancy Belto joined the same year n, Kenneth Vaugha n, James Bock (l-r front) Randy Ri as Bedke and became chardson, David Be dke a partner in 1989, bringing with her a specialty in accounting and audit. Bakersfield Chapter of the CaliforPatrick Paggi, manager with the nia Society of Certified Public Acfirm’s financial reporting services countants. department, was admitted as a Additionally, the firm was and partner in 2001. Also in 2001, Ran- is set apart by their affiliation in

(l-r) Noel Daniells, Thomas Phillips, Kenneth Vaughan

The talented and diversified team at Daniells Phillips Vaughan & Bock continues to uphold the values set forth by founder Leslie Watts in 1956. last 55 years, while gaining new partners and talented accountants to serve the community. In August 1964, Frank Garner joined the firm and became a partner in 1966; however, in 1981, he left to open his own practice. Ken Vaughan joined in 1968 as an accountant. It was at that time that the firm moved to 16th & G streets. Vaughan officially became a partner in 1972. As the firm grew and began doing business as a corporation, it was decided a larger space was needed and, in 1977, the business moved to 300 New Stine Road,

80 Bakersfield Magazine

dy Richardson joined the firm as a partner specializing in taxation. For these partners and staff, pride in the firm’s history runs deep. Today, the people who are a part of Daniells Phillips Vaughan & Bock hold a high degree of skill, and offer diversity and dedication to their clients and the public accounting profession. They are the true reason for the continued success of the firm, which has consistently demonstrated leadership abilities with several partners having served as Presidents of the

January 1994 with the McGladrey Network (now called McGladrey Alliance). This alliance gives the firm access to personnel and expertise that they would not otherwise have and the firm is the only member of this alliance in Kern County. Technological advances in the field of accounting have also been constantly utilized by the firm over its five decades in business. Staying on the cutting edge adds to productivity and efficiency in day-to-day operations so they can better serve clients

300 New Stine Road, Bakersfield, CA


in Bakersfield and Kern County. But the firm also seeks to serve the community in a philanthropic way. Team members have supported many worthy causes for generations. Members of the team serve or have served on various boards of nonprofits in Bakersfield and the entire firm supports organizations in Bakersfield such as the Bethany Homeless Shelter, United Way’s Day of Caring, Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County, Alliance Against Family Violence, and others. Today, the firm currently has six partners, eight managers, one supervisor, and a total of 22 professionals on staff. The focus today is the same that it was back in 1956, and though the landscape of accounting has changed, the dedication to client service and satisfaction is an area where Daniells Phillips Vaughan & Bock continues to shine.




Established 1956


Robby’s Nursery & Landscape

ince 1962, when he opened Robby’s Nursery, Harold E. “Robby” Robinson has been literally making Bakersfield a more beautiful place. Robinson was an independent landscaper when he moved to Bakersfield as a young man and, after establishing an excellent reputation with his services around town, he and his wife, Joan, purchased a nursery located at South H Street and Planz Road. As the business began to grow, the Robinsons also started a nursery in Oildale on Norris Road. Robby’s continues to offer a huge selection of plant varieties that delight the everyday plant shopper as well as the collector, all the while providing gardeners in our area with the tools they need to create their dream garden. Fruit and shade trees from Robby’s decorate many a yard and

over the years, the Robinsons’ dedication to quality and service has not been touched. Robby’s Nursery has become a full-service garden center and though the company doesn’t do as much landscaping as in the past, they continue to help customers design the perfect yard for their needs as well as servicing the yards of customers past, as necessary. The knowledge of each and every staff member is a point of pride for the Robinson family. To a similar extent, the family is proud of its Garden Gift Shop. The shop

Kathy Robinson,

Joan Robinson, H

how to become a successful gardener. However, they’ll be doing that in a new nursery! Later on this year, Robby’s will be moving to a new location called Robby’s

Today, 49 years after he opened his nursery, Robinson is still active in the business each and every day, his love for the work is evident. Robinson’s touch continues to be seen on the streets of Bakersfield. Today, at 82, and 49 years after he opened his nursery, Robinson is still active in the business each and every day, teaching classes and running seminars on local gardening subjects. His love for the work is evident. The love for the work was also passed down to his children. Today, Kathy Robinson is the current manager; David Robinson is a landscaper (though he has his own business); and Karen Robinson-Nicholosen managed the Oildale Nursery before becoming a teacher. As the business has changed

was created as a way to meet every customer’s need and is filled with many unique items including wind chimes, iron artwork, bird feeders and houses, food items, collectables, pots, ceramics, and seasonal treasures. Since the gardening industry will continue to change, especially here in Bakersfield, Robby’s Nursery has plans to accommodate gardeners in our area. For starters, they’ll be putting more emphasis on drought-tolerant planting and continue to educate customers on

arold Robinson

Nursery & Calico Gardens. There, the Robinsons plan on having planted areas to give customers and gardeners ideas on how to custom design individual yards in addition to an outdoor seminar area where events and even classes can be hosted. Club meetings and small dinners can be held in a peaceful, intimate setting. Thanks to his longstanding attention to this community, Robinson has even been nominated for a Beautiful Bakersfield Award. His goal has always been

13129 Hageman Road, Bakersfield, CA


to help each person who attends one of his pruning seminars or Bonsai classes to enhance their personal space and help them to become better gardeners. Robinson, over the years, has completed landscape jobs that have helped transform the city of Bakersfield. Thanks to Robinson’s help, Bakersfield has lost the look of a “hot, dry” city that many Central Valley cities are known for and has become an area known for attentive, creative landscaping. Robinson’s admiration for natural beauty and the outdoors has inspired many in our community. Kathy Robinson hears stories of her father’s beautiful design work and hears from people that her father gave someone their first job on a daily basis. That’s the kind of recognition that really sets this family business apart and will continue to set them apart for years to come.




Established 1962 / Spring 2011 81


& B Surplus, Inc. was started in June of 1963 and was the vision of Ronald and Donice Boylan. The business began from a two-bedroom home, located on a then rural two-lane Rosedale Highway. Business was conducted from a bobtail truck that Ron drove up one side of the valley and back down the other side each day, selling off the back of the truck. B & B Surplus is still located at that location, but, over time, it has expanded to over 38 acres located between Fruitvale and Coffee. The business was founded on family principle and management still considers it a family-run business, with the belief that each and every employee is an intricate asset to the business and is part of

B & B Surplus Hopper Steel branch; to Santa Ana in 1998 (B & B Metals of Santa Ana); the non-ferrous market in 1994 (B & B Specialties Metals, Bakersfield); and to Ventura in 2007 (Ventura Steel). The number of employees has grown over the years from two to close to one hundred. Management strongly believes in supporting local charities, schools, and community projects. They make every effort

Mike Georgino &

Donice Boylan

For 48 years B & B Surplus has strived to prove itself worthy of the reputation that has grown from its history and service to the community and local businesses. that family. Today, Donice Boylan is the President, Michael Georgino is the Vice President, and Michelle Boylan-Pisano is the SecretaryTreasurer. The business has gradually grown throughout the years. In addition to the headquarters in Bakersfield, the company expanded to Santa Maria in 1992 (B & B Steel & Supply of Santa Maria), purchasing the previous

82 Bakersfield Magazine

to do business with the local vendors and professional services. B & B Surplus’ management is happy to say they have a hard time trying to distinguish the accomplishment they are most proud of. For the team, it’s hard to isolate just one thing. But after reflecting upon the last

three years, one of the greatest economic recessions in recent memory, it would have to be that during this time, the company was able to withstand the challenges without having to lay a single employee off or cut back on overtime, while still protecting the welfare of the employees.

7020 Rosedale Hwy., Bakersfield, CA


With the death of Ron Boylan in 2004, and the retirement of Terry Boylan in 2009, management has seen great changes within the structure of the business. But with great leadership and the strong group of people that have been meticulously put into place, the business has continued Ron’s vision. The business was founded on the strong, basic concepts of his beliefs of diversification of sales territories, strong control over spending, and work ethics. The business has changed and adapted to the demands of the economy, but still has the same business principals that the business was founded on 48 years ago. B & B Surplus is always striving to become more efficient with a goal of being the best steel distributor possible. Our reward is greater customer satisfaction. Management’s belief is like the old saying, “Shoemaker—stay with your stitch,” so their goal is to continue business as usual.




Established 1963


ilton Huggs is no stranger to hard work. In the early 1960s, Huggs was teaching school and working three jobs to earn enough money to support his family. One of his jobs involved helping his mother, Vi Pearce, with the accounting books at Travelers Inn in Greenfield. When Highway 99 opened, it bypassed the hotel and business slowed. Huggs was forced to look for another job. After a little soul-searching, he decided that he would try his hand at the restaurant business. He knew it was tough running a restaurant, but, again, he had no problems working hard to support his family. It just so happened that, in 1964, Atlantic Richfield was building a truck stop at Olive Drive and Highway 99. They needed a restaurant operator. So Huggs acquired the lease. For 46 years now, Milt’s has maintained a good business

Milt’s Coffee Shop that Mark would like to come home and work in the family restaurant. Huggs didn’t hesitate with his “yes.” Today, Mark is still active in running the business. There were, of course, hurdles to overcome early on in the business. When Interstate 5 opened, traffic bypassed Milt’s and the family saw a fairly drastic cut in business. Huggs went to work making sure the restaurant could stay open. They sought out the crosscountry drivers and the locals who had not yet grabbed a bite at Milt’s. Another hurdle came

Milton Huggs & M something that Huggs is continually proud of. Another way the restaurant has changed in the last 47 years is in Huggs’ attempts to meet customers’ health needs. As more

At 81, Milton Huggs has seen the restaurant industry change a lot since he made the shift from teacher and bookkeeper to entrepreneur and restaurant owner in 1964. through many ups and downs. The restaurant prepares nearly everything fresh, from scratch and on premises, and every employee takes their home-style cooking seriously. It’s a point of pride not only for Huggs, but also for the entire Huggs family, many of whom have come into the business. All three of Huggs’ children, and even some of his grandchildren, have worked at the family restaurant at one time or another. His son, Mark, attended chefs school in Denver, Colorado and had been working for Marie Callender’s in management for some time when Huggs received a wonderful call

when, in the 1990s, the truck stop location sold and Milt’s lost its bigrig and large truck parking—which many drivers had come to rely on. Not one to get discouraged, Huggs and family kept cooking away. The business has changed over the years. Competition has come in the form of large food markets which appeal to people on the go, as well as fast-food operations. But, for Milt’s regulars, the experience of a home-cooked meal is enough to keep them coming back, and that’s

ark Huggs

and more diners have become health conscious, Huggs and the entire team at Milt’s sought fresher food items and added healthier options to the menu. But, because the regulars demand them, there’s no way that the chicken fried steak, meatloaf, or biscuits and gravy could ever come off the menu. At age 81, Milton Huggs has seen the restaurant industry change quite a bit since he made the shift from teacher and bookkeeper to entrepreneur and restaurant owner in 1964. He’s also seen

the community change greatly in those four decades, all the while being an integral part of it. Milt’s has been a sponsor for many a JBA and Jack Frost sports teams and has been a supporter of many a community fundraiser. Today, most of Huggs’ charitable efforts come through his membership in Bakersfield West Rotary. Milt’s Coffee Shop will continue dishing up home-cooked meals to regulars for years to come, and, as the restaurant always looks to better serve its diners, the menu options might change. But one thing that won’t is the great food and friendly atmosphere at Milt’s. And, as Huggs’ jokingly pointed out, you might be able to place your order at Milt’s on an iPhone app in the future, but you’ll still get the restaurant’s one-of-a-kind customer service.



GROWING 6112 Knudsen Drive, Bakersfield, CA n 661-399-4975 Established 1964 / Spring 2011 83


ern Radiology is extremely proud of its Kern County heritage and its commitment to not only its physicians but also the residents of this great county. Kern Radiology was established by local radiologists as the first outpatient radiology practice in 1968. Prior to that point, most radiology services were provided in hospitals. The radiologists who came together to form Kern Radiology, believed they could provide more convenient access to radiology services in a more patientfriendly environment. And forty-three years later, the company’s vision for the commu-

Kern Radiology tic capability and improved patient care and treatment by attending physicians. Kern Radiology has a long tradition of medical “firsts” in Kern County. In 1969, during the organization’s second year in existence, Kern Radiology played a key role in the formation of the Radiologic Technologist Program at Bakersfield College, which has trained over 600 technologists for the community. Then, in 1971, Kern Radiology introduced the first Computed Tomography Unit (“CT”) to Bakersfield. Technology of that time was extremely limited, permitting only the scanning of the head. Contrast that with the

(l-r) Rick Boyer, Be tsy Dunkel, Mary Korn, Rolando Ramos, Er ic Mullen

While some of Kern Radiology’s owners have changed over the decades, the vision, compassion, and dedication to care for people is still thriving. nity continues to evolve. Unprecedented advances in medicine and technology have changed the field of radiology, but not the heart and soul of Kern Radiology. Modern radiology, now referred to as imaging, began with the discovery of x-rays by William Roentgen. In the past, x-rays of the body were captured on sheets of film. Today, radiology is a film-less process and images are captured and stored digitally and transmitted electronically. The digital age of imaging permits radiologists to view body components in both color and 3-dimensions. The result of this technology is exceptional diagnos-

84 Bakersfield Magazine

multi-slice technology of today’s CTs, which have truly changed medicine and surgery practices by providing exquisite detailed images. The San Joaquin Valley’s first Ultrasound Unit was introduced to Bakersfield in 1974. That same year, Kern Radiology launched the

first non-hospital based Nuclear Medicine Department. Those introductions were quickly followed by the first Mammography Unit in Kern County. The current Mammography Program at Kern Radiology includes the recently FDA approved Tomosynthesis technolo-

gy, which is essentially a 3-dimensional mammogram which detects breast cancers better and earlier than traditional 2-dimensional mammography. Over 150 people are employed by Kern Radiology. This staff serves Kern County residents at two major imaging facilities, 2301 Bahamas Drive and 3838 San Dimas Street. Kern Radiology is proud to be American College of Radiology (ACR) accredited in all imaging services provided which include Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Mammography, Nuclear Medicine, Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Stereotactic Breast Biopsy, and Ultrasound. Kern Radiology is honored to have provided imaging services for private insurers, MediCare, MediCal, and HMOs over the past 43 years. While some of Kern Radiology’s owners have changed over the decades, the vision, compassion, and dedication to care for people is still thriving.

2301 Bahamas Drive, Bakersfield, CA n 661-326-9600



Established 1968


H. Walker’s Men’s Clothing Company

erb Walker’s was established at 18th & K streets in 1971 by Herb Walker himself. Herb was a manager for three years at Seiler’s Men’s Store before opening his own family business. Downtown was alive in the ‘70s, with Seiler’s, Casper’s, and Brock’s department stores, to name just a few. H. Walker’s grew from offering clothing and jeans, to adding a ladies department. Herb had a sense of style of his own—a traditional, classic look; a great personality; and strong work ethics. Herb’s wife, Doris, did the daily bookwork and, after school, you would find their daughters, Nancy and Tracy, making custom gift wrap boxes. Throughout the years, the Walker family took pride in the store and loved the friends they came to know and serve.

inal location. H. Walker’s is now located in a 1920s building that was once the Studebaker Garage. Community service is very important to the Walker family and to the businesses they operate. Herb was an active member in the Downtown Business Association, involved in Trade Club, Downtown Exchange Club, was a president of Stockdale Country Club, and served on the Fox Theater Restoration committee. Tracy served on the Bakersfield Museum of Art board, is a current board member of the CASA and Memorial Hospital Foundation boards, a past president of the Junior League of Bakersfield, president of the Bakersfield Community House, and president elect of the Rotary Club of Bakersfield—Downtown.

Tracy Walker Kis

The family behind H. Walker’s is most proud of having continuously served the community for 40 years and they look forward to the next 40. In 1981, Herb Walker and Robert “Bob” Abbott formed a partnership on a new store named Walker Abbott that was one of the original stores to open in the Stockdale Fashion Plaza located on Stockdale Highway. In 1988, Herb Walker’s was destroyed by fire and Herb joined Bob at the southwest store. In 1994, Bob retired and Herb’s daughter, Tracy, was brought into the business. The lease at Stockdale Fashion Plaza expired in 1998 and Herb decided to retire. Tracy, who grew-up in the business, wanted to keep it going and purchased the business from her parents and relocated it back downtown, one block from its orig-

Today, the company is being patronized by fourth generation customers. Since H. Walker’s goal is quality service, employees constantly ask customers what they would like to see for clothing lines in the store. Their suggestions mean a great deal to everyone at the business because customers are an extension of the H. Walker family. H. Walker’s is a place where everyone from family, staff, to customers enjoy spending time. The store has changed from being so traditional and conservative in the last five years and even

more so just this past year. Where H. Walker’s still offers high quality and stylish men’s clothing, to attract the younger guys and follow the latest trends in the clothing industry, the store has a more relaxed, comfortable look. A lifestyle atmosphere has been created, the décor has been modernized, the fashions are trendier, and the service is even stronger. As anyone who enters the store can plainly see, the staff at H. Walker’s has a lot of fun at work and that’s just how it should be. Something that has allowed H.

er & Herb Walker

Walker’s to stay so fresh is the fact that the company places an importance on hiring young, inspiring individuals. The staff has turnover because every employee is encouraged to continue their education and to pursue their dreams. The store is there for them if they want it as a career but many opportunities are given to them to move on. All members of H. Walker’s learn the entire operation from receiving, to display merchandising, tailoring, and purchasing. And while that aspect of the business certainly gives the company a lot of pride, the family behind H. Walker’s is most proud of having continuously served the community for 40 years and they look forward to the next 40.



GROWING 1700 K Street, Bakersfield, CA n 661-283-4500 Established 1971 / Spring 2011 85


ust two short years after Peter Brown came to Bakersfield in 1972, he founded an accounting business that, today, is recognized as one of the leading accounting firms in our area. With $20,000 of borrowed money and four employees, Brown officially opened his doors on April 1, 1974. Eleven years later, in 1985, Burton Armstrong joined the firm, bringing with him a young staff accountant named Andy Paulden. Over the past 37 years, the firm has experienced tremendous growth. The firm has 85 employees and four offices including locations in Bakersfield, Shafter, Fresno, and Pasadena. Each location sup-

Brown Armstrong ter. The firm’s Tax Division is led by Chris Thornburgh, who was admitted as a partner in 2004, and includes Peter Brown, Diana Branthoover, Richard Halle, and Jay Porter. The Audit Division is led by Eric Xin, who was admitted as a partner in 2006, and includes Burton Armstrong, Steven Starbuck, Rosalva Flores, Connie Perez, and Thomas Young. The Consulting Division is led by Eric Berman. Steve Starbuck was admitted as a partner in 2001; Richard Halle in 2008; Diana Branthoover, Rosalva Flores, Connie Perez, and Thomas Young in 2010; and our two new-

Title Here

Peter Brown and his Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II

Brown Armstrong’s commitment to client satisfaction has earned the firm the reputation as one of the area’s premier regional accounting firms. ports the services provided by the firm, which include auditing, tax, and consulting to individuals and small, medium, and large business entities. The 13-member Board of Directors is led by Andy Paulden who succeeded Peter Brown as CEO in 2005. The remaining 11 partners consist of Burton Armstrong, Steven Starbuck, Chris Thornburgh, Eric Xin, Richard Halle, Diana Branthoover, Rosalva Flores, Connie Perez, Thomas Young, Eric Berman, and Jay Por-

est partners, Eric Berman and Jay Porter, on January 1, 2011. To keep up with the growth, not only that of the firm, but also to stay up-to-date with changes in the industry, Brown Armstrong has continually updated its technology. It’s the technological realm where the firm has changed the most over the years. Today, the firm is

86 Bakersfield Magazine

4200 Truxtun Ave., Ste. 300, Bakersfield, CA

Russell Simonson & Peter Brown paperless and computer-prepared tax returns are the norm. Brown Armstrong is committed to client satisfaction. Providing timely, well-organized service has earned the firm many accolades over the years, including recently being named one of the fastestgrowing firms in the nation. The firm’s commitment to the


community extends far beyond the business realm. The majority of its personnel are long-term Bakersfield residents, and the entire firm has strong ties to California State University, Bakersfield. In 2001, it established the Brown Armstrong Accounting Scholarship to assist outstanding accounting students in completing their degrees at CSUB. Then, in 2011, the firm committed funding assistance towards the University’s Accounting Department’s Continuous Improvement Plan. Also, many of the firm’s staff members participate on the boards and committees of several local charitable organizations. Brown Armstrong’s core focus is still to provide timely, accurate service to its clients, while expanding the firm’s presence in Kern County and throughout California so they can assist even more clients with any and all financial needs. The firm takes pride in the success of its clients, the quality and loyalty of its staff, its continued growth, and the future leaders the firm produces.




Established 1974


or Warren and Glenn Plaskett, two brothers bred, born, and raised in Kern County, the creation of their business came from the desire to achieve personal and professional success; success that hadn’t come while under the employment of other companies. So the Plaskett brothers founded Stockdale Aire, a heating and air conditioning company, in 1975 with a very small amount of capital. But it wasn’t easy in the beginning. Forming the company meant taking a 50 percent salary cut, no guarantee of any fringe benefits, and working copious amounts of overtime without extra pay. War-

Stockdale Aire, Inc. (l-r) Mark Swob

manager, Brent Poe, is a family friend, and has 24 years of continuous service. Still, as is necessary in any business, growth comes from and with changes. In 1982, Warren purchased Glenn’s share of the company. This allowed for greater benefit and capital for other interests. By the early 1990s, Stockdale Aire had outgrown its location and, by 1993, had built and moved into a larger facility. Plaskett relocated the company once more in 2001 to smaller, but more expandable, facilities.

oda, Brent Poe

The family-operated company has grown from a small shop into one of Kern’s leading HVAC providers. ren worked while Glenn managed the books and cheered. Through hard work and perseverance, the company has grown from a small shop into one of Kern County’s leading HVAC providers. For 36 years, Stockdale Aire has served the the commercial, residential, and industrial markets with additional projects spanning the field including exhaust systems for carbon monoxide, bottling plants, sawdust, and hazardous vapors. During those three decades, six family members have joined the company, in addition to a daughter who works part time. The service manager, Mark Swoboda, is the son of the first book keeper and has worked for Stockdale Aire from the age of 14. The general

Mark Swoboda

Brent Poe

Additionally, evolving technology in record keeping and information resources have helped to keep the company ahead of the game as they continue maintaining customer awareness as well as providing competitive products for customers. Still, in all those years, the company has been known for one

Warren Plaskett

thing: quality work. That extends to new builds, remodels, service of residential homes, and commercial applications. Stockdale Aire’s philosophy has always been that a quality job is more than a weak promise spoken by a salesman; a job should perform as proposed. Pride as a company and pride in the community have kept Stock-

2730 Unicorn Road, Ste. D, Bakersfield, CA


, Warren Plask ett

dale Aire involved in many local activities. Though it has evolved and grown in size, the company started as a family and still remains a family. Many employees are involved with and serve in local churches and nonprofit organizations. Plaskett has a longtime service record and past presidency at the Bakersfield Rescue Mission, is a past Rotarian, and has been a longtime member in Refrigeration Service Engineers Society, an educational, nonprofit trade organization. Finally, a large point of pride for the entire company is that each and every technician is seasoned with years of training in a variety of backgrounds in the field of heating and air conditioning. There are few problems beyond their ability and even then, as a team, those are easily overcome. That team approach has helped them uphold their motto for 36 years: “We are not comfortable until you are!”




Established 1975 / Spring 2011 87


early thirty-four years ago, three brothers from Shafter combined their strengths in architecture and construction to develop a niche never before realized in the San Joaquin Valley. Together, the Klassens––Robert and Phil as architects, and Jerry as a contractor––were third generation builders who began Klassen Corporation, a design-build firm delivering professional services to private and public industries. Today, Klassen Corporation’s client portfolio includes education, health care, commercial, industrial, and agribusiness projects in California, Alaska, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Texas. The company has designed,

Klassen Corporation

Halliburton Genera

tion of arctic design and construction practices, thereby expanding knowledge for new environments and increasing share in new market segments. Recent awards include the Best Places to Work in Bakersfield in 2009, a Beautiful Bakersfield Award for the design and construction of Granite Construction’s new regional office building in 2010, and a California Parks and Recreation Society Award for the design and construction of a multi-purpose facility in the Buttonwillow Recreation and Park District in 2011. In addition to developing awardwinning structures, Klassen Corporation gives substantially to

l Office Building

Photo by Scott Hislop Phot ogra


College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center

built, and/or modernized sixteen high schools, nine Kaiser Permanente facilities, dozens of industrial structures, and, in the past ten years, completed more than $400 million in projects on community college campuses. With the intent to sustain the organization for future generations, Klassen Corporation has dedicated the last five years to diversifying itself into privatelyfunded markets outside of California. As an example, Klassen successfully completed a project in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska under extreme climate conditions. The project required additional educa-

88 Bakersfield Magazine

Kern High School District, Mira Monte Campus Photos by Michael Urbanek Photography

Jerry Klassen, the firm’s CEO/President is excited by the future direction of the firm, the welcoming of the next generation, and the culture developed by staff.

Kern County and beyond. Locally, they support organizations such as the Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital, Youth For Christ, and numerous youth activity leagues—just to name a few. In 2011, the Klassen Spirit of Excellence scholarship

was launched for community college students seeking degrees/ certifications in the fields of architecture or construction. Employees also share in the value of responsible stewardship with their combined commitment of 2,800 hours of community service

2021 Westwind Drive, Bakersfield, CA


in the 2010 calendar year. Serving on local boards, volunteer coaching, and participation in charity organizations are a small sample of how Klassen employees give back. The fourth generation of Klassens have entered the firm with Chris Klassen, son of Phil and Pam, joining in 2007. Michelle Klassen, daughter of Jerry and Susan, joined the firm in 2010, and her brother, Jim, is expected to join this fall. Jerry Klassen, the firm’s CEO/ President is excited by the future direction of the firm, the welcoming of the next generation, and the culture developed by Klassen Corporation staff. “We are blessed to have such a talented, loyal group of folks contributing daily to our firm. It gives me great pride to see where we’ve come, where we’re going, and I take comfort in the knowledge that my children, nieces, and nephews will be mentored by such an extraordinary team as the employees at Klassen Corporation.”




Established 1977


regory D. Bynum & Associates, Inc. was established in 1981 as a result of the entrepreneurial spirit of Greg and Mary Bynum. Fostered by Greg’s years spent working in family businesses owned by his parents, Ray and Margaret Bynum, as well as the formal training he received while earning his degree in business administration from CSUB, working for himself came naturally to Greg. Prior to opening the business, Greg earned a living as a licensed professional real estate appraiser, spending several years analyzing property values in both the public and private sector. Greg’s appraisal background continued to serve him upon establishing his own firm. His broad knowledge base gives him the unique ability to provide the Bakersfield community with a full range of real

Bynum & Associates the fact that three generations of the family have been active in the business. Greg’s father, Ray, worked the latter part of his career with the company, giving 14 years of effort and guidance only a parent could provide. Art Bynum, Greg’s uncle, continues with the company in the property division. Don Bynum, a UC Davis graduate and Greg and Mary’s oldest son, is professionally credentialed in property management and has been with the firm since 2001. He is instrumental in operating its Property Management and Bro-

The Bynum Fam handling the Bynum issues. David’s wife, Megan, a UCSD grad, works for GDB as an Accountant and Administrative Staff Manager while being mother to the fourth

A philosophy based on the ultimate importance of God, family, and then work has fostered balance in the Bynums’ approach to the workplace. estate services, which has been integral to the continued success of the company. Real Estate Development, Appraisal, Brokerage, Property Management, and Investment are all part of the current activities performed by a committed long-term group of employees. A philosophy based on the ultimate importance of God, family, and then work has fostered balance in the Bynums’ approach to the workplace and helped to create a teamwork atmosphere that provides a solid foundation for achievement. The Bynums take great pride in

Greg Bynum, David Bynum, Ray C. Bynum, Don Bynum kerage functions and is part of the executive team. Jackie, Don’s wife (also a UC Davis grad) worked as the Accountant and Administrative Staff Manager from 2005 to 2007. She has since returned to her original career in healthcare. Dave Bynum, a USD Law graduate and the Bynums’ second son, who in the past has worked periodically at GDB during schooling, is now a practicing real estate Attorney with LeBeau Thelen, the company’s corporate attorney and the point man for LeBeau in


generation, named Rivers, who is not quite ready to make career decisions. Marley (Bynum) Sherry, Greg and Mary’s daughter, is a graduate of the USC School of Architecture and is employed locally by Ordiz Melby Architecture. Marley is currently working on a design project for the company on one of its existing buildings. In the past thirty years, the company has developed over 1,000,000 square feet of building space in Bakersfield and currently manages more than

5601 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, CA


700,000 square feet. Plans currently on the drawing board will enhance those figures significantly when the economy and demand allow for it. The family-oriented company and its employees are active community participants and are involved in Rotary, CSUB Foundation, Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, Community Action Partnership, Memorial Hospital Foundation, Youth Connection, Bakersfield Homeless Shelter, Golden Empire Gleaners, Bakersfield Art Museum, Asthma & COPD Education Center, and Jim Burke Education Foundation, among many others. Gregory D. Bynum & Associates is proud of its relationships with employees, clients, tenants, and investors, as well as the many professionals in architecture, construction, engineering, finance, sales, and leasing that have contributed greatly to the company’s success.




Established 1981 / Spring 2011 89


he story of Finish Line started in early 1980. Alan Bradley was working five days a week as a sales engineer for Wire Line Service Co., logging and perforating oil wells. He had a company car, an expense account, and a membership to a local country club. Life was good. He began spending his weekends training with friends to compete in triathlons and, as expected, training and racing equipment was needed. Unable to find everything they would need in one store got Bradley thinking. There should be a store that caters to serious cyclists, runners, and swimmers. On August 4, 1984, at the time when Los Angeles was hosting the Olympic Games, Finish Line Tri-

From the beginning, the Bradleys’ goals were to treat customers with respect, and offer excellent service and high quality merchandise—and they continue to meet those goals today. athlon Pro Shop opened its doors for the first time. The store was only 1,000 square feet, was located at the corner of New Stine and Planz roads, and that first day was stocked with only 15 bikes, Speedo swimwear, and running shoes. The store was run by Bradley’s wife, Gema, and the couple’s three children during the day, with Bradley coming to the store after work. He would build bikes and complete all the repairs during the evening. It took only eight

90 Bakersfield Magazine

Finish Line months of this arrangement for Bradley to realize that he needed to be at the store full time. Since May of 1985, Alan and Gema Bradley have operated every aspect of the business together. In 1989, the Bradleys increased the store size to 1,500 square feet. But they would continue expanding and, in 1995, moved the store to Coffee and Truxtun where they had 3,200 square feet for their growing list of merchandise. During the shop’s time at this location, they received countless awards for being the favorite bike shop in town. Over the years, they employed 10 young family members, working around their school schedules. And as the store grew, the Bradleys realized

Alan & Gema Brad

(l-r) Gema Bradley, Scott Molina, Alan Bradley they were in a position to give back to our community. They got involved with CASA, food banks, Rotary, the Bakersfield Homeless Center, and more, all while sponsoring and raising money for local sporting events. For five years, the Bradleys hosted a successful 5k and 10k run called the Chill Chaser with over 450 runners per race. They were able to raise money to feed Bakersfield’s hungry and help rebuild an orphanage in Mexico.

After training for and racing in triathlons for over 13 years, including completing the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii; adventure racing; and running The Western States 100 (100 miles through the Sierra Nevada Mountains), Bradley decided to scale back his training and racing. At that time, he refocused the business to include only the cycling portion. But the store still continues to provide the swimming equipment needs for


the local high school swim teams. The store continued to serve the community’s fitness needs while promoting health and fitness. From the beginning, the Bradleys’ goals were to treat customers with respect, and offer excellent service and high quality merchandise—and they continue to meet those goals today. During the store’s 24th anniversary year, Bradley decided to relocate to a new, 4,500 square foot building across from California State University, Bakersfield. The location is perfect: Bakersfield’s bike path runs directly behind the store. Today, the Bradleys are proud of the fact that they created a successful business that has provided jobs for people in the community, all the while promoting a healthy way of life for thousands of people in our city. It’s a point of pride that will continue pushing Alan and Gema Bradley, and all their employees, to steer Finish Line into the future.

8850 Stockdale Hwy., Bakersfield, CA n 661-833-6268



Established 1984


rent Milton is a humble kind of guy—the kind of guy who claims that most of his success comes from his father, Lowell Milton. Lowell was the president and founder of Instant Electric, established in 1964. Lowell had Brent running cables by the time he was five, so it comes as no surprise that Brent got his own electrical contractor’s license early on. But even more influential were the hopping parties of the 1970s, hosted by Brent’s parents, where Lowell’s passion for audio was expertly displayed. Today, Brent clearly remembers when he and the guys from Bakersfield Audio would haul boxes and boxes of components into the house to listen to over long weekends of music, eating, and merriment. This was the beginning of Brent’s appreciation for audio quality and his continued

PacWest maintains a commitment to growth and cutting-edge technology through the recent acquisition of a large format LED video wall and an ever-expanding staff of expert technicians. appreciation of “those shiny metal boxes with meters and lights and black grills that shook the house.” Lowell has always worked out of his workshop at the family house which held a plethora of tools and materials for Brent and his brother, Kirk (also the president and founder of Innovative Concert Lighting) to investigate (or, rather, take things apart). The boys had their own small workshop in the backyard which soon became Brent’s first speaker test lab. With Lowell continually updating his sound equipment for the house, Brent had quite a sur-

Pacific West Sound Brent Milton in plus of speakers, cables, front of and other electrical LED video wal l devices. Brent’s first audio equipment purchase, made at the age of 12, was a 35-watt tube amp, using money he made washing his father’s trucks. As he entered the age of reason (for Brent, that was 15), Brent hated the music DJs were playing at school dances. He thought to himself, “Where was the New Wave and Punk? C’mon man, get was a series of “mergers and acwith the ‘80s!” quisitions,” (and lots of truck It was apparent that Brent washing!) and when Brent was 20, had to take matters into his own he purchased Pacific West Sound hands (or speakers rather). He col- (PacWest) from Bob Bender.

Brent with a rental truck full of audio equipment, 1989 laborated with another friend and started Ogar Music Services as a high school sophomore. His truck-washing money once again served him well and he soon bought out his partner by the end of his sophomore year. A few months later, he met Steve Hunt and they jointly purchased “Sound Unlimited.” Brent was 16, Steve was 18. With their legit business license, a dual signature checking account, and cards printed from PIP printing, they were off to the races! Over the next few years, there

With a three-quarter ton pickup truck and a 12-foot trailer, and a lot of Ryder Truck rentals, Brent continued his quest to monopolize Bakersfield’s concert productions. In those days, you could find Brent in a second-story workshop, repairing and refining gear, while learning everything there was to know about the intricacies of audio engineering. Today, PacWest is housed in a 10,000 square foot warehouse and serves the public with many departments: Installation, Sales,

Concert Sound, Video Production, Equipment Rental, Repairs, and Training. The company’s full-time team of 13 employees navigates the days with expertise and enthusiasm. Customers range from soccer coaches looking for bullhorns to producers of massive events at the LA Coliseum. Highlights from 2010 include the Bakersfield Jazz Festival, Hollywood Park Concert Series, St. John’s Lutheran Church, and the Independence High School Stadium. PacWest maintains a commitment to growth and cutting-edge technology through the recent acquisition of a large format LED video wall and an ever-expanding staff of expert technicians. PacWest is proud to be one of Bakersfield’s successful, locallyowned companies, and is honored to serve this community with value, commitment, and quality services. And, at the end of the day, Brent is comforted to know that if things turn awry, he can always wash trucks!



GROWING 521 East 21st Street, Bakersfield, CA n 661-395-1448 Established 1986 / Spring 2011 91


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(661) 327-2622 1001 Tower Way, Suite 130, Bakersfield, CA 93309 92 Bakersfield Magazine B a k e r s f i e l d m a g a z i n e S P E C IAL AD V ER T ISING SE C T I O N



It’s your skin: take care of those stretch marks

A Guide to Health & Beauty

Stretch marks. Those little skin imperfections are, for most people, the bane of their beauty regime. Nearly everyone on the planet has experience with stretch marks. We get them as a result of a growth spurt as a teenager, as a result of pregnancy, and by gaining or losing weight. Our skin, though elastic, just can’t keep up with the changes in our bodies. According to, “stretch marks, or striae, are lesions that tend to form in the dermis [skin] during periods of hormonal flux, with weight gain or loss, pregnancy, and other periods of hormone change. When our body’s elastic fibers deep beneath the epidermis [top layer of skin] become damaged, these scars can appear. Women often tend to get them on their breasts, thighs, hips, abdomen, arms, around the belly button, buttocks, and back. This is especially true during puberty and pregnancy when a rapid onset of marks can appear. Initially, they may be red, but as the redness fades, they may turn white.” And, let’s be honest, they’re not pretty, even when they turn a lighter color. According to, “stretch marks form because the hormone glucocorticoid becomes overactive and stops the skin from producing collagen and elastin fibers responsible for keeping rapidly growing skin taut. In other words, the skin grows without elastic support in its thickest layer and is left with signs of tear[ing] called stretch marks.” If you have stretch marks, you’ve probably spent some time trying to get rid of them. Since stretch marks can impact our self-esteem and confidence, we thought we’d mention some of the procedures and methods dermatologists use to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Options that are classified as surgical treatments are chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser treatments. These types of treatments can cost between $100 and $800 a session and more than one session is often needed. So, while these can be costly options, they’re really the most effective methods out there. The cost might be a deterrent for some people. Heck, we all know someone who will swear up and down about how cocoa butter kept them from getting stretch marks. And we may have >> © / Spring 2011 93

claims retinol-based creams and collageninfused gels are all you need to get rid of stretch marks. People have even used home remedies made mostly of olive oil and have boasted of their success. But what works for one person won’t work for all. And, most of the time, there is another factor at play caus-

Consult a doctor about any treatments in case you’re allergic to ingredients in "guaranteed” stretch mark reducers.


heard a story from a friend-of-a-friend who

ing the success of that home remedy. So you should always consult your doctor about any

fect, microdermabrasion also jumpstarts col-

treatment you’re wanting to start...just in case

lagen production in the skin, which increases

you happen to be allergic to one of the in-

its elasticity and helps it contract the marks

gredients in your sister’s “guaranteed stretch

into much thinner scars (unfortunately, the torn

mark reducer” cream.

dermal cells never fully recover).

They might, however, recommend some of the following options:

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(661) 871-5787 94 Bakersfield Magazine

Laser Surgery

Although microdermabrasion is an effective stretch mark treatment, it is not entirely effective at eliminating stretch marks 100

This type of surgery is primarily effective on

percent. It is more common to talk about mi-

new stretchmarks that are still red or purplish

crodermabrasion as a stretch mark treatment

in appearance because the skin is not fully

in terms of reduction. This shouldn’t be inter-

healed. Once the stretch marks have turned

preted as a limitation of microdermabrasion

a lighter color, almost silver, this method is

for treating stretch marks, because, in fact,

less productive. But because stretch marks

it is very rare to completely get rid of stretch

often stand out most for people with fair skin,

marks regardless of what treatment you de-

this is great option for them. This type of sur-

cide to try.

gery can get pricey. Radio Frequency

This is due to the nature of stretch marks. They occur at the dermis layer of the skin.

Again, this method works for people

The skin is made up of several layers, and

who are looking to learn how to get rid of

the dermis is the middle layer. This makes it

stretch marks that are newly acquired. Radio

difficult for microdermabrasion, or any other

frequency therapy for stretch marks is a non-

treatment that is applied at the surface of the

invasive, safe, and less expensive option to

skin, to have great effects on the dermis layer

improve skin’s appearance. The treatments

of skin.

induce collagen production which serves to eliminate wrinkles and stretch marks. Microdermabrasion Microdermabrasion uses a crystal flow to sandblast the skin and make the ridge of these stretch marks less noticeable.

Over 10-12 abrasions, the skin surrounding the stretch marks is brought down to a level closer to the stretch mark itself. Basically, the stretch marks are still there, deep into the skin, but they are less visible. There are also options that include plastic

Microdermabrasion treatment is an ad-

surgery to tighten loose skin, which can re-

vanced form of exfoliation. Everybody has

duce the appearance of stretch marks, but,

dead skin cells on their top layer of facial and

as one would expect, that surgery is even

body skin and the body is continuously in the

more expensive than these other methods.

process of replacing these dead cells by pro-

Since our appearance can and will affect

ducing new skin cells. Microdermabrasion

our confidence out in the world, it might be

treatment speeds up the process by removing

useful to talk to your doctor about options to

more dead skin cells in a shorter period of

get rid of your stretch marks. Hopefully be-

time. This encourages the faster production of

fore you try rubbing your body down with

more fresh skin cells. Besides the peeling ef-

Aunt Irma’s Stretch Mark-B-Gone. v


let’s do

Mandalay Photos courtesy Mandalay Bay

The Lion King hat more can be said about a city that’s been immortalized in countless songs and movies? Sure, it did seem that, for a while, everything famous about Las Vegas had to do with leaving it (thank you, Fools Rush In). Still, there seems to be a stigma about Vegas...that unless you want to gamble or walk up and down the Strip, there’s nothing for you to do. But that’s certainly not the case anymore. And, to be honest, it hasn’t been for some time. That’s probably why Allegiant Air has been so successfully booking flights out of our airport. With oneway seats going for as little as $13.99 (before taxes) on certain weekends, it seems almost ridiculous not to experience Las Vegas in 2011. After all, the hotels and casinos that line the Strip offer world-class entertainment, five-star cuisine, and luxurious spa-packages for those who want to indulge in their Vegas vacation (not to be confused with the Chevy Chase movie of the same name), without spending too much time in front of the slot machines...we’ll save that for a future issue. Take, for example, Mandalay Bay. This resort and casino is one of the first places

Fleur by Hubert Keller

Spa Mandalay

you see when driving by the Strip on I-15 (coming from Bakersfield, that is). It’s also one helluva hotspot. It’s on the southend of a trio of hotel/casinos that are linked (including Excalibur and The Luxor), you know, for easy access. However, you’ll quickly discover that there’s not nearly enough time in the day (or weekend) to see everything Mandalay Bay has to offer, let alone two other resorts. Imagine, if you will, waking up at the crack of 9 a.m. in your luxurious hotel room (either in Mandalay Bay or the other two connected hotel spots, THEhotel or Four Seasons) to make sure you get to your Swedish massage in time. Mandalay Bay has two spas to choose from, one is bathhouse (yes, that’s supposed to be lowercase) and the other is Spa Mandalay. Spa Mandalay offers a Redwood Sauna, a Eucalyptus Steam Room, whirlpools, a cold plunge, and don’t forget about that Swedish massage. If you’re not feeling very Scandinavian, Spa Mandalay also offers an aromatherapy massage, Shiatsu massage, and hot stone massage. And the list of body treatments, including scrubs, peels, buffs, and polishes, will have you reeling. And because Mandalay Bay is home >> / Spring 2011 95

Let’s Do Mandalay!

to some of the most amazing restaurants on the Strip, you’ll have your pick of dining options. Lunch at Border Grill will sate your appetite. Since opening in March of 1999, this place has been synonymous with modern Mexican cuisine. And you’ll be treated to a menu designed by celebrity chefs, no less. Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, from Food Network’s want nothing more than to spice up your day. Border Grill offers two floors of patio dining in a hip, urban cantina. The Marinated Skirt Steak, Pescado Veracruzano, and Rock Shrimp are all signature dishes, but you’d be wise to order the’s beyond fabulous. For an unforgettable dining experience, Aureole is a must. According to Mandalay Bay’s website (, “Charlie Palmer’s renowned New York Aureole enjoys a reputation as one of the finest restaurants in the United States. Palmer, honored as the “Best Chef” in New York by the James Beard Foundation, opened Aureole at Mandalay Bay in 1999, earning the presti-

Photos by Jimmy Kellett

THEhotel’s Mix Lounge

gious Four Diamond Award each year since. In both 2008 and 2009, Aureole was awarded a Michelin Star...” So, obviously, the food is amazing. But since presentation is such an important part of a dining experience, you’ll find yourself wowed by how your wine order gets to you. “Aureole’s visual trademark is a four-story wine tower with its very own Wine Angel Stewards, who gracefully ascend the tower to retrieve bottles.” We’re talking “Mission: Impossible”-style moves, here. Aureole offers amazing fourcourse dinners (Parallel tasting menu) complete with wine-pairing and a variety of desserts in addition to fantastic main course options like Pancetta-wrapped Monkfish, Blue Cheese-Crusted Beef Tenderloin, and a Duo of Veal Loin and Rare Tuna Loin Vitello. But you can’t be eating the entire time you’re visiting (or you shouldn’t), so Mandalay Bay is home to the kinds of attractions that’ll get your heart pumping. At the Shark Reef Aquarium, “come face-to-face with some of the earth’s most fascinating creatures in North America’s only predator-based aquarium and exhibit. See sharks of all kinds, along with sawfish, giant rays, endangered green sea turtles, piranha, moon jellies and the rare golden crocodiles. In all, there are over 2,000 animals in 1.6 million gallons of seawater.” And, believe it or not, there’s also a Dive with Sharks Program. “Dive-certified Mandalay Bay guests will now have the opportunity to SCUBA dive in the 1.3 million gallon, 22 foot deep Shipwreck Exhibit, surrounded by sharks, rays, sawfish, green sea turtles and schools of fish.” If you don’t think that’ll burn some of the calories you had for lunch and dinner, think again. Visit for more information. 96 Bakersfield Magazine

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Mandalay Bay also houses four different entertainment venues including the Mandalay Bay Events Center (12,000-seat sports center), Mandalay Bay Theatre (1,600-seat venue for musicals, comedy headliners, and Broadway shows), Mandalay Beach (outdoor entertainment in an 11-acre beach area), and the House of Blues (which needs no explanation). Still, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention The Lion King. Not only because we’d have to deal with an angry pride of lions (too much?), but because the show is, to put it in the words of our executive editor, “way awesome.” What else can you say about “The World’s Number One Musical” on stage in Vegas? Well, a lot more can be said. The Las Vegas production of The Lion King is now in its second year at Mandalay Bay, and “over 50 million people worldwide have come to discover the wonder, majesty, and truly one-of-akind experience that is The Lion King. [The show] continues to amaze with astounding visuals that will make this a show you’ll remember forever. Marvel at the breathtaking spectacle of animals brought to life by an enormous company of international performers, whose detailed costumes, carved masks, and intricate makeup will transport you to the gorgeous vistas of the African savanna.” Most people are aware the show is based on the 1994 Disney feature, but in case you were under a rock for part of the 1990s, this is a show not to miss. After the show, you’ll be riding an emotional high, so why not ride it out in one of the highest spots you can be? On the 64th floor of THEhotel resides the Mix Lounge. “This fashionable hotspot is one of the most stylishly hip lounges around.” If you’re ready for cocktails, an innovative bar menu, and a unique blend of music spun by savvy DJs, every night is an event. You can reserve a table indoors or step out on the balcony and enjoy breathtaking views of the Strip. Bottle service is available. Mix Lounge opens at 5 p.m. Before you head back to Bakersfield, cap off your whirlwind weekend in Vegas by stopping off at Fleur by Hubert Keller for lunch. Top Chef Master Hubert Keller presents tiny plates of big-flavor. And we mean tiny and we mean big-flavor. Each dish is inspired from some part of the world, so you’ll leave with an educated palate. Reservations are recommended. The flight home, just like the flight there, is only 45 minutes long, so you’ll have plenty of time to spend the night reveling in the details of your trip before you have to get back into the reality of your workweek. But remember, there’s always next weekend. v

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Fast & easy to grow...hey, maybe Jack was on to something after all. hat edible plant has beautiful flowers, grows super fast from seed, and has a whopping 15 pages of recipes devoted to it in Julia Child’s classic cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking? BEANS! Whether Bush Beans, Pole Beans, French/Filet Beans, Dry Shelling Beans, Runner Beans, or even the infamous “Fa-Fa-Fava” Beans, they’ll thrill any gardener with their unique flavors. Aside from radishes, I don’t know of any seed that will give the almost instant gratification to children and newbie gardeners. No “Waitie-Katies,” aka Britain’s Princess Catherine, beans are the speeddaters of the legume world. Pop ‘em into the ground and in a blink of an eye, they’re producing. Hello, does Jack and the Beanstalk ring a bell? After buying your seeds, you’ll need three important items: an inoculant, trellis netting, and 6’- to 8’-tall poles. Plant centers and nurseries sell inoculants. This is a powder, not a shot, silly. It will vastly improve the growth and nitrogen-fixing ability of beans. You simply dampen the seeds and coat them with the inoculant powder immediately prior to planting. Take a plastic bag, spray a little water into it, add the seeds, and shake around. Then, add the powder and shake again. The trellis netting should be hung between two poles sunk into the ground. All beans, even bush types, will benefit from being grown up a trellis or pole. April and May are the best months to plant beans in Bakersfield as the soil has warmed up nicely. This is when you should buy a good bean slicer and/or a bean frencher, unless you’re a kitchen masochist, wishing to slice ‘n’ nip ends of beans from scratch. There are lots of choices in kitchen

s to ©i

sections of stores. As for moi, I’ve found an exceptionally good one called, quelle surprise, “Bean Slice,” sold by www.chefn. com. Once the flowers start blooming on your bean plants, get ready for instant veggies. Unless, you’re growing Dry Shelling Beans, in which case you’ll pick when 90 percent of the leaves have yellowed or fallen off the vines. These beans can be effortlessly shelled by hand. On the other hand, if you’ve planted a whole lotta beans, you’ll need to do the Mrs. P tough love shelling approach: yank the plants out of the ground and holding them by the roots, bang back and forth inside a barrel singing “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.” While we’re discussing Dry Shelling Beans, here’s where you can think outside the box and look for interesting varieties rarely found in any grocery store. Etna, Cannellini Lingot, Bingo, California Blackeye, and Tiger’s Eye are truly fine-flavored beans good in soups and ham dishes. Anyone for Pasta e Fagioli? Then, for fun, there’s Yin Yang, a dried bean with the three-dimensional depiction of the familiar Chinese symbol, in black and white. Another unusual bean variety is what is known as Yard Long Beans. They’re not really a whole yard long, but long enough to have that wow factor. Personally, I’ve grown Orient Wonder and Red Noodle, delicious 15”- to 18”-long beans with super slender pods, best prepared steamed, stir-fried, or in soups. >>

om/Transfuchsian oto.c ckph / Spring 2011 99

Gardening with Mrs. P

How about Edamame Beans? Health food store favorites, Edamame is actually a sweeter and more digestible soybean, rich in protein, fiber, calcium, and vitamins A and B. If this wonder bean could also do windows, I’d marry it! Edamame can be substituted for green peas or Lima Beans in any recipe. They make a quick snack when simply boiled in salt water, and then gently squeezed out of the pods. In Japan, Happy Hour would not be the same without “Beer Friend” Edamame Beans. This variety grows on 2.5’- to 3’-tall lush green plants with heavy yields. Serve with your favorite microbrew. Mrs. P finds them especially tasty with porters. Sure, you can grow Lima Beans, but they’re not reliable in our hot weather; they get tough and are tedious to shell fresh. I’d skip planting them, but if you want to try, plant Jackson Wonder, a smaller variety. Moving along down the Bean Highway, there’s something we ought to get straight. What’s the difference between regular Pole/ Bush Beans and French/Filet Beans? Zee Frenchie Beans are less than a quarter-inch in diameter, tender, stringless, and flavorful. Haricots Verts, or French Beans, according to my muse Julia (Child) must be absolutely fresh, that is to say, very recently picked. Well, ooh-la-la; in Bakersfield we can go from backyard to pot in a nano. Varieties of these refined beans to plant are Soleil, Nickel, Maxibel, Fortes, and the new la favorita of trendy chefs, Denver. I have 29, count ‘em, 29 recipes in my Larousse Gastronomique (a French encyclopedia of food, wine, and cookery) for just French String 100 Bakersfield Magazine

Beans. One, in particular, brings back nostalgic memories of leisurely meals al fresco in Provence served table-side by solicitous waiters from large platters. “Salade de Haricots Verts” is caveman easy to make—Try something new tonight. 1. Pick the string beans and wash. 2. Boil in salted water until barely tender and drain. 3. Roll the string beans around in a clean dishtowel until dry. 4. Lay on top of butter lettuce and top with finely chopped mixed herbs, finely sliced onions, pimento, and drizzled with vinaigrette dressing. This is yummy alongside anything off the barbeque. Vive la Haricots Verts! Bush Beans are trouble-free and tend to mature a bit ahead of pole beans. They need Bakersfield’s warm soil and hot days. They don’t require much feeding, maybe a cup of a complete fertilizer per 10 feet a season. Beans are shallow-rooted and do require up to a quarter-inch of water a day—don’t forget. Most gardeners are familiar with Blue Lake Bush Bean varieties and yes, they’re plump and tender. There’s a new kid on the block, though, and it’s called Speedy. Don’t you love that name? Harvesting will start a few weeks earlier than other varieties, hence the moniker. In the olden days, Pole Beans were planted at the base of rough wooden poles and the vines clung to the bark as they twined upward. Today, most gardeners grow Pole Beans on trellises. Mrs. P marches to a dif-

Edamame Beans

© (edamame), floortje (salade)

Salade de Haricots Verts

ferent drummer and prefers the tepee style. Set three or four 8’ poles in the ground and tie together at the top. Plant Pole Bean seeds at the base of each pole and let them twine up, helping every so often with stretch tie tape. Kids, cats, and doggies adore hiding inside these tepees. Kentucky Blue and Blue Lake Pole are heirloom variety beans and the blue ribbon standard for being canning jar straight. Mrs. P doesn’t care much for Fava Beans. They’re a cool, as opposed to warm, season bean. Fava or Horse Beans, as they are sometimes known, are not a real Legume, but actually a giant vetch, often used for forage. Some people (mainly of Mediterranean heritage) have an enzyme deficiency that can cause dangerous health reactions to these beans and pollen. Plus, we won’t even start on Hannibal Lector, okay? The final bean choice is one of my all time quickie landscape tricks for showy ornamental flowers, Runner Beans. Native to Mexico, these 6’-tall vines produce gorgeous, show-stopping flowers in shades ranging from peach-pink to scarlet red. Grown in gardens from the early 1800s, Runner or Scarlet Runner Beans will provide almost

instant shade on patios or porches. And you can eat the sweet, tasty beans these vines produce! Pick when the beans are just starting to form in the pod. Choose varieties such as Sunset, Scarlet Emperor, or Painted Lady. A final bean-o story: When my gardening- and bean-loving brother-in-law celebrated his 60th birthday, I made up a three-hole binder containing six varieties of beans with each envelope holding 10 seeds. I decorated the cover and called it, “60 Beans for Bill.” I hope your Bakersfield garden will be “Full ‘o Beans” this summer. v Editor’s Note: Cool Beans!






It's surprisingly hard to talk about the importance of trees without sounding like one of those '80s National Arbor Day Foundation commercials. After all, “sometimes people take for granted...the best things ever planted.” It's also difficult not to sound like a fourth grade science teacher. In our defense, have you ever really thought about the benefits of planting trees? True, trees are essentially the lungs of our planet; they “breathe” in carbon dioxide and “breathe” out oxygen. But trees are so much more important (a gold star for anyone who can describe photosynthesis). Even if you are aware of how trees positively impact the environment, we thought mentioning a few things would be a good refresher course for those of us who've misplaced our science books. Here are some fun facts found on n The amount of oxygen produced by an acre of trees per year equals the amount consumed by 18 people annually. One tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year. n One acre of trees removes up to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide each year. n Shade trees can make buildings up to 20 degrees cooler in summer. n Trees lower air temperature by evaporating water in their leaves. n Tree roots stabilize soil and prevent erosion. n Trees improve water quality by slowing and filtering rain water, as well as protecting aquifers and watersheds. So, while that's all well and good, we know you're probably more concerned with how trees can positively impact you...more importantly, your power bill. Thankfully, has some great information. “The economic benefits of trees can be both direct and indirect. Direct economic benefits are usually associated with energy costs. Air-conditioning costs are lower in a tree-shaded home. Heating costs are reduced when a home has a windbreak [trees help shield the home from cold winds]. Trees increase in value from the time they are planted until they mature. Trees are a wise investment of funds because landscaped homes are more valuable than nonlandscaped homes. The savings in energy costs and the increase in property value directly benefit each home owner.” In fact, The Arbor Day Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture state that the overall effect of the shade created by planting >> tree photo©

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a healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners running 20 hours a day! The Journal of Horticulture claims that savings on heating costs can reach as much as 25 percent! But the website adds, “The indirect economic benefits of trees are even greater. These benefits are available to the community or region. Lowered electricity bills are paid by customers when power companies are able to use less water in their cooling towers, build fewer new facilities to meet peak demands, use reduced amounts of fossil fuel in their furnaces, and use fewer measures to control air pollution. Communities also can save money if fewer facilities must be built to control storm water in the region. To the individual, these savings are small, but to the community, reductions in these expenses are often in the thousands of dollars.” The National Wildlife Federation says that “There are about 60- to 200-million spaces along our city streets where trees could be planted. Fruit trees provide spring flower display and an autumn harvest.

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Street trees provide shade and cover for paved surfaces, reducing runoff and reflected heat.

This translates to the potential to absorb 33 million more tons of CO2 every year, and saving $4 billion in energy costs.” So, if you're ready to start planting, has a few tips. Height. Will the tree bump into anything when it is fully grown? Canopy spread. How wide will the tree grow? Is the tree deciduous or coniferous? (Will it lose leaves in winter?) Form or shape. A columnar tree will grow in less space. Round and V-Shaped species provide the most shade. Growth rate. How long will it take for your tree to reach its full height? Slow-growing species typically live longer than fast-growing species. Soil, sun, and moisture requirements. Fruit. No one wants messy droppings on busy sidewalks. Hardiness zone indicates the temperature extremes in which a tree can be expected to grow. Visit the City of Bakersfield's website ( to find out more about trees in your neighborhood. Once you've planted, you can kick back, relax, and enjoy your tree and its impact on the world around you. n Sources:;

102 Bakersfield Magazine


home & Garden By Tom Xavier

Backyards they won’t forget Nobody likes a boring backyard. Thankfully, there are a variety of things you can do to take your backyard out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary. Sure, you can add furniture, lawn ornaments,

One of the first things

and a fine garden in an offset place, but one

you need to do for a

of the best and least expensive ways to make

successful backyard illumination

your backyard “spring” to life this season is

set-up is to get rid of your preconceived

to illuminate it with the proper lighting. You

notions of how such a thing is done. There is

don’t need a degree in landscaping or exterior

plenty to backyard lighting beyond floodlights

design to do this, either.

and motion detectors.

The appropriate placement of outdoor

It’s important to create a rough sketch of

lights is most beneficial in terms of optimal

your backyard. Try to be accurate in scale,



as it will help you mark accurate placement

backyard highlights the best features your

of the lights in your backyard. You need to

garden has, such as beautiful trees and

identify the areas in the backyard which

figurines, as well as providing safety.

are dark and need lighting. Then you can





When you have a well-lit backyard, you

decide the look you want. Are you into

need not rush through a dinner party to

stringing bulbs from above to create the

enjoy the backyard before dusk. Outdoor

look of a starry night? Do you want to

lighting can cast the perfect glow on that

stick to ornate ground-level lanterns?

party or the casual family get-together.

Whatever you do, don’t just start plugging in strings of lights and lanterns—before you

know it, you’ll find yourself with a tangle of extension cords and a messy backyard. Not to mention a fire hazard. The trend now is to go solar with lighting. This unique form of cheap energy is a great way to illuminate your backyard Outdoor lighting is readily available in a variety of shapes and sizes for your custom project.

without spending an arm and a leg in the process—or breaking an arm and a leg due to countless cords. The lights are available >>

Tiki torches can be the perfect way to bring a bit of the island to your own backyard landscape. Also, a big benefit to all us here in the valley: you can fill the torches with citronella oil—a known insect repellant. NOW THAT’S A BRIGHT IDEA! / Spring 2011 103

home & Garden resources

in every conceivable shape and size, and usually give off a softer illumination than their electrical counterparts. You can combine different lights to make the best arrangement. Try ground-level lights, pole-mounted solar lights, wallmounted solar lights, and whatever else suits your fancy. There are even netted solar bulbs

that you can drape

over shrubs and bushes to create an elegant look for your backyard. Solar lights come with attachments such as stakes or mounting brackets and easy instructions. There are even solar flood lights...though those are less romantic and really don’t enhance the peacefulness of a backyard. For the most part, however, people want to create a serene

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If you’ve never used Tiki torches, I recommend giving them a try. These torches make better springtime and summer decorations than anything else, but for those times of the year, they can be a perfect way of bringing a bit of the island to your own landscape. Additionally, and a big benefit to all us here in the valley, you can fill the Tiki torches with citronella

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oil—a known insect repellant. It’ll keep those mosquitos at bay while providing you with lighting for your tropical backyard paradise. Note: pina coladas do not come with most Tiki’ll have to make your own. So, are you ready to get to work? Your yard will soon be the talk of the neighborhood, and you’ll quickly find out why outdoor living has never looked so good. Or been lit so well. n

104 Bakersfield Magazine

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yes, you can Believe it or not, there are still some people who are afraid to attempt cooking seafood at home. Maybe they’ve never been good at finding that magic minute; that minute the seafood is cooked all the way through, but not yet overcooked (rubbery shrimp comes to mind).


Or, maybe, they’ve just never found a recipe that inspires them to try something out of the ordinary—something flavorful and fresh. Well, those of you who fall into the latter category are in luck. Created by June Boerger, owner of The Orchid, and her talented chefs, this super-quick recipe is the perfect way to join the seafood-cookin’ club. One bite and you’ll be “hooked,” so to speak. And for those of you who fall into the former category, we say, keep practicin’. n

Seafood Salad 1 lb. mussels • 1/2 lb. scallops 1/2 lb. prawns • 1/2 lb. calamari


ak Dressing easy to m 1 tsp. sugar • 2 tbsp. olive oil 1/4 cup lime juice • 2 tbsp. fish sauce 4 plum tomatoes, diced • 1 small red onion, sliced 4 Serrano chiles, sliced • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped Salad Base 1 lb. spring mix

Start by charbroiling (grilling) all the seafood. With a very hot grill, the prawns, calamari, scallops, and mussels won’t need much time at all to cook before they’re done (about three to four minutes a side). Next, mix the salad dressing ingredients together in a large bowl. Then, make a bed of spring mix on each plate. Add the grilled seafood to the salad dressing and toss so each piece is coated well. Finally, top each plate of salad with the dressed seafood. Serves 4.

Cuisine: epicurean delight / Spring 2011 107

108 Bakersfield Magazine


flame on!

By Mike Stepanovich

The aroma grabs you first; that smell of seasoned meat

grilling on an open fire. There’s nothing like it. It gets your mouth watering and your taste buds quivering in anticipation. You almost need that aroma to find Fred’s Barbecue Factory, though. It’s not that easy to see, tucked behind Hooters on Rosedale Highway. In fact, when I called to get directions to the Barbecue Factory, the woman answering the phone said, “We’re behind Hooters.” For the record, Fred’s Barbecue Factory is now located at 4208 Rosedale Highway, No. 309. Turn north onto Fairhaven Drive, and let your nose take over. You’ll also see the big grill

Jose Leon spices up another delicious slab of heaven.

and get a whiff of that sweet smoke. I say “now located” because Fred’s Barbecue Factory used to be at The Ice House at 34th Street and Chester Avenue where it

It’s a partnership that Bakersfield has taken

opened in 1987. Some years later, the Bar-

to in a big way. We found that out when we

becue Factory moved to the Elk’s Lodge on

first arrived. We thought we’d gotten lucky

30th Street, but eventually closed. A couple years ago, Fred’s Barbecue

when we found a parking spot right by the front door. But as we were getting

Factory, with Fred Allison and brothers Julio and Jose Leon partnering,

out, one of the Leon brothers, who was busily grilling steaks and ribs, cau-

reopened on Rosedale Highway.

tioned us that parking there could lead to grease being spattered on our car. He

The back of their takeout menu tells the story: back in 1987, Allison opened

pointed to a sign that said the same thing. We took his advice and moved. >>

the original Barbecue Factory at The Ice House with the Leon brothers as his top chefs. Now they’re partners.

Cuisine: barbecue done right / Spring 2011 109

Cuisine: barbecue done right Once inside, our education into the Barbecue Factory began. We got in line to place our order. Off to our left was the dining room with a large mural of Fred, Julio, and Jose on the west wall. Several feet to the right, the mural showed a pig barbecuing a man. The pig’s revenge, no doubt. The restaurant is bright and airy, with plenty of light. We made no bones about the fact that we were rookies at the Barbecue Factory. The young woman taking our order

In addition to great food, the place is bright and airy, with plenty of light.

was most helpful, suggesting that one of their signature items was the baby-back pork ribs. A close second, she said, was the St. Louis-style ribs.

The steaks that we had seen grilling during our first

What’s the difference? we wondered. The woman took a

visit prompted us to return to try them. The steaks are not

deep breath, accentuating her rib cage. Pointing to the ribs

on the menu. You’ll find them listed on a laminated poster

on her front, she said, “The baby backs are like these, they’re

on the same pole as the Ralph Bailey Special flyer. New York,

smaller, more tender.” Then she turned and pointed to her

T-bone, and Porterhouse steaks are listed, all for about a dol-

back. Glancing back at us, she said, “These are where the St.

lar an ounce (the T-bone and Porterhouse are a few cents

Louis-style ribs come from; the bones are bigger and they’re

Factory fan—was on a pole by the order counter. The Ralph

an ounce more). They range in size from 12 ounces up to a

a little more meaty, but they’re tougher.”

Bailey Combo ($12.75) features St. Louis ribs, chicken, and

couple of pounds. We went for the gusto; Carol ordered an

potato salad. She chose that.

18-ounce T-bone while I had an 18-ounce New York, about

Several patrons in line chimed in. One man agreed with the woman and assured me the baby-backs were among

As it turned out, we couldn’t miss. Both were delicious.

the best around. Another preferred the St. Louis ribs. Yet

And the tri-tip was some of the best I’ve ever had. The baby-

My steak was perfect for me—a tender, juicy medium

back ribs were as good as advertised. But as good as they

rare. I thought I’d be taking some home with me, but once I

were, I think I liked the St. Louis ribs better. They were thicker

got going, I couldn’t stop, and enjoyed every bite.

and meatier, and the seasoning was just right.

Go for it– the carrot cake is calling.

$18 each, including sides.

Carol prefers rare, though, and the moment we saw her

A word here about how the ribs are cooked: unlike other

steak we both knew it wasn’t going to be rare. The steak was

barbecue places whose slow-cooked ribs are drenched in bar-

broad and thin, virtually assuring it wouldn’t be rare. The

becue sauce, the Barbecue Factory seasons its ribs with a rub

chef immediately recognized the problem, was incredibly

and cooks them over the grill’s open fire. It’s a Western-style

apologetic, whisked it away, and returned a couple minutes

of cooking ribs: simple, straightforward, smoky. The result is

later with a perfectly rare steak. It was clear that the chef

honest, tasty ribs that are chewier than Southern-style ribs, but

wanted to please his customer.

have a good meat flavor not masked by barbecue sauce.

If you decide to visit the Barbecue Factory, be prepared

That said, your order comes with good barbecue sauce

for styrofoam plates and plastic ware. The side dishes come

another said the cheesecake was to die for. It was clear that

that the employees insist is homemade. In fact, they said,

in plastic containers with snap-on lids, so if you don’t finish

the Barbecue Factory had a loyal following, many, I’m sure,

most everything at the Barbecue Factory is homemade—

your potato salad or coleslaw, no problem; just snap on the

dating to the restaurant’s days at The Ice House.

the potato salad, the coleslaw, the chili beans, the salad

lid and it’s ready to go home with you. Getting your steak on

dressings, the cheesecake, and carrot cake for dessert.

styrofoam, though, and a plastic knife and fork, might be a

On another visit, we chatted with Kern County Superior

Another of my sides was the green salad; I chose the Ital-

bit off-putting for some people. The disposables are the rea-

ian dressing with it. It was a good choice—clearly home-

son you can get a delicious steak for about a dollar an ounce,

I took the varied advice and ordered a tri-tip/baby-back

made with herbs, olive oil, and a snappy vinegar. I enjoyed it.

though. There are no dishes and utensils to wash, hence no

ribs combo ($14.60), and subbed in potato salad for chili

Whatever you do, don’t miss the carrot cake! The Barbe-

beans. My wife, Carol, was intrigued by a flyer touting the

cue Factory’s is superb—moist, flavorful with just the right

Fred’s Barbecue Factory is also great for take-out. Just

“Ralph Bailey Combo.” The flyer, featuring a photo of the

seasoning. We also enjoyed the cheesecake, but we loved

phone your order in, and pick it up at the counter. Call (661)

popular radio talk-show host—who’s obviously a Barbecue

the carrot cake! Add it to the reasons to go there.

325-8800. Major credit cards accepted. n

Court Judge Gary Friedman, who was picking up his order. He also gave me tips on what to order.

110 Bakersfield Magazine

need for a dishwasher.


Swirl & Burble

By Mike Stepanovich

The biggest hurdle for the uninitiated wine drinker is wine’s complexity. It’s not a simple beverage. It’s a living thing with a lifespan much like a human’s. It’s like a bell-curve, going up from infancy and plateauing at maturity, then beginning a slow decline to old age.

© tiburonstudios

The length of the bell curve varies from wine to wine; generally

faced with these complexities is left wondering: what is this? The

speaking, for white wines it’s shorter, for red wines it’s longer, de-

myriad of flavors often confuse and frustrate them because they’re

pending on the varietal.

not used to finding such flavor diversity in a single taste. But that, of

Wine rookies are often confused by the complexity, because up

course, is the great attraction of wine.

until their initiation, they’re used to straightforward flavors: an apple

Tasting notes provided by a winery can also lead to confusion in

tastes like an apple, a peach tastes like a peach, a pear tastes like a

a first-time wine drinker. If a sauvignon blanc is described as hav-

pear, and so on. With wine, these flavors (and more) are often on

ing flavors of kiwi fruit, a novice might wonder if the winemaker

display in the same wine, so the inexperienced person suddenly

really did add kiwi fruit to the wine. >>

wine: science of taste / Spring 2011 111

wine: science of taste The answer, of course, is no, they did not. What the descriptions attempt to

nose into the glass’ opening, they’re rewarded with wonderful, intense aromas.

decipher is the wine’s complexity. All that these descriptors amount to is “wine-

You can conduct an experiment to demonstrate swirling’s effect. Leave your

geek shorthand.”

glass still for a minute or two, then stick your nose in the top and sniff. Not much

The longhand version is, the flavors/aromas in this wine are reminiscent of kiwi

going on there, a faint hint of aroma. Now, swirl the wine, then quickly stick your

fruit. When a winemaker is working on a wine’s description, they recall flavors in

nose in the opening; the aromas explode into your senses. This should give you a

their memory bank that are associated with those fruits.

good indication of what to expect once you take a sip.

I offer an example. Early on in my wine education, I heard people refer to the

The same intensified effect occurs with the “burble.” Once you’ve taken a sip,

aroma and flavor of cassis in cabernet sauvignon. I would just nod vaguely when

inhale through your mouth over the wine, which will make a burbling sound. Don’t

this descriptor was brought up because at the time, I had no idea what cassis was

worry, the wine won’t come dribbling out while you’re doing this, because it’s

or how it tasted. I’m a native Californian, and, frankly, we don’t have cassis growing

physically impossible for air to go in and wine to go out. However, once you’ve

here. So on a trip to France in the late 1990s, we happened to be staying with the

inhaled, quickly close your mouth to prevent wine from dribbling out. By burbling,

parents of a winemaking friend, and I asked about cassis. Turns out, our hosts had

you’ll discover the same effect as swirling: the slight evaporation from pulling air

a cassis bush growing in their backyard. It was a large, hedge-like currant with

through the wine concentrates the flavors slightly, enhancing your enjoyment. But how does one go from tasting to knowing what to order in a restaurant? And what do you do when the waiter gives you the cork he’s just pulled and pours a sample in your glass? Visits to tasting rooms help, because you begin to broaden your wine knowledge and have a better idea what you like. However, not all wines go with all foods, so if you’re in doubt, ask your server for his or her suggestion as to what

© matteodestefano

wine you should order. And what you order should depend on what you want to eat. Thinking of some, say, halibut? A crisp sauvignon blanc or opulent viognier might be just the thing. In the mood for a steak? A rich red wine such as cabernet sauvignon, syrah, or merlot might be the right choice. So now you’ve ordered your bottle, and the server has pulled the cork and handed it to you for inspection. What do you do? Unless you like the smell of wet wood, there’s really no need to smell it. That said, some people these days suggest you should, in fact, smell the cork to ascertain if off-odors are present. It’s far more likely that you’ll discover the off odors in the sample poured than from cork. What you should be looking for on

black berries roughly the size of a small grape. As soon as I tasted the cassis berry, I recognized that flavor in cabernet that had for so long escaped me.

Don’t feel you have to buy the most expensive wine there either; in the world of wine, expensive doesn’t necessarily equal good. You don’t have to pay a lot to find a good wine.

The point is that the flavor has to be one with which you’re familiar. If, for ex-

the cork is to make sure it’s soft and wet, a sign that the proprietor has stored the

ample, you’ve never tasted the tropical fruit lychee nut, using that descriptor to

wine properly. Once you’ve made that determination, taste the wine—swirling

describe viognier (which is often done) would have no meaning or use for you.

and burbling—to see if it tastes good.

And what about swirling the wine in a wine glass? Wine glasses have a

The most likely culprit in the event of a bad-tasting wine is a condition called

tear-shaped bowl that narrows at the top for a reason: to enhance the aroma

corkiness or cork taint. This results from the presence of trichloroanisole, or TCA,

of the wine. Typically, only a couple ounces of wine are poured into a 12-ounce

which can be a byproduct of the bleaching process in cork production. A corky

glass. The wine is swirled, either by leaving the base on the table and moving

wine will smell like wet, moldy cardboard, or some describe it as a wet dog. It isn’t

it in a circular motion or by holding the glass by the stem near the base and

a health hazard, but it will certainly diminish your wine enjoyment. So if you find

moving it in a circular motion; this lifts the wine up the side of the glass, evap-

your wine is corky, by all means, order another.

orating it slightly and releasing the aromas. The narrow opening at the top

Don’t feel you have to buy the most expensive wine there either; in the world of

holds the concentrated aromas in. So if, after swirling, the person sticks their

wine, expensive doesn’t necessarily equal good. You don’t have to pay a lot to find

112 Bakersfield Magazine


Wine glasses have a tearshaped bowl that narrows at the top for a reason: to enhance the aroma of the wine.

a good wine. Some expensive wines appeal only to a narrow group of consumers; the less expensive wines are just as well made and have broader appeal. As your wine knowledge and income grow, you’ll gravitate to the more specialized wines, but in the early stages, look for the pleasant tasting, friendly wines; wines that you’ll enjoy with friends, with dinner, and will be proud to give as gifts. Because if you like it, chances are, your friends and family will, too. So, while it’s true that wine is a complex creature, there’s no reason to be intimidated. Anything that requires you to “swirl and burble” can’t be that bad. n 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 Bakersfield College. 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.

Fine Men’s Clothing Since 1988

Corner of Stockdale & Coffee Snead’s for Men / Spring 2011 113

Mexican cuisine Mexican inspired with California love

“Thank You Bakersfield for Three Years of Loyal Patronage” 661.852.0493

3500 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93301 We hope you enjoy our variety of dishes along with our unique dining atmosphere. On behalf of the Ocampo family, we would like to welcome you to our family restaurant and thank you for joining us. We look forward to your continued support and patronage! JOIN US! Daily 10am-10pm • Bar open ‘til 2am Sunday Brunch 10-2 Lunch buffet Mon-Fri 11-2 Mariachi Every Sunday

114 Bakersfield Magazine

Entertaining the Bakersfield Way

out of the bag By Tom Xavier Brown bag. Right away, you think: elementary school, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on Wonder® bread with the crusts cut off, a carton of 2-percent milk, a baggie full of carrot sticks, a cookie, and maybe even a little note from Mom tucked in somewhere.

And if you didn’t like your sack lunch, you would be trading your goods for your buddy’s snack cakes or potato chips. You know exactly what I’m talking about. At some point, we all decided it was easier, and, let’s face it, more mature, to buy our lunch or just bring leftovers in Tupperware. Can you imagine “trading”lunch with a coworker, your boss, or your professor? Still, taking our lunch to work can save us money and allow for healthier eating. Yet there seems to be the stigma of the brown bag that makes packing a lunch seem silly in the working world. Not so. We just need to adjust it to our more grown-up needs (and tastes). So, while the brown paper bag might not be to your liking, especially if you have the tendency to write your name on the bag in marker, there’s always reusable tote bags and fashionable mini-coolers to bring your lunch to the office. But we all know that it’s what’s inside that counts—and I’m not just saying that to be nice. You have to actually want to eat what you have in your lunchbox if you want to avoid the “I’ll just buy today” temptation. Remember, you’re packing your own lunch now (or at least I hope so), so you can control what you put in it. Here are some general ideas: Leftovers. Probably the number one thing that “grown-ups” bring for lunch. Cook a little extra the night before or get a doggy bag at dinner and get two meals for the price of one. (Side note: If you are visiting your parents or any

Grown-Up PB& J

Peanut Butter & Strawberry Chu

tney Sandwich

Fresh-ground peanut butter (or any organic peanut butter) Ciabatta bread

For Chutney

1/4 cup packed brown sugar • 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar • 2 tbs p. raisins 2 tbsp. honey • 1/4 tsp. grated orange peel 1/4 tsp. prepared mustard • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries Start by making the chutney the night before. In a saucepan, combine the first seven ingredients and brin g to a boil. Reduce the heat to med ium and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Be sure to stir the chutney occasionally. Then, add strawberries, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 more minutes while stirring until thick. Refrigerate overnig ht. In the morning, simply assemble as you would with any other PB&J.

relatives for a meal, they are likely to ask you to take food home with you... don’t turn them down!) Sandwiches. Easy to make, easy to take. You can move beyond peanut butter and jelly (though it’s great to have, at times) and try chicken breast, turkey, veggie burgers, tuna, portobello mushrooms, etc. Spice things up a bit by trying different mustards, breads/rolls, cheeses, and veggies to get away from the standard meat and cheese sandwich. Soups. If you have access to a microwave, this is another great option, especially in those winter months. Gladware or Ziploc reusable containers >>

CUISINE : liven up lunch! / Spring 2011 115

CUISINE : liven up lunch! (the round ones) are great for taking homemade soups. You can also just take a store-bought can. However, with the latter, if healthy is what you are looking for, check the sodium content of your can of soup. They can be outrageous! Yogurt, cottage cheese. Easy to pack and healthy if you opt for the low fat or fat-free versions with lower sugar content. You can make them sweet by pairing them with fresh fruit and/or granola. Then again, if you’re looking for some elegant and delicious recipes for your “mature” lunch, give some of these a try!

Pan Bagnat

Oven-baked Potato Chips 3 large potatoes (with skins) 1 tbsp. canola oil Fresh rosemary • Salt Clove of garlic (optional) Mushrooms (optional) Slice washed potatoes with skins on. Parboil until just tender; drain. Place on a baking tray. Drizzle with canola oil. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary and lightly salt. Bake at 375 degrees until crunchy. Add a whole garlic clove and/ or whole mushrooms onto the tray while baking for added flavor. These also stay very well in an air-tight canister, so you can use them for a week’s worth of lunches. Serves 8.

Pan Bagnat Total time: 20 minutes, plus overnight weighting time. Note: Recipe works best with a crusty French baguette. 1 baguette 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar 1 tbsp. lemon juice • 1/4 tsp. sea salt 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 cup black olives 4 tbsp. capers • 1 clove garlic, minced 12 oz. Italian tuna in olive oil, drained and broken apart 2 small boiling potatoes, boiled, cooled, and sliced thinly 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced thinly 2 small vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced thinly 1/4 cup thinly-sliced red onion • 1 cup arugula Halve the baguette lengthwise and scoop out a little of the interior of both sides with your fingers. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until combined. Whisk in the olive oil until 116 Bakersfield Magazine

emulsified and set aside. Coarsely chop the olives and capers, then combine in a small bowl with the minced garlic and set aside. Fill the bottom part of the baguette with the olive mixture, spreading it evenly across the hollowed-out portion. Layer the tuna over the olives, then, in even layers, add the potatoes, eggs, and tomatoes. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the sandwich and then add the onions and the arugula, pressing down on the contents as you go. Top with the other baguette half and wrap the sandwich tightly with plastic. Refrigerate overnight, weighted with a cutting board or a plate topped with some cans or bottles.

Asian Chicken Salad

The next morning, take the sandwich out of the refrigerator and cut into sixths. Wrap individually and pack for lunch. Tip: The sandwiches are best when they’ve been sitting at room temperature for a couple of hours. Serves 6.

Asian Chicken Salad 3 to 4 drops liquid crab boil 3 or 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts 1/2 large head of cabbage, diced 2 or 3 large carrots, diced 1/2 bunch of green onions, sliced 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 1/2 tsp. sugar 1 to 2 tbsp. fish sauce Ground red pepper or red pepper flakes 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped 1 tbps. chopped fresh mint 1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil 1/4 cup peanuts plus more for garnish In a large skillet, combine crab boil and water. Bring to a boil and add chicken breasts. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until a small cut into the interior of chicken no longer shows pink. Remove chicken breasts from water and let cool. Dice or shred meat. Refrigerate. Combine cabbage, carrots, and green onions in a large bowl. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and pepper flakes. Stir well. Taste for balance and adjust seasoning. Combine chicken, vegetables, and dressing in the large bowl. Just before serving, toss salad with herbs and peanuts, so bring the herbs and peanuts in a separate baggy for your lunch. Serves 4.

Portobello Mushroom Sandwich 2 tbsp. olive oil 4 tbsp. lemon juice 2-4 portobello mushrooms sliced to fit rolls 1 small onion, sliced in rings 1 clove garlic, minced 1 cup spinach leaves Salt to taste 1 tbsp. margarine 2 French or pumpernickel rolls Combine one tablespoon olive oil and two tablespoons lemon juice; marinate washed mushrooms in the mixture for a few minutes. Sauté onion rings and garlic in the remaining oil and lemon juice until clear. Add mushrooms and sauté for two additional minutes; add spinach during the last minute. Salt lightly. Spread margarine on both sides of the rolls. Assemble rolls with mushroom mixture and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, or place in a sealed container. Serves 2.

Grown-up Pasta Salad 1 lb. angel hair spaghetti, broken into 3-inch lengths 1 8-oz. bottle low-calorie Italian salad dressing 1 celery stalk, chopped 1 green pepper, chopped Red onion, sliced thinly 2 roasted chicken breasts, chopped 1 pint cherry tomatoes 1 6-oz. can pitted black olives Cook spaghetti al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water. Combine spaghetti, dressing, celery, green pepper, onion, and chicken. This recipe is great because you chill the whole salad overnight. Add tomatoes and olives just before tossing for lunch. Serves 8. The most important thing to remember when bringing your Grown-Up Lunch to work is to think ahead. Don’t leave everything until morning or you will likely forgo making it and buy lunch “just this one time.” Pack it the night before and you can just grab it on your way out. Brown baggin’ it is great. It saves you money, it allows you to control the quality and quantity of your food, it’s healthy (if you make it that way), and it can be fun because you can experiment with recipes. You won’t be alone when you sit down at the table with a lunch from home; it’s actually quite common. Enjoy it. Just don’t get too caught up in the nostalgia of it all—you don’t need to raise your hand to be excused, you can just get up and head back to your desk. n / Spring 2011 117

bottoms up!

By Jason Gutierrez

cat’s meow

ALLEY CAT Year Established: 1940 Quick Facts Location:1525 Wall Street

The Bloody Mary isn’t just a Sunday brunch drink anymore, especially if you want a handcrafted concoction from Bakersfield’s iconic hot spot, Guthrie’s Alley Cat. Nestled on Wall Street Alley in downtown Bakersfield, Guthrie’s Alley Cat is the type of bar where you could easily spend more than a few hours...especially if you’re ordering the Bloody Mary. Trisha Reed-Fike, the Alley Cat’s manager, said this specialty drink is one that customers have been raving about for years because it’s made from scratch.

Guthrie’s Alley Cat

Bloody Mary Vodka • Tomato Juice Salt & Pepper • Celery Salt Tabasco • Worcestershire sauce Horseradish • Grey Poupon

“There are no mixers used in this cocktail,” she explained. “We took the traditional recipe and made it unique to Alley Cat. It’s made right in front of you, so there are no secret ingredients, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to give away the specifics.” Because this is a drink that’s stood the test of time, Fike said she’s proud of the acclaim Alley Cat has garnered. The establishment has been in her family for three generations and has become somewhat of a second home for her. “Our customers are loyal and it’s neat to watch them grow up and start families of their own. But one thing is certain, if our customers move away and come back for a visit, the Bloody Mary is still on the top of their list to order.” She added there’s only one rule at Guthrie’s Alley Cat: leave all your labels at the door. “We’re a delicate balance of your local watering-hole neighborhood bar with a little mixture of night time lounge, but not too over-the-top. What you see is what you get here, so just have fun and relax.” Preferably with a Bloody Mary! n 118 Bakersfield Magazine

drink: devilishly delicious

Cactus Valley Mexican Restaurant

With their famous, award-winning salsa, Cactus Valley Mexican Restaurant is the local spot for fine south-of-the-border flavors! Their menu is a diverse mix of traditional Mexican dishes including sizzlin’ Fajitas, which you can order with lobster, shrimp, steak, or chicken; and savory Chile Verde. Taste their San Francisco Bay Enchiladas: surimi and jumbo shrimp sautéed in tomatillo and cilantro sauce stuffed in two flour tortillas, folded and filled with cream cheese! Since they are open for breakfast, indulge in a breakfast burrito, beef machaca, or huevos rancheros to jump-start your day. Cactus Valley is home to the best margaritas in town and Happy Hour is 4-8pm daily. Open 6am-9pm, lunch 11am-2pm. Located at 4215 Rosedale Hwy, just west of Hwy 99. (661) 633-1948

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 every day, 11am-2pm. Fabulous Sunday Brunch, 10am-3pm, reservations accepted. 1100 Calloway Drive. (661) 829-2737

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 Portobello 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

Jake’s Tex-Mex Cafe

After 25 years still going strong, this Bakersfield icon is “Tex Mex Grub” but geared toward loyal “Bako” patrons. Pit style beef is the king here, but the salad choices, Taco Salad, Salad Lites, and, of course, the Famous Chocolate Cake dominate. Known as a lunch joint, but Bako finally getting into dinner. Open Mon-Sat 118pm. Closed Sunday. 1710 Oak St. (661) 322-6380

Lorene’s Ranch House Coffee Shop

Where Everything’s Homemade! If you’re in the mood for an early morning breakfast, lunch, or a casual evening dinner, stop by Lorene’s for a hearty meal you won’t forget. Our extensive menu includes traditional breakfast skillets, country fresh eggs and omelettes, and a large selection of pancakes and waffles. For lunch or dinner try our South-of-the-Border section or one of our charbroiled burgers. We also serve great steaks and numerous seafood entrées. Stop by today for family-friendly dining. Hours: 6am-9:00pm daily, Visa, MC, AE, DC, accepted. Two locations to serve you: 1531 23rd & Eye St. (661) 322-6887 and 6401 Ming Ave. (661) 831-9250 / Spring 2011 119

The Dining Guide

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 11am-2:30pm, Deli Hours: Tue-Sat 8am-4pm. 725 East 19th Street. (661) 322-0926

24th Street Café

Pappy’s “Down South” BBQ & Catering

The Dining Guide

“Real BBQ cooked slow and low.” You don’t have to head too far south to get a taste of amazing, Southern-style BBQ—just head to Pappy’s. With Championship Brisket, tender tri-tip, pulled pork, hot links, chicken, and ribs, there’s a meat for everyone at this local BBQ joint. In addition to flavorful side dishes like sweet potato fries, potato salad, and chili beans, Pappy’s cooks up some killer “pappytizers,” including deep fried green beans and fried pickles (a southern favorite). Plus, every Thurs-Sat, Pappy’s is serving up 14 oz. ribeyes. They also offer catering for your next event, corporate meeting, or social gathering (minimum of 20 people). Call for details. 4725 Panama Ln. D-13. (661) 735-3984


There’s only one place in town to go for fresh New York-style pizza, savory pastas, and crisp salads: Cataldo’s Pizzeria! Each of their pizzas is hand-tossed and baked in brick ovens to give each bite that “old-fashioned” taste. But these pizzas are worth the wait. Try “The Manhattan,” a pizza covered in pepperoni, sausage, hamburger, black olives, mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions. Or, savor their Antipasti salad made with mozzarella, feta, and pepperoncini, topped with salami, pepperoni, and more! Order for take out, delivery, catering, or dine in and enjoy multiple big screen TVs, a pool table, and game room. Their party room can accommodate up to 60 people! Open Sun-Sat 11am until the last person is gone. 4200 Stine Road. (661) 397-5000

Que Pasa

Come for the freshest Mexican food...stay for the wide selection of handmade, agave nectar margaritas! Que Pasa is the place to be when you’re in the mood for authentic flavor. As part of our Platillo del Dia (Plate of the Day), we’re looking to treat your palate to fantastic flavors every day of the week. On Tuesday try the Tacos En Comal, made with thinly-sliced 100% Angus rib eye steak. On Sunday, sample our Molcajete Supremo, a mixture of shrimp, chicken, steak, and chorizo in a Yucatan green sauce. Our diverse menu and exciting atmosphere are second to none! Valley Plaza Location, 2701 Ming Ave # 219, Hours: Mon-Thu 10:30am-10pm; Fri-Sat 10:30-11pm; Sunday 10:30am-9pm, (661) 832-5011. Marketplace Location, 9000 Ming Ave # F4, Hours: Sun-Thu 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. (661) 664-1400

The Orchid Fine Dining & Sushi Bar

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. We also offer a private room that accommodates up to 60 people. 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

Frugatti’s Italian Wood-Fired Oven

Real Italian by Real Italians! Whether dining in or al fresco on our 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 11am-9:30pm, 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

120 Bakersfield Magazine

Bull Shed Bar & Grill

If you’re looking for a great place to hang out, grab a bite to eat, and have a good time, it’s high time you grabbed the bull by the horns...literally! At the locally-owned and operated Bull Shed Bar & Grill, you’ll be able to dig in to great food at great prices (only one menu item is over $10), while waiting your turn to ride “Dolly,” the mechanical bull! Sink your teeth into their Tri-Tip Sandwich, a cowboy roll stuffed with marinated tri-tip, onions, and mayo or test your stomach with the Big Bad Bull Shed Burger—a burger that weighs in at 2.5 pounds and is served with 2.5 pounds of fries. Eat it all in 45 minutes and get it a Bull Shed shirt! Open Mon-Thu 12pm1am; Fri & Sat 12pm-2am; Sun 10-12am. 2300 Camino Del Rio. (661) 327-0681

For the ultimate gourmet pizza, you’ve just got to head over to RedBrick Pizza. Every pizza is fresh, fabulous, and fire-roasted in just three minutes inside a 1,000-degree brick old-world Italian tradition. Start your epicurean adventure with a Chinese Chicken or Greek Chopped Salad, made with heart-healthy ingredients. Then dive into a speciality pizza. They’ve even got gluten-free crust for those on special diets. In the mood for something different? Wrap your mouth around one of their fire-roasted Fhazanis, a savory Italian sandwich topped with chilled greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and house dressing. And don’t forget a bowl of creamy, rich Gelato before you go. Open Mon-Thu 11am-9pm; Fri & Sat 11am-10pm; Sun 11am-9pm. 9500 Brimhall Road, Ste. 301. (661) 829-1010

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro is conveniently located at the Shops at Riverwalk, 10700 Stockdale Hwy. Visit us for food and drink specials during our Happy Hour everyday from 3-6 pm. You can also make a reservation or place a take-out order on-line at We serve lunch and dinner from 11am-10pm Sun-Thu, and 11am-11pm Friday and Saturday. We also offer an extensive menu that meets the needs of both vegetarian and gluten-free guests. We look forward to seeing you soon. (661) 663-8689

Valentien Restaurant and Wine Bar

French Cuisine Fused With California Freshness Seafood, Poultry, Beef, Exotic Game, Vegetarian. A welcoming environment in the tradition of a neighborhood bistro. Extensive Wine List and Craft Beer Selection. Coffee Program Featuring Siphon Brewers and Sustainable Sourced Beans. We believe in preparing food from scratch with the freshest ingredients available. We source locally and organically as often as possible. Enjoy the bounty of Kern County’s Agriculture! Open for Lunch: Tue-Fri 11:30am-2:00pm. Open for Dinner: Mon 5:00-8:00pm & Tue-Sat 5:00-9:00pm. All major credit cards are accepted. Reservations recommended but not required. 3310 Truxtun Ave., Ste. 160, 93301 (661) 864-0397 / Spring 2011 121

The Dining Guide

Uricchio’s Trattoria

Now Offering Curb-side To-go Service! 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. 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

RedBrick Fire-Roasted Gourmet Pizza

Asia Market -Teriyaki Bowl

The Dining Guide

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

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

The Crest Bar & Grill

If you are looking for one of Bakersfield’s best-kept secrets, you’ve found it. Nestled inside the beautiful Bakersfield RV Resort, The Crest Bar and Grill is the perfect place to relax after a long day, or get a quick bite to power you through the rest of your busy day. Our well-trained staff will ensure that your dining visit with us is memorable. Our kitchen proudly serves quality Chicago Stockyard steaks, delicious pastas, classic sandwiches, and crisp salads with homemade dressings. Tour our new Banquet Facility—it’s media equipped for any presentation desired, catered by The Crest, and has seating for 150 people. Visit us and enjoy what luxury RV living is all about. Hours 7am-9pm daily. Located at 5025 Wible Rd. (661) 833-9998

Brookside Riverlakes Market & Deli

We are your one-stop shop for great, local flavor! Our goal is to offer more grocery items in the market and more variety in the deli for your convenience. From our highquality meat to our breads, everything is fresh and local. Brookside also prepares our own salads and we have a large selection of wines and local products to choose from including Smith’s Bakery goodies to satisfy your sweet tooth. In addition to our Brookside breakfast and lunch menus, we have a catering menu that will help you celebrate any occasion with ease. Deli hours: Mon-Fri 5am-8pm, Sat 6:30am-8pm, Sun 6:30am-5pm. 4700 Coffee Road. Store: (661) 588-1338, Deli: (661) 588-2329

Jacalito Grill

When you’re in the mood for authentic Mexican dining, there’s no better place than Jacalito Grill. With three convenient locations, you’ll always discover a reason to drop by for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Let the traditional flavors wow you with each dining experience, whether it be their savory Huevos Rancheros, Chile Verde, Pork Ribs in Salsa Roja, or Enchiladas de Mole. The menu is extensive, so there’s something for everyone—enchiladas, burritos, chimichangas—and it’s all freshly prepared! But the seafood lover will rejoice at Jacalito Grill where a long list of succulent shrimp and fish dishes await. Everything from Camarones Borrachos (shrimp sauteed in tequila sauce) to their delectable Fish Fajitas. Each of their menu combinations are served with tender rice and beans. And every Sunday come in and try their Menudo! Open Sun-Thu, 11am-9:30pm; Friday and Saturday 11am-11pm. 4803 Panama Lane, (661) 834-5834; 10618 Hageman Road, (661) 679-7920; and 900 Truxtun Avenue, located adjacent to Rabobank Arena and the Amtrak Station, (661) 325-2535

122 Bakersfield Magazine

Willow Ranch Restaurant

For those coming off the trail hungry and hankering for some western fare, Willow Ranch Restaurant is a favorite destination. You’ll have a hard time selecting just one thing off the menu when this place serves amazing Mesquite BBQ ribs, chicken, Certified Angus Beef® steaks, seafood, and savory grilled sandwiches. The centerpiece of the Willow Ranch is the distinctive house BBQ sauce. Travelers and barbeque lovers from all over have enjoyed their secret recipe and they regularly ship it nationwide. Thankfully, Willow Ranch also caters all types of events, so if you can’t make it to them, they’ll bring the grub to you. Open every day from 7am-10pm. Just a short 25 minute drive west of Bakersfield. 27770 Lagoon Dr., Buttonwillow. Visit (661) 764-6605

Izumo Japanese Restaurant & Sushi

Variety and style is what you can expect at Izumo. 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

Café Med

NEW LOWER PRICES! 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. Open 7 days a week 11am-close. Live music on Friday & Saturday nights. Reservations accepted. Visa, MC, AE, DC. 4809 Stockdale Hwy. (661) 834-4433

Bon appétit Bakersfield Magazine Dining Guide

834-4126 / Spring 2011 123

The Dining Guide

Caesar’s Italian Delicatessen

A Bakersfield tradition since 1970, Caesar’s Italian Delicatessens have been serving fine Italian food for over 35 years. Our family owned Delis serve quality Sandwiches, Soups, and Salads. We are a full service deli and carry a wide variety of cheeses, meats, and specialty items. We have a large variety of Salads including our famous Pickled Tongue. Pastas are prepared in house using sauces from Nonna’s (grandma’s) Old Italian Recipes. Come in and pick up a tray to take home. Catering is also available for your next event, small office parties, large events & weddings, and includes Party Trays, Pastas, Sandwiches, Tri-Tip Deep Pit Beef, Chicken, or just Appetizers. Ask for a catering menu. 2828 Niles St. (East Bakersfield) (661) 873-0270, or 9500 Brimhall Rd. #304 (Rosedale area) (661) 588-7004

Benji’s French Basque

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








The Epilepsy Society of Kern County 19th ANNUAL




community partners


VOLLEYBALL Saturday, June 25th Begins at 8:30am • STRAMLER PARK

Your City. Your Life. Your Magazine.

Bakersfield v

Get ready, get set, and mark your calendars for the The Epilepsy Society of Kern County’s 19th 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.

Epilepsy Society of Kern County 5117 Office Park Drive Bakersfield, CA 93309 661-634-9810 Fax 661-634-9814

124 Bakersfield Magazine

It’s finally here! Enjoy lip-smacking food & fun at the 3rd annual

10,000 in Cash

May 21 & 22









plus Prizes & Awards



Friday Night: 5-9pm Free Entry & Concert with Mento Buru Saturday: 11am-5pm Adults $10, Kids 12 & Under FREE! Friday Night Concert Kansas City Barbecue Society Meat Competition (Chicken, Ribs, Pork, Brisket) California BBQ Association Team of the Year Cook Team and Judges Potluck Awards • Live Entertainment • BBQ Tasting Kid’s Zone • Vendors • Much more Benefitting

more info: 661-324-2427 / Spring 2011 125

community partners

Kern County Fairgrounds 1142 South P St.


Keep Art

Arts Council of Kern

Art surrounds us at a young age, helps shape who we become, and influences how we view the world.





126 Bakersfield Magazine

When we listen to music, we’re listening to art. When we read a book, magazine, or a poem, we’re reading art. And when we go to the movies, we’re watching art.


Arts Council of Kern

Still, there is hope at the Arts Council. “We recently became an affiliate of the National Young Audiences Arts for Learning network,” Wolfe continued. “We received a grant which provided some seed money for us to move forward with our goal of bringing arts back into schools—either with a one-time assembly for the whole school or workshops with artists in residency.” This means the the Arts Council will have some support for, at least, the next five years. It’s great news. The organization can use funds to support the programs and projects it deems valuable to our area. For example, the Best of Kern Concert Tour. Throughout 2010, the Arts Council, with support from the James Irvine Founda-



Teams of all ages are encouraged to dress up for the Walk for Arts!

(L-R) Tina Chapa, Bike Bakersfield Executive Director; Cathy Butler, Downtown Business Association and Arts Council of Kern Board President; Laura Wolfe, Arts Council of Kern Interim Executive Director; and Barbara Minor, Arts Council of Kern Grants Administrator/Finance Manager.


know the joy of a fresh sheet of construction paper. Before we know how to write a book report, we are given paints and plastic scissors. And long before we walk across a stage to accept a diploma and enter the workforce, we have drawn our family pet, painted trees and suns, and learned the lyrics to “Wheels on the Bus.” Art surrounds us at a young age, helps shape who we become, and influences how we view the world. But, sometimes, some of us forget just how integral art is in our lives. We forget that when we listen to music, we’re listening to art. We forget that when we read a book, magazine, or a poem, we’re reading art. And when we go to the movies, we’re watching art. That’s why the Arts Council of Kern’s mission is to advocate for, to create access to, and to provide education in the arts for residents and visitors to our county. “Unfortunately, people are thinking of how we can save money now. They’re not thinking of the longterm repercussions of taking arts education out of schools,” said Arts Council of Kern Interim Executive Director Laura Wolfe.

Photo Courtesy Arts Council of Kern

community partners

Before we learn how to spell, we



tion and other sponsors, sought out the best musicians in Kern County. Then, 39 of the top applicants were auditioned to be part of a musical tour. On this year-long journey, the musicians played at local venues and were professionally recorded and filmed for a documentary. It was a chance for our entire county to celebrate the diversity and the richness of regional music, as well as introduce musicians to venues, promoters, and new audiences. Another program, Creating Community, was developed by local artist Nicole St. John. Creating Community works to teach other local artists, from various generations working with different mediums, how to be curators and put on shows with a community angle. “Each show has a nonprofit partner,” Wolfe explained. “And each show has a theme. An artist will get funding, they’ll do the work, and we’ll put on the show. Then, fifty percent of the proceeds go to the artist, twenty-five goes to the nonprofit partner, and the other twenty-five comes to the Arts Council.”

(661) 324-9000 •








The Walk is a great way to discover art programs in our community, including dance classes!

The more people who know about Arts Council programs, the more potential support these programs will receive in our area. For example, maybe folks don’t know about the Outside In Project, where local artists in all disciplines work in teams to provide mentoring experiences to artists with developmental disabilities. Or the Kern Film Workshop, a vocational training and enterprise development program for emerging film makers, based on Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Film Company. Those are programs that could use funding. And while most of us understand the value of art and while most of us appreciate art on a daily basis, it’s time to show our support. Especially for local art. Because, as Georgia O’Keeffe once said, “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way— things I had no words for.” Thankfully, the Arts Council of Kern is here to provide our community with those colors and shapes. Visit or call (661) 324-9000 for more information. n


Photo Courtesy Arts Council of Kern

with Bike Bakersfield, which is also having an event in the park on May 14. They are having their family day with lots of fun stuff and we think this will really add to the Walk for Arts energy.” Last year, the first year the walk was held, 300 people participated. This year, the Arts Council is hoping to top 500.

community partners

The next show is slated for sometime in the summer. But well before locals will get the chance to view that work, they can join the Walk for the Arts. On May 14, 2011, teams of communityminded, art-loving residents will come together downtown, at Mill Creek Park, and have a rousing time, all to the benefit of the Arts Council. “The plan is to build from last year—it was such a success,” Wolfe said. “We’ve been encouraging people to join groups and support their school of choice. All the money they raise will go to that school’s art programs. We want people to see the expanding arts scene downtown—everything along the walk route will be open. People are even free to go inside the Bakersfield Museum of Art.” And that, alone, is worth the $10 entry fee (a fee that includes a participant t-shirt). “The day will be a complement of the visual arts, music, and dancing. We’re even asking teams to dress as creatively as they can,” Wolfe added. “And we are partnering

R T Y PA / Spring 2011 127












For tickets and information: 661-616-0326

community partners

Beautiful evening, dinner by Valentien Restaurant, live music and dance, fabulous auction items Event to including a firesuit signed and donated by proceed the work of Global Kevin Harvick and an exotic trip! Family to prevent Tickets: $100 per person or the trafficking of $1,000 for a table young girls in India and Nepal and care Sponsored by: for children in Bakersfield and around the world...




128 Bakersfield Magazine




































community partners






2018 Chester Avenue • 324-6350


April 16 & 17–Paleo Digs at Shark Tooth Hill

All Diggers will be allowed to keep all teeth and fossils found. (call for pricing)

April 18-21–Spring Science Camp

The Restless Earth! Explore Volcanos, Earthquakes, Storms. How Earth’s systems react under pressure! How the Sun and Moon effect the Earth! (call for pricing)

May 7th–Family Day

A day filled with fun for everyone. The First Saturday of each month.

May 7th–Just for Kids

Science-based programs for children. Roller Coasters! How do they work? Everything you always wanted to know about Roller Coasters, but were afraid to ask!

May 7th–Twenty Mule Teams and Borax Mining in California

Kern County has been a part of the borax mining industry for over 100 years.

May 14th–Roadside Geology Of Kern County

A geologic/photographic tour of Highway 58, Highway 178, Interstate 5, Highway 33, Highway 14, and other roads of Kern County.

THU-SAT 10am-5pm • Admission: $7 Adult $4 Child Seniors & Students 18+ $5 / Spring 2011 129

Religious Schools & Worship Services Directory

Beach Party Bible Camp June 6- July 15, 8:30am-Noon

• Christian principles-based teaching philosophy. • Moral, spiritual and physical development for all children. • Educational goals include patriotism, respect for authority, a love of learning and a strong desire to know God.

2408 Dean Ave. 661-589-0501

o o Presents


akersfield Magazine is working to preserve the history of Kern County through stories of its proud and fascinating past! From Colonel Baker to Buck Owens and beyond, Kern has been homegrown by generations of residents. is an online chronicle of over a century of the Golden Empire’s longstanding families, businesses, and entertainment-filled community. It’s a modern way to discover days gone by but days not forgotten.

Rev. Msgr. Craig F. Harrison, Pastor Rev. David Greskowiak, Associate Pastor Rev. Denis Ssekannyo Deacon Scotty Bourne • Deacon Richard Lambert Deacon Clyde Davis • Deacon Frank Vargas Deacon Van Tran

Invite you to our Holy Week Services Holy Thursday, April 21st Service at 7:00 pm; Spanish Service at 7:00 pm at School Good Friday, April 22nd Service at 12:00 pm; 3:00 pm Divine Mercy & Stations of the Cross; 6:30 pm Service; 7:30 pm Spanish Service Holy Saturday, April 23rd Vigil at 7:00 pm EASTER SUNDAY, April 24th 6:00 am Church; 8:00 am Hall; 8:00 am Church; 10:00 am Hall; 10:00 am Church; 12:00 pm Solemn High Latin Mass in Church; 12:00 pm Spanish Mass in the Hall; 3:00 pm Vietnamese Mass in the Church

661-327-4734 – FAX 661-377-0363 900 H St. (1 block south of California Avenue) 130 Bakersfield Magazine

INCLUDING! ANNUAL GENERATIONS ISSUE with profiles of the oldest local businesses and families.


features photos and stories from moments and places in time.

ARCHIVED HISTORICAL ARTICLES that bring together pieces of Bakersfield’s & Kern County’s pasts.


e / Spring 2011 131




We Buy Gold

Salon & Day Spa 5393 Truxtun Avenue 327-5393

At The Marketplace 9000 Ming Ave., Suite H-5 | 661-665-0411

YOU R H E A RT I S YOU R M A P B out i qu e at T h e Fox 2 0 0 7 H St re e t • 3 2 7 - 4 4 6 6

Celebrating 28 Years

Jack McGee State Licensed Dispensing Optician

Open Monday-Thursday 8:30-5:30, Friday 8:30-1:00


3100 19th St., Suite 100 Corner 19th & Oak


5009 Stockdale Highway Stockdale Fashion Plaza 132 Bakersfield Magazine

Shari & Heidi

Sugardaddy’s 5512 Stockdale Hwy. 325-8300

ABCs of

Hair Stylists, Manicurists, Massage Therapist Handbags and Accessories Available

Creative Pursuits Fiber Arts

Mens & Womens Alterations & Tailoring

Hair Cuts • Highlighting • Perms Coloring • Up-Dos • Waxing • Facials Products Available:

Mona Masood cell (559)553-3202 Appointments Available Mon, Tue, Thurs, & Fri

Walk-ins Welcome Beautician, Makeup Artist and Hair Extensions by “Daniella”

5428 California Ave.

323-4450 1416 17th St.

Downing Ave

Rosedale Hwy

Fruitvale Rd

Threading and Other Beauty Services

(661) 324.4247

M-F 10-5 SAT 10-2

Certified Cosmetologist

Coffee Rd

Threading By Mona

Bowman Ct

Meany Ave

Dermalogica • Keune • Matrix


829-2222 3556 Bowman Ct, Suite A Rosedale Area

For The Birds... & More Specializing in Locally Hatched, Hand-fed & Tame Birds


Food, Toys, New & Used Cages Pick-up & Delivery Available Mobile Bird Grooming Dog & Cat Grooming

Bakersfield’s Largest Selection of Quality Pianos Factory Authorized Dealer


Pianos For All Skill Levels. Affordable Prices.



MON-FRI 10am-6pm

10425 Rosedale Hwy.

661-871-0088 SAT 10am-4pm


"We stand behind our birds, but not under them!"

4-Wheel & 2-Wheel Drive Lift Kits Lowering Kits • Custom Exhaust Systems • Wheels & Tires • Front End Alignments • Shocks • Brakes Front End Repair • Custom Accessories • Suspension • Tune-up



5209 Woodmere Drive

6200 Lake Ming Road, Suite A-7 Take 178 10 miles East of 99, then 2 miles North on Alfred Harrell Hwy.

s ndbags • Wallet • Clothes • Ha cor De LA Idol Jeans me Ho • ies ssor Jewelry • Acce

in k 6 6 1 -3 2 5t-P (7 4 6 5 )

1 9 2 0 G Stre e

Log Cabin Florist is one of the oldest establishments in the San Joaquin Valley. Enjoying a reputation of quality, reliability, and convenience for over 74 years.

661-327-8646 800 19th Street / Edition 2011 133


our wedding day is a special moment in time...

At Riverlakes Ranch, we will ensure it is all you dreamed of.


Juli Feller Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Luigi Porco (Vanessa Durango)

The Links At Riverlakes 5201 Riverlakes Drive • 587-3801

December 11th, 2010

p Apostolic Assembly Church

Artisan Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Luke Garrett (Lindsey Lee) October 16th, 2010

p The Dana Powers House

Mr. & Mrs. Johnny Beddingfield (Kharlee Hart) August 20th, 2010

p Eagle Castle Winery

Artisan Photography

1800 21st Street • 661.633.2318

Mr. & Mrs. Matt Kyles (Robyn Olson) September 17th, 2010

p Bakersfield Country Club

Ladies and Gents

Misty Dameron Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Adam O’Daniel (Heather McGary)


January 22nd, 2011 p Valley Baptist Church

Misty Dameron Photography

124 Oak Street | Bakersfield, CA (661)325-7911

134 Bakersfield Magazine

Mr. & Mrs. Taeson Hayes (Rachel Stamp) January 1st, 2011


Bridge Bible Church

Mr. & Mrs. Ryan Winget (Nicole Eckberg) March 27th, 2010

p Private Residence

E-mail your wedding photography and information to:




For more photos from these parties visit

Andrea Padilla & Kelli Turner

Susie Aspeithia & Gretchen Daughtery

Shelly & Ron Fraze

CATERING WITH YOU IN MIND Weddings • Social & Corporate Events

Hollywood Gala


It was a night for fanfare as the American Cancer Society’s Bakersfield Chapter hosted an opulent evening of dining and drinks with an Old Hollywood theme. Guests arrived in their finest to not only enjoy a sumptuous dinner and program, but to help support this great organization by bidding on a number of the many community-donated silent and live auction items.

Noe & Sonja Reyna

Mike & Suzanne Satterfield

Hazaiah Williams, Deborah Leary & Barbara Wakeley

Sandi Neel 3301 Pegasus Dr. Ste. #4

Kevin & Christa Burton

Heidi & Jarrod McNaughton

Jeremy Zoch


Doris Depew





The Bakersfield Art Association celebrated its 2nd Annual Mardi Gras Gala. Beads and colorful decorations greeted guests when they arrived for a night full of fun. Dancing, a Mardi Gras parade, live and silent auctions, and a costume contest made this a night to remember. A portion of funds raised that night will go toward the Association’s scholarship program.

Kathy Schilling & Ira Fendrick

Paul VinMetre & Karen Sweaney


Misty Walker, Rhonda Bartolini & Desirea Lawrence

Mardi Gras

Jack Clark & Coral Poole-Clark


Deborah Johnson & Lanysa James

Tom & Stella Mullins


Lisa Winfrey

Linda Payne & Bryan Carrick


Nancy Clark & Norma Neil



Debbie & LeRoy Hicks / Edition 2011 135




For more photos from these parties visit office

661.663.4542 cell

661.319.6596 Martin Chang, Portia Choi & Tim Chang

uSee the Difference @ 9101 Camino Media • Bakersfield

The Kern County Medical Society outdid itself! Every guest, including distinguished physicians in our community, was treated to savory appetizers and cocktails at the KCMS’s annual Installation of Officers Dinner. While everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner, the new officers were announced. Portia S. Choi, M.D. was elected 2011 President and Joel Cohen, M.D. was elected President-elect.

City:_____________________________State:________ Zip:____________________ Subscription label will identify you as gift giver • Mail to: 1601 New Stine Rd. #200 Orders must be received by 5-25-2011 for June Issue Bakersfield, CA 93309


Recipient’s Name:______________________________________________________



ONLY Credit Card #/Exp.:________________________________________

Your Phone:________________ Your E-mail:______________________________

Your Name:______________________________________________________________

Greg & Kelly Chamberlain

Gigi Del Rosario

Patrick Leung

Pamela Bailey & Michael Hewitt

Mark Nystrom

Hope Cohen & Carol Sandy AnnPalumbo O'Reilly

Carlin Jones & Jan Fulton

Jeanette Richarson Parks, Sandra Serrano & Nicole St. John

John & Joan Digges

Robert Tafoya

Joel Cohen

Sandi Palumbo

John & Diana Spaulding

Josh Serrano & Rose Marie Bans

Couples of Accomplishment

Mary Helen Barro & Penny Fulton

This wonderful evening, hosted by The Arts Council of Kern, paid tribute to a generous husband and wife duo in Bakersfield: Robert Tafoya and Sandra Serrano. The event was attended by longtime friends and co-workers of Robert and Sandra as well as community members wishing to support not only the Arts Council, but a loving couple that has done so much for our community.


Subscribe Today!

Jessica & Hans Einstein


136 Bakersfield Magazine

Barry & Judy Gallagher

Installation Dinner

Dan & Rosemarie Grabski


Calvin & Sally Kubo

Camille Fulton, Isis Barron & Aaron Barron

Susan & Rod Hersberger, Laura Wolfe

H.A. Sala & Sylvia Mendez-Sala




Jeanne Radsick Realtor®

For more photos from these parties visit

Abbie & Trisha Duncan

Debbie Syde

Alli Johnson & Tamara Martinez

Jennifer Mitchell & Elaine Solan


Go Red Luncheon

Isabel Alvarez & Alissa Carlson

Melissa Jolley & Jana Fink

Michaela Beard & Wendy Devers

Batting Cages • Pro

Alma & Star Navarrete, Jacquelyn Patrick

Shop • Professional Instruction

Bakersfield’s Premier Indoor Baseball & Softball Training Facility

O thePE P


Ann Smart, Kevin Burton & Cherryl Biggar

Sarah Hebeler, Mandy Wolfe & Teresa Henry

Helen Carson-Kubik



4820 Rosedale Ln. Private Lessons •

• Team Sales • Clinics • Parties

For a seventh straight year, the American Heart Association’s Go Red Luncheon was packed! Men and women gathered at the Marriott to join the fight against heart disease and stroke and enjoy a delicious and healthy lunch. Attendees were entertained with a fashion show and empowering keynote speaker Eliz Green, and witnessed the cover unveiling of our annual Go Red issue.

Each Office Independently Owned & Operated


Connie Frasch

Judy Brennan, Livio & Ronda Mazzei, Dennis Maul

Dean Davis

717 East 21st St. 322-7159 Tim Culhane, Holly Culhane, Dana Culhane & Joseph Brennan

Holly VonderHaar, Kristin Weirather & Betty Myers

Taste of the Town

Jennifer Johnson & BJ Binning

Pat & Carloyn Foutch

The 27th annual Taste of the Town dinner was a roaring success. Arriving at The Petroleum Club, guests, dressed in their most elegant attire, enjoyed appetizers and a delicious selection of wines as they mingled before feasting on a multi-course meal. Each course was prepared by a different local chef! Proceeds from this lavish event benefit the Arthritis Association of Kern County.

Donna Parent & Bill Cramer

Carel & Surita Els / Edition 2011 137


Photo courtesy chris brewer

bakersfield’s sound

Harvey Herrick & his National 40 ~1911~

hat’s more exciting than fast cars and fireworks? In 1911, nothing. When the discovery of Bakersfield’s oil in the early 1900s didn’t garner the national recognition that Kern River oilmen believed it deserved, they hatched a plan and brought it to the attention of the City of Bakersfield. The proposal? A 150-mile automobile race on July 4, 1911, featuring the fastest cars in the country. It would be the first great Kern County road race and a day that would put all local gatherings before it to shame. But there needed to be big prize money to draw in the drivers, so community fundraising efforts began. When it was noticed that local saloons (which stood to profit nicely from the event) hadn’t donated a dollar, The Bakersfield Californian ran advertisements from anti-saloon organizations on the front page until the stingy taverns anted up. Ultimately, donations ranged from $0.10 all the way up to $200. The Tevis brothers even donated a $1,000 silver trophy cup that was named (surprise, surprise) the “Tevis Cup Trophy.” The track started on the south end of Jewett Lane, then proceeded north across the Kern River Bridge to China Grade Loop Road, then to Gordon’s Ferry Bridge, and south to China Grade. After the grade, a dirt road went south to North Baker Street, then west on Bernard Street back to the Jewett Lane starting line where drivers would be greeted by a grandstand of fans. When the Fourth of July arrived, 10,000 spectators lined the track and the bluffs (where there was a full view of the course). Shouts from the crowd could be heard for miles and, as the race drew to a close, everyone was on their feet. The favorite pick in the early morning had been Bert Dingley in his Pope-Hartford, but after a grueling 11 laps and tire trouble in lap 8, he was out of the race and finished second. Driving star Harvey Herrick, in his National, was the hero of the day, being the only driver to complete all 14 laps and 150 miles. He took home first prize ($2,000) and the Tevis Cup. The July 4th race was hailed as “Bakersfield’s greatest day” by the Californian. And so began a long tradition of auto racing in Kern County—a tradition that includes a love of roaring engines and squealing tires. That first race, created to put Bakersfield on the map, made the local residents of 1911 proud to call Bakersfield home.

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

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We are the Martinez family, and this is our take… Two precious little girls, dressed in matching pink-accented ensembles, their parents lovingly holding them, while big sister succeeds in getting a dual set of giggles. It’s the perfect picture of a healthy, happy family – but one Johanna and Michael Martinez weren’t always sure would be in their future. Complications began early on in Johanna’s pregnancy with twin girls, and it soon became clear this would be a high-risk situation. Of course, the couple, along with everyone who loves them, hoped and prayed for a happy ending. However, they would first have to deal with one challenge after another. Every step of the way, they would have the support of their second family at San Joaquin Community Hospital’s Maternity Care Center. “I thought they would be sick of me,” Johanna said. “I was there all the time and they were so nice … We still go to San Joaquin. We love it.”


Bakersfield’s Most Preferred Hospital

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