Never Too Old Love At Any Age
Eat the Shrubs! Edible Gardening
VOL. 29 NO. 1
Risktakers: A Real Horse Tale
YOUR CITY. YOUR LIFE. YOUR MAGAZINE.
Citizen Kern Ticklinâ€™ the Ivories SPRING 2012
Chester Avenue looking north from 17th Street, c.1925
A CELEBRATION OF
KERN COUNTY HISTORY & HERITAGE BakersfieldMagazine.net
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 3
SPRING 201 2
f e at u r e s DRE Lic.00818891
There’s no stopping these busy seniors
no such thing as Retirement
Golden years? More like gold medals! Staying Active.......................71 Celebrating the shapers of local history Footprints............................. 35
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2410 Brighton Park Dr. • $1,875,000 Grand Island on Golf Course w/lake views! Builder’s own Tuscan Villa estate. Incredible, detailed woodwork, custom iron/brick combined with faux finished walls and paver tile floors create an Old World elegance. A grand double island kitchen is at the very heart of this home. Wine cellars, office/library, gym, in-law quarters, first floor master suite. 2,000 sq. ft. patio w/bbq, spa!
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Signature Properties, Signature Service! 4 Bakersfield Magazine
Proving the heart never stops loving Love at Any Age.................... 75
This year’s featured longstanding and family-owned businesses. Gundlach’s............................................ 42 Snider’s Cyclery................................... 44 Herbert P. Sears Co., Inc...................... 46 Rockwell’s Trouts................................. 47 Greenlawn Funeral Homes.................. 48 Log Cabin Florist.................................. 49 Wattenbarger Do-It Center.................. 50 Baldwin-Georgenton Insurance...........51 Clerou Tire Company, Inc.................... 52 Smith’s Bakeries.................................. 53 Sierra Recycling & Demolition........... 54 Wm. K. Lyons Insurance..................... 55 Skyline Cabinet and Millworks........... 56 Kern Federal Credit Union.................. 57 Blueprint Service Company................ 58 Loyd’s Aviation..................................... 59 Jim’s Supply Company, Inc................. 60 Hall Letter Shop....................................61 San Joaquin Interiors, Inc.................. 62 Burtch Construction............................ 63 Barbich Hooper King Dill Hoffman..... 64 M & S Security Services, Inc.............. 65 California Keyboards Music Center... 66
Bakers, butchers, and produce, oh my!
Where to find GREAT FOOD
Working miracles for the children of Kern Community Partners.............115
It’s more than just kilts and “games” here
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 5
SPRING 201 2
Try The Nines Restaurant for lunch. Over 20 items to choose from for under $10.00
D E P ART M E N TS Avoiding “double secret probation” Letter from the Editor............11 It’s like appetizers for the brain Kern Facts............................. 13
Why Be Happy for Just One Hour?
Ojai –A small town full of big experiences
Enjoy your favorite drinks, signature cocktails and tasty appetizers all day long in the M.I. Greatroom. Happy Hour specials are $3 Drafts and $5 Well and Wine drinks.
Pirouetting her way to Royal distinction
So over overalls, now it’s fun and girly The Bakersfield Look..............27 Ticklin’ the ivories from coast to coast Citizen Kern..........................29
When choosing home décor, less is more
Home & garden
Lovely plants that add beauty and flavor Gardening with Mrs. P.......... 101 A local dessert made just for our readers Quick Bites......................... 104
He ain’t lyin’—these burgers are the best What’s Cookin’.................... 105 From Kern County to the Kentucky Derby
When only the best will do!
The many manifestations of a noble grape Life is a Cabernet................ 107 Some Bakersfield sunshine—on the rocks Bottoms Up........................ 110
Hiring older just might be hiring better Human Resources..................80
Pictures of the most happenin’ events Party Chatter...................... 126
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Take a trip on the “way back” machine! Fearless Fashionista...............91
We dare you to step into the Lion’s Den Bakersfield’s Sound.............. 130
6 Bakersfield Magazine
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 7
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTIONS
home & Garden resources
Home & Garden.................99
The Dining Guide The Dining Guide............111
community partners Community Partners.........115
MEDICAL PROFILES Medical Profiles...............121
THE AN M Issue
l edica ies M PLUS Specialt
g in m NE o C JU 12 20
8 Bakersfield Magazine
BRAIN SURGERY | SPINE SURGERY N AT I O N A L R E C O G N I T I O N | L O C A L R E P U TAT I O N
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“I was suffering for 10 long years. My back had me depressed and nothing helped me; but, thanks to Dr. Hua, I have no more pain. Thanks to God and Dr. Hua, I am living without pain.”—Tesla, Bakersfield
t is increasingly difficult to make sense of the treatment now available to chronic back pain sufferers.
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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 Sales & Marketing Lisa Corum, Shay Muñoz Lesley Reneau Photography/Editorial Assistant Isabel Alvarez Staff Writer Maryann Kopp Contributing Writers Gordon F. Lull Matthew Martz, Naomi Moss David Nigel Lloyd, Tracie Grimes Jessica Shillings, Juliane Torczon Donna McCrohan Rosenthal Accounting/Human Resources Melissa Galvan Distribution/Circulation Brigit Ayers Cover Photo Courtesy of Kern County Museum Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. 1601 New Stine Road, Suite 200 Bakersfield, CA 93309
Office (661) 834-4126 Fax (661) 834-5495 Email: email@example.com website: bakersfieldmagazine.net Bakersfield Magazine is published bi-monthly by Bakersfield Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. ©Copyright 2012 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 $14.95 for 1 year, $21.95 for 2 years.
Secure PayPal Gift Subscriptions BakersfieldMagazine.net 10 Bakersfield Magazine
Letter from the Editor
Dream. Design. Create.
Um,Hello,Mom...?” We’d been planning this night forever. I’m not sure who appointed us—I imagine we took it upon ourselves, being part of a clique known as “the parking lot pack” at school, since that’s where we spent most of our Senior year. It was sorta like our unspoken obligation. Neither jocks nor nerds, we fell somewhere in the middle. We were the rock ‘n’ rollers with the bad cars and bad attitudes, and in bad, I mean cool. In actuality, we were some of the nicest guys you ever met, and now we were on to our last academic hurrah. Our quest? To paint the Bakersfield High School water tower. It was spring and we were about to graduate, and as has long been tradition, various members of the graduating class would climb the water tower in the middle of the night and tag it with words that proclaimed that year’s Seniors as the best. This year would be no different. We all met at my house and went over our plan and supplies. Spray paint? Check! Paint cans, brushes? Check! Check! Some time after 11, we arrived at the parking lot behind Griffith Field and began to unload our cache. Like a scene out of Animal House, we put forth our best John Belushi-esque moves when someone spilled a can of white paint. Overcoming that setback, we proceeded to the tower and spent the next hour painting away. After completing our declaration, we ran back to the car and signaled to the driver to hit it! He stomped the pedal, the engine sputtered, then backfired and died. Oh, man! To be caught now would surely mean suspension, or worse—“double secret probation”! For the next 30 minutes we tried to start the car with no luck. Finally, with one a.m. approaching, it was decided to make the call. I ran to the nearest payphone and dialed a familiar number. “Hello, Mom...?” After some awkward silence, she and Dad came to the rescue—just in time to thwart a curious police officer that had seen a bunch of kids standing around a car and some odd white shoe prints. If only he had looked up, it might have been his biggest bust of the night. The moral of the story is not to condone tagging, but rather to acknowledge the special bond some families share—mine included. No matter what misadventure I found myself in, I knew I could always
Commercial • Residential call my parents. Sure, in some cases I’d have consequences, but there was a mutual respect, if you will, and I knew that they would always be there for me. This relationship is one of my most prized possessions, and it’s at the core of what has allowed us to be able to work together for the past 30+ years. Not that it’s been easy. On the contrary, there are days we want to kill each other. Working with family is one of the hardest things you can do. Nonetheless, this issue is a salute to those local longstanding and family-owned businesses that we are fortunate enough to have in our community. Our Generations profiles start on page 42. We are also excited to present part two of Gordon Lull’s ongoing investigation into the names that built Kern County—an enjoyable history lesson, “Footprints,” starts on page 35. And to coincide with our Generations theme, we offer several stories on local senior citizens, including staff favorite, “Love at Any Age,” page 75. And if all that wasn’t enough, we have a fantastic foodie feature called “Where to Find Great Food” on page 81: your guide on where to find fresh baked breads, justpicked produce, custom cuts of meat, and ethnic specialties—all locally. We left our mark on the school that night in a very cool “Class of ‘80 Rocks!” Our pièce de résistance was painted over a couple weeks later by members of the class of ’81. Enjoy!
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12 Bakersfield Magazine
People • Places • Events
He’s the social media manager for the Arts Council of Kern and she’s a script supervisor for Inclusion Films Workshops, but this couple has more than a love of media in common...
What was the first thing you thought when you met your future spouse for the first time? Carlin: She was an exotic beauty. Sandra: That he had a great sense of humor and that he was a gentleman. And how handsome he is.
happy and I don’t want to sleep on the couch. Sandra: Me. Because when I pick fights, they are over the smallest things. And I don’t know why we started it in the first place.
What is the funniest thing that happened while you two were dating? Carlin: The first night I met her at a downtown club called Panama Jack’s where my friend’s singing group performed. One of the members of the group’s girlfriend came up to me and said that Sandra really liked me and thought I was good-looking, but I found out later she didn’t say anything and here we are 16 years later. Sandra: He started dancing at the bar we met at. He doesn’t like to dance, but he did that to impress me. What is the craziest thing your spouse has ever done for you? Carlin: The craziest thing my spouse has ever done was give birth to our son. Sandra: He sang me a song at karaoke and put my name in it. It was “Bless This Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts. What is your spouse’s biggest phobia? Carlin: Heights. Sandra: Not being able to support his family financially. Who’s the first one to admit when they’re wrong? Carlin: I am, because when she’s not happy (momma), no one is
in step with:
Carlin & Sandra Jones
One of the members of the group’s girlfriend came up to me and said that Sandra really liked me and thought I was good-looking, but I found out later... she didn’t say
anything and here we are 16 years later! What is your spouse most passionate about? Carlin: My wife is most passionate about working with the Joey Travolta Film Workshop as the script supervisor. And, of course, being a mom. Sandra: His teaching of social media through the Tech Arts Academy and his job. He loves what he does. His also loves Ethan and I very much. We are so proud of him.
What is your least favorite thing about your spouse and most favorite thing? Carlin: Least favorite—That she likes watching America’s Next Top Model and she changes channels between shows at commercial time. Most favorite—That she always believes in me and is proud of what I do to support our family. Sandra: Least favorite—His snoring. Most favorite—That he is still a gentleman.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Bakersfield? Carlin: I like to go out to our great local restaurants and a few good shows. We like to support our local art and restaurants. Sandra: Going to the movies, because we are so busy that it’s rare that we can go.
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 13
For Kern residents who have a fascination with the night sky and all things out of this world, there is a group in town that is worth focusing in on! The Kern Astronomical Society (KAS) has been around since 1956, and they are all about educating the public about astronomy, not only through their monthly newsletter, The Syzygy, but also through some fun, handson interaction, as well. These space enthusiasts can tell you everything from recent happenings in astrology to step-by-step instructions on how to make your own telescope! Unlike searching for dark matter, this group is easy to find. In fact, you may have already seen them around town hosting one of their many Star Parties! If you see a group of people with telescopes of all kinds near Russo’s Books at The Marketplace, these are none other than members of the
KAS (stop and chat with them—and get a unique look at our sky at night). They are also involved with the schools around Bakersfield, and this year marks their Fifth Annual Kern County Astronomy Day, which will take place April 14 at Foothill High School. The event is free to the public and rumor has it that famous astronomer Johannes Kepler (of 17th century Laws of Planetary Motion fame) will be making an appearance! Annual membership is only $20, or $25 if you receive a paper version of their newsletter. As a member, you will not only engage in monthly trips to different spots in and around Kern County where stargazing is optimal, but you will also have the chance to attend meetings that sometimes boast keynote speakers from NASA! Visit their website kernastro.org for more information.
Approximate mileage to r get from The Fox theate a en Ar nk ba to Rabo $ 6 Cost for an adult fishing license for Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area 20 The number of ghostty towns in Kern Coun in 68 Number of zip codes ty Kern Coun Padre Hotel 112 Number of rooms at the r in miles 164 Length of the Kern Rive nded 1877 Year Rosamond was fou
By The Numbers
14 Bakersfield Magazine
a.us/parks/faq.asp; Google Maps; co.kern.c Sources: wikipedia.org; www.ghosttowns.com y; unt ology of Kern Co ron Ch ic tor His ; om c.c ked
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CENTRAL 4130 California Ave.
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here are few things in this world that can beat the taste of delicious, local cuisine. One of those things, however, is a $100 gift certificate to fill up on as much of that local cuisine as you can. That's why we love to give away gift certificates to great Bakersfield restaurants to our A-List. If you're not a member, visit bakersfieldmagazine.net and sign up today. It's free and the benefits are huge. If you are a member, check out the list of names below and see if we've randomly selected yours.* If you spot it, email us at email@example.com and you could win $100 at El Portal Mexican Restaurant (Ming Avenue location). Art Byrom Ahsan Alamgir Debbie Guill Lino Segura
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Looking for FUN? We’re so excited! Bakersfield Magazine is now a major sponsor of the Downtown Business Association’s Third Thursdays! In fact, we’ll be presenting the Third Thursday on April 19. So, grab family and friends, come on down (downtown, that is), stop by our booth, and say hi! We’ll be giving away some goodies so be prepared for some fun. www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 15
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16 Bakersfield Magazine
Artisan Rustic Wood Console, $456 Woodland Furniture 7921 Rosedale Hwy. (661) 834-4288
Metal Picture Frames, $28-64 Adrijon Home & Garden Showroom 2231 N St. (661) 327-0077
In Our Desert
By Donna McCrohan Rosenthal
Photos by David A Rosenthal
ast of the Sierra Nevada and west of Death Valley, Ridgecrest sits behind a rise off Hwy 395 on the northbound route to Mammoth. The colors of the land reflect the seasons with different shades of desert beige with one important exception. Given the right amount of rain and other conditions the preceding winter,
the foothills and canyons come to life in the spring with gorgeous wildflowers. This April 13-15, Ridgecrest celebrates natureâ€™s artistry and kicks off California Native Plant Week with the second annual Ridgecrest Desert Wildflower Festival. Schedule highlights include the acclaimed Annual Indoor Wildflower Show at the Maturango Museum, Friday 9-7, Saturday 9-7, Sunday 9-5 ($2 per person); arts and crafts in the Main Exhibit Hall at Kerr McGee Cen-
ter, Saturday 10-5, Sunday 10-4 (admission free); geocaching orientation and send-off at the Historic USO Building, Saturday 8 a.m. (participation free); workshops and lectures at the Historic USO Building, Saturday and Sunday (admission free) with lunch available there Saturday and Sunday 11-2 and snacks and drinks Saturday and Sunday 8-5; magician Gerry Schiller at the Carriage Inn Saturday 7:30 p.m. (admission by donation to the Ridgecrest Desert Wildflower Festival); and maps and tours to desert wildflower sites. For times and updates, check ridgecrestdesertwildflowerfestival.com and pick up complete event schedules at the Carriage Inn, Kerr McGee Center, Historic USO Building, or Maturango Museum. To contact the Ridgecrest Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, use (760) 375-8202.
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 17
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18 Bakersfield Magazine
A Bit of
nyone in Bakersfield knows that we have a strong Basque community—one of the largest not only in the state of California, but in the entire nation. So how much does the average citizen know about this culture? Thanks to the Kern County Basque Club and CSUB, some lucky students are learning all about it due to a Basque Language and Culture course that is being offered for the winter and spring semesters this year! With a bachelor’s in Basque literature and linguistics, Unai Nafarrate is more than qualified to bring a bit more of this fascinating culture to our fair city. Straight from Basque country, and having taught a similar course at UC Santa Barbara, Nafarrate first came to Bakersfield last year to attend the annual Basque Cultural Festival. “I was so excited about learning more about Basque American culture that I told all of my students and friends about [the event],” Nafarrate said. While at the festival, he made some important connections and, after months of work and planning with the KCBC and CSUB, the class was developed, funded for, and ready to be taught starting January 2012. “CSUB provided the course, and the KCBC provided all of the funding,” confirmed Nafarrate. Thus far, there are 24 students enrolled, with only about five being of Basque descent and the rest being Spanish or language majors. The response has been positive, and the students are “happy, eager to learn, and are always looking for ways to challenge themselves.” The entire experience has been uplifting, and Nafarrate is grateful for it. “I am so thankful for the people whose interest made this possible—for CSUB, the KCBC, and for the community of Bakersfield for being so warm and welcoming.” Though Nafarrate will be returning to Santa Barbara in June, there is a strong hope that the course will continue and develop into a Basque studies program at CSUB. This will mean it would collaborate with and join the ranks of only three other colleges in the U.S. to do so: UCSB, Boise State University, and the University of Nevada, Reno.
People PlacesB•Town • Events In & •Around
Can’t Live Without
Ricardo Morales, Youth Mentor Coordinator for Garden Pathways, tells us what he just can’t live without. Microwave
That’s my go-to for making hot “home-cooked” meals.
I have access to the world around me in the palm of my hand.
I’m a media junkie and I’m always watching videos on YouTube, Vevo, wisinyandelpr.com, and just reading about things happening around the world. There comes a point when my iPhone just isn’t cutting it, so I turn to my MacBook Air.
2 Mom’s Food
Nothing better than a homecooked meal from mom, made with love.
I’m kind of a neat freak when it comes to appearance so a clean cut is a must for me. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always kept my hair in check.
I can’t stick to just one cologne, so I have a variety. Everyone needs to smell good 24/7 (Diesel Fuel For Life: that’s my go-to cologne).
4 Hair Gel
Can’t be smelling good and have your hair looking a mess!
Anytime I’m down, stressed, or in a bad mood, I turn to music to cheer me up! It’s simple self therapy! Now, if I really want to jumpstart my day I listen to Raq-C from Latino 96.3 in LA.
I’m always out and about in my Accord or my Audi and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Well, maybe the bus, but that’s not as enjoyable as your own vehicle.
They are comfortable and suitable for any occasion; dress them up or down and you are good to go!
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 19
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undreds of Model A Fords descended upon Bakersfield in a big way when the Central California Regional Group Jamboree blazed into town at the end of March. Our local chapter of the Model A Ford Club of America was happy to host this classic event, which included a tour of historic Kern County, a festive barbecue at Veterans Hall,
seminars for Model A owners, car games, Hubley car races (toy replicas of Model As), self-guided tours of downtown bakersfield, and even an awards banquet at Hodel’s. There was a lot to do...but if you missed it, you’re in luck. The club will once again host the Jamboree in 2020! If you’d like more information, visit bakersfield-mafca.com.
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Sunset Magazine awarded The Wildlands Conservancy the 2012 Environmental Award for the Best Education Program, and locally, Wind Wolves Preserve is a part of this conservancy which educates 25,000 children, as a whole, annually. They’re helping kids step away from the Wii and step out into the fresh air while showing them how they can not only care for the natural beauty which surrounds them, but also how to care for themselves in relation to their environment. People of all ages can enjoy this wildlife experience. To find out how, visit them at www.wildlandsconservancy.org/ preserve_windwolves.html.
Did You Kn76othwat...
It was in July of 19 Liberty Bell the Kern County iginal) or (a replica of the ted ca di was officially de al. ni en during our bicent know is t no What you might e of only that our bell is on nited States. U e 100 in the entir unty
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People • Places • Events
hen a good dancer comes on stage with the power to possess your imagination and your emotions, you’re just gone. And that,” says Jana Morgret-Kirks with a conspiratorial laugh, “is very hard to teach.” The owner and instructor at Revolution Ballet Academy, Morgret-Kirks, at 27, is living her dream. Or at least half of it. “I always wanted to teach ballet,” she says. A dancer’s artistry and physical safety depend, she explains, on command of technique. Artistry can be discovered and mentored; above all it must be set free. Technique, MorgretKirks explains, “sets you free.” Jana Morgret-Kirks née Lenker grew up in Tehachapi. “I had great dance teachers there,” she states unequivocally. Among them was Broderick Wilson, a veteran of New York’s famed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. If it weren’t for Tehachapi’s dance community, she insists, she would not have gone to the Ashby Academy of Dance in Bakersfield. There she discovered the Royal Academy of Dance. Though the adjective “royal” might seem ludicrously aloof, it is anything but. Founded in London in 1920, the academy developed an accountable instructional system which held both dance as a high art form and the well-being of the dancer as their primary concerns. These two concepts are often mutu-
ally exclusive. The academy next received a Royal Charter to keep up the good work. Today, more than 250,000 students worldwide are enrolled in RAD schools under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth II. Patti Ashby taught MorgretKirks ballet from the ground up. “It was enthralling and exciting and so clear!” she recalls. Progress in RAD is determined by examinations. As in Fox-TV’s So You Think You Can Dance, students dance before a panel of international examiners. However, there is no audience to go berserk and your grade comes in the mail a few months later. Jana passed all her exams. Sasha Mallory, who came in second in the 2011 season of So You Think You Can Dance, “went through Advanced II curriculum with Ms. Ashby (There is no Advanced III). This gives you enormous mental stamina,” Morgret-Kirks laughs wickedly. “You can do anything!” Morgret-Kirks passed her Advanced II in 2003. Her advisors urged her to concentrate also on the second part of her dream: finding a job dancing for a professional ballet company. She wishes she had listened. “I was,” she pauses, “very immature.” She did however, enroll in RAD’s two year teaching program. It was a tough time in her life and it was not cheap. Patti Ashby could not help because of conflict of interest rulings. Retired from teaching, Ashby had become the RAD’s US National
Administrator which means, incredible as it sounds, that the head offices of the Royal Academy of Dance USA are in downtown Bakersfield. Morgret-Kirks’ lifelong struggle with dyslexia also helped to prank her. The letter from London ratifying her credential was so ornately written, she thought for two agonizing months that she had failed. In reality, she was one of only eight Americans to become RAD certified in 2009. Revolution Ballet Academy is one of approximately 100 RAD schools nationwide. “This month I have three students entering exams,” she says. “In three years none of them have failed. One has passed Advanced II.” She is a demanding teacher. “I tell them ‘I want you to be a good person. I want you to know about the art of dance. I want you to be an amazing, technically clean, beautiful, professional dancer. If that’s what you want.’ ” A great dancer, she concludes is “a healthy person, not an emotional psychological wreck damaged by the ugliness seen so often in the dance world. Otherwise,” she insists, “the art dies.”
By David Nigel Lloyd
“Technique sets you free.” — Jana Morgret-Kirks
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 21
Kern Facts From barrels to
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he enormous increase in oil production from 1902 to 1904 resulted in a complete demoralization of the market and brought not only the threat of bankruptcy to the producers, but general depression to all lines of business in Bakersfield, which, by that time, had become a distinctively oil town, recognized as the center of the oil industry of the state and chiefly dependent on that industry for its prosperity and growth. As a matter of fact, Bakersfield continued to grow and business remained reasonably good even during the summer of 1904, which saw the price of oil drop to the ruinous figure of eleven and two-thirds cents per barrel. But the air was blue with pessimism. On the street corners it was alternately predicted that consumption never would overtake production, and that the Kern River Field was going to water and its derricks would be sold for kindling wood in a few years more. But both prophecies failed. Kern River continued to produce, and following the organization of the Independent Oil Producers’ Agency, prices began to recover. In the spring of 1908, the Agency closed a contract with the Associated for sixty and one half cents per barrel, and a new oil boom began that presently filled Bakersfield to such a state of overflowing that visitors to the town were compelled to telegraph ahead at least twenty-four hours to secure any sort of sleeping quarters, either in the hotels or in the rooms, in private residences and elsewhere throughout the city, which the hotel proprietors had leased to meet the emergency.
Under such circumstances, a building boom was inevitable and in 1909 began a rush of construction that involved a total investment in residence and business buildings before the close of 1910 estimated at upward of $2,500,000. Quite as significant as the size of the investment was the fact that the buildings generally were of a better character than had been erected previously in the city’s history. The cost of the business buildings erected during this period ranged from $10,000 to $70,000, and the residences from $1,500 to $17,000. Among the business buildings built at this time are the Brower Building at Nineteenth and Eye streets, the Manley Apartments at Eighteenth and F, the Security Trust Company’s Bank at Eighteenth and Chester, Southern Hotel Annex on Twentieth Street, an additional story on the Southern Hotel, the Redlick’s Building at Eighteenth and Chester, the Willis Building on South Chester, the Rice Building and Baer Building on diagonal corners at Chester and Twenty-first, the Kosel Hotel, Herrington-Cohn Building, Bakersfield Garage, Southern Garage, Kern Valley Garage, Webster Garage, and extensive additions to the Mason & Flickinger Garage. The automobile business was in its glory. It is particularly worthy of note, also, that during this period a great number of well-todo Bakersfield people who had been living in apartments or rented houses, manifestly because they lacked a feeling of permanence and not from lack of means, cast their lot with the city by building handsome and expensive homes.
Source: History of Kern County, California by Wallace M. Morgan. Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California, 1914.
Photo provided by Chris Brewer
Among the business buildings built at this time was the Redlick’s Building at Eighteenth and Chester
In & Around B•Town
Moon’s Best Friend? K-10 Rover “Black” operating with groundpenetrating radar
ow’s this for “out-ofthis-world”? Three students at Bakersfield College were among 92 community college students across the nation chosen to participate in NASA’s 2012 National Community College Aerospace Scholars Program. The students will have the opportunity to design robotic rovers alongside NASA technicians by visiting either NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena or NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston in early May. There, they’ll be designing and testing their prototypes. So, congrats to Gillian Anteau, Corey Ferdinand, and Sean-Ryan Smith! For more information visit www.nasa. gov/education.
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o you know where we took e e’re trying to mak this photo? W ho w ls ca lo l you these harder for al town up and is th ow seem to kn d forth. Email us down and back an comments@ with your guess at azine.net. bakersfieldmag we’ll put If you’re correct, drawing your name into a ct a winand randomly sele correctly, ner. By guessing ce to you’ll have a chan rd from ca ft gi 0 win a $3 Russo’s Books!
of the : A pillar in front Last issue’s answer reet. St ic Center on 18th Bakersfield Mason www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 23
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It could be you...
A Bakersfield Magazine Winner that is! Lately, we’ve been giving out some great prizes, like VIP event tickets and gift certificates to great stores and restaurants. But we’ve still got one more surprise for our winners—their picture in the city magazine. These are the people who are VIPs to us. If you want to get in on the action, make sure you’re an A-List member so you can receive contest information. Visit bakersfieldmagazine.net for more information today!
Go Red Luncheon Gift Basket Gayle Baker Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra Tickets Chach English Gina Alfaro Jennifer Nolen Sherrie Lewis Loretta Madera Jack Hulson CSUB Casino & Auction Night Tickets Christina Melton Ophelia Morales James Nolen Connie Kapstrom
A-List Contest Denyelle Machado Valentien Restaurant
Stuff We Like Colleen Falke
Juliana’s Art Studio & Gallery
Jane Sheidle Cricklewood Secret Garden
Leticia Pimental Mystique Salon & Tanning
Jules at Café Med
Jane Bunk True Grit
Pop Quiz Winner Craig Holland
let ’s Shimmy!
24 Bakersfield Magazine
ash mob” ith the latest “fl w ep st in ht ig R king at have been ta dance crazes th d el sfi er Bak over YouTube, troupe, e nc da belly as, is Bahiyya Alm himmy bringing the S Thursday Mob to Third rk on at Mill Creek Pa n be a ca May 17th! You st hi ory and part of internet and children’s help women’s ing. charities by join for details. om .c mymob Visit www.shim
Weaving artistry meets the lowly gourd
To Bead or Not to Bead Dian Olmstead's passion started simply enough: she was seeking a way to bring greater meaning to the gifts that she gave to loved ones. Little did she know that this crafty venture would lead to an investment that has lasted for 20 years! “My kids were getting to the age where they could give their own gifts, but they didn't have very much money to do so,” Olmstead elaborated. “They came up with the idea that we would all exchange homemade gifts. I was already into knitting
Starting with just three pine needles, even her smaller baskets take about ten hours to complete! and crocheting, so everyone I knew had enough scarves and hats to last them a lifetime. I decided to try something new.” Her journey began with her taking traditional pine needle basket weaving classes in 1994 at Bakersfield College's Weill Institute. Under the instruction of Nella Johnson, Olmstead learned the Native American art of making beautiful baskets out of very basic materials. Her fervor for this new craft surpassed what she had imagined, and even after she had given her unique gifts to her friends and family, the baskets were starting to pile up! As her inventory grew, so did her ideas. Soon, her creations fea-
tured gourds as the center of her weaving. She also branched off into decorating cigar boxes, which showcased some of her incredible beading skills— designs that she brought to life on a loom that her husband, Len, made for her. In 1999, she and Len started their own business, Needle and Loom, where they specialize in Dian “bridging traditional with modern” art forms. They already had an office where there were drawers filled with bags of everything from dried nutshells and flowers to pinecones, a loom, and shelves full of Olmstead's work. Her art does not come without hard work, though. Starting with just three pine needles and building up from there, even her smaller baskets take about ten hours to complete. And those are some of the simpler projects. The gourds are where a lot of her time is devoted to. The process begins by first purchasing the gourds from a gourd farm. Olmstead then has to cut the tops off with a small handsaw in whichever design that catches her whimsy at that time so that she can scrape the inside until the gourd is clean and smooth. Some gourds may have just a simple rounded off top while others will dip and curve to make a distinctive pattern. When the gourd is ready, she then takes a Dremel and begins to make holes that
will match up with what she intends to do with the design. These fine holes are what she uses to attach her rows of pine needles to the gourd. She weaves either linen thread or artificial sinew—the same material she uses to connect her rows of needles in her baskets—over such rows and through the holes so that the needles look like a natural extension of the gourd. Needless to say, it requires some dexterity. Learning “from personal experience with outdoor shows, because the wind can knock those babies right off the shelf,” Olmstead pours fiberglass into the bottom of the gourds to give them enough weight to keep them sturdy and in place. Next, she dyes the gourd with special gourd dye (which is transparent so that the characteristic spots and imperfections of the
gourds are still visible), and, finally, sprays the piece with a finish. This is all before adding her pine needle coils, leather pieces, feathers, beads, dried flowers, rope, antlers, or whatever else inspires her creativity. The larger gourds can take over 20 hours to complete! She sells her goods in different parts of Oregon and Texas and Olmstead is now teaching her own gourd and pine needle art classes at Bakersfield College through the Levan Institute. “I have come full circle. I love sharing what I do, and I love getting compliments,” she grinned. And with the beautifully detailed work that she produces, compliments are never hard to come by.
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26 Bakersfield Magazine
Krista Dumatrait, 27 Occupation: Stay-at-home mom Are you a Bakersfield Native? I moved here from Valencia when I was a week old. Is there a style product that you absolutely can’t live without? Concealer. Just a little in the right spots makes a huge difference in my makeup. Do you think Bakersfield has a style? I think it does. For the most part, it’s casual, but with a western flair. Describe your personal style. Fun and girly! But I like to mix it up, so anything goes. How long does it usually take you to get ready in the morning? Around 45 minutes...which isn’t very long.
Fitted jeans have a much cleaner, neater look
Is there a celebrity or person in your life that you get your style from? Scarlett Johansson. She has a sexy, yet classy, look to her. What are you wearing? A dress from Apricot Lane. How do you personalize your ‘business’ look? I will wear a basic black bottom, like a pencil skirt or slacks, but add a colorful blouse to make the look pop. What are your favorite places to shop in Bakersfield? Apricot Lane and Forever 21. What is your favorite item of clothing? My Rock Revival Jeans. What is the biggest fashion mistake you have made? In high school, for some reason, I thought I looked cute when I wore overalls. Are you a bargain hound? Of course. I love to find a deal on something that was once twice the price. What mistakes do you think men make when they dress? Baggy jeans. Fitted jeans have a much cleaner, neater look.
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Personal Stats Name: Nelson Varon Age: 84 Birthplace: Manhattan, NYC Title: Musician; Author; Owner, Kern Piano Mall
How he got started: After graduating high school in 1945 and trying his hand in a few vocations (including engineering, education, and sales), Varon realized that the only constant in his life was music. More specifically, playing music. His skills on the piano and organ soon landed him a position traveling the country with his own band, aptly called Nelson Varon and His Orchestra, during the mid-1950s, playing beside vaudeville acts, other musicians, and circus performers.
We’re guessing he never misses a beat.
His heroes: While there’s no one in particular that Varon views as an industry hero, he does get satisfaction from being in the same business, and playing on the same stage, as greats like Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and Benny Goodman during his time as an organist in New York City.
Career highlights: For a guy like Varon, who has written 12 musical instruction books (including the arrangements), developed a universally-recognized method for learning music (the Play Now Method), and started and later sold a music magazine, there are quite a few highlights. Mainly, that he was one of a select few organists to have the chance to play at the Picadilly Hotel in Manhattan and, here’s the “kicker,” Radio City Music Hall in its heyday.
Varon realized that the only constant in his life was music. More specifically, playing music.
His favorite part of the industry: Varon was playing on stages during the height of organ and big band music, which afforded him the chance to play alongside the likes of Ginger Rogers. Not to mention, this was a time when audiences were looking for entertainment and really wanted to see a good show. The challenge of coordinating the organ music during a show kept him busy and the star sightings (including Richard Burton in the bar of the Picadilly), kept him enraptured.
What he’d still like to accomplish: Varon wants to expand his current store, Kern Piano Mall, and start teaching lessons again for his patrons. For a guy who played in Art Mooney’s Big Band and knew Lil’ Jack Little and comedian Chuck McCann, that’s saying something.
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Shay Mu単oz 30 Bakersfield Magazine
Mixing Things Up
R I S K T A K E R S
By Tracie Grimes
recision Pharmacy, a locally-grown specialty pharmacy, has beaten the odds and turned what could have been just a sleepy little Bakersfield business into a leader of the medical compounding (preparing, mixing, assembling, packaging, or labeling of a drug or device according to a doctor’s specifications to meet a patient needs) industry. And Patrick Wade couldn’t be happier that the leap of faith he took in 2006, when he acted on his “ah-ha moment,” turned into a kind of Cinderella story. “I saw an opportunity,” Wade says, noting that the prospect of meeting the needs of a minute niche by starting something with his own unique vision was his driving force. It would be risky because not only would he, a non-pharmacist (Wade graduated from UCLA with a degree in international economics with a focus on Germany), be starting a highly specialized pharmacy, but his entire operation would center on a niche so specific, few entrepreneurs were lining up behind the starting gate. His brain-child would focus on equine compounds, hundreds of formulations created explicitly for use on horses, and his specialty pharmacy would be doing most of its business out-of-state. Although he was confident, he wasn’t without his doubts. “I remember thinking, ‘Is this the dumbest idea of all time?’ ” Wade recalls, smiling as he thought back on the
Patrick Wade Precision Pharmacy Founder impetus behind the start of Precision Pharmacy. But he had a plan and a bit of working knowledge about the compounding pharmacy business (having worked at another local compounding pharmacy for a year before venturing out on his own), so it was off to the races. It was a calculated risk, says Wade, but one he almost missed completely. It wasn’t easy to leave a paying job to start something that may or may not work. And he already had a taste of what life was like without any viable means of support. “After I graduated from UCLA, I used all the money I got from relatives at graduation to go backpacking across Europe. It wasn’t until I was heading back to the States that I realized that I had no home, no car, no job, and no money,” he explains, laughing at the memory. >>
Although he was confident, he wasn’t without his doubts. “I remember thinking, ‘Is this the dumbest idea of all time?’” Wade recalls, smiling as he thought back on the impetus behind the start of Precision Pharmacy. www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 31
“ The gap we fill is huge. We compound a huge swath of antibiotics, de-wormers, antiinflammatories for anything from polo ponies and $200,000 race horses to backyard horses.” –Patrick Wade
After crashing at a friend’s house in southern California for a while, he found out about a marketing job opening at a pharmacy in Bakersfield. “I’d grown up in Bakersfield (a fifth-generation Bakersfield resident, as a matter of fact!), went to BC before heading down to UCLA, still had family here, and was happy to come back home.” So back to the Golden Empire he headed in 2005 and hit the streets of Bakersfield as a compound pharmacy marketing executive. It wasn’t long before Patrick noticed veterinarians were calling and asking for compounds on a fairly regular basis. He saw his golden opportunity almost immediately and began to formulate a plan for his own foray into the pharmaceutical compounding business. “I teamed up with the manager (Bart Tipton) of the pharmacy I was working at, and we hit the ground running,” Wade says, adding that he has since bought out Tipton’s interest in Precision Pharmacy. They started operations in 2006, and getting out of the gate was no walk in the park. Financing was tricky. Wade had to pour what little savings he had into the venture, borrow money from his mom and a work-out partner, and place a hefty bet that he would be able to pay the money back in a reasonable amount of time. Financing the business was hard enough, but Wade soon found out that financial risks were always going to be a part of the entrepreneurial world. Having to deal with the monetary details of operations can be tricky and humbling, as Wade soon found out. He remembers one of his most distressing moments of panic. “I never had, nor 32 Bakersfield Magazine
have I since, felt as completely humbled as the day the bank called me to tell me that I didn’t have enough money to cover the payroll that was coming up in the next few days. “I had failed to take into account the lag time in accounts receivable. You see, I had to pay for all the compounding products before they would ship, but payment for the medications we made from those compounds would take several weeks. I was literally out of money, so I had to go to the bank with my tail between my legs, hand over a fist full of credit cards, tell them, ‘OK, try putting $500 on this one and $500 on that one’ until I could come up with enough money on credit to meet payroll. I had to max out five credit cards. That was the lowest of the lows.” It was definitely an “uh-oh” moment, but Wade did what any true entrepreneur would do: take on the financial risk himself. Precision Pharmacy not only stayed in business and grew from 5 employees to 35; it’s become a national leader in the equine medication compounding business. “We’re one of the biggest in the country,” Wade says, proudly gesturing to the wall in his office covered with business licenses from states across the nation. Although Precision Pharmacy does service local veterinarians and horse owners, most orders come from states like Kentucky and Pennsylvania, where the big horse ranches are. “Nothing we make is manufactured by any big pharmaceutical companies. Even though we receive orders from vets who are treating thousands of horses, it’s just not financially feasible for the big pharmaceutical companies to make these kinds of compounds because each order is so unique.”
And every order is an “emergency,” Wade adds. “Vets are treating viruses, exhaustion, ovulation, mares that are folding, nursing, or weaning and they need the medications ASAP. Practically every order is followed by ASAP. “The gap we fill is huge. We compound a huge swath of antibiotics, de-wormers, anti-inflammatories for anything from polo ponies and $200,000 race horses to backyard horses.” And they have filled prescriptions for some pretty famous names in horse-racing circles. “Although I can’t give out any names because horses are protected by the same medical privacy laws that people are, we’ve compounded medications for a horse that not only won the Kentucky Derby, the horse won another of the Triple Crown Races, too,” Wade says, explaining that the Triple Crown Races are a big thing in horse racing, and that no horse has won all three since the ‘70s. He added the vet ordered a specific mixture of vitamins that treated the horse for exhaustion so the horse could run in another race after winning the Derby. Walking around Precision Pharmacy’s 3,000 square foot facility and you quickly understand why Wade is so willing to take on his next huge risk: moving to a 10,000 square foot plant. Every inch of the pharmacy’s current office is taken up by boxes, sterilizing equipment, compounding products, bottles, syringes, and anything else you would find in a compounding pharmacy. A pleasant, sweet-smelling scent wafts through the air; the aroma of apples mixed with peppermint. “You have to flavor the medications or the horse will refuse it or just spit it out, just like a human would,” Wade explains. Four or so pharmacists (the number of pharmacists on staff fluctuates, depending on demand) and 30-something other employees work to create, sterilize, and ship Precision Pharmacy products. When going through the mixing areas, Wade explains the process is “pretty similar to cooking. You’ll see mixtures boiling, stirring, simmering, just like you would in a kitchen.” And precision is in the pharmacy’s name for a reason. “It’s so important that we check, double check, and test our compounds before they go out,” Wade emphasizes. “Not only would I never forgive myself if we hurt even one animal by shipping something sub-standard, but we would be wiped out of business overnight.”
Precision reduces the risk of improper formulations or contamination by making sure that prescriptions are checked by different sets of eyes, medical containers are sterilized to the nth degree, and samples of each batch are tested before they are sent out, he says. “Everyone who works here is in this together, so we do whatever we need to do to make sure our medications are top-notch, and that we’re meeting or exceeding regulations,” Wade says, proudly adding that he hired the right people for his Precision team. “I appreciate their hard work so much and I try to make this a fun place to work. Every six months or so we do something
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Precision is in the pharmacy’s name for a reason. “It’s so important that we check, double check, and test our compounds before they go out,” Wade emphasizes.
fun, like go to a big race or play laser tag. I’ve also included an employee break room in our new facility that is pretty much like a studio apartment.” Looking toward the future, Wade sees regulatory issues posing a risk to Precision’s local growth. “The state [of California] is a pretty hard state to do business in. They don’t quite know what to do with us, so they regulate us like they would a pharmacy for humans. We have to use a certain font and size to type instructions on each prescription and we have to put the horse’s name on it, as though the horse is going to take the medicine himself. It’s like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.” But Wade isn’t really that worried. He’s planning to stick it out for the long term; and if that means he has to pony up to meet payroll, expand, or meet regulations, so be it. After all, most true entrepreneurs have to put the cart before the horse every once in a while. v
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www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 33
34 Bakersfield Magazine
OUNTY C N KER
~An y~ r Ongoing o t s i H Chronicle of Our We are proud to present part two of our ongoing chronicle of the people who built Kern: They came from different parts of the country, and even different parts of the world. They brought with them dreams and worked hard until they became reality. This section is dedicated to these pioneers; the famous and notso-famous names associated with Bakersfield and Kern County. It also serves as an homage to the longstanding and family-owned businesses that have shaped the community we call home, without which our county wouldnâ€™t be the same. Kern County Generationsâ€ŚOur past, present, and future.
o www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 35
“It happened one day, about noon, going towards my boat, I was exceedingly surprised with the print of a man’s naked foot in the sand. I stood like one thunderstruck, or as if I had seen an apparition…” Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
SHAPERS II: KERN COUNTY FAMILY
36 Bakersfield Magazine
This Town Could Use a Good Architect Glance at the skyline or simply take a drive along Bakersfield’s main thoroughfares and you encounter the impact of Orville Lee Clark upon the city. The story begins in the Bay State, birthplace of Orin Clark whose family line had roots in colonial Massachusetts, and who migrated to Ohio’s Cuyahoga County. From most extant accounts, the remainder of his life was taken up in peaceful pursuit of small farm ag-
Orville Lee Clark
riculture, with one valiant interruption of service during the Civil War, in which he displayed (Wallace M. Morgan’s phrase in History of Kern County, California) his “patriotic character.” That charac-
contracting. He moved to Los Angeles in 1903. His younger brother, Orville Lee, was born March 10, 1883 in Cleveland. The boy’s mother died when he was still an infant. Orville Clark was Photo courtesy of Kern County Museum
hen Robinson Crusoe saw that single footprint in the sand, his response was fear. He stood “thunderstruck” as if he had seen a ghost. He assumed, for 18 years, that he had been alone. No such explanation can be ours. No ghosts are involved in the creation of our landscape. The legacy of Kern families extends far beyond street signs. The footprints of Bakersfield’s pioneers appear not in sand but in wood, concrete, steel, and in the acquired traditions of vision, hard work, determination, and enterprise. The selection here is of five families, with the surnames Clark, Burke, Tevis, and Ming. Each family made distinct contributions and left indelible marks on Bakersfield and Kern County. They came from Ken-
tucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, and from as far away as China and Ireland. Their footprints are all around us if only we look.
Photo courtesy of Kern County Museum
“What? Have you any sense of direction at all? Where are you? Burke Hill? Let me make it easy for you. When you get back into town, take Ming Avenue and go all the way to Ashe. Take a right in the direction of Stockdale, then a left on Tevis Drive. You’re right there.”
By Gordon F. Lull
The original Mercy Hospital building was designed by Orville Clark, c.1920. ter was passed along to two of his sons. Wallace W. Clark, born in Cleveland, Ohio, joined the Ohio Fifth Infantry at the age of 15 serving, like his father, with distinction— he was wounded several times—for three years as a volunteer with the Union Army. After the war ended, he worked in Ohio and Michigan in the lumber industry, building trade and
raised and educated in the Cuyahoga County area and, after high school, he studied mathematics and architecture at the University of New Lyme and apprenticed with a prominent architect. The accounts differ on why, after achieving academic distinction, he became a carpenter. While Wallace Morgan reports that “a breakdown in health”
The footprints of Bakersfield’s pioneers appear not in sand but in wood, concrete, steel, and in the acquired traditions of vision, hard work, determination, and enterprise.
under his direction…” Among those buildings designed and built by Orville Lee Clark: the original Mercy Hospital, the Bakersfield Club building, Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company building, Maricopa school house, the Hotel Koesel, Decatur Hotel, Hotel Olcovich, the Dixon Apartments, Taft’s Conley school, the Delano Hotel, Bakersfield Iron Works, Bakersfield Garage (second story), New Southern Garage, Massena Hotel Annex, Kern County Jail, Caledonia Masonic Lodge, Bakersfield High School gymnasium, and numerous private residences. Clark remained in Bakersfield until 1924, when his growing business concerns—his architectural projects extended to Nevada and northern California, and he operated a ranch in the Weedpatch area—prompted him back to Los Angeles. In 1935 he returned, managing his ranch and architectural projects until his death in 1940. The Brothers Burke In the western region of Ireland, in the province of Connacht, lies County
Photo Courtesy of archive.org
drove him to seek outdoor work, a profile of Clark in a Beale Memorial Library vertical file (Oil Industry: Bakersfield, California) asserts only that “he resolved to learn the trade mainly essential to his chosen profession.” In any case, Clark brought his combination of practical experience and academic training to California, arriving in Los Angeles in 1907 (probably joining his older brother there), and moving to Bakersfield sometime later. While living in Los Angeles, Clark took a trip one day to Bakersfield and, surveying that city and the small cities and towns around it, beheld a landscape pregnant with opportunities. He decided to relocate permanently. He opened a fleet of offices in the Fish building and launched his business as an architect and engineer. His enterprise won quick and wide success so that, in the words of one biographer (Bakersfield and Kern County: A Half-Century of Progress; Beale Memorial Library), “Most of the large buildings in this section of the state have been erected
cent’s College in Los Angeles; upon his return, he shouldered increasing responsibility in the supervision of his parents’ farming operations. This included buying adjacent properties and pre-empting 160 acres near the family homestead. Eventually, through his shrewd management, the family held title to more than one thousand acres in the Greenhorns. “One thing my husband used to tell me about Walter,” said Inge Burke, widow of Walter’s grandson Bill Burke (who was cousin to Jim Burke, Bakersfield automobile entrepreneur), “was how much he loved the cattle round-ups every spring. He knew every mother and every calf. He loved that.” In 1892, Walter Burke married Sarah Gill, a native of County Mayo, Ire-
Photo Courtesy of archive.org
Photo courtesy of Kern County Museum
Kern County High School Gymnasium, c.1915.
Mayo, a beautiful, windswept land, green and bog-covered, with haunting limestone landscapes. A century and a half ago, as the population of Ireland swelled to over eight million people, famine became common. From 1845 to 1847, an infestation of fungus devastated much of the potato crop upon which the Irish people depended for survival. Before it was over, a million souls were dead and a million more left their homeland. Among those who fled was Daniel Burke, who emigrated from Ireland and settled in Massachusetts in 1849. He became a bricklayer in his new homeland and worked that craft until making his way to California (by way of Nicaragua) in 1853. In the Golden State, he found work in the Sierra County mining communi-
Daniel Burke, Jr.
ties, prospering enough to buy land in Tulare County. He ultimately settled on land in the Greenhorn Mountains area, where he raised grain, vegetable crops, and cattle on his 300 acres. He and his wife Mary Vickers Burke had six children, two of whom (Walter and Daniel, Jr.) helped shape Kern County’s formative years. Walter, born March 7, 1865, was sent to St. Vin-
land, who bore him seven children: Mary, Nora, Teresa, Catherine, Margaret, Walter, and James. This last son fathered James “Jim” Burke, an employee since 1948 of Haberfelde Ford. Jim Burke purchased the dealership in 1964 and at its helm made it one of the largest Ford dealerships in the nation. Walter’s younger brother, Daniel Burke, born January 18, 1867 in >>
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 37
Photo courtesy of Kern County Museum
goods house transitioned him to the counting room where he became something of an accounting whiz. As the unidentified author of one Tevis mini biography put it, however, “Through untoward circumstances the house failed.” But, like Joseph in the Old Testament, Lloyd Tevis always seemed to rise in adversity: he was appointed assignee to the bankrupt company’s accounts. His accounting
Photo courtesy of Kern County Museum
Glenville, attended local schools through his 16th year, then worked on his father’s properties. In 1902, he acquired 40 acres south of Bakersfield where he raised a variety of table grapes and alfalfa. Wallace Morgan’s assessment of this Burke brother was that Daniel “was a man of
Jim Burke prominence in his time and locality, who had much to do with public affairs.”
38 Bakersfield Magazine
From Adversity to a Bamboo Grove In 1849, linked by marriage, a love of horses, and a passion for gold mining, two Kentucky-born brothers-in-law, James Haggin and Lloyd Tevis, came to California. Our concern here is with Tevis, and the family that followed after. Lloyd Tevis was born in March of 1824, the son of Samuel Tevis, a lawyer and circuit court clerk in Shelbyville, Kentucky. His ancestors had been among the early settlers in Maryland. After college, Lloyd Tevis studied law under his father and managed the Woodford County circuit court clerk’s office. But a funny thing happened on the way to the bar exam: Tevis, hungry to see more of the world than can be seen from the hills of Kentucky, made a trip out west, to California, the northern states, and to Canada. He settled in Louisville where he became a salesman of dry goods, a profession for which he acquired distaste. But the dry
Photo Courtesy of chris brewer
Tremendous bamboo grove at Stockdale Ranch, c.1912-28.
rine insurance office. But that company was ruined by losses in the great St. Louis fire of 1849. In the ashes, Tevis must have seen gold dust. Both he and Haggin made small fortunes mining in the Black Hills of North Dakota. They leveraged their earnings to mining operations in El Dorado County, California. But quickly becoming men of means, the rigors of mining were no longer
The magnificent Tevis Mansion. skills attracted the attention of bankers and merchants. He worked first at the Bank of Kentucky, then accepted an offer in St. Louis, working first in banking, then at a ma-
necessary. Money-making was. In Sacramento they formed the partnership Haggin & Tevis. Both practiced law and finance so successfully that their growing interests forced a relocation to San Francisco. Tevis became president of Wells Fargo Bank while Haggin began acquiring land for the partnership around Bakersfield. As the two began plans for developing their new holdings in Kern County, a conflict arose over water rights and irrigation. The bitter dispute spilled into the courts, pitting Tevis and his partner against Charles
Lloyd P. Tevis According to the Stockdale Country Club website (www.stockdalecc.com), which provided some of the information herein, the monthly dues for club membership totaled $5.50. And a round of golf for a mere outsider? One American dollar.
Photo Courtesy of chris brewer
Alfalfa harvesting at Stockdale Ranch. The Butterfly Life The surname “Ming” denotes at least two families, from very different backgrounds and places of origin, which have left significant marks on Bakersfield’s history. One, the Caucasian Ming, came from Missouri and distinguished himself as a cattle rancher and general contractor, then turned to public service. The second Ming family relocation story began in China’s Pearl River Delta. Floyd L. Ming was born in Missouri in 1912 and, as a young man of 24, came to Bakersfield in 1936, seeking to transplant his skills in farming into one of the nation’s emerging agricultural bread baskets. He worked for many years as a cattle and alfalfa rancher, supplementing that work with general contracting and real estate subdividing. What he achieved in terms of private enterprise he sought to transfer into
the arena of public service. In 1950, he ran for Kern County Supervisor in the Third District and won. His victory began a 12-year career in that office, including three stints as Board Chairman. His re-election announcements, despite the expected political self-promotion, did highlight what would today be enviable achievements. Consider: He played a major role in the development of Kern County’s water, airport, and freeway systems. Facing a rapidly growing Kern population, as well as devastating losses >>
Photo courtesy of Kern County Museum
Cup, named for the family patriarch, stands today as one of the coveted prizes of modern endurance riding. And William S. Tevis Jr. was called “one of America’s premier horsemen and polo players” (San Francisco Examiner, July 10, 1923). Business failure prompted William Tevis and his wife to return to San Francisco without finishing the new mansion. In 1922, however, the dream living ever on, he sent his son, Lloyd P. Tevis, to Bakersfield to deal with the abandoned ranch. Young Tevis saw opportunity amidst the misfortune. More precisely, he saw golf links and that is what he built. The new nine-hole course, called Stockdale Country Club, opened for business on February 18, 1923. Photo courtesy of Kern County Museum
Lux and Henry Miller. The struggle was ultimately settled with an agreement to share water. But a more important long-term outcome was the formation of the Kern County Land Company, which soon became the state’s largest land holding private entity. Lloyd Tevis’ son, William S. Tevis, proved himself the inheritor of his father’s financial skills, although not, perhaps, his sunny attitude toward difficulty. Using money he had earned through his own enterprises, he purchased 300 acres north and west of Bakersfield from Kern County Land Company. In the heart of this property he built a 9,000 square foot mansion. His wife, Mabel, used her knowledge of and skill in horticulture, bringing plants from around the world to the mansion’s grounds. In 1896, Tevis, himself an authority on Japanese bamboo varieties, planted a grove of bamboo trees (to become the famous Stockdale Grove). But the mansion ultimately changed hands and Tevis and his wife, in 1920, built a new mansion on property which now is home to the Stockdale Country Club clubhouse building. William S. Tevis distinguished himself in other ways. When the automobile craze hit Bakersfield at the dawn of the 20th century, Tevis became the first owner, driving a Locomobile. He passed along his skills in horsemanship to his son and grandson. The Lloyd Tevis
Floyd L. Ming, c.1962
“The Chinese people say this is a wonderful thing–they had lived a butterfly life. Butterflies mate for life; when one dies the other dies also.” —Mary Ming
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 39
from the 7.7 magnitude 1952 earthquake, Ming and his board colleagues engineered a $14 million improvement program without issuing one bond or spending one penny in deficit financing. In fact, after completion of the improvement program, taxes were held to that of pre-quake levels. Under his leadership, the city and county saw completion of the new Administration Building, Kern County Public Library, Meadows Field Airport Terminal, Kern General Hospital, Sheriff’s Administration building, and the near completion
of what then was the new civic center. Floyd Ming died September 29, 1963 at Wadsworth Veterans Hospital in Los Angeles, survived only, according to his obituary, by his wife, Kay Ming. The story of the second Ming family in Bakersfield began in 1874 when two young men, Leong Gee Ping and Leong Yen Ming, both 18, embarked upon a perilous journey from their villages in the Say Yup district of China. They boarded a small sailboat to the new world, hoping to find work building America’s rail system. The two-month journey, paid for by the Southern Pacific Railroad which needed laborers for its Central California project,
Photo Courtesy of kern county museum
Leong Yen and Ying Ming family, c.1910. occurred, in the words of Mary Ming, granddaughter-in-law of Leong Ming, in “unsanitary and overcrowded” conditions. “Many of their fellow passengers had died on the way,” she wrote (in a foreword to a book
on the history of the Chinese community in Kern County). The two men saw the death of many of their friends due to the dangerous and back-breaking work; nevertheless, they worked until the lines were completed (includ-
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ing the famous Tehachapi Loop). Then, with the money they had saved, set about a new enterprise. The two men pooled their money, a farm, and land. According to Mary Ming’s account, Yen Ming loved farming and pursued it with a passion. For his part, Gee Ping sold his interest and opened small merchandising and produce stores in downtown Bakersfield. Despite occasional financial setbacks (such as the 1893 flood), Ming’s farm prospered. It prospered so much in fact that, at the age of 36, he was a man with the means sufficient to marry. His wife was Ying Law from San Francisco. They raised nine children, six boys (including George
Ming, Mary’s husband) and three girls. Raising his family alerted Ming, however, to the fact that the burgeoning Chinese community in Bakersfield had no one to teach them Chinese language, culture, and philosophy. At his own expense, he paid for a San Francisco school teacher to relocate to Bakersfield. At the same time, he sent money home to China to build schools in his home villages. Several of the Ming sons, not fond of farming, set about opening produce stands throughout Bakersfield. For his part, Ming continued farming, and his support of Chinese culture, until his retirement in 1937. In that year, he returned to China to visit relatives. It
was an inauspicious travel time: the Japanese had started bombing runs on some of China’s larger cities including Canton. China was no longer “home” to Yen Ming. In 1941, Ying suffered a stroke three days before Christmas. Refusing to leave her side, Yen spent all three days in her hospital room. She died on Christmas Day in 1941. Yen Ming died two days later. Wrote Mary Ming, “The Chinese people say this is a wonderful thing– they had lived a butterfly life. Butterflies mate for life; when one dies the other dies also.”
So, how did it end for Mr. Crusoe? After fighting off wolves in the Pyrenees, he and Friday went to claim his fortune. But long before receipt of his riches, Defoe’s Crusoe had already learned the lesson of contentment. “All our Discontents about what we want,” wrote Defoe, “appeared to me to spring from the Want of Thankfulness for what we have.”
The footprints of generations past surround us. Better to follow than to fear.
Editor’s Note: Visit www.kerncountygenerations.com for more information on this feature.
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www.BakersfieldSpine.com www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 41
ny longtime Bakersfield resident knows the name Gundlach. That’s because generations of Bakersfield families have utilized this local plumbing business over the course of the 100+ years it’s been in town. Gundlach’s Plumbing was established way back in 1900 by Max Gundlach Jr. and his partner A.C. Wroot. The two decided to open up a plumbing repair shop on the corner of 20th and Chester streets under the name Gundlach & Wroot. It was later, in 1927, that Rees Jones bought into the business (for a grand total of $4,666) and shortly thereafter, the company expanded its services to include tinning and sheet metal work. One point of pride for ev-
After 112 years in service, Gundlach’s Plumbing has stayed true to its philosophy— provide great products and deliver individualized and outstanding customer service to each and every person that walks through the doors. eryone at Gundlach’s is that its state contractor’s license is No. 1338! Because that number is so low, employees still receive odd looks from customers when they see how low the number is. In 1930, the business was officially renamed and incorporated under the name Gundlach Plumbing and Sheet Metal Co. Ltd. It wasn’t long after that that the busi-
42 Bakersfield Magazine
ness relocated to 2324 Chester Avenue, the location of a former horse stable and automotive repair building. Four years later, in 1934, Cecil and Lee Jones joined their father’s business. The family worked together to continue to expand their services, bringing air conditioning services to their growing business. Cecil received training in New York at the Carrier factory. In fact, you can still find old water-cooled systems that were built from scratch by Cecil and Lee in some of Bakersfield’s older homes and buildings in town...and, yes, they are still running today. Unfortunately, Max Gundlach passed away in 1941. Shortly after, his widow, Gussie Gundlach, sold the remainder of the business to the Jones family. During the 1950s and 1960s, Gundlach’s became
one of the largest mechanical contractors in town. Just a few decades later, in 1985, the business relocated to 2313 K Street for a short time before moving to 1330 32nd Street. In April of 2004, Trent Jones (the son of Cecil Jones)
and his daughter, Jennifer Starbuck, sold the longtime family-run business to Ken and Shelly Wonderly. It was a great fit because Ken had been in the business for over twenty years and had worked for some of the largest mechanical contractors in the country.
Former Gundlach’s building - 2234 Chester Ave.
4415 Foster Avenue, Bakersfield, CA n 661-327-3052 www.GundlachsService.com
Gundlach’s Plumbing has brought “today’s technology with good old fashioned integrity” to Bakersfield residents countless times over during their 112 years in business. Under Ken’s leadership the company has expanded its state-of-the-art solutions for plumbing and air conditioning customers. At its current relocation of 4415 Foster Avenue, the company is continuing to build on a rich history and demonstrate a commitment to future growth. To this day, Gundlach’s offers its customers “today’s technology with good old fashioned integrity.” Gundlach’s has always been a family-owned company and that’s apparent with the current staff—there are four members of the Wonderly family working at the store. This local business has been involved in the building of the Bakersfield community since the beginning. Over the years, Gundlach’s has completed projects in locations such as Minter Field, St. Francis Church, Memorial Hospital’s maternity ward, and several local high schools. Not only have they had a hand in helping to construct the landscape of our town, but they also believe in giving back to the community. The company sponsors local children’s sports teams, supports churches, and has been involved in the annual “Fight for Air Walk” for the American Lung Association. The owners of Gundlach’s have allowed churches to use their building, and donate regularly to Church Without Walls, a nonprofit organization based in Oildale which focuses on assisting the homeless. The employees of Gundlach’s take pride in their
Max Gundlach (left) with business partners in showroom on Chester Ave.
Gundlach’s was one of the first to sell indoor plumbing fixtures in Kern County
Parts counter - 1930s work, and doing what’s right. Even though they have experienced a great amount of growth, they continue to demonstrate integrity in their work. The standards of
Gundlach’s performance are set exceptionally high, which is why they take so much pride in the warranties and the parts and services they offer to residents and com-
mercial clients alike. It’s not hard to see why the business has continued to grow over the years. The knowledgeable, friendly staff puts clients ahead of everything else, continuing a tradition started by Gundlach and Wroot way back in 1900. In addition to their dedication to customer service, the company also focuses on expanding its areas of expertise so that they can better serve the people of Bakersfield and Kern County. They can do it all. Everything from indoor plumbing to air conditioning and heating, Gundlach’s has been a pioneer of new technology in Kern County. This amassed knowledge of past and present has enabled the business to be one of the few companies able to make repairs in older homes without jeopardizing the vintage style. Also, Gundlach’s has received numerous certifications that continue to allow its technicians and plumbers to stay ahead of the game, making homes safer and more energy efficient by offering building energy analysis, HVAC installation/replacement/repairs, plumbing repairs, plumbing repipes, water heaters, and kitchen and bathroom renovations. Even though Gundlach’s has grown continuously over the past 112 years, the company anticipates even more growth over the coming years because it knows that residents of Kern County respect the high quality products and personal service that only Gundlach’s offers.
YEARS & GROWING
Established 1900 www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 43
or over 100 years, Snider’s Cyclery has been synonymous with friendly service, quality products, and a dedication to Kern County. These elements have been a part of the business since its inception thanks to founder George Lee Snider. Snider came to Kern City in November of 1886 with just $16 in his possession (though, in 1886, $16 went a bit farther than it would today). He began working at Kern County Land Company but shortly thereafter got a job in the machining department for the Southern Pacific Railroad. The skills he learned as a machinist helped him tremendously when he decided to enter into the bicyclist business. The business started very small in 1904, in a basement on the corner of Humboldt
This local cyclery, in business for over 100 years and providing the bicycles for many generations of Bakersfieldians, shows no signs of slowing down in the years to come. and Baker Street under the first bank in Bakersfield. At that time, the shop consisted of bicycles and talking machines (phonographs), but it wasn’t long before Snider expanded to a store on Baker. It was just a short time later, in 1913, that Snider built his own two-story building located at 958 Baker Street. Snider’s also holds the claim to being the first business within Kern County to sell Harley Davidson motor-
44 Bakersfield Magazine
mes John Panick, Ja
cycles. The reason for this was simple—George Lee Snider was involved in the Bakersfield Motorcycle Club and was noted as one of the most interesting members. Snider also served as a member of the Kern School Board of Trustees in the first special election as well as the regular election in 1911. While George Lee Snider passed away due to cancer on July 21, 1948, his son, Lloyd C. Snider, had taken over the family business in 1932 and had grown Snider’s into an early version of the store today. Instead of selling phonographs and motorcycles, Lloyd focused on bicycles and sporting goods. He also added locksmithing to the business in the 1940s. Lloyd often spent his weekends out at Hart Park, letting families rent bicycles for the afternoon. And in the ‘40s, this was a wonderful treat
Snider, and Ol
for local residents. Lloyd was also a charter member in the Racquet Club and the Bakersfield Country Club. On May 27, 1939, in Taft, California, Lloyd participated in the first bicycle tournament at Franklin Field. Lloyd raced Charles Faulkner on a high-wheeled
bicycle through a wall of fire! Lloyd was one of the first charter members of Kiwanis’ beginnings in Bakersfield in 1948. Lloyd also was one of the founders of the East Bakersfield Progressive Club. Just as Lloyd helped grow and develop Snider’s into a household name in Bakers-
958 Baker St. - 1907 George L. Snider, Lloyd & Loyota Snider(children)
2700 Union Ave., Bakersfield, CA n 661-324-4759 2700 New Stine Rd., Bakersfield, CA n 661-833-2700 www.SnidersCyclery.com
What started as a small operation in a Baker Street basement has grown into a Bakersfield mainstay with two locations and an impeccable commitment to service. field after his father, Lloyd’s son, James L. Snider, took over the family business in 1975 and mainstreamed the shop to only provide bicycles, accessories, bicycle repair, and a locksmith. And while the business has had three generations of owners so far, a total of four generations have been involved with the day-to-day operations. Throughout the long history of Snider’s in Bakersfield, there have always been family members working in the shop. The Snider family has been involved in supporting the Bakersfield community. James L. Snider was the President of East Bakersfield Merchants in 1980 and held the position until 1985. James was also one of the founding members of Kern Wheelman, along with other Snider’s employees including original Kern Wheelman President John Panick. Snider’s made sure to have Kern Wheelman as a separate entity and not connected to any one bike shop. James has participated in 32 graffiti clean-ups in our community and was also a member of the support crew in Race Across America. Clearly, Snider’s has supported bicycle racing since the 1930s, even before the “new era” of racing began. The business has always helped locals by sponsoring different types of races and safety clinics at schools throughout the years. Bicycles have been involved in the Snider heritage and the family is proud that they have been carrying them throughout their entire history. As a
Receiving a shipment of bicycles
958 Baker St. - 1915
Harley-Davidson repair shop - 1915 business, they are proud of the loyal customers and families that continue to patronize them year after year. They’ve even had some celebrity clients including David Copper-
field, Frank Gifford, Charles Napier, John Schneider, and Norm Hoffman. True, Snider’s has gone through many transitions throughout its 107-year his-
tory, including selling phonographs, guns, safes, motorcycles, sporting goods, lawn mower sharpening, model hobby kits, mopeds, exercise machines, and bicycles, but the passion has stayed true. The business has always stayed within East Bakersfield, having a few locations on Baker to later expanding to the Southwest in 1977, with manager John Panick at 5436 California Avenue, while they were building another location. They officially opened the next store at 2700 New Stine on December 21, 1985. Even after the Baker store burned down in 2001, they quickly rebuilt the shop on Union, opening in 2003. They still value the store as a family business here to serve Bakersfield. Every day, the employees welcome at least one customer who remembers buying their first bike at Snider’s. And they will continue to help customers of all ages in the following years. After all, bicycles are great for those trying to go green, trying to save some money on rising gas prices, or just trying to get some great exercise. Snider’s is happy to serve beginners to experts within the bike field. Everyone within the Snider’s family—including relatives and each and every employee—see the business continuing to thrive over the next 100 years. Bicycles have been a major way of transportation over the centuries and that won’t change. Neither will Snider’s commitment to amazing customer, and community, service.
YEARS & GROWING
Established 1904 www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 45
ighty-four years ago, Herbert P. Sears went from being a credit manager with Standard Oil to running his own collection and credit firm company. The times were much different back in 1928, and he may have never foreseen his venture surviving and transforming to remain current as time passed. With World War II raging, Sears started the company by basically working without pay for two years. When the war finally ended, however, the business began to flourish, and has been thriving since. The war wasn’t the only thing that brought revisions to the business. In 1941,
Herbert P. Sears Co., Inc. no longer involved in the operations of the business at this point, and the family was busy determining what the future held for H.P. Sears. They came to the agreement to sell the company to Collins and his wife, Terri, and the sale was consummated in January of 2010. The extreme makeover was just getting started! The foundation and strategy developed by Collins included several key elements, all designed with a focus to
& Patrick Collins
tant parts of reshaping H.P. Sears as a whole. This effort has provided the company with an out-
Their modern innovation and decades-old commitment to providing professional service has created the most efficient options for their valued customers. Sears combined his business with the Merchant Bureau. Herbert’s son, Jim, took over the leadership role for both companies in 1962 and relocated the business to 2000 18th Street, where it is currently located. Things were run as such until 2009, when the next big shift took place. Enter Patrick Collins, a new CEO to the company, hired by the Sears family to give the company an “extreme business makeover” while considering potential sales opportunities. Jim was
46 Bakersfield Magazine
Original Credit Center building at 1712 K St. improve their client’s cash flow and achieve a “best practices” standard for the collection industry. Improving technology, enhancing marketing materials (including a new logo, though the “credit cops” certainly were iconic, and a significantly improved website), a very aggressive training program, a new operations manager, Chris Thompson, and reconnecting with their industry associations were all impor-
standing foundation to continue and build the results for their clients and the success of their business. The investment in the platform has allowed them to not only serve their clients better, but to diversify the nature of their business in a variety of areas. They have grown the client types to include debt buyers and franchise clients. As they develop their medical and credit card business, their services include collec-
2000 18th Street, Bakersfield, CA n 661-325-5981 www.HPSears.com
tions for clients and portfolios throughout California, Texas, and Florida. At their roots, they are a Bakersfield and Kern County business with a wide variety of local clients – they are just expanding upon that effort. They remain committed to their community and are active in a wide variety of charitable and support activities, including downtown rotary, advisory boards for CSU, Mid State, and SBDC boards, and are chamber members. Terri is the immediate past president of the Junior League of Bakersfield, and active in the real estate industry with Watson Realty ERA. They continue to explore other opportunities to support their community. The focus 84 years ago was to provide a professional service to business. With their redefined focus on a clientdriven strategy, they look forward to continuing that effort, and are incredibly excited about the opportunities to come.
YEARS & GROWING
ince 1931 Trout’s Nightclub has attracted country music legends, local artists, and an eclectic demographic as this Greater Bakersfield fixture has not only survived the changing times and tastes of the region, but has also become a more rapidly growing enterprise than is apparent. This world famous nightclub honky tonk has served as not only a hang out for the likes of Merle Haggard, Freddie Hart, Billy Mize, and Buck Owens, but has also showcased the talents of nearly every local country music legend on its original stage. It all began in Posey, California when Ralph
Embracing our local history, and building for the future of the community, Trout’s Nightclub isn’t just a honky tonk anymore! Trout borrowed $1500 from his brother-in-law to purchase Red’s Place—which became the first Trout’s. Trout had worked the oilfields while looking for a way to move up in life. This seemed to be the answer, and he was soon clearing over $100 a day in the early 1930s. No one knew, however, that he had started something that would far surpass his initial expectations. Later, Ralph purchased the Twin Peppers, located across the street from the current spot. The place was hailed as “modernistic,” being the first
two-story commercial building in the area, featuring card playing, a bar, and, reportedly, a brothel. The biggest changes that have taken place are more recent than some may realize, due to the addition of visionary businessman, Rockwell, in 1999. Under his direction, there are currently about 131 scheduled activities every month, spanning everything from CPR classes to live traditional country, rock, and blues music every day. Rockwell promotes the best
Post Office & Market is now Trout’s
Rockwell & Vern Hoover - 2007 of Bakersfield. He films, edits, underwrites, and produces his own weekly television show, The Rockwell OPRY, which airs every Sunday on Brighthouse Network Channel 10 at 6:30 p.m. and features local businesses and local topics of interest. He is also on the RFD-TV network
“TruCountry” show, which features him as co-host and beyond. Passionate about our community, Rockwell is dedicated to building pride in, and support for, not only his own business but for all local businesses and the music community. He was also selected
to receive the “Adult Role Model” award from our Kern County chapter of the Red Cross. His accomplishments include climbing Mt. Whitney twice with charity guitars and bicycling 50 miles to the Badwater Basin, Death Valley to raise blood donations for a local young lady. You will also see Rockwell as Santa each year at Christmas to deliver toys to families in need. 2012 Trout’s will not only be home to Kern County’s newest television network, the “Rockwell Broadcasting Corporation,” and newly renovated kitchen, but will also continue holding the world record status for providing more free live music and scheduled activities than any single nightclub in all of America, as a living museum open 365 days a year. Follow Rockwell on Facebook at TheRockwellopry@yahoo.com and Rockwell’s Trout’s & The Blackboard Stages.
GROWING 805 N. Chester Avenue, Bakersfield, CA n 661-399-6700 www.TroutsBlackboard.com Established 1931 www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 47
Greenlawn Funeral Homes, Cemeteries, and Cremations
reenlawn Memorial Park is one of our community’s longest-running mortuaries. Ed Helm thought of opening an additional interment facility back in the late 1920s. Helm had already established Bakersfield Monument Company in 1927 and realized that as Bakersfield grew, so too would the need for a well-run interment property. So, Greenlawn Memorial Park was established in 1931, and, in 1934, the planning process began for Greenlawn Mortuary. In 1941, Ed, himself, turned the first shovelful of earth for what would become
came to work for Greenlawn. Meanwhile, Ed Helm’s only child, Marshall E. Helm, began working for Greenlawn in 1956, right out of high school. Under Marshall’s guidance, Greenlawn Southwest opened in 1978 and Wood Family Funeral Service, Inc. joined the family corporation in 2007. Today, Michael Helm, Sandy Helm Moffett, and Kristi Lovelace make up the third generation of Helms actively working at Greenlawn, while Jim La Mar (having been with the company since 1990) Marshal Helm and friends at Greenlawn cemetery on River Blvd. and Panorama
Jim La Mar & M ark Anspach at Celebration of Li the new fe Center, Greenl awn Southwest
With a new Celebration of Life Center and a continued focus on providing the best products and services to Kern County families, Greenlawn has big goals for the coming decades. the location of the chapel. Greenlawn has grown substantially since those early days, both in property and in employees, including Mark Anspach. Anspach is the grandson of Charles L. Anspach, a man who came to own the Hopson-Anspach Family Mortuary in 1945. Clifford Hopson built the mortuary in 1923, and Charles Anspach started working there in 1937—his son, Charles L. Anspach, would become the owner in 1970. When Charles L. Anspach sold the business, Mark continued to manage the company until 2004, when he
48 Bakersfield Magazine
Early Hopson-Anspach funeral home serves as President and Mark Anspach is the manager of Greenlawn Southwest. Michael began his career in 2001 as a licensed funeral director. Sandy came to work for the company in 2007 as the Public Relations Manager/Special Events Coordinator. She is currently working toward
a college degree with plans to become a licensed funeral director. Kristi joined the family business in 2009 and oversees all customer relations for the company, as well as maintaining the websites. The community ties run deep. The Anspach family is proud to have two generations
of Garces High School graduates, as well as being members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. Marshall Helm was an officer and member of the Active 20-30 Club and Jim La Mar serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations in the community including Optimal Hospice, Breakfast Lions, and Teen Challenge. Greenlawn’s new Celebration of Life Center will be able to accommodate services with upwards of 500 people, and the reception area will allow families to gather after the service without having to go to another location. It was the hope of Ed Helm that, for generations to come, Greenlawn Memorial Park would be a place that residents of Kern County would be drawn to, not only because of its physical beauty, but because of the dedication of the people who would work there. It’s looks as though Greenlawn aims to do just that.
2739 Panama Lane, Bakersfield, CA–FD #1347 n 661-834-8820 3700 River Blvd., Bakersfield, CA–FD #779 n 661-324-9701 www.GreenlawnMortuaryandCemetery.com
YEARS & GROWING
hile this iconic Bakersfield flower shop has gone through many changes since its opening in 1934, those changes have helped Log Cabin Florist become the beloved local store that it is today. The original owners of Log Cabin Florist—initially known as Jimmy Riggins’ Flowers till the name change in 1946— were James T. and Eva Riggins, and they weren’t exactly green when it came to peddling flowers. Eva was known for her business savvy, and that proved to be especially helpful in war-time. James had left her and a friend in charge of everything while he had left to fight in World War II, and the two women went to work to make the store into something the family could be
Log Cabin Florist went right back to Log Cabin Florist. He and his wife, Terry, started expressing their interest in owning the business to the Riggins. It all became final that year, and with new owners also came big changes! The Beckwiths were quick to realize that renting a location for Dawn & Steve Ba the business was umgarten, Jerr y & Terr y Beck with not profitable, and they located a double field. Interestingly, the Kenlot on the corner of 19th & nedy flowers seem to never Q streets being sold by a lo- have been paid for! Jerry cal judge. They hired an ar- and Terry spent 39 years chitect and builder and be- making Log Cabin Florist the
The shop has a nationwide reputation as a go-to florist and has been voted “Best Florist in Kern County” for over 16 years. proud of. While her husband was gone, Eva had contracted with Minter Field in Shafter to make corsages for women— something which was quite profitable during the war. James’ only question upon returning was, “Where did all the money come from?” The Riggins enjoyed their blossoming business up until the year that they sold it to a longtime employee and his wife in 1968. Jerry Beckwith had been delivering flowers for the couple since 1960 and left only to serve in the military. When he returned, he
gan a seven-month project, which they kept close tabs on from a short distance away. Brought with them was the front counter made of logs from the original building. It remains, to this day, a focal point when entering through the front doors. The couple had some very impressive patrons during their run, including Ronald Reagan and Bobby Kennedy, who were placing orders for floral delivery in Bakers-
most well-known floral business in Bakersfield—not to mention, the largest. It was during their last few years that they began the process of selling the business to their manager and partner, Dawn Baumgarten. In July of 2010, Dawn and her husband, Steve, became sole owners of Log Cabin Florist, only the third owners of the 78-yearold floral institute. Dawn was no stranger to the flower business, as she
had spent a few years running her own flower shop on the east side of town. She eventually returned to Log Cabin Florist and developed her management and marketing skills to perfection. Eventually the business grew to almost 30 employees and the vast space that once worried the previous owners was filled to capacity. So while the owners have changed, some things have held strong throughout the years, like knowledge, service, and gorgeous arrangements. All of Log Cabin Florist’s previous and current owners agree that good customer service, along with quality product, is what has kept this company at the forefront of its industry, as well as being a Top 150 FTD Florist in the nation. Everyone on staff looks forward to serving loyal Bakersfield customers for another 78 years.
GROWING 800 19th St., Bakersfield, CA n 661-327-8646 Established 1934 www.LogCabinFlorist.com www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 49
Wattenbarger Do-It Center
ackson Clear (J.C.) Wattenbarger brought his wife, Mamie, and their three sons, Ernest, Lloyd, and Jim, to visit Kern County in 1926. Although this was to be a short family visit, they stayed in Bakersfield and would never return to Tennessee. They left their home, sawmill, and construction business behind to establish their new life in the North of the River area. Since J.C. had experience in construction, he began building and established a new construction business
Honoring J.C. Wattenbarger’s respectable values of hard work and honesty, they have been building a reliable name in Bakersfield for 76 years! in Oildale. For 10 years, he built homes and commercial buildings in the area. J.C. later built storage buildings for his business, located at 1709, 1705, and 1707 North Chester Avenue. Lumber was generally not available to civilians during World War II, but J.C. began selling lumber to people in the area from his storage buildings. It was J.C. who later named the street he subdivided and built most of his houses on. It became known as Linda Vista.
50 Bakersfield Magazine
J.C. and his wife opened their first hardware store in 1946 at what used to be the location of his storage buildings. Their son, Ernest, had graduated from UC Davis and UC Berkeley and had taught Agriculture at Tulare Union High School, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and, later, at Bakersfield High School. Ernest quit teaching to join his family in the lumber/hardware business. Lloyd had just returned from the war and service at the Pentagon and
(front l-r) Don
Wattenbarger, Be tty Wattenbarge r, and employees
Original location 1705-1709 N. Chester Ave. - 1946
J.C. & Mamie Wattenbarger, original founders so he also joined the family business. The couple’s third son, Jim, did not accompany the family, but continued to work in his contracting business. The buildings were integrated to sell a complete line of repair and construction materials. Watten-
barger met the construction needs of the area and supplied lumber from their own sawmills. To meet the growing demand for building materials, a new store was constructed across the street from the original one in 1954 at 1616 North Chester Avenue.
1616 N. Chester Avenue, Bakersfield, CA
This year marks their 76th year in operation, and the business is currently maintained by Ernest Wattenbarger’s family. The Wattenbarger name is well-known for quality in building materials and construction in our area. Today, Wattenbarger is the only family-owned lumber business in Bakersfield. They take pride in their employees’ expertise in product and friendly customer service to make every shopping experience a pleasant one. They also take pride in their community, and give back in a variety of ways, like offering The Ernest and Audene Wattenbarger Memorial Scholarship to deserving applicants! Come in and see their extensive selection of brick, block, stone, lumber, hardware, and paint.
YEARS & GROWING
Baldwin-Georgenton Insurance Agency, Inc.
illiam T. Baldwin was born in Bakersfield in 1916. He went to Kern County Union High School and graduated from UCLA in 1935. He returned to Bakersfield in 1937, obtained his insurance license, and started his practice of helping individuals with their life insurance needs. In 1941, he was drafted into the U.S. Army where he served until 1946. Upon returning home after WWII, Bill reentered the insurance business. In 1948, Bill Baldwin became the first Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) in Kern County. This designation is
ton Insurance Agency and incorporated in 1977. Baldwin worked at the agency until he passed in 1994. Bill Georgenton obtained his CLU education in 1975. During the next several decades he grew the business substantially by way of expanding the client base and offering service, knowledge, and dedication to his clients that were second to none. He was an outstanding member of the community and was a part of many organizations, including the Bakersfield Active 20-30
A decades-long commitment to meeting the insurance needs of their clients by providing real world solutions. given to those who have studied extensively and worked hard to understand life insurance and how to best provide solutions for their clients. Bill was a past president of the Active 20-30 Club, a member of the Downtown Rotary and Masonic Lodge. As he grew the Wm T. Baldwin Insurance Agency, it was not long before he realized that he needed a partner to help maintain and continue to grow the business. In 1975, he brought in Bill Georgenton to help him with the health insurance side of the business. As an agent for Aetna, Georgenton was familiar with health insurance. The name of the organization was changed to Baldwin-Georgen-
Club, Rotary South, and was a board member for Stockdale Country Club. The next generation started working at the agency in 1989. Georgenton partnered with his daughter, Tamara, and they worked side-by-side as a father-daughter team for more than 20 years.
Tamara continued the professional tradition and obtained her CLU designation in 2003. Her primary task was running the operations of the agency. Her community involvement includes Jr. League of Bakersfield, EAKC, and the Board of Religious Education at St. Philip’s Church.
Bret Cross has served as sales manager since 1996, and is a member of Rotary West and past president of the Active 20-30 Club. With Bill Georgenton’s retirement in 2010, Tamara has since partnered with her brother, Bill Jr. Before starting at the agency in 2007 he got a BS in Business at USC and his MBA at BU. Bill Jr. maintains the accounts of numerous clients and has taken control of the 401k plans that are represented by the agency. Today they continue the Bills’ legacy at the agency that has become synonymous with local insurance needs over the years. It’s the agency’s goal to continue serving the community by supplying their knowledge of the insurance and financial industry, and to respond to their clients challenges with real world solutions.
GROWING 4200 Truxtun Ave., #102, Bakersfield, CA–Lic. #0764682 n 661-327-8010 Established 1937 www.BaldwinGeorgenton.com www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 51
Clerou Tire Company, Inc.
here is no retirement in sight for the Clerou family—whose local business now has a third generation at the forefront. Louis Clerou began the legacy that is Clerou Tire Co., Inc. on 17th and K streets in 1942. After serving in World War II and the Korean War (leaving the Marine Corps as a colonel) Clerou’s younger brother, Joseph, became a partner in 1958. This was a union that would have a longlasting effect on not only their family, but on the local community, as well. The company has seen some changes throughout their many years in Bakersfield, and
greasing their elbows in the late 1970s. For decades, Joseph and his sons ran the show. The year 2003 proved to be a year in which the company experienced yet another shift. Joe Jr. left and moved to Fresno, and it was also the year of Joseph Sr.’s death, leaving George and Louis to become partners. It was also in 2003 that George’s wife, Sandy, became a bookkeeper for Clerou Tire. Their son, Steven, became involved in 2009, learning the business from his father and uncle.
Standing united and treating customers with love and dignity for over 70 years, Clerou Tire Co., Inc. is here to stay —and serve! adaptation has been key. After the 1952 earthquake, the business had to be moved to 24th and O streets due to damages incurred. In 1963, they moved to the current location of East 21st and Kern streets due to the construction on the crosstown freeway. In 1972, the company saw another change when Louis passed away, leaving Joseph as the sole proprietor of the shop. Joseph’s three sons—Joe Jr., Louie, and George—began
52 Bakersfield Magazine
Louis & Joe Clerou The Clerou family has been in Bakersfield since the early 1900s and has established close ties with the community in more ways than one. Dr. Romain Clerou is 98 years old and is still practicing as a doctor. Vincent’s Sporting Goods was owned by Vincent Clerou, brother of Louis and Joseph.
Clerou Tire, itself, has been in the mix for 70 years by supporting local schools and charities. They pride themselves on dedication to their customers and providing good, honest service. They are proud of their employee loyalty and the long-term service they have provided the company. Joseph
530 E. 21st Street, Bakersfield, CA n 661-324-6069 www.ClerouTire.com
Louis, & Steven
Clerou always said, “United we stand and divided we fall. Take care of your employees and they will take care of you.” These words still direct the way the business is ran, keeping a focus on quality of service to patrons. One thing that you can expect that sets them apart from just any other tire shop is that when you call Clerou Tire, you will speak to a Clerou. After seven decades in business, what started out as just a tire shop is now a full service shop, servicing passenger, truck, and farm vehicles. They also do front end alignments, brakes, and oil changes. They have been a fixture in Old Town Kern for 49 years, and they have no plans of moving, as they are surrounded by wonderful Basque and Italian restaurants. Regardless of any changes, there is one thing that will always hold true: they love their customers and appreciate their loyalty!
YEARS & GROWING
t only takes three little words to strike joy and familiarity in the hearts of Bakersfield residents: Happy Face Cookies! These are just one of the many delightful, adored treats that Smith’s Bakeries has been whipping up for the community since 1945. What started as a baker’s dream—well, two bakers, to be exact—has now branched out to five different locations in town. Howard Smith and Roy Balmain started Smith’s with one clear intention: to provide the best possible baked goods to the community. Their goal was not only met, but has
Smith’s Bakeries be certain to make the right goods to meet those needs. Today, it has evolved into a lifestyle where everyone is so busy with work, sports, and so many other activities that people seem to prefer individual items like cupcakes and cookies, which fit into that pace. Another change they have experienced is that special events in families are now being celebrated more and more with decorated cakes that are made to fit the person or event being celebrated. Their signature Happy Face Cookies and
Jim & Jacque Ba
Satisfying sweet tooths and Kern residents since 1945, Smith’s Bakeries is Bakersfield’s choice for fresh, hand-made baked goods. been far surpassed with each passing year. In 1985, Roy’s son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Jacque, purchased the business. They are currently still running the show with their granddaughter, Cassie, working as a sales clerk. Whenever busy holidays hit, their daughter Christy, sons Mark and Forrest, and their grandson Chase come out to help. Years ago, families would generally have a traditional dinner every night, which meant that the bakeries would
Jim Balmain - early 1970
Smith’s Bakery staff - 1948 champagne cakes are still a hot commodity, but cookies with logos and pictures are in high demand now, as well. Regardless of changes, Smith’s has met the new demands of customers. Smith’s is most proud of their 45 employees and their many loyal customers. A shin-
ing example of their committed employees is Ruby, who helps run the office and even takes over, as needed. They are also proud of the fact they use the best quality ingredients available, and that they still make their products the old-fashion way: by hand, and fresh daily. They love hearing stories
from customers about how they have purchased items throughout the years and how their families look forward to the tradition of a Smith’s birthday cake. They are genuinely excited when customers return to buy their favorite holiday cookies and items—but are even more so when they receive cards and notes from appreciative patrons. Especially when they get word, sometimes accompanied by pictures, of the troops overseas receiving some of their cookies as gifts from their families in town. Keeping a strong love for the community, they are silently involved in supporting many different charities. Jacque retired recently from the Kern County Museum Foundation, and Jim is currently working on a new project for the museum. Smith’s Bakeries hope to maintain the level of quality and service that has set them apart for 67 years.
GROWING 2808 Union Avenue, Bakersfield, CA n 661-325-3411 Established 1945 www.SmithsBakeries.com www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 53
Sierra Recycling & Demolition
ierra Recycling, originally called Sierra Bag Company, was founded in 1946 by Ben Sacco and Morris Rosenberg. The business dealt with the buying and selling of agricultural packaging, and Ben Sacco traveled the globe trading these bags. Part of Ben’s operating site was dedicated to the collection of scrap metal. To accommodate the growing scrap, Sierra needed to start processing it, hence Sierra Iron and Metal was formed in 1959. It specialized in the buying, processing, and selling of metals. Termed in the times as the junk business, it
Each of Sierra Recycling’s business ventures over the past 50 years have occurred in the same thrust: innovation from the ground up. was, and is, far from it. Yesterday’s junk business is today’s recycling industry, and Sierra emerged as one of the original recyclers. Sierra International Machinery, founded in 1987, was fueled by Ben’s love of maximizing efficiency and conserving space and the untidy piles of scrap amassing at his site. He found his solution in one of his many travels back to Italy. There, a multidimensional machine caught his eye; one that could both shear and bale materials twice as quickly as its U.S. counterparts. The en-
54 Bakersfield Magazine
trepreneurial spark was ignited. Ben promptly made a deal with his supplier and acquired exclusive distribution rights over the machine for North and South America. Sierra was the medium through which it was introduced to the domestic market. Brothers John and Philip, since the passing of their father, Ben, in 2009 have acquired Sierra’s reigns. Working under their father for more than 20 years, no one could have been better equipped to continue the leg-
Philip Sacco & Jo
Ben Sacco (right) with his younger brother Silvio (left)
Ben Sacco, after a hard day’s work - 1949 acy. The company now exists in two parts: Sierra International Machinery and Sierra Recycling and Demolition. Sierra is now realizing its third generation; Ben’s grandchildren have entered the scene. Claudia Aragon, niece to John and Philip, is a new feature to the safety depart-
ment. Soon Philip’s son, Philip Jr., will join in on furthering Sierra along its trajectory of international success. Sierra, on the whole, is no greater than the sum of its parts. They are proud to say that some of their employees have been with them for more than 30 years. The longev-
1620 E. Brundage Lane, Bakersfield, CA www.SierraIntl.com
ity in employee retention is owed to the fact that they care about every single individual and are invested in maintaining the peace of mind of their families. Though they may be international, they still support local causes. They have contributed to many local charities, including: Stop the Violence, North West Baseball, League of Dreams, and the Cure for Diabetes. The company and employees, alike, will be participating in an organized citywide clean up for the Keep Bakersfield Beautiful project. When it comes to business, like their father, John and Philip have the spirit of innovation and strive to bring an outside-of-the-box mentality to the industry. They are committed to using their positive influence toward the benefit and safety of every life that they touch.
YEARS & GROWING
m. K. Lyons Agency, Inc. had its start back in 1947, when insurance adjuster William K. Lyons and his wife, Hester, decided that they wanted to take their insurance and business savvy a big step further. With William in charge of selling the insurance and Hester taking care of bookkeeping and any other essential office duties, the twosome began what would remain a family affair for more than 65 years. The Lyons’ focus on hard work and diligence certainly hadn’t skipped a generation— or future generations, either. Their son, Francis “Kaye”
Wm. K. Lyons Insurance by filing and assisting with keeping the office in order. After attending Bakersfield College, Sherri officially joined the agency in 1970. Janice graduated from Cal Poly and also came back to continue work in 1978. As the world has changed over time, so has the company. Originally, policies were issued manually by hand and in triplicate. Now, everything is driven by the internet and is computer generated to better meet the needs of their busy clients. Though they have always been
Sherri Lyons, Fr
ancis Lyons, Ja
At Wm. K. Lyons Agency, Inc., you can take comfort in their motto which has stood the test of time, “Your family can depend on ours.” Lyons, joined the agency in 1954, after his service in the Air Force. His wife, Bev, would also become a part of the family team. Starting while they were just in high school, the daughters of Kaye and Bev have supported the business for years. Sherri Lyons Bowles and Janice K. Lyons would both head over to the California Avenue location while attending school at Bakersfield High. They spent plenty of time helping their family members
Lyons family, three generations - 1955 centrally located, they have moved over the years. They had a building constructed at 1111 California Avenue in 1955, and with expansions of the business, an addition was made in 1962. Then in 1984, they had the 2100 F Street structure built, which is where they still are today.
Wm. K. Lyons understands the importance of supporting a community which has supported them for so long. Starting from William and going all the way down to his granddaughters, this family is full of BHS alumni—even when it was called Kern Community Union High School! They still
2100 F St., #200, Bakersfield, CA–Lic. #0461335 www.WMKLyons.com
support the Drillers, alongside many other nonprofits, such as the Gleaners and the Bakersfield Rescue Mission, with financial donations. They make it a point to support local businesses and nonprofits every chance they get. The company’s longevity and being a family-owned business for over 65 years is something that they certainly don’t take for granted. They are also pleased that they have maintained a business which is conducted in an ethical manner. Their customers are sure to get the best insurance with the most competitive rate any time they choose Wm. K. Lyons Agency, Inc. They stand true to their motto, which is “Your family can depend on ours.” Considering they have such a strong history within the Bakersfield community, that is certainly true.
YEARS & GROWING
Established 1947 www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 55
Skyline Cabinet and Millworks
hen James (Wes) Spalinger returned from World War II, he quickly found work with Malouf Cabinets. But working for someone wasn’t enough for Spalinger. So, just a few years later, in 1948, he and his brother, Erwin, would open up their own cabinet shop on Kern Street in an area that was often referred to as Skyline. Therefore, the brothers decided to call their shop Skyline Mill and Cabinets. Wes and Erwin quickly earned a reputation for high quality craftsmanship in both the residential and the com-
European influence on cabinetry was just beginning in the United States. Dave was like a kid in a candy store, wanting to learn the European techniques and take Skyline to the next level. Thankfully, Wes was willing to let his son, who had just graduated from high school, invest in new equipment and help move the cabinet shop into the next generation. Which Dave did completely when he became the sole proprietor in 1988. Today, the company has autocad designers that send programs directly to computerized machinery.
Melody & Dave Spalinge
Since 1948, Skyline Cabinet and Millworks has set itself apart from other cabinetry businesses in the area by providing excellent service and quality products. mercial industries, working for some of Bakersfield’s most well-known architects, contractors, and homeowners. It is this reputation that has helped them continue to serve Bakersfield and the entire state of California for over 60 years. The cabinet industry has changed drastically since the first days of the company. During the early days, the machinery was basic and the standard style of cabinet was face-frame style. By the time Wes’ youngest son, David, became a partner in the business in 1979, the
56 Bakersfield Magazine
Ground breaking ceremony, third and current location - 2002 These CNC machines create less waste, are more accurate, and make it possible to create more intricate and detailed products. The Spalinger family has always taken pride in their commitment to excellent service and a quality product. That is apparent in Melody Spalinger, Dave’s wife, who is actively involved in the business. The couple’s two sons and daughter have worked at Skyline during their summer breaks. The location of the shop has changed over the years,
as well. In the late 1960s, the business moved to a 7,000 square foot facility on Yampa Street. Then, in 2002, Skyline moved once again and upgraded to a 20,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility on South Mt. Vernon. What hasn’t changed over the years is the family’s commitment to the community. Dave has given his time to numerous high school wood shop programs, including his alma mater, Foothill High School. Because of his involvement with these schools,
800 S. Mt. Vernon Avenue, Bakersfield, CA–Lic. #620616 www.SkylineCabinets.com
he was honored to be the first recipient of the Jim Burke Light and Liberty Award. Dave is on the boards of both the Kern County Builders Exchange and Bakersfield Christian High School. Melody has been a member of the Junior League of Bakersfield since 1998. She was involved with the Parent Support Group at Heritage Christian Schools for many years. The Spalingers and all the employees at Skyline Cabinets attribute their success to providing the highest level of quality and service available. Because of that, they have been able to weather the ups and downs of the economy. All in all, Skyline Cabinet and Millworks looks forward to another 63 years developing relationships with contractors and home owners both in Bakersfield and throughout California.
YEARS & GROWING
ern County Employees Federal Credit Union was officially established in February 1949 for the benefit of the employees working for the County of Kern. At the time, the Board of Directors of the Kern County Employees Association listened to recommendations by Captain Rolland Barbeau and members of his committee and decided to take action and set up a credit union that would serve the county employees. It was quite the milestone. The credit union would be called Kern County Employees Federal Credit Union (lat-
Kern Federal Credit Union bers and $1,500 in assets. At that time, a new car would cost about $1,650, a gallon of gas was 26 cents, and postage was only three pennies. The credit union grew quickly and by 1980, moved into its current location at 1717 Truxtun Avenue. It was just a few years later that the name was also changed to the one it still has today. Membership today is over 22,000 strong, with roughly $211 million in assets. As with any credit union, Kern Federal Credit Union was financed by shares sold to interested parties in the
Chris Parker, Li nda Factor y, Patt i Johnson, Peter DeVargas, & Linda Hernand ez
After more than six decades as a solid financial institution for not only Kern County employees but any local residents, Kern Federal Credit Union has never looked better! It remains dedicated to providing the best services to all its 22,000+ members. er shortened to Kern Federal Credit Union) and, after it was issued its Federal Charter, the organization would function separately from the Employees Association and have its own Board of Directors. Originally, the credit union was located inside the Sheriffâ€™s Office at 800 Truxtun Avenue. Also, in 1949, there were approximately 60 mem-
Ground breaking ceremony at 1717 Truxtun Ave. - 1980 community within the field of membership. The new credit union would be available to not only members of the Employees Association, but any full-time Kern County employee. It was also decided that loans would be reviewed for approval by a five-member credit committee, all of whom were county employees. The fact that the credit union was formed by county employees for county employees was a large point of pride and that pride carries over to the current employees and members.
Unlike banks, credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that conduct business for the mutual benefit and general welfare of its members. Kern Federal Credit Union offers a wide variety of services including competitive loan rates; mortgage loans; credit cards; free checking; online banking and bill pay; insurance services; financial and investment services; member workshops and education. It has a caring, experienced staff that give their members personal attention.
1717 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, CA www.KernFCU.org
Credit unions promote thrift, savings, and sound credit use to its members. In 2004, Kern Federal Credit Union opened its membership to people who live, work, and worship in Kern County. In 2009, the credit union opened its Riverlakes branch at 9801 Hageman. Kern Federal Credit Union continues to be a financially strong institution that will assist Kern County residents for years to come, helping generations of families. Member deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) up to $250,000. Kern Federal Credit Union also prides itself on not only being a great place to bank but also a great place to work. It is 63 years strong and remains a solid financial institution for the people of Kern County.
YEARS & GROWING
Established 1949 www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 57
Blueprint Service Company
onesty, dependability, and pride in their services coupled with a dedicated clientele and personnel has become the layout for success for this local business. Blueprint Service Company started in May of 1955 thanks to Tom Kuwahara and his business partner, Jack Steele. Kuwahara was a draftsman for the City of Bakersfield and, while there were two or three blueprinters in town, he felt that there was a void in the services rendered. To that end, in 1956, Kuwahara bought Steele out and he and his
Keith’s wife, Kim, also joined the staff, as did Terry’s wife, Ann. Terry’s son, Kyle, is also part of the current team, helping the company turn architectural dreams into a reality. Through the years, uncles, siblings, and children to these five Kuwaharas have all worked as part of the Blueprint Service, making this a complete family affair. Still each and every employee, related or not, is a huge point of pride for the company. Astonishingly, the
Terr y, Kyle, & K
They aren’t just blueprints anymore! Their services cover a large range, but one thing has remained true for almost 60 years: a strong pledge to high quality. wife, Gladys, became the first of many Kuwaharas to keep the business going strong. The shop was first located where the Civic Auditorium now stands. They soon moved locations to a warehouse on 17th Street, where they operated for 40 years. It was in 1999 that they needed a change and moved to their current location at 1100 18th Street, in the old Bakersfield Bowling Academy building. In 1989, Tom retired, leaving the business in the hands of his sons, Terry and Keith.
58 Bakersfield Magazine
Keith, Gladys, Tom, & Terry Kuwahara Kuwaharas have employed over 1,000 different people during the course of their 57 years in Bakersfield, and also bought some 100 vehicles during that period. Citing service to both their customers as well as their employees as their most important virtue, Blueprint
Service realizes that their staff depends upon them for their livelihood, and that is something that they don’t take lightly. The same thing can be said about their commitment to the community, as they have sponsored baseball teams and have donated to charities that benefit
1100 18th Street, Bakersfield, CA n 661-327-2501 www.BlueprintService.net
everything from victims of breast cancer and leukemia to basset hound rescues. Locations and hands aren’t the only things that have changed during the course of their run, however. Some have been highly welcomed, like the change from ammonia developed blueline copies to the large format printer, as the ammonia fumes had a knack for burning eyes, noses, and even open cuts! The use of the internet has also provided them a larger service area in California. Other changes, such as shifts in technology, have been ongoing, including forays into digital copy, scanning, and Plan Well. Regardless, Blueprint Service Company has taken strides to always be up on the latest changes, ensuring a quality and timely job utilizing state-of-the-art technology to every client that walks through their doors.
YEARS & GROWING
oyd’s Aviation has been a family business since day one. The legacy began when founder Byron Ernest Loyd was born in Bakersfield in 1926 to Aaron, a railroad engineer, and Beatrice, a homemaker. Kern residents can remember seeing Byron at seven years of age selling magazines on the street corner in Old Kern during the Depression. The work ethic he learned as a youngster stayed with him throughout his 79 years of life. Byron was a Junior at East Bakersfield High school when he enlisted in the Navy during World War II, where he fell in love with aviation. In 1958, Byron decided to turn his passion into a business and, along with his wife Eleanor, they opened Loyd’s Flying Service. He would fly as a contract pilot for corpo-
Loyd’s Aviation over as President and developed their Aircraft Management and Sales divisions, and with partner Mark Jensen, a mechanic from Beechcraft Corporation, set up Loyd’s Aircraft Maintenance. There have been other important milestones over the years. In 1988 the Aircraft Fueling Division became a dream realized along with the completion of a large community hangar in 1995. Kelly Loyd Pieczonka, their youngest daughter, joined the family
Patricia began helping in the office while raising the couple’s two daughters, Bridgette and Kelly Loyd. In 1981, Byron
For over 50 years, Loyd’s Aviation has grown from a small mom-and-pop style business to a multifaceted family-oriented company with nearly 30 employees. rations and, when he wasn’t flying, his father Aaron and he would sell aircraft parts out of his office. During these years, his oldest son, Steven, was at his side flying co-pilot and also falling in love with aviation. It was in 1970 that the growing company built 20 hangars at Meadow’s Field. Three years later, Steven joined the business after graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. With Steven’s help they launched a Charter Service, built covered Shadeports and Corporate Hangars. In 1986 Steve took
Loyd’s 1974 Charter Service business as project manager in 2009. She was instrumental in moving the fueling business onto a larger more modern ramp with corporate offices that would become known as Bakersfield Jet Center by Loyd’s Aviation. What began in one small office with Byron flying, his late wife, Eleanor, managing the books and Byron and his father selling aviation parts has become a multifaceted organization. In 1980 Steve’s wife
married Nadine Mansfield and she joined the family in helping with the day-to-day operations. Nadine’s nephew, Ryan Crowl, was introduced at an early age to aviation through his relationship with Byron. Ryan joined the company in 2005 after graduating from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and serves as Chief Pilot and Vice President of Operations. Bakersfield Jet Center by Loyd’s Aviation is a communi-
1601 Skyway Dr., Bakersfield, CA
ty-oriented company. Steve is a member of Bakersfield Downtown Rotary, serves as Chair on the Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation, is a member of the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, past President of the Seven Oaks Country Club Board, and is currently serving as a board member. Steve has recently been elected to the Board of the National Air Transportation Association in Washington DC. Steven and Patricia give back by donating flights and hangar space for charity functions, like the April 2012 “Honoring Real Heroes” event for The American Red Cross. And because they look forward to growing the business, they continue researching trends within the industry to provide the best service to clients and keep Bakersfield Jet Center by Loyd’s Aviation operating for many years to come.
YEARS & GROWING
Established 1958 www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 59
n 1959, James “Jim” W. Boylan founded Jim’s Supply Company, Inc. (JSC). Boylan was a salesman for a steel company in Fresno and foresaw Bakersfield to be a growing city that could support another steel company. Boylan and his wife, Doreen, started the company from their home and the pair truly believed in hard work. Boylan purchased, sold, and delivered the steel while Doreen answered phones and helped with clerical tasks, while caring for their five children. Just two years later, they were able to move the company to its first location on East 19th Street. Then, in 1963, the Boylans relocated to a larger facility on Brown Street. JSC was there for just six years before moving to
It’s been more than 50 years and yet Jim’s Supply Company, Inc. continues to thrive, providing quality steel, pipe, and trellising products with friendly service and customer satisfaction. its current location on Pierce Road (now Buck Owens Blvd.) where it has grown and expanded over the past forty years. JSC provides a quality full service steel and pipe center, as well as the design, manufacturing, and distribution of a complete line of innovative trellising products. They work to attain a high level of customer and employee satisfaction while
60 Bakersfield Magazine
Jim’s Supply Company, Inc. achieving profitable expansion. They also strive with a knowledgeable and safe employee team to continue the legacy of their motto “Hard Work and A Dream.” In 1980, the company developed their Vineyard Division which designs and manufactures metal trellising products for vineyards and orchards. Just nine years later, they opened a branch in the Napa Valley town of Calistoga. Over four decades, 22
family members have been involved in the business. They include Jim’s siblings, brothers-in-law, nephews, children, and grandchildren. Jim and Doreen’s children, from their youth, have been actively involved in the company. For the past 25 years, Greg, Jennice, Jennifer, and Bryan, along with Dan Drake (son-in-law), have led the company together. Their team leadership approach has proved success-
ful throughout the years, and they truly feel blessed to enjoy each other’s company both in and outside of business. The couple’s son, Kevin
W. Boylan, was also a part of the management team until he tragically passed away after a car accident in 1999, only five years after Jim passed away. JSC’s connection to our community is very apparent. On a weekly basis, JSC prepares and supplies bags of non-perishable food items to be distributed by St. Vincent de Paul to the homeless. The company has also been a longtime supporter of the
3530 Buck Owens Blvd., Bakersfield, CA www.JimsSupply.com
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and supports a variety of other local charities, shelters, and schools. The Boylans are proud of the hard work and dedication of JSC employees that have contributed to the success of the oldest steel service center in the area and the continued growth of the company, including a branch in Walla Walla, Washington. They greatly appreciate and value their excellent management team and wonderful employees, many of which have been with JSC for over 20 years. JSC started with one rented truck and a staff that consisted of only Jim and Doreen. Today, they have their own fleet of trucks and a staff of approximately 100. They take pride in continually improving their level of performance in order to have very satisfied customers for years to come.
YEARS & GROWING
hat started as a one woman secretarial and mailing business back in 1963 has developed into a local mainstay business that also sells printing nationally. From the very beginning, Hall Letter Shop was a printing and mailing company, even when it wasn’t popular for printing companies to provide mailing services. For almost 50 years, this company has grown with the community. Capabilities have increased dramatically since the stencil and mimeograph days. Using advanced softwares, high tech equipment and highly trained technicians, they are pushing
Advancing for nearly 50 years and ran by true business pioneers, Hall Letter Shop is still one of Bakersfield’s most respected printing and mailing centers. the envelope into variable data one-to-one marketing, email marketing, statement and document printing, full color printing and specialty niche markets. On their custom built website, customers can upload their graphic files and pay online without ever leaving the comfort of their office. The site also offers ready-made templates that allow retail customers to easily customize and create a business card, a flyer, tickets, and many other products completely online. Being a family business is what made this endeavor possi-
Hall Letter Shop ble and owner Catherine Dounies confirms this, “No person is an island. In whatever you do, you need help and my family brought that help to me when the business needed it.” Catherine’s husband, Don Dounies, who passed away in 1993, was instrumental in helping the business succeed for its first 30 years. A cabinet maker by trade, Don built the counters and offices for those early years and later he joined the company full time to run the printing and binding departments. Her oldest daughter, Celine, also
Rosedale Highway facility
The Dounies Family - 1988 contributed by taking care of her younger sister while her parents were working. Later on, her daughter Rita worked in the graphics department for several years and daughter Therese also worked part time to help out during emergencies. In 1976, her son Greg joined the company full time after
graduating from Cal Poly SLO’s Graphics Communications School. Armed with the latest knowledge of technical innovations, he helped Hall Letter Shop move into the age of computerized graphics, data processing, production printing, and mailing. Hall Letter Shop had moved
ies & Greg Doun
three times since opening its doors. In 1993, new equipment required further expansion. They designed and built a new 19,000 sq. ft. energy efficient building on the corner of Rosedale Hwy. and Landco Dr., a far cry from the original 500 sq. ft. office. The new location seemed like the edge of town, but the city has since grown around them and they can count many new industrial businesses as their neighbors and customers. Naturally, they couldn’t have done so well without the patronage of the good people of Bakersfield. Most business comes from loyal repeat customers, some of whom have been doing business with Hall Letter Shop for decades. Employees are also one of their best assets, most of whom are again loyal and long term. Customers are greeted with a friendly and familiar face every time they visit the shop. It is no wonder that Hall Letter Shop, Inc. has been progressing for decades.
GROWING 5200 Rosedale Hwy., Bakersfield, CA n 661-327-3228 www.HallPrintMail.com Established 1963 www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 61
t the age of 27, Jerry Burell was working in east Bakersfield for a flooring company and, while he enjoyed the work, he knew that he wanted to do much more with his time and his life. What he hadn’t realized was that the loan that his father gave him back in 1967 would lead to a Bakersfield staple in home design. Over 45 years later, San Joaquin Interiors is just that! The shop, itself, has been through a few incarnations. The original site was located on Chester Avenue. In 1972, Burell purchased the Ming Avenue location, and the District Boulevard building was purchased in 1985 as a ware-
For over 40 years, San Joaquin Interiors has been Bakersfield’s spot for interior design. They have everything you need to make your ideal space possible! house. The Ming building was sold and everything was moved to District in 2011. The business has also seen a number of shifts in specialties that they offer. It started as strictly retail, then moved to construction and design, and is now mostly involved in commercial, new homes, and replacement properties. Though the sites and focus of the store have changed as the time has passed, Burell’s determination to provide the most excellent work possible
62 Bakersfield Magazine
San Joaquin Interiors, Inc. has remained true. Their selection has also varied, but they still offer floor coverings of all sorts—from hardwood to vinyl, carpet, and ceramic tile—and can help create the custom window coverings or granite countertops of your dreams. To date, Burell has been at the head of this hard working establishment with his two business partners, Lawrence Claudino and Vernon Rhoades, who came on board back in 1979. While Claudino passed away in 2010, Burell and Rhoades work side-byside with employees that have been around for over 20 years, creating bonds that make them all like family.
(back l-r) Terr
y Green, Eddie Estrada, Valent ina Katkov, Vernon Rhoade s, Linda Hall (front l-r) Pegg y Slape, Jerr y Bu rell, Katherine Marshall
San Joaquin Interiors - 1972 This bond is evident when you enter the shop, and it creates a wonderful atmosphere that customers can truly appreciate. Passionate about giving back to the community that has supported his business for so long, Burell and company have made it a point to give generous discounts to religious organizations who utilize their services. In addition, San Joaquin Interiors has been working with
Lenox Homes to provide much-needed materials to create the St. Jude’s Dream Home for their giveaway once a year. They have been supporting this cause for six years now, and plan to continue to do so in the years to come! They pride themselves on their impeccable service to each and every one of their customers, who have made it possible for the company to thrive for as long as it has.
4608 District Blvd., Bakersfield, CA n 661-832-8450 www.SanJoaquinInteriors.com
They try to emphasize that not one single transaction is taken for granted, especially with the change in the economic climate. Over time, Burell has held true to his personal philosophy: You’re only as good as your last job. Keeping their pledge of excellence to their customers and to Bakersfield, as a whole, San Joaquin Interiors maintains that, though we have all seen our share of rough times in the past few years, the only way to go is up! After all, every week brings something different their way, and they feel very fortunate for all that they have gained over the time they have been open. This positive spin has helped to set them apart from any competition in town and will continue to do so!
YEARS & GROWING
ack Burtch Co. was formed in 1968 by Jack and Barbara Burtch. The two started with only a spreader truck that the couple’s son, Dennis, drove after school and during the summers. When Dennis graduated from college in 1973, he went to work with Jack full time and the company bought more spreader trucks and ventured into slurry sealing and small paving jobs. Unfortunately, just four years later, Jack passed away from a heart attack. Dennis and Barbara continued to run Jack Burtch Co. after Jack’s passing and even began to grow the business by incor-
Paving their way into the Bakersfield community for nearly 45 years, Burtch Construction has upheld their tradition of exceeding customers’ expectations. porating oil tankers. While Dennis took on the construction side, Barbara ran the office. Burtch Trucking was incorporated in December of 1979 and the paving and sealing portion of Jack Burtch Co. was sold to a few employees. When oil prices started to fall in the mid-1980s, Burtch Construction was formed as a DBA of Burtch Trucking Inc. and the company was moved to its current location on Highway 65. The tankers and vacuum trucks were sold and Burtch Construction forged on
solely as an oil spreading and paving company. It has continued in that fashion ever since. As the company grew, it began to do larger paving jobs, public works contracts, and oiling of thousands of miles of farm roads. When the real estate boom hit, Burtch was the go-to company for all the dirt and road work in large tracts of housing developments. Sadly, Dennis passed away in July of 2011, and the Burtch family was forced to make a decision. Would they shut down the company and leave 46 em-
Brenn Burtch M
Jack Burtch - 1974
Dennis Burtch - 2007 ployees without a job or would Dennis’ daughter, Brenn, step in and take over the business? After all, Brenn had some experience with the company. Just like her father, Brenn spent her summers working in the family business. The first day of summer of her senior year, Brenn showed up to work and
was told by her father that she was going to drive dump trucks. Dennis said, “You have to have something to fall back on in case college doesn’t work out.” To that, Brenn said that she could always be a waitress. As usual, Dennis was quick with a response. He said Brenn “wasn’t near friendly enough to be a
waitress.” Needless to say, there was an “incident” and Brenn was fired from truck driving and went right back to holding a stop sign and the hand hose for the spreader trucks. After graduating from college in 2002, Brenn had been more involved in Dennis’ real estate holdings than anything with the construction side of the company. But, wanting to make sure that the employees were cared for, Brenn decided to jump in full speed. She’s learning all facets of the business and developing the same relationships with employees and clients that Jack and Dennis had cultivated years before. The Burtch name has been said in Kern County for over 40 years and since they’ve had employees who have dedicated most of their lives to Burtch Construction, as well as second generation employees, Brenn knows today that she made the right decision to keep the company going.
GROWING P.O. Box 80546, Bakersfield, CA n 661-399-1736 Established 1968 www.BurtchConstruction.com www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 63
Barbich Hooper King Dill Hoffman Accountancy Corp.
or more than 30 years, Barbich Hooper King Dill Hoffman Accountancy Corporation has been calculating ways to provide high quality service that give their clients financial peace of mind. Since 1972, the firm has continuously evolved in response to new economic and technological opportunities. Beginning as Moore Abbott & Barbich, the company name, alone, is a testament to the adaptation they have experienced over time. From mergers with other firms outside of Bakersfield to acquiring new partners and employees, they have streamlined their business to meet the needs of their diverse clientele, both domestic and international.
by their loyal clients and employees. They have 12 employees who have been with them for over 15 years, and five employees who have been a part of the team for 25 years or more! With five total partners and 39 present employees, they average 12 years per employee. This could be due to their overall dedication to their staff and the fact that they foster a friendly work environment. The Firm’s Core Values include sup-
Michael Hooper, Geoffrey King, Ronald Dill, Patrick Hoffman , & Louis Barbic h also very much involved in community service, too! They have served on a myriad of boards and support nonprofits, such as CSUB,
Contributing to the economic and personal well-being of their personnel and clients by providing state-of-theart, quality, and trusted professional service. The biggest changes have come from advancements in technology, enabling staff to work remotely while out at their clients’ offices, remaining connected to their network and all the while maintaining client confidentiality and privacy. Movement to a paperless work environment and the ability to service clients, regardless of their location, has definitely made business much easier for all parties involved! With so much to be proud of, the Firm is moved the most
64 Bakersfield Magazine
Louis Barbich, Geoffrey King, & Michael Hooper porting a “one firm philosophy” where the Firm is the primary focus, they have a philosophy of trust in their personnel, they encourage their personnel to continue their education, and there is a strong commitment to the community as noted below. The Firm’s dedication to the highest level of personal service is “the” cornerstone in the Firm’s statement of philosophy. The partners and firm are
Houchin Blood Bank, Rotary, SDD Track Meets, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, NAPD, the Kern Community Foundation, Kern EDC, CASA, STEPS, and they also sponsor two families every year in conjunction with the Christmas Adopta-Family program! The partners individually support different organizations, such as BARC, the American Lung Association, Cooks of the Valley, United Way of
5001 E. Commercenter Dr., #350, Bakersfield, CA www.BHKCPAS.com
Kern County, and the YMCA. Specializing in industries that span agriculture, special districts, medical, dental, and other professional services, employee benefit plans as well as individual clients, Barbich Hooper King Dill Hoffman Accountancy Corporation has the tools and expertise to help with any accounting needs. Tax planning and compliance, financial reporting, auditing, estate planning, controllership services, and litigation support, amongst others, are all available to their clients. They look forward to offering even more services in the future to better meet the needs of existing clients and future clients by providing peace of mind in an increasingly complex world.
YEARS & GROWING
M & S Security Services, Inc.
t was back in 1972 that Marvin Fuller, Sr. and Garland Phillips, both Taft police officers, bought Westside Security Patrol from Fred Linder of Maricopa, California. They originally bought the business as a means of additional income as police officers didn’t make much in those days. The company served about 50 customers in and around Taft and Maricopa. In 1980, the Coalinga and Bakersfield offices of Westside Security were established and, at that time, the largest portion of the business was oil-
Steve and Marvin Jr. became co-presidents and Marvin Sr. retained the title of CEO. Still, this father and son operation has been home to numerous family members. Darlene Fuller, Marvin Sr.’s wife, has served as secretary, treasurer, peacekeeper, and even janitor. Jim Fuller, Steve’s and Marvin Jr.’s older brother, has worked as an alarm installer helper, alarm installer, security officer, and vehicle maintenance operator. Steve’s wife, Melissa, started working for the company in 1994 and still works in the office part-time in the
The knowledgeable, skilled team at M & S Security Services, Inc. has kept the Bakersfield community safe for the last 40 years. related. Marvin and Garland remained partners until 1990, when Steve Fuller and Marvin Fuller, Jr. partnered with their father as vice presidents. It was decided that the name should be changed so the company went from Westside Security Patrol to M & S Security Services, Inc.; the “M” and “S” standing for Marvin and sons, respectively. Steve headed the guard and patrol division and Marvin Jr. handled the alarm division. In 1998, bursting at the seams, the company moved its Bakersfield operation to 2900 L Street. Then, in 2005,
Jr., Marvin Fu lle
Garland Phillips & Marvin Fuller (foreground) with some of their first employees billing department. Steve’s and Marvin Jr.’s children— Sydney, Mason, Christal, and Marvin III—work occasionally in various positions around the office. Also, a smattering of uncles, aunts, cousins, and in-laws have also worked at M & S Security Services over the years in varying capacities. It’s truly a family business. The Fuller family has deep roots in the community, from their strong Christian faith to community service organizations. In addition to numer-
ous philanthropic and service clubs, M & S Security Services supports a number of local community organizations and, more recently, started supporting Jesus Shack. The organization has been blessed with some great employees that have a wealth of experience and knowledge in the security industry. The management team, alone, has a combined 85 years at the company. It consists of Jeff Eppler, guard and patrol manager; Bob Moser, sales; Jim Watters, human resources;
2900 L Street, Bakersfield, CA
PPO #11158, ACO #3791, PI #15764, C10 #807015
r Sr., Steve Fulle
Tony Candelaria, alarm services manager; Victor Guerra, field supervisor, alarm division; and Sunshine Gonzales, office manager. Over the years, the company has diversified a great deal. From a handful of employees only handling guard services to as many as several hundred employees servicing all aspects of security, including burglar alarms, fire systems, CCTV, access control, alarm response, guard services, patrol, body guards, and private investigations. M & S Security Services has gone from 50 customers to around 4,000, and many of those have been with the company since its inception 40 years go. Thankfully, private security is going to be around for the foreseeable future and M & S Security will be there to protect our community for decades to come.
YEARS & GROWING
Established 1972 www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 65
California Keyboards Music Center
on and Beverly Wade made a big decision in 1976. The local couple jumped into business in a big way when they opened a store dedicated to the sale of pianos and organs, as well as a music lesson center. At the time, the company, known today as California Keyboards Music Center, was small but efficient. The Wades’ store was also the first store to be an official Yamaha dealer in the Kern County area. They were always looking for ways to set the business apart from other stores in town and, to this
Over the years, California Keyboards has added a variety of products and services in order to better serve the musicians in our fair city. It’s not just pianos and keyboards that the store carries; everything one needs to learn and play an instrument is available, including reeds, strings for all stringed instruments, mouthpieces, music stands, instrument cases and bags, cleaning and maintenance supplies, metronomes and tuners—just to name a few. Fittingly, California Keyboards also carries an extensive line of sheet music. Be-
Though it’s been over 35 years since California Keyboards opened its doors, the store continues to bring music and education to the Kern County community. day, that attitude holds true. Since that day over 30 years ago, the philosophy has never changed—offer customers from Kern County, southern California, and beyond, the best selection in musical instruments. Originally located in East Bakersfield, the store moved to Ming Avenue for a brief period before setting up shop on Oak Street. The moves were necessary to accommodate the growth of not only the business, but also the growing community’s desire for pianos.
66 Bakersfield Magazine
Don & Beverly Wade, founders cause the knowledgable staff can also tune and restore most instruments, it’s easy to see how it has become the largest ‘full-service’ music store in town. Some of that has to do with Ed Tomlinson’s vision for growing the company. Tomlinson bought California Keyboards in 2000 and, early on, had the help of his grandparents, Carlene and Ronald. Tomlinson is a master piano restoration expert (he’s currently restoring an 1877 Steinway semi-concert grand
with original ivory and rosewood finish). Tomlinson says he cannot take all the credit for the success. He has assembled the best staff and is proud to have a fantastic team working for him. The entire staff works to bring music to Kern County by keeping California Keyboards involved in numerous local organizations. The business has donated the use of pianos for the Bakersfield Symphony community concerts, the Bakersfield Jazz Festival, The Master-
100 Oak Street, Bakersfield, CA n 661-327-5397 www.CaliforniaKeyboards.com
works Chorale, and they’ve even hosted booths at local marching band and drumline competitions for free band instrument repairs during competition. And because music appreciation starts young, there is also a full-time staff member who ensures local schools have the musical supplies they need. It is so important to Tomlinson and California Keyboards that children have access to education that the business was adamant about forming a music school. It started with 45 students in 2000 and today boasts nearly 500 students weekly, learning piano, guitar, brass, strings, and voice. Thanks to values like these, it’s easy to see that California Keyboards will be bringing music to our community for many years to come.
YEARS & GROWING
there’s no such thing as Harold “Robby” Robinson
hile some professionals
are eagerly counting the
days until they can swipe
their time card for the last time, oth-
By Jessica Shillings “Most people retire to work in
cared for plants ever since. In fact,
their garden,” remarked Robin-
over the last seven decades, Rob-
son, the original owner of Robby’s
inson, now 84, has become some-
Nursery, “I already do.”
thing of an expert on the subject,
Robinson has had a passion for
not only acquiring a green thumb
ing their work behind.
nurturing growing plants since
himself, but teaching others how
1941. He was in the seventh grade
to care for their own gardens.
Robby’s Nursery, Nancy Cristallo
that year when he began working
“It’s a lot of work,” Robinson
his first job at a nursery. He has
said, “I love growing the plants
ers say they can’t imagine ever leavHarold “Robby” Robinson of
of Sorella Ristorante Italiano, and Tony Russo of Russo’s Books confirm that they have no plans to slow down in their golden years because their jobs keep them active, engaged, and fulfilled.
Retirement means very different things to different individuals. n
and seeing what I can create.” After years of working for nurseries and as a nurseryman/tree surgeon for the Los Angeles Unified School District, Robinson >> www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 67
there’s no such thing as
retirement at and promptly proceeded to break some of its branches off in front of him. Robinson said he was angry at first since it seemed as if his tree was being destroyed—until the man explained the art of Bonsai to him. Robinson learned from this customer and others for years. Now he is the expert, teaching classes in the subject to young and old alike. The nursery business, “is a very challenging profession to get into,” Robinson said, since it requires that professionals know plants and products backward and forward. Yet it remains his passion. “I’ve seen too many people that are sixty-five who can’t wait to quit and live off social security,” Robinson remarked, “A few years and they’re gone.” That’s why Robinson said he prefers to keep his mind active by working.
Nancy Cristallo and his family made the decision to move to Bakersfield. He shortly founded his own business, Robby’s Nursery, which has served the needs of the community since 1962. Robby’s Nursery is now located at 4002 Terracotta Ct.—a recent move from its former address of 13129 Hageman Rd. due to road reconstruction in that part of the city. According to Robinson, many of his customers ask, “Is Robby still alive?” “Yes,” Robinson responded. “Very much so.” While Robinson and his wife, Joan, handed over management of the business to their daughter, Kathy, 20 years ago, they are still an active part of the day-to-day operations. Robinson is, in fact, still the talent that drives the nursery’s public course
Nancy Cristallo, owner of Sorella Ristorante Italiano, agreed that her business keeps her mind and body active. It also keeps her connected with those she loves most, her daughters who run her restaurant with her. It was her daughters, Lilian and Laurel, in fact, who inspired her to open Sorella 19 years ago. Cristallo, an Italian who immigrated to the United States as a young child, had grown up in the restaurant business with her own family. She originally came to Bakersfield 40 years ago to help her sister found her own Italian restaurant, Rosa’s. “We’ve always been a family that sticks together,” Cristallo said, “that helps each other out.” So when her grown daughters revealed their interest in establishing a restaurant of their own, Cristallo embraced the opportunity to work alongside them. According to Cristallo, “Without them I wouldn’t have done it.” Out of consideration of her sister’s business, Cristallo made sure to choose a location on the opposite end of town, so that they wouldn’t compete with each other for customers. Yet the location wasn’t yet widely known, which presented a challenge. “We worked hard,” said Cristallo of Sorella’s early years. “But the business has been so good to us.” Especially its staff and loyal customers, who have become like family themselves, Cristallo said. That’s why, “Giving this up would be very hard. My family is here,” she added. “This is my golf. My life is full.” Cristallo wouldn’t reveal her true age, though, “Some of the customers know me as 59.” She described herself instead as simply, “nearing retirement age.”
“When your mind is busy, it keeps people motivated, keeps you alive.” —Nancy Cristallo
offerings on everything from tree pruning and care to creating “Bonsai” plants—miniature versions of all types of trees. Learning to create Bonsai plants is a difficult skill set to master, according to Robinson, and requires specific knowledge of pruning techniques to encourage normally large trees to grow in miniature. Robinson was originally introduced to Bonsai decades ago when a customer bought a plant from a nursery he was working 68 Bakersfield Magazine
Whatever her true age, Cristallo prides herself on being able to do it all—almost. She and her daughters make sure that they know how to manage each part of the restaurant in case they have to cover for staff. And, of course, it is up to Cristallo to make sure that her recipes are prepared the same way each time a customer orders them. Cristallo also enjoys taking care of her employees, who are like family in their own right. As long as they are will-
ing to work hard, Cristallo said, she is willing to teach them everything she knows and to support them in whatever ways she can. This includes mentorship, as well as the little things —allowing her cooks to have a television in the kitchen, for instance, so that they don’t miss the big game. “How can I retire? What would I do in the morning?” Cristallo remarked, “Retiring means dying. When your mind is busy, it keeps people motivated, keeps you alive. And I plan to live for a long time.” “You retire,” she continued, “and a year later you’re gone.”
Jeanne Radsick Realtor®
Tony Russo To hear 70-year-old Tony Russo, owner of Russo’s Books, tell it, he retired 20 years ago. “I like what I’m doing,” the former Montgomery Ward branch manager said of the business that he opened in 1994 after a long career in retail. “It’s like being retired...it keeps me active and going.” Russo’s Books was actually the second business that Russo opened on his own. The first was a used bookstore, Bookmark, that he opened in Bakersfield in 1989 after observing a similar store-front in Santa Maria. When The Marketplace shopping center in Bakersfield began development in the early ‘90s, Russo saw a chance to take the idea of a community bookstore to the next level. The Marketplace has been home to Russo’s Books ever since. >>
Each Office Independently Owned & Operated
www.jeanneradsick.com www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 69
there’s no such thing as
Russo’s is now the largest independent bookstore in Kern County, and one of two such businesses in Bakersfield. Quite apart from its selection, based upon what Russo and his staff know about the local community’s interests as well as their own reading preferences and publisher’s lists, the store is home to a number of events every week—from children’s story time and teenage card game tournaments to big name book-signings. In fact Russo, who worked closely with local congressman Kevin McCarthy, when McCarthy’s book Young Guns was published, recently had the opportunity to meet former Bush Administration Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice when she accompanied McCarthy to Bakersfield in March. It’s this interaction with many different age groups that keeps him going, Russo said. They provide opportunities for him to learn new things every day, including the social media world. (Russo’s is on Facebook.)
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“Staying active is important to health, both physical and emotional.” –Sarah Appleton
Good employees and management means that he doesn’t have to be at the store every day, Russo said, even though it is his passion. This allows him time for his other hobbies, which include enjoying his time-shares in Ocean Side and Las Vegas as well as cheering for the San Franscisco 49’ers as a season ticket holder and, of course, spending time with his 12 grandchildren. For some professionals, retirement simply represents a new phase in their lives which affords them greater freedom to explore their own interests. For others, especially those who identify closely with what they do for a living, the idea of leaving behind the job they love is a frightening thought. “The research into retirement and mental health outcomes are mixed,” agreed marriage and family therapist Sarah Appleton, “but what is clear is that staying active is important to health, both physical and emotional. Appleton continued, “Those who choose to continue to work [maintain a] sense of purpose, enjoy social interactions and mental stimulation, which some believe contributes to an increase in overall mental health. However, some studies indicate that retirement can contribute to a reduction in anxiety and distress. It appears that there is a significant difference in the effect of retirement on emotional well-being based on whether the retirement is a choice of the individual.” Appleton’s suggestions for those considering retirement, “Think about what your job means to you, and the effect it currently has on your health, both physical and mental. Then, consider what activities you would like to engage in after retirement. I think the bottom line is that whether working or retired, the key to mental health is feeling a sense of purpose, staying active, socializing, and stimulating your mind.” n
the key is staying
By Matthew Martz ary Weichelt may
not be swinging for
the fences like he used
to, but while most ballplayers his age are hanging up their cleats, the 57-year old is lacing his up, in his pursuit of senior softball’s crown jewel—a world title. Decades
the competitive fire still burned,
including bringing home a title in
and now with a yearly schedule
the over 50 Softball Winter Worlds
devoted to playing softball, he
last November in Las Vegas.
certainly shows that players of all
“It was very exciting and we
ages can withstand the demands
played good ball,” said Weichelt,
of being a serious ballplayer. He
showing off a championship ring.
competes in at least one tourna-
“We beat out 17 teams from the
ment a month, sometimes play-
U.S. and Canada.”
ing six games (42 innings in just
Stepping into the batter’s box,
Baker Boyz (a 55+ senior softball
two days), and three 12-game city
Weichelt sends a high fly to cen-
team) Weichelt darted around the
What fuels your competitive fire?
terfield before scooping up a hard
league seasons, which includes
runner half his age.
before playing and coaching the
little league diamond, later lettering in baseball at South High, before trying out for Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants as a walk-on in 1973. “Trying out for the Giants...that’s when I learned how well guys can play ball,” said Weichelt. “So, the idea was to just come back to Bakersfield, go to work, and go out and have some fun playing softball.” But soon Weichelt found that
teams that are much younger. “They give me a bad time every now and then when I show them up,” he said with a smile, “and they hate it even more when we beat them.” And although Weichelt says he and the team have taken their share of lumps, they have won their share, n
ground ball to short in the bottom of the inning, throwing out a base “I don’t have the range that I used to; I am a better digger than a thrower,” joked the senior shortstop. “But the camaraderie, and just getting out and having fun, is why I play.” Even though softball may not be considered an endurance activity, it’s enough to keep Weichelt active >> www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 71
the key is staying
and not sedentary. He said, “Just the mental aspect of playing keeps me fresh.” If that’s true, then Weichelt must have one of the freshest minds around. And there’s no indication that his playing habits will change anytime soon. Far from the tranquility of Weichelt’s ball field, Metallica’s “One” blares in the background, drowning out the grunts that fill a small cinderblock room called the “Hog Pit.” And in the middle of it all, a poster that simply reads, “Pain is Temporary, Pride is Forever.” That pretty much sums up 58-year old powerlifter Ken Wheeler, who, using unconventional methods that look more like medieval torture racks, grinds out another one of his four-day-a-week weight training sessions that would make anyone one-third his age cower. Wheeler’s strength is apparent in his handshake. The man looks as strong as his grip feels, and after almost retiring from the sport a year ago, the Master Elite is not quite ready to drop the barbell just yet. He said he first wants to lift a combined 1,400-plus pounds in a world qualifying event at the end of 2012. “I have thought about giving it up,” said
72 Bakersfield Magazine
Wheeler, who shows off a scar from surgery to repair a torn bicep, “but I just keep going because I love it.” Wheeler began lifting weights at the age of 12 when a family member teasingly called him a “fat little kid.” So, with a set of cement-filled weights and a bench his parents purchased from Sears, Wheeler started lifting weights in the backTreva yard, and by the time he was a Cardiel freshman at Foothill High School, he was gleaning power lifting techniques from some old school lifters at the Bakersfield YMCA. In his first year at Bakersfield College, the 5-foot-9, 162-pounder could out-lift most of the football team with a 400-plus pound squat and a 240-pound bench press. But it wasn’t until Wheeler picked up a magazine that showed the results of the 1971 Pan-American Games that he thought that he could match the totals, or better the amount of weights being lifted at the time. So, in October 1974 at the age of 22, Wheeler traveled to Fresno, taking third place out of 120 contenders in his first competitive powerlifting meet. “From that moment on I was hooked,” said Wheeler, who, at 49, also qualified cause I thought golf was boring,” said Carfor the U.S. Powerlifting team that com- diel, “but the first ball I ever hit flew 200 peted in the 2002 World Powerlifting yards, or at least I thought it did, and I was Congress Finals in Finland, winning the addicted.” gold medal in his division while setting a Today, although arthritis in her thumbs world record squat of 705 pounds on his makes it difficult for her to grip the club on opening attempt. certain days, the 72-year old is as dedicated Today, Wheeler is still competing in as ever, playing with the skills and passion both open and age group divisions, lifting of golfers a quarter of her age. against competitors a third of his age. In fact, it’s hard not to find Cardiel with “The heaviest squatting attempt I have a putter in her hand, as she hits the links ever tried was just a few months ago at 804 come rain or shine at least three to four pounds,” said Wheeler, who now bench days a week. presses 407 with a dead lift of 650 pounds. “Physically it keeps me in shape, and “You can do this for fun, or you mentally it helps to maintain my alertness can lift to be very competitive,” and sharpness,” she said with a gleam in he added. “Me, I’m a competitor, her eye. “The company and social part Ken and will keep doing this as long also keeps me active.” Wheeler as my body feels good and everyLike any serious golfer, Cardiel has thing holds together.” racked up an impressive collection of But it’s not just males in their hardware and titles, including the Rio golden years that feel that competitive spir- Bravo Super Senior Championship title in it, and to say that Treva Cardiel has drive 2006, as well as being crowned three-time is an understatement. women’s champion at Rio Bravo in 1985, A late-bloomer of sorts in terms of golf- 1998, and 2001. ing, Cardiel didn’t take up the game until But make no mistake, Cardiel isn’t ready she was in her mid-30s when her husband to give up the thrill of competition, at least insisted that she give it a try. not just yet, as she prepares to attempt to “I didn’t want to take it up at first be- capture another title at the 2012 Executive
Cup at Pelican Hill Golf Club in Newport Beach in August. “I feel like I have done much more than I ever anticipated I would be able do at this age,” added Cardiel. “I love golf, and I don’t know what I would do with my life without it. “What I do know is that I will keep playing until they pry the putter from my hands.” That same sentiment is shared by Regina Hoelscher, who has been clogging for 26 years this August, just months from her 71st birthday. Her “addiction” as she calls it, began when she and her then six-year-old daughter, who just finished her first year of tap dancing, saw a clogging demonstration at the Bakersfield Downtown Street Fair. Her daughter wanted to try it, but there was one catch. If she were to join the clogging class, there had to be a participating adult. Nearly three decades later, Hoelscher is still putting on her dancing shoes at least three to four times a week, and says if there was a Clogger’s Anonymous, she would be the president. Although giving up tap dancing at the
age of 16, Hoelscher never strayed far from her love of dance, and was naturally drawn to the clickety-clack double-steel tap cadence of clog dancing. Nearly three decades after starting, she has performed all over Kern County with three separate clogging troupes, including entertaining 2011 Kern County Fair guests with 84 dances during 11 shows in just five days. “Oh, sure, I work up a sweat,” said Hoelscher, “but I could do an hour show and I’m not even breathless.” And why should she be? Hoelscher turns in a weekly practice schedule that would have made even Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers blush, putting in over 15 hours of practice, six days a week. But it’s not just the physical aspects of clogging that Hoelscher says is beneficial. There is also the mental benefits. “I am really not a very social person, Regina but if you put me on stage, I am a difHoelscher ferent person,” she said with a smile. “If it wasn’t for dancing I would be at home sitting, and that would kill me.” From performing in front of large audiences to participating in the taping of a popular television show early last year, >>
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74 Bakersfield Magazine
it would seem that Hoelscher’s clogging adventures are complete. But not so, as she has never competed. “I’m going to as soon as I have the opportunity,” explained Hoelscher, who is already eyeballing upcoming clogging competitions in Los Angeles. “I’m still young,” she said. “I’m going to do this as long as I can, and when the time comes, they’re going to have to bury me with my clogging shoes on.” While the physical aspect of trying to remain young is one thing, thinking young is a state of mind, and Gredell Davis has kicked the idea of being too old right out of her mind. Literally. At 64, she has already earned her 4th-degree green belt, just 24 months after taking up martial arts. However, becoming a martial artist at 62 was much more an accident that has grown into a quest to achieve the traditional symbol of self-defense proficiency—a black belt. “I really only took it up so my niece didn’t have to do it alone,” said Davis. “It was only supposed to be a six-week program, and somehow it stretched into two years.” Over the ensuing months, Davis had worked on her strength and fitness alongside students varying in age, and degrees of sweat and fatigue—stretching, doing push-ups and sit ups three to four times a week, along with practicing her moves and technique sequences. Davis, who credits her rough and tumble workouts with increasing her flexibility and balance, said, “I’m just having fun, and doing martial arts gives me a sense of accomplishment when I do it right.” Davis also says that in a recent proficiency test at her school, she broke through the brown board held by her instructor as a target. Each color of board represents an increasing level of difficulty following the traditional belt rank system, brown being just under black. “It feels really good when your hand goes through the board,” said Davis, “but not so good when it doesn’t.” While there is much good humor during the breaks in training, in the practice sessions Davis is a serious apprentice, and pulls no punches when it comes to performance, pushing herself to get to Gredell the next level even if it Davis takes until she is 100. “What’s age except for discounts,” said Davis. “I haven’t finished my first childhood, so I’m definitely not ready to start on my second.” n e n c o r e n
ove. At the end of every fairy tale, love comes– and only once in a
lifetime, it seems. Some on earth have found their one true love and
By Naomi Moss
lived out the ‘til death do us part’.
was a surprise. They attended the
To think it could happen again, to
same church and knew of each
find another as precious as the first,
other as their married lives would
is a far-fetched dream, not really
sometimes cross paths. Could he
attainable for those in their gold-
really find another companion to
en years. Isn’t love meant to start
share life? His once forever lasted 53
when you’re young and foolish,
years; hers, 50. What would she say?
not silver and wiser? We’ve talked
Carrie recounts that fateful day
to a few couples who never thought
in June of 2010. After a night of so-
being in love would ever happen
cializing at church, Jim asked if she
again. They are living another fairy
would stop by his house. “I thought
tale, breaking the odds of finding
it was a group going over. >>
true love twice in their lives.
Jim Welk was a little nervous
asking Carrie out on a date. It had been more than half a century since he asked anyone out. To start over
They are living another fairy tale,
forever young: love happens
Jim & Carrie Welk
finding true love twice in their lives. n
e n c o r e
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 75
at any age typo!) she and her new friend, Chuck, were talking of marriage! “Both of us had wonderful marriages,” she recounts. He was married 47 years and she was married for 48. Neither thought love would ever happen again. But from the beginning of their short courtship, she knew. “It just seemed right. It was so exciting!” After two weeks of emailing back and forth, their friendship was blossoming into something neither expected. It was destined to be. In fact, friends were trying for years to introduce them, knowing they were a perfect match. Who knew it would take two weeks of emails to convince them of what others wanted? “I never saw him before, but when I stepped off the plane, somehow, I recognized him.” He took her home that night near the end of July 2009, and starting the next day, he did so every day they spent together until their wedding in October of the same year. Then it was every day and night. It was a whirlwind, but a very sweet whirlwind at that! But can love last? Does the fairy tale fade? We asked Chet
Chuck & Eleanor Hill
and Vivian Sehorn about marriage, since they might not consider themselves newlyweds anymore. At 92 and 83, respectively, their 8 years of marriage is already longer than others out there. “I wouldn’t change it,” says Vivian. “It’s definitely better than being alone.” She was widowed over seven years when she remarried and doesn’t regret a thing. When anyone marries, there are usually family dynamics that come out. It’s not all peaches and cream when you’re older.
I was surprised it was just me,” Carrie continues with a smile, “He wanted to know if I’d go out with him. Of course I said yes, and then he asked for a date.” In February of 2011, they married. “It amazes me how quickly we fell in love,” Jim explains, “I was a caregiver for 5 years before my first wife passed and my initial reaction was to be single the rest of my life.” In fact, he wasn’t the only one. No matter your age, love can strike anywhere at any mo-
ment. Eleanor Hill was in China when she met the man of her dreams. Modern technology is a wonderful thing. Three weeks into a five week teaching assignment, a friend asked if she would mind getting an email from another friend. She didn’t think anything would come of an email, but after two weeks (that’s not a 76 Bakersfield Magazine
It’s no different for seniors planning a wedding, too. But when
When anyone marries, there are usually family dynamics that come out. It’s no different for seniors planning a wedding. we spoke with these couples, the overwhelming response was support and happiness. So much, in fact, that when the Welks married, everyone wanted to attend. Jim explains, “It was a large wedding and both sides of the family were involved.” When asked if there were any obstacles, Carrie answers, “Family could have been, but our children were okay with it.”
Love happens when you least expect it. It often strikes when life is flying by and you are looking the other way. Chet & Vivian Sehorn For the most part, the Hills received the same support, although Eleanor’s daughter was skeptical at first. “She was a bit apprehensive, because she didn’t know him. My son was all right with it.” Even though it was a quick engagement, friends saw their love was genuine and true. “Now, all are very happy we got married.” Even with time, Chet’s children came around to see the beauty of new love. “His children didn’t want to accept me at first, but they’ve come around,” Vivian shares. “He tells them, ‘Vivian takes such good care of me.’ And Chet is always very respectful to me and my family.” And now, everyone calls them grandma and grandpa. So many senior citizens expect to remain a widow or widower after their spouse passes, but for these seniors, they’re blessed to enjoy more years of love and companionship. Carrie says, “It’s good when, in your 70s, you can find someone you can love.” Jim is just as excited to have someone to share life with again, even if unexpected. “I wouldn’t travel as much if I were single. It’s so nice to share that with someone you love.” Carrie agrees, “We get to travel together. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t go by myself.” Eleanor explains her marriage, “It’s just magical that God would give us a deep love for each other, even before we met.” To have another to hold in the quiet of the night is a blessing, indeed, no matter what your age. And with age, comes time. More time to spend with your spouse. Kids are out of the house and retirees don’t have job com-
mitments. Carrie shares, “We get a lot of time together. If you like each other, that’s a good thing!” And more time together means more opportunity to know the other person. However, each couple here, like anyone else, also enjoy some alone time, too. Chet likes to be independent and gets around pretty good for his age. “He tried to tell me how to do things in the beginning. If I was cooking, he’d say, ‘Add this. Do that.’ So I told him, ‘Here’s the kitchen. Have at it!’” The kind-hearted Chet stepped in and had all he wanted. So much, in fact, that he still makes dinner for himself. For the marriage of two independent people, this is a match made in heaven! Vivian is happy to share, “We are both very independent. I take care of myself and he takes care of himself.” It is amazing that, after 50 years of marriage (56 for Chet) the first time, they both found another person to share life in a way that works for each of them. Remember, fairy tales do come true. From time to time, it occurs twice in a lifetime. Love happens when you least expect it. It strikes when life is flying by and you are looking the other way. Each of these people never thought they would find another happily-ever-after again. Life is like that though: sweet and unexpected.
e n c o r e
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 77
78 Bakersfield Magazine
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 79
HUMAN RESOURCES ❖
Ode to the Older Worker
Commercial Real Estate Broker Babby Kurian, G.R.I. DRE LIC. #01323690
Please Call for a Confidential Evaluation of Your Real Estate
661-599-5043 firstname.lastname@example.org Re/Max Central Commercial 110 New Stine Road 80 Bakersfield Magazine
My mom is 72 years old management firm in Michiand still waiting tables at a gan. Of his 65 employees, local restaurant. My dad is 23 are part-time quality 76 years old and still puts services inspectors whose in a few hours every day at ages range from mid-50s to the family’s bait and tackle mid-80s. Employing older store. Both plan to work unworkers has “worked miractil they are physically and/or ulously well,” says Denton. mentally incapable of doing “I feel there’s a whole difso. According to the U.S. ferent work ethic with senior Bureau of Labor Statistics, citizens. They know how to my parents are among the handle people at the sites, By Robin Paggi more than 6.9 million people make great ambassadors, aged 65 and older who are still working and have empathy and discipline.” Anne and, by every indication, don’t plan to Pinter, senior vice president for the New quit any time soon. Indeed, 74 percent England-Upstate New York region for of the respondents to a 2011 survey con- Atria Senior Living, echoes the sentiment. ducted by the Employee Benefit Research “We run 24/7 care for frail seniors,” says Institute indicated they plan to continue to Pinter. “We’ve got to have committed, work after they “officially” retire. In light reliable workers, and we haven’t always of this situation, what follows are some been able to find that with younger workthings employers should know about em- ers who sometimes may not just show up ploying older workers. for work. We need those who can grasp You can’t fire them or refuse to hire the purpose of what we’re trying to do.” them just because they’re older. The Pinter goes on to say that, “Our seniors Age Discrimination in Employment Act say that they love connecting with older and California’s Fair Employment and workers because they’re often about the Housing Act make it illegal for employ- same age as their own children. They can ers to make employment decisions (such find it a little difficult to initiate a converas hiring and firing) about applicants and sation with a 20-year-old.” employees aged 40 and older because of They can be managed by younger their age. However, according to Alicia workers. According to Cappelli, “The H. Munnell, professor of management real reason employers seem to prefer sciences at Boston College and director younger candidates has to do with the of the college’s Center for Retirement Re- perceptions of supervisors who often search, “Study after study has shown that worry about how to manage older subolder workers take a much longer time ordinates.” If that’s the case, a little eduthan their younger counterparts to find cation and training is all that’s needed. a new job.” In general, employers tend In her article “7 Tips for Hiring Older to prefer to hire younger applicants. Ac- Workers,” Kay McFadden says that, cording to Peter Cappelli, director of the “For the person who’ll be supervising, Center for Human Resources at the Whar- it’s important to help him or her get past ton School, “Experiments have shown the psychological hump of managing an that even when credentials are absolutely older subordinate – i.e., the dreaded conidentical, employers much prefer the frontation with Mom or Dad.” Additionyounger candidates.” Cappelli goes on to ally, younger supervisors should know say, “There are no good reasons for this that older employees also perform best overall preference. Older workers per- when consulted and empowered. form better across the range of relevant The fact that people are older should not performance indicators—better skills, prevent employers from hiring them as especially interpersonal skills, better at- workers. As baseball legend Satchel Paige tendance, more conscientious, and so on,” said, “Age is a question of mind over matwhich leads us to our next point: ter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” They often are better workers than their younger counterparts. Kevin Dent Contact Robin Paggi MA, SPHR-CA, CPLP at is CEO of Dentco, an exterior services KDG HR Solutions. (661) 328-5267
where to find
There’s a reason people always talk about the bounty of Kern County. We’re a mecca for big produce thanks to our abundance of rich farmland. This combined with our diverse population has helped create a cornucopia of the finest foods available anywhere. But where does
one go to find things like just-picked fruits, freshbaked breads, or the ingredients needed to prepare
international cuisine? You just have to venture a little off the beaten path, so grab a basket and join us as we visit these markets for a taste
of fresh, down-home Kern County flavor.
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 81
where to find
A lot can be said about Kern County, but there is one undeniable fact about our homeland, and that is that we have an abundance of fresh food which spans everything from honey and fruit to vegetables and nuts. Our busy neighbors are always hard at work producing endless edible options for residents to enjoy. Going local doesn’t only mean you are getting the freshest food available, but you are also bolstering your county’s economy. And, by purchasing something that didn’t have to be trucked in from another region, you are greatly lowering the amount of emissions needed to get that food to you, decreasing your carbon footprint!
Start by going local with some very tasty products: Citrus Produce of all kinds is available year-round at Murray Family Farms, including citrus (our #4 crop in Kern County). Bring the whole family out to have a picnic, take a hayride, or just spend a fun afternoon picking your own fresh fruits and veggies! Call (661) 330-0100 for hours and a full list of activities or visit their website at murrayfamilyfarms.com.
Carrots When most Bakersfield natives think carrots (our #5 crop), they think Grimmway Farms. And it’s no wonder, considering they have been operating in Kern County for over 40 years now and sell under some very popular names (BunnyLuv, anyone?). You can find out more at grimmway.com or call (800) 301-3101.
You can find a plethora of goods grown right here at different grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and, while dining out, chances are that a few key ingredients in your meal were grown just miles away! Pistachios, carrots, grapes, almonds, citrus, potatoes, cherries, tomatoes—the list can literally go on and on. But the point is that we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by some of the most delicious and versatile foods available on the market, and we also get the best picks. So venture out of your house this spring and dig in to our county’s cornucopia.
82 Bakersfield Magazine
Pomegranates Also known for carrots, and a wide array of delicious and healthy juices, Bolthouse Farms is a staple on many of Bakersfield’s grocery lists—sometimes just for pomegranate juice (#7 on our list of top crops). Bolthouse extended its products to salad dressings just in 2007, so the company has definitely branched out from being all about carrots! Visit them at bolthouse.com or call (800) 467-4683. Certified Farmers’ Markets Farmers’ markets are high in popularity, and Bakersfield is no exception. There are quite a few options in town, though many are seasonal. Still make sure the market you’re patronizing has been certified. A certified farmers’ market means the government has confirmed that the produce being sold was actually grown by the local farmers selling (and not being resold for profit by another individual). Charles Drew, the goto man for farmers’ markets in Kern
t o. com /abu
and buckwheat, amongst others. You can find their items for sale at Lassen’s Natural Foods & Vitamins, Cay Health Foods, Apple Tree Health Foods, Green Frog Market, Espresso Cafe, Nature’s Food Market, and Tehachapi’s Farmer’s Market. Find out more by visiting their website at www.kernhoney.com or call (661) 205-6427. Farmer John Eggs Bakersfield’s top choice for eggs are the ones that come right from East Panama Lane. Farmer John Eggs has been a community favorite since the early 1900s, and, to this day, you can find their eggs and egg whites in a number of local grocery stores. They are the freshest choice for eggs in Kern County, and they have kept the business in the family to ensure that the integrity of their products is never compromised. You can give them a ring at (800) 852-7099 if you don’t already know where these low-fat, protein-packed eggs are available!
©i s t oc
Kern Honey Unfiltered, undamaged, packed full of healthy enzymes, and free of pesticides, this local gem brings some of the most wonderful honey from the hive to your kitchen. Customer testimonials show that this raw honey helped them to clear up their allergies—which is something that more than a few residents could benefit from. They even have their honey available in “Bakersfield Blend Allergy Guard,” that just may help take care of what ails you. The blend includes nectar from sage, alfalfa, orange,
ck ph o
Golden State Certified Farmers’ Markets (Year-round) 3201 F Street Open from 8 a.m. till noon every Saturday, you can find fresh produce including more of our top crops. We’ve got numerous farms across Kern that grow grapes, almonds, pistachios, potatoes, cherries, tomatoes, and bell peppers, so you’ll find these in abundance at nearly every market, including the Golden State market. But there are also baskets full of ripe cucumbers, fresh-picked lettuces, honey, eggs, organic coffee, dog jewelry, handmade soaps, fresh juices, flowers, local artwork, and more, all in the same venue.
for over 30 years now, cautions that not only are some markets seasonal, but they may change locations as well as days of the week and time of the events. “Your best bet is to check with the local agricultural commissioner’s office (kernag.com), because they have the most pertinent information,” Drew said. He also states that most seasonal markets run from May to August. Feel free to check out his Facebook page under Bakersfield Certified Farmers’ Market for further information. And because he’s such a nice guy and loves talkin’ fresh produce, you can also give him a call with any questions you may have at (661) 319-9108!
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 83
where to find
“Cultural Tastes” Bakersfield is a melting pot—that’s for sure. It should come as no surprise, then, that we are home to some great ethnic food markets. If you’re looking to bring a little taste of a faraway country to your table, start here.
All India Sweets & Groceries 1715 S. Real Rd. (661) 832-3900 Wall to wall spices and sweets. You can spend a lot of time just searching the shelves for new and exciting things to try. What’s great about this place is that their desserts are made fresh in the back of the store each morning. The trays are full of somsas (sweets) like gulab jamun. You’ve got to taste this delicacy. Dough is shaped into balls and coated in flour before deep frying. Then, the dough is coated in a sugar syrup flavored with cardamom seeds and rosewater. But you can also find ras malai and aloo mateer! #1 Supermarket: A Global Food Store 333 Union Ave. (661) 323-8883 Ahoy, Captain! You’ll find lots of fresh seafood at this market. Everything from lobster, shrimp, scallops, and crab are waiting for you. And, they’ve got live fish. Because #1 Supermarket is a global affair, expect to spend at least an hour wandering around and discovering foods from Europe to the Far East. There are speciality Asian teas, Japanese somen noodles, Korean-style noodles, and a wide selection of sweets and dried fruits. They’ll be moving to a new location, on Stine Road, in early summer! Luigi’s 725 East 19th St. (661) 322-0926 There’s no way you can get away from Luigi’s shop without picking up some parma prosciutto (salt-cured ham for those not initiated) or some decadent Italian black truffles. The store is also packed with sweets like Torrone nugget candy, fresh pastas, and homemade sauces. Looking for anything Italian—you can find it here, including a large wine selection and any ingredient you’d need for a night full of good food and good spirits. Speaking of spirits, pick up a bottle of Capri Natura Limoncello lemon liquor.
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ethnic Al Huwda Market 600 Kentucky St. (661) 861-9520 Specializing in Muslim halal meat (a ritualized way of preparing the meat for human consumption in the Muslim world), this busy shop also carries flavored tobacco for hookah, and maamoul cookies—some seriously delicious cookies filled with dates. On the day we stopped by, at least half the orders were for these cookies. Al Huwda carries a diverse group of canned goods, spices, oils, and teas. The service is friendly, too.
Asia Market 7701 White Ln. (661) 837-0982 Looking for oyster mushrooms? Of course you are. And at Asia Market you can find them. You’ll also be able to fill a shopping cart with authentic noodles, spices, flavorful sauces, and specialty Chinese coffee. Also unique to Asia Market is boba balls! These are primarily used for sweet tea drinks. You boil them in water for five minutes and then submerge in your favorite beverage for some added texture and flavor. You can also grab some fresh fish, shrimp, and crab. Caesar’s Italian Delicatessen 4701 Wilson Rd. (661) 832-6112; 1415 18th St. (661) 335-1800 Ah, Caesar’s. The place to go if you’re looking to get fresh Italian meats, cheeses, and olives. Also, they carry Armstrong Olives (a local Porterville brand). If you pick some up, we recommend the Sicilian Style Jalapeno Stuffed Olives. The shop also carries traditional spices and extra virgin olive oils, cappicolla meat, pepadew stuffed peppers (they go quick, people), and, of course, wines and sandwich fixin’s.
Carniceria La Carreta 5792 Stine Rd. (661) 832-4006 This Mexican market carries some amazing finds. El Guapo spices, Mexican sweet breads, chicharon (fried pork skin), carne asada, hot links and other sausages, and they even have menudo on Sundays. And that’s not even everything. The meat counter is very impressive and the store shelves are packed with paraphernalia and imports from south of the border. If you want authentic Mexican food for dinner—this should be the first place you stop. The Gourmet Shop at Café Med 4801 Stockdale Hwy. (661) 834-5522 Caviar? Why, yes, they carry it here. But The Gourmet Shop is also home to delicious baked goods, desserts, Mediterranean cheeses, espresso, and a tasty selection of meats. You can also fill a basket with chef Meir Brown’s perfectly-cooked pita breads, some speciality wines, and, of course, the sauces and spices that we know so well from the menu at Café Med. www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 85
where to find
It’s one thing to buy a loaf of bread from the bakery section of a big box grocery store—it’s quite another to enjoy a freshly-baked goodie from a locally-owned specialty shop. We’re lucky in that we have the option of picking up a wide variety of baked goods day or night. Give these a try. Los Quetzales 2427 Niles St. (661) 324-4312 Though it’s only six years old, this Central American-style bakery has been gaining converts from the beginning. With Central American and Mexican breads and other baked goods, there’s a lot to try. Owner Nancy Morales makes sure that there’s always a variety of traditional flavor in the line-up. Everything from Mexican conchas to ojaldras and champuradas from Guatemala. Make sure you try the Salvadorian quesadillas (not the tortilla and cheese kind), a delicious bread made with three types of cheese in the dough. Everything is authentic and, of course, fresh. Pyrenees French Bakery 717 East 21st St. (661) 322-7159 Old-fashioned, fresh-baked flavor is what you get when you sink your teeth into any of Pyrenees’ goods. There’s no way we could mention this bakery without mentioning the sourdough. It’s baked in brick ovens seven days a week using the same “old-world” recipes that Pierre Laxague brought with him when he purchased the bakery in 1944 and it’s staple on many a local’s dinner plate. (This is also the most-requested bread from out-ofstaters). There’s sweet dough bread, wheat, hearty dark multigrain, and rye breads, along with everything from a small dinner roll to an 8-foot long sandwich loaf.
86 Bakersfield Magazine
Photo by Richard Sparks
Photo by Richard Sparks
Bagels and Blenderz 8200 Stockdale Hwy. # K1 (661) 833-6644 There’s more than bagels at this local bakery. Sure, these bagels come in every conceivable flavor like cinnamon glaze, peanut butter, jalapeño, pumpkin, and sesame, but you can’t limit yourself to a freshly-baked bagel all the time. For instance, their zucchini bread and banana nut bread are out of this world. They’ve also got scones, blueberry cream cheese muffins, and something called a “morning bun” that will have your mouth watering before you even place your order (it’s a croissant covered in cinnamon, raisins, and glaze).
ckp hot o
Kohnen’s Country Bakery 125 W Tehachapi Blvd. #D Tehachapi (661) 822-3350 A drive up to Tehachapi is definitely in your future, if only to stop in and visit this quaint German bakery. Be sure to bring extra hands to carry out all the freshbaked morsels, including traditional German breads and rolls. The German rye (Grau Brot) is dense and strong; the Vollkorn is a whole grain loaf with thick crust and a nutty flavor; and the basil and barley garden bread is awash with fresh flavors. If there’s room in the car, you can pick up sechskorn (six grain), brötchen (breakfast rolls), pretzels, apricot-walnut kalachies, and Nord Rhein Westfalian-style strudel (that means it’s traditional and wonderful). www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 87
where to find
It’s no secret that buying local is the way to shop—especially when it comes to meat selections! Bakersfield is teeming with one-of-a-kind selections and custom cuts. Many restaurants trust their meat to local butchers to ensure that they have only the best to offer their patrons. Other locals are just privy to the fact that you can truly satiate any meat craving in these favorite spots! Regardless of whether you just need a pound of sausage or an entire cow cut to perfection, local butchers are clearly the best choice. Hammons Meat Sales, Inc. 120 Old Yard Dr. (661) 831-9541 Claude Zumdt, butcher for Hammons Meat Sales, assures that they provide not only great value, but some of the most sanitary conditions for their meats. “Here at Hammons, we are federally inspected by the USDA every single day, so we are huge on producing a safe environment and product.” They butcher whole animals and even barbecue for schools and local events—cooking up 5,000 pounds of deep pit for the fair last year! Open to the public, you can either order your meat from them or bring in your own animal and pick your cuts. Wood-Dale Market 250 Stine Rd. (661) 832-7373 Feeling a little adventurous? Then Wood-Dale Market may be just what you’re looking for! Bison, venison, frog legs, rabbit—this place carries it all. Owner Israel Vasquez is proud of their exclusive selection. “A lot of people come here for our Harris Ranch beef,” said Vasquez, “but they also come for our custom sausages. We have over thirty varieties.” The Kickin’ Chicken and Chili Verde are some of their most popular picks, all creations of assistant meat manager, Oscar Enciso!
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Martin’s Meats 801 21st St. (661) 325-4262 This is one butcher shop that does it all! Owners Martin and Audrey Chavez want Bakersfield to know that this family owned and operated shop can do everything from catering events to cooking entire tri-tips for their customers on their BBQ Thursdays and Fridays. Serving a diverse clientele, Martin says, “We sell Korean-style ribs and teriyaki beef, make our own salsas and pork chorizo, and we cut, grind, and marinate our own meats. We also offer meat baskets, which have meat at a reduced rate.” Audrey reminds customers, “We have produce and groceries and our catered meals are homemade!”
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Farmer’s Wholesale Meats, Inc. 3018 Taft Hwy. (661) 832-5941 On the list for wild game butchers in town, this establishment comes recommended for the price and selection that they offer. If you are looking to buy meat in bulk, stop by here before you hit up a grocery store! Prime Cut Butcher Shop 9500 Brimhall Rd. #100 (661) 831-1413 More than just a restaurant, this carnivorous hotspot has a full service meat counter that includes any and everything you may want to make a meal complete. There are the traditional cuts of meat, like tri-tip and prime rib, but they also feature stuffed pork chops and chicken breasts, as well as various “heat and eat” items, such as their Las Vegas potatoes!
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Chef Raphael Hernandez
“Everyone should have pasta and meat, such as chicken, on hand at all times. Also, garlic, pepper, and salt are always good to have around for seasoning the meat.”
staples Have you ever tried to recreate some of your favorite dishes from local restaurants
or at least wondered what, exactly, those crafty chefs use to make their food taste so amazing? So have we, and in our attempts to duplicate their greatness, there always seem to be a little something missing. We hit up a few of the chefs from some of Bakersfield’s favorite restaurants and asked them what it is that they think everyone should have in their kitchen at all times, as well as where to find choice products locally. What we found just may be the answer to the daunting question, “How do they do that?”
“Flour and low sodium spices, like ones by Mrs. Dash, are things that I feel should always be in your cupboard. Try to get the least amount of sodium in spices as possible. They’re user-friendly and add a lot of flavor. Also, Splenda is a great sugar substitute to have handy. Anything that is healthy for you without compromising the flavor is always a good thing.”
Chef Meir Brown Café Med
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6401 Truxtun Avenue • (661) 377-0091 Nandakumar Ravi, M.D. Board Certified in Digestive, Liver, & Nutritional Diseases www.bakersfieldgi.com Colonoscopy • Endoscopy • Video Capsule Endoscopy • ERCP Esophageal pH & Motility Study • Treatment of Liver Diseases Cancer Screening • Office Endoscopy
90 Bakersfield Magazine
“Personally, I always shop at the farmers’ market at the Golden State Mall every Saturday to get things like peaches, red potatoes, and strawberries. As for staples, I recommend a good beef base, a good chicken base, and fresh garlic. I don’t believe in that jarred stuff, where it sits in oil. Better to use the fresh garlic.”
Chef Gilbert Sabedra Red Pepper
“For fresh produce, Murray Family Farms has everything you could want. Items that I feel everyone needs to have available in their homes: potatoes, garlic, onion, beef broth, chicken broth, and rice.”
Muhammad Ashraf-Alim MD, FCCP, FAASM
9870 Brimhall Rd. #100 Bakersfield, CA 93312 (661) 588-8725 • Fax (661) 588-8749
Chef Edgar Segundo
20041 Hwy 202, Valley Blvd., Unit 4 Tehachapi, CA 93561 (661) 822-0377 • Fax (661) 588-8749
vintage By Juliane Torczon
I’ve always had a personal struggle with “vintage clothing” and “thrift stores.” I feel like the word “vintage” is severely overused, mainly due to the fact that there is no clear definition. If you think about it, if all vintage means is secondhand clothing from a different era, then anything pre-2000 can technically be vintage. I’m okay with that as long as people don’t use it as an excuse to wear hideous clothing. “Well, this sweater is vintage.” Uh, no, that sweater is ugly and you calling it vintage doesn’t make it any cuter. Also, I hate when stores have
PHOTO BY J. MONCRIEF
a “vintage” section. I’m sorry, but last time I checked this store doesn’t have a thrift section, so unless you want to charge me a thrift store, secondhand wear price, you should probably not be advertising that. For me, vintage is something not to be used lightly. I love it when the Juliane Torczon is a marketing consultant and avid fashion blogger. You can check out more of her fashion and beauty advice on her website, myemptycloset.com.
piece of clothing has a story or memory attached to it. For example, when my great-grandmother passed away she was 102 years old. She had clothing from every era. I got to take amazing pieces like hats, scarves, purses, etc. Obviously, if you don’t have an older person’s closet to raid then your next viable option would be a secondhand store. I don’t go to secondhand/thrift stores very often because it kicks my OCD into overdrive. I get overwhelmed and feel like I’m going to have a panic attack and fall over into the fetal position. I don’t deal with clutter very well and whenever I walk into one of those stores I immediately want to start reorganizing for them. I’ve been approached at least three times before by customers asking me where they can find certain sections—just because I’m cleaning the store doesn’t mean I’m an employee. However, with spring in swing, summer fast approaching, and me wanting to pinch pennies, I don’t see any harm in entering a few secondhand stores (with a paper bag in hand in case of hyperventilating). If you feel the same as I do about sifting through racks after racks, then I would recommend doing what I did and make a list of things you would like to find to add into your spring/summer wardrobe. For example, I wouldn’t dare go into a grocery store on an empty stomach without a list in hand. Here is my list of items to keep an eye out for and that will be an easy way to bring color into your wardrobe: >>
bamboo emberglow honeysuckle phlox cedar deep teal coffee liqueúr nougat orchid hush quarry
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 91
Maxi dresses and skirts were really “in” back in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s and they’ve made a comeback. They were made in many different patterns and colors, so finding one of these in a secondhand store would really make a good spring/ summer wardrobe addition. There’s so many different ways to wear these: t Monoch romat ic—wea r the same color top as the skirt t Color Block—if the skirt is all one color, for example, orange, try pairing it with a dark blue or green blouse t Texturize—try wearing leather, faux fur, or lace with your skirt t Layer—add multiple layers with vests, scarves, long sleeves, etc. t Sheer—if you find a sheer maxi skirt, don’t feel like you have to find a slip in order to wear it. Body suits and spandex shorts can be an option. 92 Bakersfield Magazine
Any and every secondhand/thrift store is going to have belts in all colors and all sizes. This is an easy and inexpensive way to add in color to your wardrobe— especially if your wardrobe is like mine and tends to be more monochromatic. Use a bright colored belt to bring in color to a cute summer dress, shorts, or a skirt!
Look for anything with lace: shirts, skirts, dresses, etc. Lace is still very in and is a quick way to add a feminine texture to any outfit. Plus, lace is breathable and will help to keep you cool during the “warm” summer months Bakersfield is known for. Lace is one of those fabrics that have lasted through many generations, so there is bound to be lots of unique lace articles of clothing in a thrift store. continued on page 94 >>
FIELD MAG RS
IT Y PA
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 93
Fearless Fashionista continued from page 92
Applications Now Available For: MRS. 2012 Mrs. California International Jessica Cassidy
MISS 2012 Miss California International Dedria Brunett
TEEN 2012 Miss Teen California International Amanda Jenkins
2013 California International Pageant September 7-9, 2012 at the Doré Theatre, Bakersfield (Orientation Meeting: August 4th) We are a “sisterhood” promoting character, commitment, and choices. We strive to be a positive example of influence, serving others with humble confidence. We stand on the principle “Our Biggest Opponent is Our Own Potential.”
Competition consists of Interview, Evening Gown, Fitness Wear and Fun Fashion Teen: Ages 13-18 Miss: Ages 19-29 Mrs: Ages 21-56 Information & Entry Forms: californiaintlpageant.com 661-665-2721
T-shirts are an inexpensive way to add color into your casual wardrobe. In addition, you can customize them by cutting them up to fit your fancy. For me, personally, I love to cut the arms off the shirt and make it into a tank top. With all the colorful bandeaus that are in, I would wear one under the shirts so it shows, tuck the shirt into a pair of cut off shorts and belt it with one of the fab belts I picked up from a thrift store. You can probably find some great old concert T’s at these kinds of stores!
Don’t you hate how it seems like all shorts in the stores seems to be way too short? It’s always best to leave something to the imagination and with shorts these days it’s almost impossible. The great thing about finding inexpensive jeans at a secondhand store is that you can cut them off into
shorts at whatever length you want! And, if you mess it up, you most likely only paid $5-$10 for them. With all that said, go out there and hunt! It’s a great way to spend a Saturday with a friend. Saving money always makes you feel good and you can get a lot of bang for your buck! Challenge yourself, be inventive and see how creative you can be with pieces you find. Oh, and for those of you reading that don’t want to go to the secondhand stores—spring clean your closet and give your stuff away so that I can find it. Thanks! n
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94 Bakersfield Magazine
G R E AT
G E TAWAY S
authentic a getaway as you can get, as chain stores and fast food establishments are actually prohibited from breaching city limits. So if you're looking for a cookie-cutter trip, complete with golden arches, then Ojai is not the place for you! (How many other vacation destinations can say the same thing?) According to the Ojai Visitors Bureau, “The city embodies the essence of a thriving arts community with world-renowned artists, downtown galleries, an inspiring public arts program, a dynamic art center, and signature cultural events.” The population is a little over 8,000 and, from playwrights to yogis, the residents are very much a part of the Ojai experience. After all, they run most of the cafés, museums, galleries, and shops. You
Ojai’s majestic Little Chapel Mission welcomes visitors to town.
photo courtesy oatley kidder
The city embodies the essence of a thriving arts community with world-renowned artists, downtown galleries, an inspiring public arts program, a dynamic art center, and signature cultural events.
Scenic Lake Casitas is a kayaker’s dream destination.
photo courtesy michael mcfadden
little over two hours away is a town that combines a respect for its history and a love of modern culture. No, it's not an oxymoron—it's Ojai. The smallest city in Ventura County has more to offer than you might realize, proving undoubtedly that, when it comes to a fun and exciting experience, size doesn't matter! This lovely “village” has so much going on at any given time that it will leave you reeling yet relaxed, and wanting to come back for more. Named by the Chumash Indians, Ojai's first residents, and meaning “Valley of the Moon,” this charming spot is rightly situated in a valley where rolling hills and orchards make the backdrop to an artistic goldmine complete. This is as
photo courtesy ron kelley
have you visited valley of the moon?
Abundant lavendar fields will most certainly tickle your nose. www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 95
photo courtesy Elise DePuydt
Spectacular Meditation Mountain View.
rent out boats. There are hiking and biking trails for miles all throughout and around the area, and the Los Padres National Forest is nearby to satiate the outdoors adventurer in anyone. Horseback riding is another tourist favorite. Companies like the Ojai Valley Trail Riding Company have tours for riders of all skill levels, and it proves to be just another one-of-a-kind way to take in the beauty that is Ojai. For those who like their outside fun a little more on the tame side, tennis and golfing are a big draw, as well. Even better, you may want to indulge in the many farm and ranch tours available. Never been on an olive oil tasting tour? The Ojai Olive Oil Company has such tours pressed and ready photo courtesy will & Stephanie Coeler
photo courtesy Ojai valley Inn and Spa
can be certain that you are immersed in something which you can't find anywhere else with each place that you visit. You can also bank on meeting some of the friendliest shop owners, because these folks are living their passion, and it is evident! With a reputation as being a haven for all things artsy and romantic, this truly isn't surprising. In fact, it makes perfect sense in Ojai. The downtown area is a living testament to the unique nature of the town, which is where a lot of these fabulous hotspots can be found. Some of the shops have been around for decades and boast very uncommon characteristics. Bart's Books, for example, had its beginning in the 1960s when the owner, Richard Bartinsdale, had a book collection that started to grow so big that he had nowhere to put them all! He set the books out on shelves along the sidewalk for passers-by to browse through, and the shop is still going strong as an outdoor bookstore! Galleries like Made In OjaiArtisans & Mercantile bring the efforts of local artists of all mediums together for a rewarding shopping excursion. There you can find local edible favorites, bath products made from ingredients found around town, sculptures, handmade journals and pens, and music by Ojai musicians, just to name a few items, and all in one darling
Kuyam Room at Ojai Valley Inn and Spa.
location. You can even find western-style clothes for your little ones or handmade crystal jewelry while you are getting your fill of downtown shopping! Nature lovers of all kinds flock to Ojai to engage in the many open air activities that are featured in the area. Kayaking and fishing can be had at Lake Casitas—a true camper's paradise where you can also 96 Bakersfield Magazine
Just horsin’ around on the trail is fun, too.
for you! Ojai Pixies—delicious, seedless tangerines—are ready for the picking after March 1. If you make a stop at Friends Ranch, you can “pick your own” on one of their special tours. The area is also known for its abundance of lavender. There is, after all, the Annual Ojai Valley Lavender Festival! Luckily, you don't have to go to a festival to enjoy this fragrant plant. New Oak
Ranch is yet another spot that offers tours and a place where you can gather bunches of your own lavender. The weather is always right, regardless of what you plan on doing with your time there. The one word used to described the climate is Mediterranean. The days are warm and the winters are mild, creating a comfortable atmosphere, season notwithstanding. This is just one of the many reasons why this town is considered “footfriendly,” as many of the attractions are not only within walking distance from each other, but the weather is fair enough to motivate anyone to hit the pavement, knowing that the next adventure literally awaits just around the corner. If your feet do get tired, though, don't fret! The Ojai Trolley can scoot you to your next destination, so you can hitch a ride and feel the nostalgia, all for just 50 cents a ride. If you aren't already sold on this cozy place being the place to go for a weekend getaway, then know that throughout the year, Ojai has a plethora of festivals, so you might want to check them all out before planning your visit. You wouldn't want to miss out on something that can very well make this already perfect escape just that much more fulfilling! There are 15 annual festivals that cover everything from the love of words to tennis tournaments, music and yoga, some of which have been going strong for over a century. The week of May 3 is a great time to visit as the 13th Annual Ojai Storytelling Festival is taking place at the Libbey Bowl. “Celebrating the storytelling tradition with some of the nation’s best-known purveyors of the craft, the Ojai Storytelling Festival, one of the leading storytelling festivals on the West Coast, offers performances for adults, children, and families as well as workshops for those who
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want to learn more about the art of storytelling,” reads a press release from the Ojai Visitors' Bureau. “The Festival offers 20 different events presented by skilled storytellers who are able to make an emotional connection with the audience as they deliver their inspiring tales.” Tickets are required. With all of the ongoing excitement, you will owe it to yourself to top off your days spent shopping, exploring, hiking, olive oil tasting, and celebrating all things Ojai with some deeply relaxing time at one of their premiere spas. Even if you don't feel like leaving your hotel room, many of the local bed and breakfasts have spa packages that can be added on to your stay. You can also visit one of the many spas that range from general spa services (massages, facials, and the like) to specialized treatments. The Ojai Valley Inn and Spa offers something called Kuyam, which
Ojai’s trolley and arcade is a “must do.”
The weather is always right, regardless of what you plan on doing. The one word used to described the climate is Mediterranean. is a Moroccan mud treatment, complete with guided meditation. Did we mention that it is the only place in the entire country that has this particular service? Talk about rare! This intoxicating place is so close, yet can feel as though you have travelled a million miles away from everyday life. You can see for yourself exactly why Ojai has been deemed “California's Shangri-La” since 1939. Visit ojaivisitors.com for more information and to start planning your trip to Ojai today. v
Visit BARC’s two new retail locations for a variety of our “Art with a Purpose” products: • • • • •
Ceramics Notecards Mousepads & Coasters Garden Decorations Shirts, hats & more!
Giving People Purpose www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 97
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et’s face it: sometimes in life, everyone needs a little help. In the case of the average college student, a lot of help may be needed. This is especially true when dealing with a subject that is considerably difficult to grasp. There is always the option of asking an already busy professor for more of their time to help explain things further, but that can sometimes be limited to their scheduled office hours and emails—some of which can get overlooked. In such situations, a tutor could be the answer that a student needs. There are many tutoring services available in town, and some tutors can be scouted on
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98 Bakersfield Magazine
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different local websites. Others advertise by posting fliers right on campus. Most students, however, are not known for their riches, and piling on another expense is out of the question. If you’re such a student, there is a major saving grace at both Bakersfield College, as well as CSUB: tutoring centers. Both campuses offer free tutoring for a variety of subjects to currently enrolled students. The tutors are other students who are recommended by a professor for excelling in a particular subject, so it is a sure thing that you are getting individual attention from someone who not only knows what they’re doing, but also may have been through the very courses that are stumping you. Appointments aren’t needed at CSUB, and BC has walk-ins for math and english, only, but appointments are as easy as making a phone call. Check out these campus options at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu and www.csub.edu. v
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home & Garden
it’s a balancing act With a few exceptions, the phrase “less is more” can be applied to most situations (dessert being an exception).
Floating Shelves Instead of shoving items into/ onto every nook and cranny, install
Central Items You’d be right to think that pushing all furniture to the walls will give you more space and balance. However, creating a central seating area with a couch, coffee table, and a floral arrangement can improve the look and feel of a room. Large pieces of furniture like bookshelves and china hutches should be placed in a way as to provide continuity for any architectural features, i.e. bookshelves around a fireplace. Pick Your Poison Florals, knick-knacks, vases, decorative books—these all have a place in the decorating world. But they have their limits. Be careful that you don’t go overboard with everything. If you want to display some books, put a few on a coffee table on top of a runner (in a complementary color/pattern) along with a bowl of fruit or, if you’re a little more rustic, pine cones. Refrain from putting books, flowers, baskets, and other items in groups in close proximity— these groupings add to the overdecorated, cluttered look. >> om/teekid photo.c tock ©is
It’s certainly true when it comes to decorating a home, and not just when you’re trying the whole “zen” approach. Balance is what you should be aiming for—and you do that with less, not more. Rather than cover each square inch of your home with plants, vases, candles, knick-knacks, and other décor, strategically place certain items where you know they’ll be most appreciated and where they’ll have the most visual impact. That includes couches, end tables, and any decorative items you’re planning to use. Think about it, the more clutter on your tables, buffets, bookshelves, and counters, the less certain pieces will stand out. For a small home, too much clutter tends to have a shrinking effect on your space. So don’t overload small tables; don’t try to display too much in one spot—that is an easy way to throw off the balance of a room. There are tried and true ways of arranging furniture with floral arrangements, baskets, books, and lamps that most effectively utilize the space in your home, even if it is very cozy, and leave whatever room you’re decorating looking balanced and unique.
basic floating shelves. These will add depth to the walls and character to a small room. Plus, they’re inexpensive ways to add extra storage space without adding another piece of furniture to a room, which can throw off balance. The idea is to have complementary pieces and a central focal point.
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 99
home & Garden resources
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Use Colors/Patterns, Not “Stuff” In every home, especially a small home, every inch of free space is
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est room in your home by accenting with patterned wallpaper, rugs, throw pillows, a single vase, and other items without adding clutter. Remember, more things don’t create balance—placement of your
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tions of figurines that you’d like to display, get creative. Instead of just putting them on top of a hutch, design a functional, yet modern, box frame and hang them somewhere central to draw the eye. Wood molding can add depth and visual accents while rugs and centrallyplaced items can create a focal point for the room. Where To Decorate An ornate vase or basket, a floral arrangement, or a candle or two on a corner table can keep more balance in a room than a huge arrangement in the middle of a room. But balance does not mean you have to have something of exact size on both sides of a room, merely something similar to hold the eye. If you have a grandfather clock in one corner, another corner could have a floor lamp or a tall potted plant. Another place to keep free of knick-knacks: the fireplace mantle. Unless it’s Christmastime (the time of garland and stockings), there’s no need to have an overly-crowded mantle because these items can detract and throw off the balance of the room by bringing the eye too high on one side. One key piece is enough. Some Other Tips Rotate your accent pieces and decorations regularly to keep a room looking fresh. That way, you’ll get to use all your favorite pieces throughout the year (just not all at once) and your home will always look new and balanced to guests. And if you use a few large pieces of furniture with storage space, your décor will never
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be far away. Finally, remember that interior decorating is very personal—use what you have and what you like to look at. Just
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central items can. No need to have those old collectibles collecting lots of dust. Instead, select a few large, “dramatic” pieces to display rather than putting out everything you own. If you do have collec-
a bite of heaven
hey look good, smell good, feel good, and taste good. As with the growth of edible gardening, the popularity of herbs is multi-pronged. An interest in cooking, fed by Food Network TV and the farm-to-table movement, has helped to drive the market’s growth. Fresh taste and economics help, too. The mark-up on fresh herbs in the grocery store, however, adds so much to the price, budget-minded people (aka Mrs. P) pass them by. Growing your own is a fraction of the price and just like vegetables, fresh herbs from the garden can’t be beat for taste. If given well-amended, well-drained soil, these diverse plants practically grow themselves.
G ARDENIN G W ITH M RS . P
By Lynn Pitts
Did you know herbs are easier to grow than flowers, veggies, and fruit? Well, they are! All you need concern yourself with are herbs’ leaves, which contain the oils that give them flavor. And, really, in the end, flavor is what it’s all about. Whether you want to ease into creating an edible garden or supplement the one
Flowers are pretty. Vegetables are tasty. Herbs are both. you already have, herbs are the way to go. Make sure to give these plants some sun; total shade won’t work. If you’re a newbie at growing herbs, start out with what you’re most likely to use in cooking—Basil, Rosemary and Chives—and move on from there. Basil is addictive. Once you start tearing and tossing the leaves into a salad or over fresh tomatoes, you’ll be hooked. There are dozens of varieties of basil available from seed or plants. From tropical and subtropical Asia, basil is a bushy plant. The best leaves are from the younger stems before they flower. Try not to let your basil flower; pinch off the buds as they form or your plant will go to seed (meaning the flowers will turn into seed and the plant will wither and die). There are lots of purple-leaved varieties of basil, but Mrs. P is a purist and prefers the classic aroma and flavor of the large leaved green ‘Genovese’ basil. Grown as an annual, basil can be planted in spring, as soon as the ground warms up. Using herbs is the dieter’s BFF. Whether scattered into a plain boring omelet, over a simple salad, or rubbed on bland skinless chicken, herbs will add zing to fat free cooking. On the other hand, you could try my sister Holly’s latest diet tip: Don’t cut calories, just buy larger-scaled furniture to make you look smaller. But I digress. Rosemary is the second of the Top Three Beginner Herbs to plant. Its genus name, >>
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 101
Gardening with Mrs. P
102 Bakersfield Magazine
ally don’t want to use it in cooking. 2. Dill (Anethum graDill veolens): Probably my all-time favorite annual summer herb, dill originated in Asia and was naturalized in North America, maybe by seeds carried with the Chinese railroad workers, which is my theory. Growing three to four feet tall, with soft, feathery leaves and umbrella-like clusters of small yellow flowers, dill has a pungent yet pleasant aroma. Add dill leaves to salads, sauces, seafood, and the seeds to pickles. I use the whole plant (minus the roots) to make my world famous Mrs. P’s Gravlax. If you need to ask what this Swedish salmon marinated in fresh dill delight is, I pity you; your life has been deprived. 3. Mints (Mentha): Sometimes called the “Jaws” of plants, mint can be a kudzu nightmare for the careless gardener. Think I’m joking? I’ve ridden in this rodeo before, folks, so listen to me with both ears. Mints are wonderful, no mistaking that, but never, ever plant a mint in the ground or allow even a tiny bit to escape from underneath Mint pots into which your mints are planted. If allowed to escape, they will rapidly spread by UNDERGROUND STEMS all over your yard FOREVER. The fragrance of most mints is intoxicating. Rub some leaves between your fingers to sniff before purchasing a plant to see which “flavor” you enjoy. There are many varieties including peppermint, spearmint, lemon mint, and apple mint. Used to flavor food and medicines, mint is an ingredient in a large number of liqueurs. Mint is a perennial and can be grown in full sun or partial shade. I like to cut my (potted!) plants down to the soil in the winter. Cut long mint stems to use in flower bouquets for added scent. 4. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum): There’s nothing like parsley. It’s just pure goodness. It lifts a dish. It’s the salt or mayo of the herb world. I’m not talking about the Lynn Pitts, better known as Mrs. P., is a native Californian, master gardener in four counties including Kern, a garden writer, and professional botanical artist. She has been featured on “The Art of Gardening,” on PBS, and has conducted flower workshops throughout California for botanical gardens and arboretums.
kind that shakes out of a jar, which, let’s face it, has zilch flavor. Parsley Grown as an annual, I’ve found it will last at least two years if kept neatly trimmed and not allowed to go to seed. Both varieties, curly or flat-leaved parsley, need afternoon shade and regular water. I have at least four or five more favorite herbs but will save them for another day. It’s convenient to grow kitchen herbs outside your kitchen door or at least very close to your kitchen because then all you’ll need is a pair of scissors to dash out, snip what you’ll need, and dash back to scatter on what you’re preparing. If you’d like to grow a complete herb garden that takes up only two feet square, check out the great three-tier cascade planters with coco-fiber liners available at most plant centers. I’ve found them online at kinsmangarden.com. Even if all the above listed herbs don’t all make it to your table, they’re so pretty and fragrant, you’ll enjoy the view. Oh, I almost forgot to share a neat recipe for an herbal dog biscuit! It’s good for breath, a healthy coat, and repelling fleas. v
Easy to Make
Herbal Dog Biscuit 1 tbsp. vegetable oil 1 cup water 2 cups whole-wheat flour ½ cup ground flax seed 2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley ¼ cup minced garlic Mix together, roll, and cut with a bone-shaped cookie cutter. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. If you want them extra crisp, leave them in the oven with the door ajar and the heat off until cool.
Rosmarinus officinalis, means “dew of the sea.” Is that a cute name or what? Tough and versatile, rosemary is an evergreen perennial shrub. Although a Mediterranean native, it thrives in our Bakersfield climate, loving hot summers and alkaline soil. I could write volumes about the benefits of rosemary. Aside from using its tiny, needlelike leaves as a sophisticated seasoning in cooking, rosemary’s flowers attract birds, butterflies, and bees, producing excellent honey. The flowers are edible, too. Rosemary is used in medicines, cosmetics, and moth repellants. I’ve counted roughly 20 named varieties of rosemary and there are maybe another 20 more unnamed varieties out there. The only downside, in my opinion, is that rosemary can become woody with age. I could give you a long, detailed pruning method to correct this, but I won’t. Pull out the plant and toss it. Rosemary plants are cheap. Be a sport. Replace it. The third herb in our triangle is chives. A grass-like perennial herb with a delicate onion flavor, chives are native to the American West. Relatives of the edible onion, they can take shade, although some sun is best. Snip the leaves with scissors and add to everything but ice cream. Keep cutting small bunches back to the soil level when harvesting to keep new ones coming. We grow them as a perennial, but as with rosemary, if your plant starts looking wimpy, lose it. I’d be remiss not to mention four runners-up in the Herbal Hall of Fame. 1. Bay (Luaus nobilis): Sweet or Mediterranean Bay is an evergreen shrub that I grow in a pot, although you can plant it in the ground. It’s slow-growing and the oval, dark green leaves are extremely aromatic. Used in cooking since time began, bay leaves flavor stews, chili con carne, soups, roasts, and more. The standard “Bouquets Garni” used Bay in French cooking are made by simply wrapping fresh bay leaves around combinations of parsley, thyme, tarragon, rosemary, and/ or other herbs. Tied up with white cooking twine, these “Bouquets” add flavor to stews and sauces and are removed before serving. Remember, Sweet Bay Laurel is not, repeat not, the common California Laurel (Umbellularia californica). That is a whole different plant and you really, re-
Switch on the burner, grease up the skillet, or spark up the coals, it’s time to get eating. It’s not hard to eat a meal fit for a king—we’ve done the research for you. Whether you’re searching for juicy new recipes to thrill dinner guests with or looking for a new, exciting place to dine out with family, our Food Section has all the spice and flavor you’ll need.
We’ve got reviews, recipes, entertaining tips, and more! This is the place to explore local eateries that have good food and good service, find out which ones cater to your budget and your taste buds, and get culinary inspiration to bring back to your own kitchen. Sumptuous, mouth-watering meals await you whatever your mood— grab your apron and peruse these pages for your favorite recipe. Bon Appétit.
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 103
QUICK BITES WITH LOCAL FLAVOR
you won’t want to share Sure, Gimmee Some Sugar is known for its wonderful cakes and cupcakes, but the fabulous bakers at this local sweets shop have also been known to create some otherworldly desserts. Owner and Executive Pastry Chef Stephanie Caughell rose to our challenge to create a decadent one-of-a-kind treat for readers when she and her staff whipped up these Browned Butter Almond Blondies. “It’s
a mouthful in name and in flavor,” Caughell joked. “It’s the ‘browned butter’ in these that makes the biggest impact on flavor. Our palates aren’t used to this because it’s more of a European thing.” Still, there’s no denying just how good these blondies are...and they’re even better when you realize they are made with local ingredients. Just make sure you’re seated before you take your first bite. Trust us. n
let brown; remove from heat and butter until it turns golden salt. er flour, baking powder, and ond Blondies cool completely. Whisk togeth Browned Butter Alm ars; sug h and bot bowl, combine browned butter er mix c ctri ele In ts ien Bar Ingred combined. Attach bowl to h wooden/plastic spoon until wit ter but stir d alte uns ks) stic 1/2 (2 t on medium-high 1 1/4 cups Using paddle attachment bea s. egg add salt . er; tsp mix 1/2 1 • r 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flou s. Add vanilla and combine. until fluffy, about three minute ated sugar ed nul spe gra cup 1/2 • ar sug wn roughly combined, 2 cups packed light bro e and almonds. Mix until tho tur mix r flou bits ee Add toff or le mb 1/2 cup of Heath bar cru clean fingers, drop pieces of sliced almonds r into prepared pan. Using cup pou 1 • t rac ext illa van e pur . to spread). Bake 3 large eggs • 2 1/2 tsp onto top of batter (do not try ble rum g/c pin top g pin Crumble Top comes out clean, about 35 to sliced almonds il cake tester inserted in center cup unt 1/2 • ar sug ated nul gra cup 1/2 cup cake flour • 1/2 Cool 45 minutes (do not over bake). whipping cream vy hea or am cre vy hea cup 1/2 o completely in pan. Turn out ont il sticky, set aside. Combine in a mixing bowl unt parchment or cut in pan into Maple Icing 3-inch squares. Place into bowl. • Heavy cream 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted each square in 1 tbsp. English toffee extract cupcake paper. e Add heavy cream 1 tbsp. at a tim Add extract to powdered sugar. Drizzle each rable but not runny. Cover pou is e tur mix il unt er eth and whisk tog with icing. and set aside. ©istockphoto.com/kaanates ~Direc tions~ ay (275 if using convec tion). Spr Preheat oven to 325 degrees t, cook saucepan over medium hea 9x13 inch baking pan. In a
104 Bakersfield Magazine
Cuisine: otherworldly taste
I’m not lyin’, this is a true story: Some years back, Bob Bryant told me he was planning to buy the Lie-N Den, a little spot at Niles Place and Monterey Street. Any suggestions? he asked. Yes, I said. “Find John Somers and learn how to make burgers.” By Mike Stepanovich The late John Somers and his wife, Joyce, owned the place for years, and it was a classic mom-and-pop. John did the cooking, Joyce waited tables. And could John make those burgers! Just about the best damn burgers anywhere. Bob took my advice. He found John, learned the secret. And now he makes just about the best damn burgers anywhere. That’s why I was astonished not long ago to see another of those lists of Bakersfield’s bests—and when it came to burgers, the Lie-N Den wasn’t even listed. I really don’t know how you can have a conversation about burgers in Bakersfield and not include the Den. I can understand that it might not be No. 1 on someone’s list because, as a friend recently pointed out to me, you can get a lot of re-
ally good burgers in Bakersfield these days. True enough. But when it comes to burgers, the Den is an absolute icon. And here’s why: What Somers knew and passed on to Bob is that a really great burger requires harmony. Bob knows that you start with a good bun. He also knows that you then apply mustard to the bottom bun, where you place the burger patty, and you apply mayonnaise on the top bun, which comes in contact with the vegetables. This is because mustard complements the flavor of the meat, and mayo complements the flavor of the vegetables. He also knows that there’s a correct order to stacking the vegetables. Dill pickle slices go on the meat because they complement the meat. Then comes the green chili, if you’re having green chili, then an onion slice, then tomatoes, then a couple lettuce leaves—never shredded. And when you put that all together in your mouth, it’s heaven! >>
the simple truth:
Lie-N Den hamburgers are delicious
Cuisine: bliss in a bun www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 105
Cuisine: bliss in a bun The Ortega cheeseburger is my usual, and it’s a deal at $6.50. Add bacon, and it’s $6.90. Bob has actually improved on John’s burgers a little: As John got older his eyesight got worse, and his onion slices started getting really thick, like a quarter of an inch thick. I used to tease John about that, telling him, “Your burgers sure got better since you went blind.” Joyce would laugh, and John would make energetic hand gestures at me involving his middle finger.
A Lie-N Den Hallmark: Its chili. For the uninitiated, there are chili beans, and then there’s chili. Straight chili. Real chili doesn’t have beans. Bob’s eyesight isn’t a problem. He does wear glasses, but they’re apparently very good, because his onion slices are only about a 16th of an inch thick, perfect to augment the flavors of the burger, not overwhelm it. There’s another hallmark of the Lie-N Den: its chili. For the uninitiated, there are chili beans, and then there’s chili. Straight chili. Real chili doesn’t have beans. As one who, years ago, used to judge at chili cook-offs, I can tell you that chili heads scoff at the notion of beans in chili. You don’t find too many places that serve straight chili. The Lie-N Den is on that short list. You can get it either way at the Den. The chili beans look good, but the straight chili, as it’s identified on the menu, is the real deal. It’s finely ground beef in a magic mixture of ingredients and spices that are chock full of flavor. It has just enough kick to get your attention but not so much that it masks the flavors. Top a piping hot bowl of chili with some cheddar and onions and you’ve got a great lunch or dinner. (A cup of straight chili is $5, a bowl is $6.) Now let’s combine a burger and chili and what do you get? A chili-size! The Den chili-sizes are legendary, but unless you’ve really got a big appetite, stick with the half-order ($7.10 with chili beans, $7.75 with straight chili). That’s a quarterpound burger patty on the bottom half of the bun—the top half is toasted, cut in half with the toasted halves on opposite ends of your oblong plate—and smothered in chili (my choice) or chili 106 Bakersfield Magazine
beans. Top that with grated cheddar and onions and you’ve got one splendid concoction! Proprietors Bob Bryant and Kathy Baehr have preserved another Den tradition: the personal mom-and-pop atmosphere. I call it Cheers West, where everybody pretty much knows your name. Walk in and you instantly feel at home, comfortable. It’s like you’re visiting a close friend’s home. And, in essence, you are. Just like in the John’s era, Bob cooks, Kathy waits tables. Occasionally they have help. A couple TVs mounted on the walls usually have sports programming on. An enclosed patio area is a pleasant spot to dine when the weather’s nice. Other traditions persist as well. Your standard accompaniment with your burger is a bag of potato chips. You can order fries, but they’re extra ($2). Back in John’s day, fries weren’t an option. John didn’t have a fryer, purportedly because Joyce was afraid
which was really a euphemism for luncheon steak. And instead of sourdough toast, it came with toasted white bread. I took someone there once who insisted on eating his steak like a sandwich because that’s what the menu said. Of course the toast disintegrated, but he persevered, insisting that he was going to eat his “sandwich.” Kathy is in charge of the Den’s salads, and her macaroni salad and potato salad are dandies. The macaroni salad is my favorite; Kathy uses just enough mayonnaise to bind it with finely diced onions, black olives and dill weed. Likewise, her potato salad includes dill pickles, dill weed, hard-boiled eggs, and diced onions. You just can’t beat either one. Yet another little detail is the ice-tea: it’s brewed daily, never instant. You can also get breakfast at the Den—eggs, pancakes, a variety of sandwiches, but I’ve only been there a time or two for breakfast. It’s also open for dinner.
the simple truth: New York steak sandwich or "straight"chili with cheddar and onions doesn’t get much better. that with his poor eyesight that he might accidentally burn himself. Whether that’s true, or John just didn’t want to fool with a fryer, who knows? But it was always fun to take rookies to the Den and watch as Joyce feigned indignation when the rookie invariably ordered fries. The couple who briefly owned the Den before Bob and Kathy installed the fryer. One of the better bargains in town is the Den’s choice of two steaks. You can get an eight-ounce sirloin served with a side of chili beans and sourdough toast ($11.75; $12:75 with straight chili); or a 10-ounce New York grilled to order ($12.75; $13.75 with straight chili). Back in John’s day, they called it a steak sandwich,
A stigma that first the Somers and now Bob and Kathy battle is that the Den is some sort of dive bar. Perhaps it was some 40 years ago, but it hasn’t been for some time. It just happens to be one of the friendliest restaurants around with some of the best food around. And the prices are reasonable, as well. So, if you’ve been looking for an exceptional burger, good salads, friendly conversation, head for the little gray building at Monterey and Niles Place. And find out just how good a burger can be. Lie-N Den is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. It accepts Visa and MasterCard. For reservations, please call (661) 325-9765. n
LIFE IS A CABERNET
a wine for all seasons By Mike Stepanovich
You say pinot gris, I say pinot grigio. Whatever you call it, if what my panel tasted at the recent Florida International Wine Competition is any indication, pinot gris/grigio may be going down the same path chardonnay did some years ago. In my view, that’s not a good sign. Chardonnay has long been the cash cow of the industry. If you don’t make white zinfandel—and few actually do (and those that do tend to be in the giant winery category, such as Beringer and Sutter Home)— chardonnay is the grape of choice for a quick turnaround and money in the till: from vineyard to table in less than a year. It’s one of the world’s great grapes, but also one of the most malleable grapes: winemakers can do all sorts of things to it. You like butter bombs? Malolactic fermentation will take care of that for you. You like oak? New barrels ought to do the trick. You like cash? Make chardonnay in a narrow flavor range that is virtually indistinguishable by brand. If you want to see wine At this point I need to offer a caveat: wineries such as ZD and MacRostie that have a particular fondness for chardonnay and take extra pains to make good wine from it, are exempt from my critique. A handful of other vintners are also in this category. But for a large portion of the industry, chardonnay is made with the masses in mind, and for all intents and purposes is brandless.
Chardonnay is the grape of choice for a quick turnaround and money in the till: from vineyard to table in less than a year. gris) or the Italian name (pinot grigio), the grape is the same. But it has different manifestations depending on its origin.
In truth, I don’t have a problem
Pinot gris hails from the Alsace region of eastern France along the
with that. Wine enjoyment needs
western bank of the Rhine River between Strasbourg and Colmar. Wines
an entry point and, more often than
from this region tend to be rich and full bodied.
not, chardonnay is it. The question
The grape migrated to northern Italy a couple centuries back where it
becomes, once you’re ready for the
is known as pinot grigio, and displays different characteristics. It’s bright
next step, where do you turn?
and crisp, light on the palate. It’s easy to like.
For many people the answer is
I love both expressions of this noble grape.
pinot gris or pinot grigio. Whether
Pinot grigio has been gaining traction as an alternative to char-
it goes by the French name (pinot
donnay. It’s becoming a popular choice as a wine by the glass in >>
Bottle photos courtesy villa di bella sera, barefoot cellars; wine Glass©istockphoto.com/Igor Dutina
judges roll their eyes and groan, tell them they’ll be judging chardonnays.
wine: grape expectations www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 107
wine: grape expectations
Monday - Saturday 11am - 1:30am Sundays 10am - 8pm
restaurants, and, judging by the increased offerings I had seen the last couple years at retailers, is also becoming a popular choice to take home.
Calendar Of Events
Happy Hour Baskets $3.99 Cheeseburger & Fries Chicken Sandwich & Fries Loaded Nachos
$2.50 Domestic Bottles $3.50 Imported Bottles $3.00 Well Drinks $4.00 Call Drinks $4.00 Domestic Mondos $5.00 Imported Mondos
lovely varietal is now getting the same treatment that chardonnay has received for the
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and judging from the pinot gris /pinot grigio that came through my panel in Florida this
Happy Hour menu
6 Mozzarella Sticks • 6 Taquitos 6 Hot Wings • 6 Poppers
As you might guess, this trend also was recognized by those who make the wine,
past decade or two. In short, there was little differentiation between the entries. We did give two double-gold medals as it turned out (judging is done blind) to two inexpensive California brands: Barefoot Cellars (one of Gallo’s brands), which sells for $7 suggested retail (you can usually find it a couple bucks cheaper at most retailers); and Oak Leaf (one of the many brands in The Wine Group’s portfolio), which sells for about $5 full retail. Both these wines are non-vintage. Also earning a gold
medal was the Bella Sera 2010 pinot grigio, from Gallo’s Italian operation ($8).
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From a consumer’s standpoint, you can’t go wrong. These are technically sound wines and affordable, and I encourage you to try them. From a stylistic standpoint, however, they’re suspect: while tasting the wines blind, my panel members and I concurred that there was a sameness to the wines. Our observations were confirmed when we received the results: of 27 medal winning pinot gris/grigios, 12 are The Wine Group brands—44.4 percent of the medal-winning entries—and of those
12 brands, five are non-vintage. In other words, the labels may be different, but the wine isn’t. So who cares? Well, I do. It matters to me because I like a wine that reflects where it’s grown—the soil,
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the microclimate, the things that make an area unique. There’s a reason pinot gris from Alsace and pinot grigio
from northern Italy taste different. Likewise, there’s a
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reason that pinot gris from Oregon and pinot grigio from California taste different. And I embrace those differences.
. s U n O ly e R n a C u Yo or Verlen Love-Realt
I recognize that wine is a for-profit business and that wineries are going to produce wines that sell. When you’re in the $5 to $7 price
range you need to appeal to the widest pos-
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ntly Each Office is Independe d. rate Ope Owned and
have that appeal—and in fact have even broader appeal—by allowing the characphoto courtesy Klinker Brick Winery
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sible range of people. I believe that you can
ter of the grapes to shine through. It’s difficult to draw conclusions from these early competitions. Many California vintners didn’t enter the Florida competition; their wines will show up as the nascent competition season shifts back to California. So we’ll see what happens.
108 Bakersfield Magazine
As a footnote, it was interesting to see the corporate presence returning to the competition. The corporate wineries significantly reduced their participation in wine competitions when the economy hit the skids four years ago. The fact that Florida had a sizeable corporate participation suggests that bottom-lines are getting better. That’s good news for all wineries. Welcome back syrah! I had thought that the renowned native of France’s Rhone
We’ve Got The Best Prime Rib.
But we’re so much more than a
River Valley had really found a niche among wine lovers, but this last year its popularity seemed to fade. While I don’t think anything will supplant Bordeaux varieties—particularly
la Avai s e icat
cabernet sauvignon—as a consumer or collector favorite, I had thought syrah and its brethren, grenache, mourvedre, and their resulting blends, had firmly established a beachhead as a trendy alternative.
Central Coast vintners have firmly established Rhone varietals as their signature wines over that past decade, with many scoring successes in wine competitions around the country and garnering critical acclaim. Wineries such as Tablas Creek, Dover Canyon, Zaca Mesa, Eberle, Steinbeck, Croad, Arroyo Robles, l’Aventure, Halter Ranch, and others were producing some seriously good wines. Last year I sensed that the cabernet juggernaut regained momentum, and that Rhone varietals weren’t getting the attention they had been enjoying.
Daily Lunch Specials
Happy Hour Mon - Fri 2 - 6pm
Come in Soon - Taste the Difference! 3580 Rosedale Hwy (Next to Costco) 328-0580
But the on-line wine service, Snooth, recently reported that syrah was one of top sought wines in the first month of this year. Snooth attributed “years of downward price pressure” on syrah making it a great value. On top of that, the best red wine of the competition at Florida was a syrah: the 2009 Klinker Brick “Farrah Syrah” from Lodi. Finishing second in the judges’ balloting for best red was another San Joaquin Valley wine, Silkwood Wines’ 2007 “Satin and Silk” petite sirah. Klinker Brick’s syrah is priced at a reasonable $20 suggested retail (I’ve found it for about $16 on various websites). The soft economy can certainly be blamed for downward pressure on all wines, as wine is a discretionary buy. But I think another factor was at play as well. Syrahs had gotten too high in alcohol. Alcohol levels on Central Coast syrahs routinely were north of 15 percent. A growing perception was that the Central Coast had become, as one California winemaker dubbed it, “the land of big wines.” That perception was not lost on Central California winemakers; one told me that he was lowering the level of alcohol in his wines by at least a percentage point, bringing them into the 14 percent range. That means better-balanced wines that will likely have more appeal. 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. www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 109
brighten up your day bakersfield country club
quick facts Address: 4200 Country Club Drive
At the Bakersfield Country Club, there are a few things you can always expect to find: golf, tennis, fine dining, and plenty of sunshine—even on the darkest of nights! Just go up the main staircase to the dining hall on the left and
have been shakin’ up some the most radiant drinks in town! One
make your way back to their bar and lounge. During the day, you
of their signature drinks is appropriately named Sunshine, as
can enjoy breathtaking views of the 1st tee and the lake. A fire,
this delightful concoction is bright yellow and garnished with
occasional piano music, and a spectacular vision of Bakersfield’s
flares of red.
lights enhance the experience after the sun goes down. “Because we are located in the foothills, we have a very different golf course with elevated tees and greens,” said Jack Zimmerman,
Bar Manager Miguel Villasenor acknowledges that maybe not everyone is looking for a drink like Sunshine, but those who are fall in love with every part of it...right down to the garnishments!
general manager of the club. “This is the highest piece of land in
“When a Sunshine is ordered, the patrons always rave about
the community, which makes for a fantastic view of the city lights.”
how much they love the red sugar. I joke with them and say we
The club has been incorporated since 1948, and when they
get it from Cuba,” Villasenor revealed, laughing. Regardless of your
haven’t been developing nationally acclaimed tournaments, like The Ben Hogan Bakersfield Open Golf Tournament, they
preference, he is always glad to shine a little light your way. Brighten up any day with a glass of “liquid sunshine”! n
Bakersfield Country Club’s
Sunshine 3/4 oz. Grand Marnier 3/4 oz. Malibu Coconut Rum 3–4 oz. Pineapple Juice • Maraschino Cherry Put all of the ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously with ice. Moisten the rim of a martini glass and dip into red sugar (use red food dye to color the white cane sugar). Strain the contents of the shaker into the glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
drink: never rains here! 110 Bakersfield Magazine
Sinaloa Mexican Restaurant
Serving traditional Mexican cuisine to Bakersfield residents since 1948. Perfectly situated downtown, just west of Mill Creek Park. Open Tue-Thu 11:15am-8pm, Fri-Sat 11:15am-9pm, and Sunday 11:15am-8pm. Closed on Mondays. Sinaloa is located at 910 20th St. (661) 327-5231
Camino Real Restaurant & Bar
Mexican Inspired dishes with California love! Camino Real is a breath of fresh air! It has just what you’re looking for in a local restaurant and much more! From the assorted appetizer dishes such as the queso spinach dip, Mexican pizza, & fresh guacamole to the delicious signature entrées with steak, chicken, and various vegetarian options to choose from, we offer a variety of recipes. It’s traditional Mexican dishes infused with what we call California love. Join us for a deliciously prepared margarita or our famous happy day specials daily from 11am-7pm at the bar. Everything is prepared with our freshest ingredients and flavors that can’t be matched! We also offer a lunch buffet and Sunday brunch. Open daily 10am-10pm, bar open till midnight. 3500 Truxtun Ave. Caminoed.com. (661) 852-0493
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 www.valentienrestaurant.com (661) 864-0397
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The Dining Guide
Café Med is the place to go. Choose a selection from our vast menu and your taste buds will surely be satisfied. Come in and peruse our extensive wine list, now on iPads! For a wonderful and unique experience, join us the last Friday of every month for our wine tasting. It goes from 5:30-8pm and costs only $25, which covers featured wine and appetizers. Open 7 days a week 11am-close. Live music on Friday & Saturday nights. Reservations accepted. Visa, MC, AE, DC. 4809 Stockdale Hwy. cafemedrestaurant.com (661) 834-4433
A fixture in historic Old Town Kern since 1894, Narducci’s Cafe has some of the best food and drinks in town. Come in on Thursdays and try one of our hand-cut steaks on $10 Steak Night. Take in the friendly atmosphere while enjoying a Basque family-style dinner. Plan your next large party here for a memorable family gathering. Have a Bloody Mary or a Mimosa with breakfast, or try a Moscow Mule in the traditional copper cup. For dinner, the lamb chops and pickled tongue are a local favorite. On a weekend night, you might catch Jimmy Narducci on his sax. Breakfast and lunch served 9am-2:30pm Mon-Sat, dinner served Mon-Tues 5:30pm-9pm, Thu-Sat 5:30pm-10pm. Food served all day on Sun 9am-8pm. Bar open all day. (661) 324-2961
Cactus Valley Mexican Restaurant
The Dining Guide
With their award-winning salsa, Cactus Valley Mexican Restaurant is the spot for fine south-of-the-border flavors! The menu includes sizzlin’ fajitas, which you can order with lobster, shrimp, steak, or chicken and the San Francisco Bay Enchiladas: shrimp sauteed in tomatillo and cilantro sauce stuffed in two flour tortillas, filled with cream cheese! All day breakfast menu includes beef machaca and huevos rancheros. Lunch specials: $4.99 tacos and enchiladas, $7.95 chicken fajita plates. Cactus Valley is home to the best margaritas in town ($2.75 sm/$4 reg all day) and Happy Hour is 4-9pm. Open 11am-9pm Sun-Thu; 10:30am-10pm Fri & Sat. Karaoke every Thursday at 6pm. Located at 4215 Rosedale Hwy, just west of Hwy 99. (661) 633-1948
A restaurant of distinction. Served family-style, dinners include French bread & butter, soup, pink beans, hot sauce, hors d’oeuvres, vegetables, and french fries, and a variety of entrée choices. For 45 years, locals and visitors alike have savored favorites such as garlic fried chicken, lamb, and hand-cut steaks including filet mignon topped with blackberries and brandy. Chalet Basque offers tasty lunch specials from 11am-3pm and happy hour specials on beer and cocktails all day. The banquet room accommodates up to 180 people, perfect for wedding parties, anniversaries, and retirement dinners. If you’re looking for a spacious banquet room with delectable dining options, they will match any competitor’s price. Open every day from 11am-9:30pm. 200 Oak Street. (661) 327-2915
Champs BBQ & Catering
Champs uses only the best ingredients and fresh meats, including Choice Angus. We use a secret recipe of dry rubs along with apple and cherry woods in our smoker to deliver that award-winning Champs BBQ flavor. Our catering specialists will work with you to provide an individualized and stress-free experience, from quick pickups, drop-off deliveries, to buffet set-ups. Try our food and become a Champs fan for life. Voted Kern County’s Best. 35315 Merle Haggard Rd., Bakersfield, CA 93308. Easy on, Easy off Hwy 99 and Hwy 65. Catering Office opens at 8 a.m. Email us at Ilovechampsbbq.com or call us at (661) 410 4227
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
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. frugattis.com (661) 836-2000
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Voted Best Breakfast in Bakersfield 24th Street Café
With a list of daily specials a mile long, we have been a local favorite for over 20 years and continue bringing Bakersfield the good eats. From our classic homemade soups and comfort foods like meatloaf, to our sandwiches, omelets, and salads, we make everything fresh. Wrap your mouth around the tri-tip pasta with mushrooms, green onions, and a creamy garlic sauce. Or better yet, visit us for breakfast and you won’t forget it! We’ve got banana rum crepes, savory Portobella mushroom omelets, cinnamon apple pancakes, and so much more. But don’t leave without trying our Bloody Mary. It’s good for what ails ‘ya! Open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch, 6am-2:30pm. 1415 24th Street. (661) 323-8801
Now Offering Curb-side To-go Service and free validated parking for lunch guests! 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. www.uricchios-trattoria.com. 1400 17th St. Downtown. (661) 326-8870
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-Sat 5am-8pm, Sun 6:30am4pm. 4700 Coffee Road. Store: (661) 588-1338, Deli: (661) 588-2329
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 25 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
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 113
The Dining Guide
El Portal West
We invite you to enjoy our newest Mexican Grill and Cantina, El Portal West. We offer a great selection of appetizers, soups & salads, seafood, and our specialties are chicken, steak and shrimp fajitas. Our full service bar features the best margaritas in town! Happy Hour Mon-Fri 3-7pm (bar only), Lunch specials everyday, 11am-2pm. Fabulous Sunday Brunch, 10am-3pm, reservations accepted. 1100 Calloway Drive. (661) 829-2737
Asia Market - Teriyaki Bowl
Asia Market & Teriyaki Bowl carries a wide selection of all Asian foods, including Chinese and Japanese favorites! The best part about our store is that after you have chosen your favorite item, you can either take it home and prepare a meal for yourself, or you can come into our restaurant and have us prepare a delicious meal for you using your selection! We have a full-service store and restaurant, so you can come in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Join us today for excellent food provided by a friendly staff in a great atmosphere! Hours: 9am-9pm daily. 7701 White Lane. (661) 837-0982
The Epilepsy Society of Kern County
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Saturday, June 23RD Begins at 8:30am • STRAMLER PARK Get ready, get set, and mark your calendars for the The Epilepsy Society of Kern County’s 20th Annual Mud Volleyball Tournament. Your City. Your Life. Your Magazine.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org epilepsysocietyofkern.org
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children showing up to pledge everything they had saved up in their piggybanks. Similarly, employees that work for the sponsoring corporations will go above and beyond to try to sell those balloons. She has met people that work at local Wal-Marts, for example, that will have competitions with each other over who will sell the most balloons. Many of these people have been affected by the trauma that comes with having a prematurely born or sick child. And 100 percent of the proceeds that are raised locally stay local. This means that everything donated for the CMN here in Bakersfield—whether it is by calling in to their annual mediathon and pledging a donation or by purchasing a paper balloon for $1—will all go to the Children’s Medical Center at Memorial. The most anticipated event for this year is the first of its kind in Bakersfield! It is called the Dance Marathon. Students at CSUB stepped up and are working hard to make this event a big one. Traditionally, the marathon relies totally on the students, right down to the very interest in hosting. The first student to sashay to the forefront was Hilda Nieblas, who is now the Dance Marathon Club President. Nieblas had heard about another school doing the marathon earlier this year. As she was elected to the board of student services, she asked the assistant director of the student union, Emily Poole, to contact Nilon and get things moving. “The thought of not having the healthcare that your child needs when they need it the most is devastating,” said Nieblas. “That, alone, is enough to make this a cause worthy of helping.” Poole was happy to assist Nieblas in >>
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 115
“We have quite a few events every year that we hold to raise funds for the network,” Nilon said. “One thing that I can say about the community in Kern County is that they take care of their own, and they care for their children. I have been nothing short of amazed at the generosity and the lengths that people will go to to help this cause!” The CMN does, in fact, hold many fundraising events locally each year, and Nilon has been witness to many selfless acts from people in the community, all for the sake of helping these children and their families. There are the Spanish and the English mediathons (which are presented separately through the efforts of local radio and television stations), and there are also several balloon campaigns from their corporate sponsors. Wal-Mart, Rite Aide, Costco, and Kern Schools Federal Credit Union all offer paper balloons ranging in price from $1 to $100+ for customers to purchase and to display their name and support! Through the Kohl’s Cares program, Kohl’s sells $5 plush toys that are accompanied by a book to help raise funds for the network, as well. Nilon can say, firsthand, that in both community and corporate based events, the people of Bakersfield are completely passionate about helping this cause. For the last English mediathon, the hospital had what they call the “Compassion Corner,” where those directly involved in the fundraiser were outside of Memorial with cans trying to collect donations. Nilon recalled several heart-warming instances, like how a man with very limited resources still gave everything that he had in his pocket and how there were
PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) in the Southern San Joaquin Valley recently and that Bakersfield Memorial Hospital was able to open the Children’s Medical Center. “What people should understand is that whatever gift they give, whether it is a dollar or a thousand dollars, it turns into so much more,” Nilon elaborated. “This all goes toward equipment and services that will literally save the life of a local child. You just can’t place a value on something like that.” With the help of Kern residents, the organization has been able to truly work miracles!
(L to R) Emily Poole and Lourdes Vargas Nilon
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Lourdes Vargas Nilon is closer to her work than most people may realize, and for very significant reasons. “My son was born prematurely— right here, at Memorial Hospital. He only weighed four pounds,” she revealed. As the program manager for the local chapter of the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) at Memorial Hospital, she is also fully aware of how much every vital second counts when it comes to saving a child’s life. Whether it is a premature birth or helping a child with cancer, the CMN specializes in caring for the welfare of these children who find themselves in such vulnerable states. Bakersfield Memorial Hospital is a Children’s Miracle Network hospital, and the only one of its kind in all of Kern County. What that means to Bakersfield residents is that there is a place, right here in town, that has the specialized resources to care for our children. This also means that having to travel to Madera or Los Angeles for emergency medical care for a child will hopefully become a thing of the past. The proceeds that the organization raises go toward purchasing state-of-the-art equipment that regular hospitals just don’t have— equipment that saves precious lives. It is the reason why they were able to open the only
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the process. They had to get approval from a myriad of places— including from school boards and security—but the college was supportive of the idea from the get-go. “The students took the initiative,” Poole said. “This is all about the campus community. These girls are wonderful examples of how college students can make a big difference in their community.” The girls Poole is referring to are Nieblas, Amalia Sanchez (the Chair for dancer relations), and Jacqueline Martinez (Chair of publicity and advertising), all CSUB students who have dedicated their time and labor to bring the Dance Marathon to Bakersfield. As the theme indicates, the purpose here is to “Dance for those who can’t.” Their goal is to get 200-300 students to join and, as a result, raise $5,000. The event is scheduled for May 18-19 at CSUB in the SRC Gymnasium, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and the point is to stay standing for the full 12 hours, and to try to keep moving. In order to assist with this, the Dance Marathon committee has planned several activities, nabbed some choreographers, and has many different clubs (from ballerinas to cheerleaders!) assisting with the event to keep participants on their feet. Children who were treated at Memorial will be there with their families to encourage people to keep on dancing! Students shouldn’t find the task too daunting, as the activities are sure to be fun and informative and food and drinks will be provided throughout the night. Still, you don’t have to be in college to help make miracles. You don’t even have to leave your house! Go to http://helpmakemiracles. org/event/RunnerDM/ and click on the link to “Donate To This Event.” For more information on our local Children’s Miracle Network, contact Lourdes Vargas Nilon at (661) 327-4647 ext 4640 or visit supportbakersfield.org. n
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SPOTLIGHT Kern County Scottish Society
You don’t have to be Scottish to join the Kern County Scottish Society (KCSS). You should, however, share a love and appreciation of Scotland, its culture, and its rich history. And it’s easy to do. Think of all the legendary figures that hail from the land of kilts and bagpipes: Sean Connery, Alexander Flemming, and, for any girl who grew up in the 1970s, the Bay City Rollers. (Okay, that last one might be kind of a stretch.) Still, for those yearning to unearth information about their heritage, or simply discover a different culture, the Scottish Society is here. The KCSS is over 40 years old, said Chieftain Gary Lockhart. “Originally, it was very restrictive,” he explained. Meaning Scots only. “It was too restrictive. Now, we have members who are Welsh, English, and Irish.” But it’s not just the Scots who benefit from this nonprofit. One of the KCSS’s
biggest events of the year, The Scottish Games and Gathering, attracts Scots and non-Scots alike from across the West Coast. This year marks the 17th time the KCSS will be hosting this expansive and energizing event and, according to Lockhart, they’re once again expecting nearly 2,000 attendees. “The Games will be held at Pioneer Village at the Kern County Museum,” added Jan Lockhart, who is not only a dedicated Society member, but also Gary’s wife. Six Celtic bands, food, dancing, and genealogy booths will be there to entertain and educate people on the traditions of the Highlands. There will be piping and drumming, blacksmithing, a whisky tasting, tartans, the opportunity to learn Gaelic (the native language of the Highlands), and the chance to see the Highland Games. “The Games originated during the period in Scottish history when the English ruled,” Lockhart said. Any sort of Scottish activity was banned, including train-
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ing with weaponry. The Scots needed a way to stay fit and continue to practice with their equipment. “That’s why you’ll see large men throwing logs,” Jan added with a chuckle. Also, anyone with a Scottish heritage can learn more about the clans represented here in Kern County and those across the West Coast. “It’s what we call ‘Clan Row,’ ” Lockhart said. “There will be thirty-two clans here presenting the history of their clan and their tartans.” The Society also hosts a Robert Burns Night, Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan (when clans bring a small piece of their tartan to be blessed), and many other annual events that promote cultural education. There are monthly dance and language classes for those wanting to further immerse themselves in the culture. “More people in their 20s and 30s are starting to understand the importance of heritage,” Jan added. “[The KCSS] is a great group of people that strive to promote the subtler aspects of the culture and keep the historic traditions alive in a modern society. When people come to the Games, they get to see what the Scots do.” And, hopefully, they’ll be interested in joining. “What we really need as a nonprofit organization is sponsors and members,” Jan explained. “The sponsors will help us put on our events and the members will help us grow,” and spread the word about the kind of good this group is trying to do. The Kern County Scottish Society also gives back to our community in a more tangible way. The Society supports the Jamison Children’s Center and various Highland High School activities. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit one of their General Meetings—they are the fourth Thursday of the month. Don’t worry if you aren’t Scottish... “Everyone has a little Scottish in them,” said Lockhart with a smile. The Scottish Games and Gathering is Saturday, April 21, 2012. Visit kernscot.org for membership information and a schedule of meetings, or call (661) 865-8890. n
community partners UN
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It’s finally here! Enjoy lip-smacking food & fun at the 4th annual
May 18 & 19
plus Prizes & Awards
Kern County Fairgrounds 1142 South P St.
10,000 in Cash
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Friday Night: 5-9pm Free Entry & Concert with Mento Buru Saturday: 11am-5pm Adults $10, Kids 12 & Under FREE! Saturday’s activities include: Kansas City Barbecue Society Meat Competition (Chicken, Ribs, Pork, Brisket) California BBQ Association Team of the Year Awards • Live Entertainment • BBQ Tasting Kid’s Zone • Vendors • Much more Benefitting
BakoBBQ.com • 661-324-2427 email@example.com
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 119
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Andrew C. Dreyer, DDS, MS Periodontics & Dental Implants
Comprehensive Periodontal Care Including Treatment for Gum Disease and Dental Implants • • •
IV and oral conscious sedation High resolution CT scanner in-office Bakersfield’s only board certified periodontist
Gretchen Daughtery Director of Development
Steady growth is great for any nonprofit, but to meet the challenges inherent in such progress, Hoffmann Hospice created a department to oversee fundraising events, capital campaigns and partnership development. The division is led by newly appointed Director of Development, Gretchen Daughtery. “Hoffmann Hospice is poised to go above and beyond with unique services for our community,” Daughtery said. “It’s an exciting time to be part of the agency.”
8605 Camino Media, Suite 200 www.BakersfieldPeriodontics.com
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2021 22nd St., Bakersfield, CA 93301 www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 121
Family & Cosmetic Dentistry Michael Weinberg, DDS
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122 Bakersfield Magazine
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10425 Rosedale Hwy.
"We stand behind our birds, but not under them!"
• Spa Boutique • Moroccanoil Products
Fine Men’s Clothing Since 1988
Corner of Stockdale & Coffee Snead’s for Men
GET YOUR RAMBLE ON AT THE 3 rd ANNUAL WALK FOR THE ARTS!
SATURDAY, MAY 19th
900 H Street (1 block south of California Ave.) 661-327-4734 • FAX 661-377-0363
Rev. Msgr. Craig F. Harrison, V.F. Pastor Rev. Denis Ssekannyo, Associate Rev. Sidath Wilegoda, Associate Rev. Gerry Chavez, Hospitals
CENTRAL PARK AT MILL CREEK 21st & R Street • Downtown • Free admission to museums and galleries FIELD MAG RS • Live music, dancing and theatre groups • The opportunity to raise pledges M R UN IT Y PA • A scavenger hunt throughout the route • Opening ceremony and finish line celebration
10111 Rosedale Hwy. #120 • 589-9496
• Eyebrows • Underarms • Upper Lip • Bikini
Saturday: 8:00 a.m. (Honoring Mary) 5:00 p.m. (Vigil-English) 7:30 p.m. (Vietnamese) Sunday:
6:45 a.m. (English) 8:30 a.m. (English) 10:30 a.m. (Family) 12:00 p.m. (English) 2:00 p.m. (Latin) 5:00 p.m. (Spanish) 7:00 p.m. (English)
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 123
Jessica Frey Photography
• Bridal party concierge service • Professional bridal & special occasion make-up ake time • Bridal skin care to relax before • Spray tan your big day! • Massage • Natural nail pedi/ manicure & more...
1030 Truxtun Ave. • 431-3173
Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Gillam (Gladys Bonilla) October 15th, 2011K Rio Bravo Country Club
Mr. & Mrs. Jesse Urena (Breanna Hunsaker) November 11th, 2011K Avila Beach
Misty Dameron Photography
Mr. & Mrs. Jeff McDonald (Danielle Rosales) February 10th, 2012K Saint Joseph Church
Mr. & Mrs. Berge Kirkorian (Heather Long) September 10th, 2011K United Methodist Church
Find me at StyleSeat.com & Facebook
Linda Hamilton Photography
Carrie McNamee Stylist & Makeup Artist
9600 Retail Drive, #105 • Bakersfield cell:661-817-5595
124 Bakersfield Magazine
Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Phillips (Ramona Quiroz)
Mr. & Mrs. Jesus Perez (Janel Whicker)
October 8th, 2011K River Lakes Golf Course
July 23rd, 2011K Saint Joseph Church
E-mail your wedding photography and information to: email@example.com
Your Affair to Remember! Elegant Architecture Surrounded by Lush Gardens
Misty Dameron Photography
Mr. & Mrs. Trent Taylor (Sandra Cox)
Mr. & Mrs. Travis Schellenberg (Rachel Ramirez)
March 10th, 2012K St. Francis Catholic Church
October 15th, 2011K The Rose Garden
Production Lighting Rental • Sales • Service • Design
“The Event Lighting Specialists” Jennifer Williams Photography
Jessica Frey Photography
Mr. & Mrs. Josh Cienfuegos (Renee Culbertson)
Mr. & Mrs. Chris Ingrum (Carrie White)
November 5th, 2011K Noriega House
December 17th, 2011K Olive Drive Church
Serving Bakersfield for Over 25 Years
Mr. & Mrs. Todd Snider (Cheryl Rae)
Mr. & Mrs. Gary Eppel (Charlyn Tedder)
July 20th, 2011K The Island of Kauai
February 11th, 2012K Laurelglen Bible Church
E-mail your wedding photography and information to: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 125
FIELD MAG RS
IT Y PA
For more photos from these parties visit bakersfieldmagazine.net
Paul W. Powell
Patty Hinojosa, Tina Lastovica, Rebecca Rice, Carina Barajas, & Charlene Villaren
Mercedes-Benz Ladies Night
Cocktails, hors de’oeuvres, live music, and goodie bags were just a few of the things that were enjoyed by those who attended Mercedes-Benz’s Ladies Night. Taking in the posh atmosphere that started in the showroom and continued outside, the happy crowd was also able to view the latest models of Mercedes available in the company of family and friends.
Gary Blackburn & Gary Paradise
Bethany & Baylee Price
Cindy Romagham, Adriana Binion, Angelica Alvarez, & Carolina Lopez
Bill & Monica Jeffries
Deborah Hess & Judy Hyatt
David & Tamara Kuge
Jared Britschgi & Barry Zoeller
Bruce Laub & Denise Beauford
Anna Silva & Mike Owen
Gina Hayden, Bernie Herman & Jeff Hayward
Leigh Ann Cook & Dana Culhane-Brenhan
126 Bakersfield Magazine
Every year, Kern County takes a moment to assess where we stand and where we are headed. This year’s State of the County Dinner was filled with everyone from doctors, lawyers, teachers, CEOs, board supervisors, and business owners to curious locals interested in knowing where Kern County stands. Guests mingled as they sampled appetizers before enjoying a dinner and staying informed on the county’s progress.
Rosie & Michael Clark
For more photos from these parties visit bakersfieldmagazine.net
BC’s Renegade Foundation put on the 4th Annual Sterling Silver Dinner. Guests enjoyed a meal designed by William Bloxsom-Carter, executive chef at the Playboy Mansion. Each course was complemented with wine paired by Mike Stepanovich, Bakersfield Magazine Wine & Food Editor. Proceeds support funds for scholarships, program support, and equipment as well as the Bakersfield College Culinary Arts program.
CATERING WITH YOU IN MIND Weddings • Social & Corporate Events
www.PmCustomCatering.com 3301 Pegasus Dr. Ste. #4
BAKERSFIELD RUBBER STAMP
Mike Lewis & Barbara Ryoerski over 60 years local service
Rob & Julie Rice
24 Hour Service (most orders) Stamps Manufactured on Premises
Self Inking Stamps • Daters • Address Stamps Custom Artwork Stamps • State Certified Notary Stamps Business Cards • Copies • Embossers Corporate Seals • Engineer Seals • Signatures Stencils & Supplies • Labels • Engraved Signs
YEARS $ FOR ONLY
Darcy & Chad Cotton
Circle of Friends
Mr. & Mrs. Davis
The Jesus Shack hosted its 15th Annual Circle of Friends Dinner Celebration at the El Tango Reception Hall. The many friends present were provided with dinner and live entertainment. A silent auction was also a part of this fun evening, with proceeds benefitting their Medical Mobile Unit, which will help to bring medical treatment to the uninsured in our community.
Name Don Here Clark
The Cover Price!
Amara Nieland & Penny Marie
James & Lydia Ranger
Tracy Peoples & Lynn Larson
Kalay Ward & Julie Bell
12 EXCITING ISSUES TO ENJOY!
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2012 127
“Sensitive Pricing, Compassionate Service”
For more photos from these parties visit bakersfieldmagazine.net
Funeral Homes • CemetEries Cremations Northeast
3700 River Blvd.
2739 Panama Ln.
Advanced Planning • 397-9541
Eric & Pauline Bartlett
Melissa Iger & Rick Gomez
Elaine Jumes & Erin Posey
An Evening of Wine & Trees
Art lovers of all kinds were present at the Metro Galleries for The Tree Foundation of Kern’s fundraising event, An Evening of Wine & Trees. As part of their California’s Arbor Week celebration, a silent auction was available, as was wine from Croad Vineyards and delectable treats by BC’s Culinary Arts. Attendees viewed local artwork which featured different interpretations of trees.
Jack & Brice Stevenson
In Your Life!
• Carriers • Dog Training • Collars • Clothing • Grooming • Food • Doggy Day Care
Barbara Louden & Sherrie Shess
Adam & Tiffani Alvidrez
1617 19th St. • 321-9602
City:_____________________________State:________ Zip:____________________ Subscription label will identify you as gift giver • Mail to: 1601 New Stine Rd. #200 Orders must be received by 05-18-2012 for June Issue Bakersfield, CA 93309
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Becki Whitson & Chuck Miles
128 Bakersfield Magazine
Emilee & Kevin Gonsalves
Jon Vaughn & Ashley Godbey
Pat & Barry Rosenfeld
Jim & Donna Belle
Jeff & Jan Lemucchi
Mark & Karen Roberts
Diane & John White
Twilight’s Luck be a Lady Tonight
Lucky locals made their way out to The Rotary Club of Bakersfield Twilight’s dinner, dance, and gaming event, Luck be a Lady Tonight, on a swingin’ Saturday. With music by crooner, Roger Martin “The Lounge Guy,” in the background, participants sipped drinks, dined on a delicious dinner, and tried their hand at card tables lined throughout the Bell Tower Club for fabulous prizes.
LaRayne & Mike Brite
For more photos from these parties visit bakersfieldmagazine.net
Melissa & Susie Young
Linda Payne & Sandy Eudy
Stella Williams & Michelle Hartshorn
Go Red Luncheon
“Your Family Can Depend on Ours”
Red shoes, red dresses, red skirts, and red shirts. Red was the color of choice for all the ladies who attended The Go Red luncheon for the American Heart Association. Those who attended got the chance to learn about heart health as well as enjoy a day full of shopping followed by a delicious lunch, an entertaining fashion show, and several motivational speeches by individuals affected by heart disease.
2100 F St., #200 • 661-327-9731 www.wmklyons.com
Linda Diaz & Nancy Kelly T H E F U T U R E O F S TA F F I N G A Randstad Company
We Specialize in Recruitment & Placement of Employees in Clerical and Industrial Businesses.
Kayla Lane & Kim Pounder
Gayle Baker & Robin Marshall
Kim Irvine & Jennifer Ramirez
Administrative • Forklift Material Handlers • Packaging
1601 New Stine Road, Suite 135
www.PlacementPros.com Elaine Solan & Paula Daoutis
Janet Billingsley & Mari Conroy
Diane Duran & Patty Lucke
~Kern’s Basque Tradition since 1945~ NEVER FROZEN, THEN BAKED, OR TRUCKED LONG DISTANCES. FIND US IN YOUR FAVORITE GROCERY STORE OR DELI TODAY!
Valerie Lallo & Trish King
Dena Dye & Maureen Graessley
Sue Wallace & Priscilla Long
717 East 21st St. 322-7159 Dee Dee Mallick & Yolanda Arias
Denna Theodore, Elaine Solan, & Karen Rienzo
APW Black & White Charity Bunco
Ladies donned their loveliest black and white with pride to support the Association of Petroleum Wives’ Annual APW Black & White Charity Bunco. With proceeds benefitting the Brain Injury Association of America, supporters came together and participated in a silent auction, food, drinks, and—of course—many rounds of bunco at the Stockdale Country Club.
ANDERSON ACRES Boarding • DAYCARE GROOMING • TRAINING PICK-UP & DELIVERY
“WE TREAT YOUR PETS LIKE FAMILY” Pat Kerley & Dawn Kerley
Karen Stoker, Debi Roberson, Carolyn Cox, & Cindy Castro
www.bakersfieldmagazine.net / Spring 2011 129
bakersfield’s sound Kern county jail
Photos courtesy of kern county museum
We Need More Old Photos! Have an old photo with back story from Bakersfield’s past? We want your suggestions for future Bakersfield’s Sounds. Submit any ideas to editorial@ bakersfieldmagazine.net. If we use your submission, we’ll give you a $50 gift card to a fabulous local restaurant.
ll throughout our city, we are surrounded by historic buildings and statues which bring character, charm, and serve as reminders of the incredible past Bakersfield possesses. Colonel Baker sits forever focused in front of City Hall while Father Garces tirelessly keeps watch over the Garces Circle. We are fortunate to still have such markers in town that have survived the trials of time and bear such great historical significance. Although, sometimes these seemingly fixed objects disappear, and some pictures and memories are all that we have left of them. The Kern County jail on Truxtun and Q Street, prior to the 1952 earthquake, was not only known for keeping bad guys locked up, but also for two grand terra cotta lions that sat on either side of the front entrance, as if guarding the facility. Unlike the cold, boxy feel that most modern jails elicit, this structure had stories-high arched windows and intricate designs. These 12-foot by 5 1/2-foot behemoths were not only a source of wonder, but also of fun, as many young boys were apt to climb and play on them. The lions would remain in that spot for 47 years until the jail had to be updated. With the disappearance of the building, the lions vanished, as well. According to a historical article by Gilbert Gia (www.gilbertgia.com), the lions were put up for auction and were sold in 1962. They didn’t go to a local art collector or a historian of any sort, though. Surprisingly, the winning bid was for $175 and the lions went to none other than a fraternity in Reno. The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity from UNR—whose mascot is, naturally, the lion—became the proud owners of Bakersfield history for less than $200! What isn’t so surprising is the trouble the statues have encountered since the purchase. From the start, the move was perilous. The lions arrived at their new home in pieces, and it didn’t get much smoother from there. They have been painted and defaced many times over by rivaling fraternities. Their teeth have been knocked out and their whiskers have been mangled. A lot of epoxy, paint, time, and love have gone into maintaining the pair, and they still stand guard today. As for Bakersfield, the actual statues may never return here, but efforts have been made to recreate them in town. In time, their likeness may once again evoke those feelings of awe from new generations and countless more to follow.
the story of bakersfield is all around us, you just have to look — and listen. 130 Bakersfield Magazine
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Published on Apr 9, 2012
Part two in our ongoing chronical of Kern County's history. A Foddies Guide on Where to find Great Food. Seniors find Love at any age.