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TM

February 2020

www.bakersfieldlife.com

A guide for newbies and natives

Dining with Dre Visits Pita Paradise $3.95

Rhythm & Roots

A community comes together to support those in need

Innovation Lab

Program unites passionate individuals to redefine, revitalize city’s urban core


       

    

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STAFF

TM

February 2020

www.bakersfieldlife.com

Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine February 2020 / Vol. 14 / Issue 5 Bakersfield Life™ Magazine is published by The Bakersfield Californian

A guide for newbies and natives

Dining with Dre Visits Pita Paradise $3.95

Rhythm & Roots

A community comes together to support those in need

Innovation Lab

Program unites passionate individuals to redefine, revitalize city’s urban core

On the Cover

General Manager Cliff Chandler Editor Mark Nessia

Julie Mana-ay Perez Photography Nina Ha, Alex Horvath, Julie Mana-ay Perez, April Massirio, Steven Mayer, Mark Nessia, Greg Nichols, Carla Rivas

— Illustration by Julie Mana-ay Perez

Contributing Writers Maude Campbell, Katie Cornford, Anna Marie Frank, Alex Garzaro,

Coming up next …

Nina Ha, Lisa Kimble, Stephen Lynch, Melissa Peaker-Whitten,

ARTS & CULTURE

Julie Plata, Andrea Saavedra, Anna

Advertise, contact Cliff Chan-

O’Neil Wilder

dler at cchandler@bakersfield.com or 395-7521.

Subscribe

to Bakersfield Life Magazine for your home or office, go to www.tbcoffers. com/deal/blifeintro.

Partner with us

for your next event. Email Mark Nessia at mnessia@bakersfield.com or call 395-7383 for more information.

Connect with us – www.bakersfieldlife.com facebook.com/BakersfieldLifeMagazine Instagram/bakersfield_life twitter.com/BakersfieldLife

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2020

Where do you like to take out-of-town guests? “There’s nothing like a hometown sporting event for visitors to get a sense of our Bakersfield pride, camaraderie and community, whether it’s cheering on our kids’ teams or enjoying Friday night football!” — Nina Ha, contributing writer

Specialty Publications Designer

The annual Bakersfield City Guide is a guide for newbies and natives, highlighting activities and points of interest around town.

SHARES

“The best outings start with a belly full of good food, so lunch at Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar or Sunday brunch at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace is a must.” — Mark Nessia, editor “Time permitting, we give them the nickel tour of Bakersfield’s oldest tree-lined neighborhoods, a peek at the oilfields, a drive out to the mouth of the mighty Kern River, past orchards and a drive-by of vineyards before dining at one of our many beloved and treasured Basque restaurants.” — Lisa Kimble, contributing writer “I like taking my out-of-town friends through the nightlife of downtown Bakersfield. There’s a lot of beauty with the night scene that people don’t see and I want them to appreciate the charm Bakersfield has.” — Julie Mana-ay Perez, specialty publications designer “Locally, we enjoy bowling at The BLVD. We also like to walk the foothills on the east side first thing in the morning.” — Anna Marie Frank, contributing writer

We want to hear from you – Send comments or letters to the editor to Mark Nessia at mnessia@bakersfield. com. Please include name, city and phone number. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and to excerpt them.

Contact us – 3700 Pegasus Dr. Bakersfield, CA 93308 661-395-7500


     

     

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FEATURES 46 | A Tale of Two Cities Get to know Bakersfieldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s day and night scenes! We break down activities and points of interest across all corners of the city at all hours of the day.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2020


FEBRUARY 2020

CONTENTS

38

36 Up Front

8 Editor’s Note 9 The Big Picture 10 What’s Happening 12 On the Web 14 Calendar

Eat & Drink

66

18 Dining with Dre 20 Bites 24 Where We’re Eating 25 Best Thing We Ate This Month

Lifestyles

28 Pastimes 29 Love & Life 30 The Marketplace

Go & Do

34 Entertainment 35 Out & About 36 Trip Planner 38 Arts & Culture

Healthy Living

42 Let’s Get Physical 43 Peace of Mind 44 Feature

People & Community 60 Bakersfield Matters 62 Our Town 64 Study Hall 66 Personality 68 History 70 All-Star Roundup 72 SNAP! 78 Last Word

35 www.BakersfieldLife.com

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EDITOR’S

NOTE

THE BAKERSFIELD LIFE CALIFORNIA LIVING THAT’S NOT QUITE SO CALIFORNIA Balmy weather, sunny beaches, iconic cities, obsessions with In-N-Out and avocados. Those are a few things outsiders associate with California and Californians. While they may be true, they don’t apply to all cities and all residents. So imagine the reactions of newcomers who pack their bags and move to the West Coast, thoughts of California living on their mind, when they arrive in Bakersfield. For those who are not open-minded, it can be a disappointment. Yes, Bakersfield has In-N-Out and plenty of avocados, the weather outside of summer is quite pleasant and it’s only a couple of hours away from the ocean, but lacks the prestige of San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. In other words, Bakersfield isn’t sexy. Even within California, Bakersfield doesn’t get a lot of respect. The butt of jokes and the recipient of numerous unflattering nicknames, Bakersfield doesn’t get the credit it deserves — even its own residents criticize it for lacking the amenities of other major cities in the state. The truth is Bakersfield is highly underrated. California’s fifth-largest city by area and No. 9 by population contains beauty and charm that go far beyond the surface — something Californians can prioritize a little too much. What Bakersfield lacks in towering skyscrapers it makes up for in a bustling downtown that still maintains the city’s signature hometown charm. Bakersfield retains a slower pace of life, which is rare and invaluable in today’s fast-paced environment. Bakersfield’s central location makes it a great home base, allowing us to visit popular destinations and leave the expense, noise and congestion that come with it behind. Bakersfield is built around family. Many of its notable attractions are geared toward all ages. That may not be appealing for those without kids in tow, but it will be something they’ll appreciate when they decide to put down roots.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2020

Bakersfield is home to wonderful people who care — people who work toward the greater good rather than individual gain. Bakersfieldians are unrivaled when it comes to rallying in support of good causes and, more importantly, each other. All these elements come together to form a community that is truly unique. Bakersfield is a large city with a small-town feel. It marches to the beat of its own drum and isn’t ashamed to be itself. Sure, it doesn’t have the desirables found in California’s other major cities, but that’s totally fine. Because the moment Bakersfield adopts those elements, it will cease to be Bakersfield — and that would be the biggest disappointment of all.

Mark Nessia Editor 661-395-7383 mnessia@bakersfield.com


THE 661

T h e B i g P i c t u re / W h a t â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s H a p p e n i n g / O n t h e We b / C a l e n d a r

HOLE IN ONE

Golfers practice on the putting greens before a tournament at Bakersfield Country Club.

PHOTO BY ALEX HORVATH

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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THE 661

What’s Happening

BUBBLE POP GALLERY’S THIRD ANNIVERSARY A FAIRYTALE AFFAIR Bubble Pop Gallery presents its first show of 2020 by celebrating its third anniversary with a Fairytale Art Show on Feb. 7 at 5 p.m. The event will be held at Bubble Pop Gallery, 2007 H St., and is sponsored by Sey Studios, ESSI Bakersfield and Bakersfield Comic-Con. The event showcases a group of artwork inspired by fairytales and sweet treats sold by The Homegirls. Admission is free to the public. For more information, visit www.bubblepopgallery. com.

SHAFTER COLOURS CELEBRATES THE ARTS IN MULTIDAY EVENT Colours 2020 is a celebration of the arts held on Feb. 20–23 and Feb. 29 in Shafter. Colours is a multiday event taking place at several venues that showcases “transformed art” in many forms, ranging from sculpture, film, food, music and activities. The event will kick off with a spaghetti dinner on Feb. 20 and end with a symphony concert on Feb. 29. Ticket prices vary on the event. Guests must submit an order form and pay in person at the Ford Theatre, 1100 E. Lerdo Highway, Shafter. For more information, visit www.shaftercolours.org.

AN ‘ABSOLUTELY FAB’ WAY TO RAISE MONEY FOR A CURE The American Cancer Society/Bakersfield Relay for Life will be holding the Absolutely Fab Fashion for a Cure fundraiser Feb. 29 at the Petroleum Club of Bakersfield, 5060 California Ave., 12th Floor. The event will feature a champagne reception with appetizers and an opportunity drawing followed by lunch and a fashion show. Proceeds will benefit cancer research and patient services. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. and lunch will be served at noon. Tickets are $100 each and a table for eight is $750. For ticket purchases and more information, call Dana Fabbri at 661-7032570.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2020


     BLAKE SHELTON, FRIENDS COME TO MECHANICS BANK ARENA Blake Shelton comes to Bakersfield on Feb. 20 at Mechanics Bank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave., at 6â&#x20AC;Żp.m. for his Friends and Heroes Tour, featuring special guests Lauren Alaina, The Bellamy Brothers, John Anderson and Trace Adkins. Every ticket purchased online comes with a physical copy of Blake Sheltonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s upcoming new album. Tickets range from $49-$109. For more information, go to www.axs.com.

               

LOVE LINKS! LUNCHEON AT BUCK OWENSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; CRYSTAL PALACE Join Links for Life at Buck Owensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Crystal Palace, 2800 Buck Owens Blvd., on Feb. 13 at 11:30â&#x20AC;Ża.m. for their Love Links! Luncheon event. The luncheon will include special guest speaker Natalie Grumet as she tells her story, â&#x20AC;&#x153;An Inspiring Warrior: A story of beating the odds, survival, and never losing hope!â&#x20AC;? Individual tickets are $55, $500 for a table of eight and $600 for a sponsored table. Registration ends Feb. 14. For more information, email staff@linksforlife.org or call 661-322-5601. www.BakersfieldLife.com

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THE 661

On the Web @BakersfieldLifeMagazine

@Bakersfield_Life

WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE SOME OF BAKERSFIELDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S BEST FEATURES?

Lisa Del Rio Best feature is no matter how much we grow we are still a tight community and we love our city. I grew up here and I'm proud.

Candice Valdez Bakersfield's best

when you're born and raised here.

estshe89 Best feature is still the people. The ones that you went to school with, grow up with, worked with or your neighbors. They come together in a time of need. When something happens in Bakersfield, they are the people that rally behind you.

heathergoods I love living in Bakersfield because of how entertaining it is and how awesome the people are. There is so much to do here and so many places to travel to. 12

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2020

Danay Jones One of the best features is the heart of our community. The way we band together with open hearts and give this community love. We are a BIG small town and we are proud of our history that runs generations deep and you see friends or make new ones everywhere you go.

Sara Lomonaco The small-town feel

feature is that no matter how large we grow, we can still come together as a community and rally in support of one another.

hellerpeeps__ I love it because there are so many wonderful things to do! A new adventure is merely minutes away!

We asked, you answered on social media! Make sure to follow us to participate in our reader callouts for a chance to win prizes and be featured in the magazine!

onelove83188 I enjoy living in Bakersfield because it's a city with a small-town feel. I moved here in 2007 from Monterey County and it's been home ever since.


BEST OF VOTING THROUGH FEB. 16 Businesses, get ready to promote! Bakersfield, get ready to vote.

The nominations are in! See whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on the ballot this year!

For the lastest information, visit www.bakersfield.com.


THE 661

Calendar

EVENTS IN

FEBRUARY

Powered by

Find more community events at www.bakersfield.com/events. Post your event there or submit via email to bakersfieldlife@ bakersfield.com.

Feb. 1

Bakersfield’s Beat the Streets, 5 p.m. What: Kern County Fight Club hosts a professional boxing fundraiser. Where: Dignity Health Sports Complex, 3101 Gilmore Ave., Suite 100 Admission: $45 More Info: www.eventbrite. com The Padre Hotel Turns 10, 9 p.m. What: Celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Padre Hotel with a silent disco at Prairie Fire, food and drink specials, and dancing. Where: The Padre Hotel, 1702 18th St. Admission: $10 More Info: 661-427-4900 “Annie,” 7:30 p.m. What: Based on the popular musical “Annie,” this show features some of the greatest musical theater hits, including “Tomorrow.” Where: Stars Theatre Restaurant, 1931 Chester Ave. Admission: $30–$70 More Info: www.bmtstars. com

Feb. 2

“Grey Gardens,” 2 p.m. What: The hilarious and heartbreaking story of Big Edie and Little Edit Bouvier Beale, the eccentric aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, once bright names to the social register who became East Hampton’s most notorious recluses. Where: The Ovation The14

Bakersfield Life Magazine

Dance the night away at The Padre Hotel by celebrating its 10th anniversary.

atre, 1622 19th St. Admission: $30–$35 More Info: www.eventbrite. com Mother/Son Dinner & Dance, 6 p.m. What: An evening full of food, dancing and special surprises all for mothers and sons. Where: Elements Venue & Banquet Centre, 3401 Chester Ave., Suite H Admission: $25–$49.95

Feb. 8

Inaugural Mayor’s Ball, 6:30 p.m. What: This inaugural blacktie gala benefits CityServe, a local nonprofit organization that engages commuFebruary 2020

nity leaders with churches of all denominations across Bakersfield and connects them with people and families who face hardships. Where: City Center, 3201 F St. Admission: $100 More Info: 661-371-2650 Bert Kreischer: The Berty Boy World Tour, 7 p.m. What: Bert Kreischer is bringing The Berty Boy World Tour to Bakersfield. Where: The Fox Theater, 2001 H. St. Admission: $35.75–$55.75 More Info: www.eventbrite. com

Feb. 12

Reo Speedwagon, 6 p.m.

What: Reo Speedwagon will be performing their greatest hits on tour. Where: The Fox Theater, 2001 H St. Admission: $36–$215 More Info: www.eventbrite. com

Feb. 13

Valentine’s Treats & Wine Pairing Featuring Cornerstone Bakery, 6 p.m. What: It’s a date night for all. Enjoy Cornerstone Bakery’s delicious Valentine’s-themed treats paired with wine. Where: Wine Me Up, 3900 Coffee Road., Suite 2

Feb. 15

Laugh for a Cause: An-


niversary Comedy Show, 6:30 p.m. What: Join and celebrate the one-year anniversary of DLG Co. and their annual anti-Valentine’s Day comedy show. Where: Back Door Bar, 1105 19th St. Admission: $10 More Info: www.eventbrite. com

Feb. 17

The Bachelor Live,” 7:30 p.m. What: The most successful reality romance series in the history of television is coming to Bakersfield. Previous “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” favorites will serve as the hosts, as one eligible hometown bachelor is introduced to local ladies from the audience for a chance at love. Where: Mechanics Bank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. Admission: $38–$75 More Info: www.axs.com

Feb. 22

Friends Trivia Bar Crawl, 4 p.m. What: Crawl multiple bars with exclusive drink specials while competing against other crawlers to determine who is the trivia champ of the day’s theme. Free T-shirts and prizes for top teams will be available. Where: Gutherie’s Alley Cat, 1525 Wall St. Admission: $20 More Info: www.welovepubcrawls.com Andrew Santino, 7 p.m. What: Andrew Santino is an actor, writer and standup comic who has been featured in works like “The Disaster Artist,” “Workaholics,” “Mixology” and more. Where: Temblor Brewing Company, 3200 Buck Owens Blvd., Suite 200 Admission: $20–$39.50 More Info: www.eventbrite. com

6 p.m. What: The Active 20/30 Club of Bakersfield hosts Meet Your Brewer, where 100% of the profits will go to local children’s charities. Food will be provided by Lengthwise Brewing Company and beer will be provided by Westlane Brewing, 2nd Phase Brewing, Crusader Brewing, Great Change Brewing, Kern River Brewing Company, Temblor Brewing Company, Dionysus Brewing Company and Lengthwise Brewing Company. Where: Lengthwise Brewing Company, 7700 District Blvd. Admission: $10–$25 More Info: www.eventbrite. com

Feb. 28

Kern County Living History Festival, 9 a.m. What: Watch history come to life and experience battle reenactments, hand-tohand combat, medieval jousting, period dancing, foods, encampments and more. Where: Hart Memorial Park Admission: $15–$30 per person, 6 and under are free More Info: www.therenlist. com

Feb. 29

16th Annual Josh Farler Poker Tournament, noon What: The Josh Farler Foundation hosts its 16th annual Texas Hold ’em poker event to support the AIS Cancer Center, Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center and Rio Bravo Cancer Center. Where: 6718 Meany Ave. Admission: $20–$70 More Info: www.eventbrite. com

2020 Meet Your Brewer, www.BakersfieldLife.com

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A MAGAZINE FOR YOU. WE'RE ALLMADE MENTAL THAT'S WHY GOOD HEALTH MATTERS SUBSCRIPTIONS NOW AVAILABLE!

BAKERSFIELDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S PREMIER LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

PHOTO BY ROD THORNBURG

To get started, go to: tbcoffers.com/deal/blifeintro


EAT & DRINK

D i n i n g w i t h D re / B i t e s / W h e re We ’ re E a t i n g / B e s t T h i n g We At e T h i s M o n t h

LORD OF THE FRIES

Paradise fries, a take on carne asada fries from Pita Paradise, features chicken shawarma and Pita Paradise’s sauces made in-house on top of perfectly cooked french fries. “Dining with Dre” has more on Page 18.

PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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E AT & D R I N K

Dining with Dre

Pita Paradise’s “pitaritto.”

MEDITERRANEAN MEALS ON WHEELS PITA PARADISE FOOD TRUCK FILLS STREETS OF BAKERSFIELD WITH ETHNIC FLAVOR By Andrea Saavedra

During a time in our country when finances were shaky, the food truck phenomenon exploded in cities across the United States, largely due to the success of the Kogi truck in Los Angeles selling gourmet on a budget. But before the Kogi food truck, street food cred was due to the multitude of taquerias, otherwise known as taco trucks or lunch trucks, that were spread out across all of LA. The origin of food on wheels has driven food culture in our country since the 1930s with drive-ins. Nowadays when you hear about a delicious food truck, it’s not just exciting that there’s a food truck on the corner but of the menu it boasts. 18

Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2020

Food trucks aren’t just filled with tacos al pastor and burritos anymore. Modern-day food trucks are filled with the flavors of the world! I decided to explore the Bakersfield street-food landscape to see what kind of food we put on wheels. It didn’t take me long to find something completely unique and delicious. Just a stone’s throw from the Fox Theater in downtown Bakersfield, nestled in an abandoned parking corner (like all the best ones are), I found Pita Paradise. A Mediterranean food truck that fills the air with familiar fragrances of the East — fragrances of lamb, chicken shawarma, falafel, sumac, lemon and garlic. Yum! Pita Paradise is family owned and operated with father, son PHOTOS BY MARK NESSIA


LEFT: The chicken shawarma platter features chicken shawarma on a bed of yellow rice, pita bread, one falafel, salad, tahini sauce and Pita Paradiseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature garlic sauce. BELOW: A five-piece falafel topped with garlic sauce made in-house.

and cousins working side by side. All of the staff are extremely friendly! They bring exceptional service with a smile and some garlic-sauced fries. Though I do love the original downtown spots in Bakersfield that boast Basque influence and country grammar, it was refreshing to see something different and unique that isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t being done anywhere else. Pita Paradiseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s menu boasts imported halal meat (which makes all the difference flavorwise) that is found in its combo plates and sandwiches. All of the menu items are freshly made, full of flavor and huge portions for a fraction of the cost. Chicken, rice, salad and pita for $9? You definitely get your moneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just the traditional Medi-combo plates. They also boast paradise fries (a play on carne asada fries), a falafel burger and a â&#x20AC;&#x153;pitarittoâ&#x20AC;? (a Mediterranean burrito). All of these are $11 and under. The modern and innovative flair that Pita Paradise plays into its menu is impressive and not to mention delicious. It is probably the best lunch spot in downtown that will fill you up, leave you with leftovers for your afternoon snack and not wipe out your wallet. Pita Paradise is not only a Mediterranean food truck that is pushing the expectation, it is a vehicle that brings people together, regardless of race, class and ethnicity. It is selling a social experience as much as it is selling falafel burgers. Kudos to Pita Paradise for filling the streets of Bakersfield with color, the smells of chicken shawarma and for making the Andrea Saavedra best falafel Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever had.

    

       

     

      

          



   

         

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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FOOD & DRINK

Bites

Bakersfield classics Wool Growers Restaurant

Pickled tongue sandwich When you think of old, famous landmarks in town, Wool Growers Restaurant has to be on the list. The local favorite serves up authentic Basque dishes, including the traditional Basque setup, which includes a large side of vegetable soup, beans, spicy salsa, tomato salad and green salad all just before the entree is served. Just when you think youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re done, the main course makes its way to the table. The pickled tongue sandwich was served with a

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2020

thick and tender cut of tongue between a soft roll of bread and a side of french fries. Every dish served was as flavorful as imagined. When you dine at Wool Growers, make sure you bring your appetite. Wool Growers Restaurant 620 E. 19th St. 661-327-9584

PHOTO BY JULIE MANA-AY PEREZ


FOOD & DRINK

Bites

Mexicali Restaurants

Burrito especial Mexicali Restaurants provides Mexican-style dining that has been around for decades and offers an array of delicious Mexican dishes. The burrito especial is packed with a savory filling of carne con chili verde and beans and topped with Mexicaliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature sauce. The dish was also garnished with shredded lettuce, Mexican-style rice and beans topped with melted cheese and sour cream. Mexicali Restaurants not only serves authentic food but the lunch specials are affordable. You can find this restaurant always crowded with people. Mexicali Restaurants 631 18th St. 661-327-3861 PHOTO BY JULIE MANA-AY PEREZ

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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FOOD & DRINK

Bites

Happy Jack’s Pie ’N Burger

Pies and burgers If there was a restaurant that contained the charm, heart and soul of Bakersfield, it would be Happy Jack’s Pie ’N Burger. The 20-seat old-school diner has been serving the community for nearly half a century, delivering exactly what it promises — pies and burgers — with a commitment to quality food, cleanliness and pleasant service. Newbies are treated like regulars and regulars are treated like family. It’s an experience that makes you want to come back and that’s even before any food is served. Speaking of food, the homemade burgers and pies take you back to a time

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2020

before mobile devices. They make you want to talk to each other, mainly about how good everything is and what you’ll be trying for dessert. We recommend the banana cream pie, but you really can’t go wrong with any options on the menu. Just be sure to have cash on hand because it’s a cash-only establishment. Just like the good ol’ days. Happy Jack’s Pie ’N Burger 1800 20th St. 661-323-1661

PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA


FOOD & DRINK

Bites

Luigi’s

Prime rib special Serving the community for over 100 years, Luigi’s has seen a lot of Bakersfield’s history and it displays it proudly on its walls. The iconic restaurant is a must-visit for residents and out-of-town guests, with a menu boasting classic Italian dishes served in a family atmosphere. Each day features several specials, with Tuesdays featuring mouthwatering prime PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

rib. Perfectly seasoned and slow roasted, it’s unbelievably juicy and tender. Available as an entree or sandwich, it’s also paired with Luigi’s signature white and/or red pasta. Make sure to come hungry because it’s a lot of food! Luigi’s 725 E. 19th St. 661-322-0926 www.BakersfieldLife.com

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FOOD & DRINK

Where We’re Eating

Victor’s Mexican Grill Goose Tap House Since Goose Loonies Tavern and Grill moved locations and became Goose Tap House, they have remodeled their interior space but the charm and good food of Goose Loonies remains. The menu features a mix of Greek and American dishes, from gyros to craft burgers to salads and desserts. They also serve signature cocktails and martinis. The feta fries is a popular

must-try dish everyone needs to order along with their meal. At Goose Tap House, the options are endless. Regardless of what you order, you won’t be disappointed. — Julie Mana-ay Perez, specialty publications designer Goose Tap House 3320 Truxtun Ave., Suite 150 661-631-1242

As a Chipotle fan, Victor’s Mexican Grill holds a special place in my heart. Not only is it local, it offers a wider selection of delicious and unique items, like cactus and seafood, and serves breakfast as well. I was a regular during our downtown days and the friendly staff not only memorized my usual order, I’d get little notes written on my to-go box as well. You just can’t get that kind of hospitality from a national chain. With burritos, tacos, quesadillas,

enchiladas, bowls, salads and nachos on the menu, it can be hard to make a selection. But you really can’t go wrong with the shrimp — plump, juicy, flavorful. — Mark Nessia, editor Victor’s Mexican Grill 9500 Brimhall Road 661-588-0004 1901 20th St. 661-489-3000 2509 Mount Vernon Ave. 661-843-7070

Bagels & Blenderz While visiting my sister in Phoenix, I ended up making a bagel run. I’m not a bagel person, but I volunteered to go just because it was an excuse to hop on my bike and see what Arizona cycling was like. The trip reminded me of Bakersfield’s very own Bagels & Blenderz, which coincidentally is about the same distance from my place as the Arizona shop is from my sister’s. When I returned, I figured I’d stop by. Bagels & Blenderz has been a local breakfast favorite for over 24

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February 2020

25 years and for good reason. Yes, they offer a wide array of bagels and smoothies as the name suggests, but the menu also features hot breakfast platters and sandwiches, coffee, sweets and lunch items in a cozy mom and pop setting. The peanut butter bagel alone is worth the trip! — Mark Nessia, editor Bagels & Blenderz 8200 Stockdale Highway, Suites K1–K2 661-833-6644


FOOD & DRINK

Best Thing We Ate This Month

GREAT CASTLE’S

HONEY WALNUT SHRIMP

There’s something to be said about a dish that leaves you at a loss for words. That’s where we stand with the honey walnut shrimp at Great Castle Chinese Restaurant. It’s a customer favorite for a reason. Plump shrimp are coated in a delicious honey sauce and paired with candied walnuts resulting in a dish that’s juicy, creamy and sweet with the perfect amount of crunch and savoriness. Pair it with plain white rice to let the entree shine. PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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THE PET PARADE IS BACK! WE WELCOME NEW AND FORMER PARTICIPANTS TO JOIN THE FUN

GO TO BAKERSFIELD.COM/PET-PARADE UNTIL FEB. 7 TO ENTER Send us your favorite photo of your pet and we'll include it in the Pet Parade inside the March issue of Bakersfield Life Magazine! The rules are simple: 1) Send us a photo of your pet (all animals are welcome), along with your pet's name. 2) All photos submitted by the deadline will be included in the Pet Parade inside the March issue of Bakersfield Life Magazine.

BAKERSFIELDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S PREMIER LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


LIFESTYLES P a s t i m e s / L o v e & L i fe / T h e M a r ke t p l a c e

A MULTIUSE PATH

Bicyclists and walkers enjoy morning exercise on the Kern River Parkway near The Park at River Walk. The multiuse path is a popular spot for cyclists, joggers and walkers and is, arguably, one of Bakersfieldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best assets. See more photos on Page 28.

CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTO

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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LIFESTYLES

Pastimes

ONE PATH, MANY USES Compiled by Bakersfield Life

What started as a vision of two locals, Rich O’Neil and William T. Cooper, to turn the dry, dusty and barren banks of the Kern River into a vibrant, natural amenity for the city of Bakersfield has turned into arguably one of the city’s best assets — the Kern River Parkway. Stretching from Enos Lane to the west to China Grade Loop to the east, it is a popular site for cyclists, joggers, walkers and more as it provides miles and miles of uninterrupted road void of vehicular traffic. The multiuse path’s close proximity to The Park at River Walk makes it a popular spot for local fundraisers and running events that take place throughout the year. With warmer temperatures on the horizon and plans to potentially extend the path on the western end, its popularity will most likely increase over the coming months and years.

Two- and four-legged walkers take part in the Walk Like MADD and MADD Dash at The Park at River Walk. The park and adjacent Kern River Parkway are popular spots for local fundraisers and running events.

Participants of the annual Bakersfield Marathon run on the Kern River Parkway toward the finish line at CSU Bakersfield.

Cyclists pedal along the bike path that goes through The Park at River Walk. 28

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February 2020

CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTOS


LIFESTYLES

Love & Life

Nina Ha and family at The Langham.

WORTH IMMEASURABLY MORE By Nina Ha

In the languid glow of a beautiful Southern California day, I sat with my mother, sister and children at afternoon tea. As I looked around, I saw three generations celebrating life together and enjoying a rare and special treat. English afternoon tea is a tradition that began in London in 1865 with the Duchess of Bedford and something we were delighted to enjoy centuries later. Growing up, my parents worked hard to provide for our family. We had everything we needed, but not enough for extraneous experiences. They always taught me that family was worth immeasurably more than money. As I watched my dad toil under the hot sun as a landscaper and my mom manage our household finances, I took it upon myself to start cutting coupons to use at the grocery store. One day, I heard about double coupons. Next thing my mom knew, I helped her cut the family grocery bill to a fraction of its original cost. Being fiscally savvy has always made sense to me — or cents, if you’ll allow for my atrocious double entendre. In my 20s, I subsisted on dining coupon books where buying a cheeseburger for lunch scored me another for dinner. It was a money-saving strategy that helped stretch my small-town news reporter’s salary. I also became quite skilled at finding tremendous deals on everything from fashion to furnishings. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to be more intentional about spending. While it can be fun to peruse a Black Friday sale, there’s immense satisfaction in supporting a local product made with love and backed by a dream. PHOTOS BY NINA HA

In Bakersfield, there are myriad opportunities to pour back into our community. Instead of buying online, I can order snacks for our dog from Penny Pet Products in town or find organic produce for ourselves at the farmers market. I feel good about sending our children for music lessons at Bakersfield Sound Co. There’s even a new venture by female entrepreneurs in Kern County called BakoBox. It’s a subscription service that delivers a crate full of Bakersfield goods. While I’ve embraced supporting local businesses and important causes, I still find it difficult sometimes to spend money on life’s little luxuries, especially for myself. Knowing that, my husband gave me the perfect Christmas gift. He wrote me a letter gifting me the experience of afternoon tea with my mother, sister and our kids at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena. When I told my parents, they both began to cry. They were overwhelmed with gratitude that we would be able to enjoy something they never could afford in their younger years. I savored the tea that day, grateful for my husband’s gift. I cherished each moment, experiencing everything through the eyes of my mother, who sacrificed so much for our family over the years, and my daughter, who marveled over each bite of scone with clotted cream. I thanked God for the blessings in life which are worth immeasurably more than money. Opinions expressed in this column are those of Nina Ha.

Nina Ha

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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LIFESTYLES

The Marketplace

Portraits of your timeless favorites Order a painting of your beloved home or building for spring delivery. To contact the artist, Charlotte White, call 661330-2676.

Promotional Content Unique, custom-designed jewelry by Raul Zavala Large inventory of fine jewelry; most repairs done in one day. No job too big or too small. Cash for gold coins, silver, large diamonds or broken jewelry. 5009 Stockdale Highway inside Lucky's Boutique & More 661-633-2278

Hustler Hollywood HUSTLER Hollywood takes intimacy and romance to the climax! Oh yeah, Valentine's Day is sort of our thing. Come inside to shop a tempting selection of naughty novelties, gifts and games, lingerie and V-Day treats that will show 'em you're even sweeter on the inside. Spoil yourself or your lover, either way, this V-Day will feel like ME Day! Shop HUSTLER Hollywood at 3601-B Ming Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93309

  

   

Bakersfield Art Association

    

 



"- ' 

1607 19th St. 661-869-2320 www.bakersfieldartassociation.org Facebook and Instagram Art on display and for sale. Classes for adults/children. Paintings, prints, photography, digitals, crafts, sculpture, dyed silk.

Bakersfield Life Magazine

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GO & DO

E n t e r t a i n m e n t / O u t & A b o u t / Tr i p P l a n n e r / A r t s & C u l t u re

KRISHNA FALLS

A statue of Krishna, a major deity in Hinduism, sits atop Krishna Falls at Lake Shrine, a meditation garden nestled in the Pacific Palisades area. The lakeside meditation garden is an area dedicated to contemplation, quiet reflection and prayer. Read more on Page 36.

PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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GO & DO

Entertainment

LEFT: Golden Empire Gleaners provides food baskets for people who are in need. BELOW: People are lined up to receive food baskets.

STARVING FOR A SOLUTION

LOCAL ORGANIZATION RISES AGAINST HUNGER IN KERN COUNTY By Julie Mana-ay Perez

Knowing there is no single solution to ending hunger, Golden Empire Gleaners serves the residents of Kern County in an attempt to help relieve food insecurity. On Feb. 27, Golden Empire Gleaners will hold Rhythm and Roots, a major fundraiser to garner operating funds for their organization. The event will take place at 6 p.m. at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. The event will have a catered dinner for its guests, entertainment from county western star John Pemberton, raffle prizes and an auction. Glenn Ephrom, executive director of Golden Empire Gleaners, said Rhythm and Roots is a new event for the organization but is no different than their other events, where the goal is to continue to keep the doors open after 34 years in Kern County. At Golden Empire Gleaners, almost every position is volunteered, from drivers to kitchen staff to pulling orders for clients. The organization focuses on providing services for hungry people. “We’re very immersed in the community so we have to really rely on them just as they rely on us to feed the hungry. We rely on them to help us accomplish our mission,” said Ephrom. Ephrom mentions that the organization does not take any kind of federal, state or local grant money, but with 34

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February 2020

the help of donors and sponsors, they are able to keep Golden Empire Gleaners afloat and serve the community. Through their partners in Kern County, the Golden Empire Gleaners helps families by providing food baskets. “It could be a single parent, a family or an individual. Child hunger in Kern County is unbelievable as we sit in a bread basket. About 1 in 3 children in Kern County is food insecure and that’s unacceptable,” said Ephrom. “We try very hard every day to help overcome that.” With the help of Rhythm and Roots, Ephrom hopes to raise funds to continue to keep Golden Empire Gleaners open for hungry people. “One hundred percent of proceeds will go to the Golden Empire Gleaners and we use that to operate the Gleaners,” said Ephrom. “People can expect a rootin’ tootin’ good time at Rhythm and Roots.” Ephrom encourages those in need of food to volunteer. Volunteers at Golden Empire Gleaners will be fed during breaks Rhythm and Roots and provided a food Feb. 27, 6 p.m. basket. Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, “It helps them 2800 Buck Owens Blvd. hold their head up. We help them and $125 per person or $200 per they help us,” said couple Ephrom. www.goldenempiregleaners.com

PHOTOS COURTESY OF GOLDEN EMPIRE GLEANERS


GO & DO

Out & About

“The Bachelor Live” co-host Becca Kufrin is a former “Bachelorette” star.

FINDING LOVE ONSTAGE

‘THE BACHELOR LIVE’ COMES TO BAKERSFIELD By Julie Mana-ay Perez

One of the most talked about reality TV shows is coming to Bakersfield to give a lucky participant a chance at love. “The Bachelor Live” comes to Mechanics Bank Theater on Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. “The Bachelor Live” gives an opportunity for local singles to find a potential partner via a condensed “Bachelor” show. Co-host of the show and former “Bachelorette” star Becca Kufrin said the show will be similar to “The Bachelor” season from start to finish. “Just like on the TV show, there will be a first impression rose, group dates, rose ceremonies, hometowns and even a fantasy suite that will allow our bachelor to find a partner who he thinks he is most compatible with,” said Kufrin. The show will also have onstage challenges that give women an opportunity to showcase their personalities to the bachelor and the audience. “As the bachelorette, I had time to sift through my feelings and emotions day by day, whereas the folks competing onstage will really have to listen to their gut and make quick decisions,” said Kufrin. PHOTO COURTESY OF MAGIC SPACE ENTERTAINMENT

On Kufrin’s season of “The Bachelorette,” she was able to find her partner through the show and advises future contestants to be themselves and feel comfortable. “I’d also recommend to only focus on themselves and a potential budding relationship over all the drama and cattiness. Go with the flow and have fun, because it can lead to the most worthwhile memories,” said Kufrin. Because this show will be live, the audience can expect laughs and tender moments that could potentially lead to lasting relationships. Women and men who are interested in becoming a part of the show can apply through “The Bachelor Live” website. Ten contestants will also be pulled from each city for a chance to find love. Anyone interested in finding out how to participate or attending the event can find more information at www. bachelorliveonstage.com.

“The Bachelor Live” Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m. Mechanics Bank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. Tickets are $38–$153 www.mechanicsbankarena.com

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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GO & DO

Trip Planner

Lake Shrine is a meditation garden surrounding Santa Ynez Lake, the only natural spring-fed lake in Los Angeles.

TRANQUILITY IN THE CITY

LAKE SHRINE MEDITATION GARDEN: A GEM NESTLED WITHIN PACIFIC PALISADES By Mark Nessia

In Southern California, tranquility resides in a most unexpected place. At the western end of Sunset Boulevard, nestled in the middle of shopping centers and neighborhoods just blocks away from the Pacific Ocean, rests Lake Shrine. A mediation garden surrounding the only natural spring-fed lake in Los Angeles, Lake Shrine is a 10-acre natural amphitheater dedicated to meditation, prayer and individual worship. Founded by Paramahansa Yogananda, Lake Shrine was opened in 1950 to provide a spiritual environment where visitors could experience peace of heart and mind amid shrines and waterfalls around Santa Ynez Lake. Maintaining a peaceful environment is a top priority, as visitors are encouraged to silence mobile devices and avoid loud talking. Benches facing the water are found throughout the grounds, in addition to dedicated meditation sites. A lap around the lake provides an opportunity to see all the garden has to offer. 36

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February 2020

The brass coffer at the Gandhi World Peace Memorial contains a portion of Mahatma Gandhiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ashes.

Entering the Lake Shrine grounds to the left puts guests in the middle of the Court of Religions, which features shrines dedicated to the five principal religions of the world â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a cross for Christianity, a Star of David for Judaism, a Wheel of the Law for Buddhism, a star and crescent for Islam, and the Sanskrit character Aum PHOTOS BY MARK NESSIA


LEFT: The houseboat is a floating sanctuary where visitors can meditate on the water. In the background is the Golden Lotus Archway. BOTTOM LEFT: The Sunken Gardens is a quiet grotto that features numerous tropical plants. BELOW: Windmill Chapel is an authentic reproduction of a 16th-century Dutch windmill that hosts special services and serves as a meditation site.

for Hinduism. The Court of Religions was suggested by Yogananda, who said: “We must recognize the unity of mankind, remembering that we are all made in the image of God. There must be world brotherhood if we are to be able to practice the true art of living.” Adjacent to the Court of Religions is the Sunken Gardens, a quiet grotto featuring a representation of the Madonna and Child surrounded by tropical plants. Beyond the Court of Religions is Windmill Chapel, an authentic reproduction of a 16th-century Dutch windmill that was on the grounds when Lake Shrine was acquired. Special services are held in the chapel and it is open to the public for meditation. Another meditation site is the houseboat landing, a floating sanctuary where Yogananda often sat in prayer and meditation for hours. The double-deck houseboat sits on the water across a life-size statue of Christ on the hillside. Farther down the path is the Gandhi World

Peace Memorial, which sits behind the Golden Lotus Archway. A brass coffer contains a portion of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes that was enshrined in a stone sarcophagus at Lake Shrine’s dedication. Statues of Kwan Yin, the goddess of mercy, stand to the left and right of the memorial. The Golden Lotus Archway was designed by Yogananda and unveiled at the Lake Shrine dedication on Aug. 20, 1950. Lt. Gov. Goodwin J. Knight assisted in the dedication service. A “wall-less temple” open to the sky, the archway features large copper lotuses covered with a golden finish. In India, the lotus flower is a symbol of divine unfoldment — the awakening of the soul to its infinite potential. Lake Shrine is free to visit and only two hours away from Bakersfield. It is a peaceful destination to rejuvenate one’s mind and spirit by leaving the noise of our busy lives at the entrance and experiencing tranquility. www.BakersfieldLife.com

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GO & DO

Arts & Culture

Actors bring to life interesting characters who played a pivotal role in the history of the region during Stories on the Sidewalk.

BAKERSFIELD’S HISTORY TOLD THROUGH STORIES ON THE SIDEWALK By Julie Mana-ay Perez

The Arts Council of Kern brings an event like no other — a live, fast-paced show told through the streets of downtown Bakersfield. Because of its popularity, the Arts Council of Kern decided to bring back its second annual Stories on the Sidewalk event Feb. 8–9. “There’s been a big push lately or interest in people learning about Kern County and their home,” said David Gordon, executive director of the Arts Council. Stories on the Sidewalk is an event created by the Arts Council of Kern to 38

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February 2020

tell stories of historical figures in Kern County on the streets of Bakersfield through local actors. “It fits our mission so well. Our mission is to provide support, promote arts success, advocacy and education for all Kern County residents and visitors,” said Gordon. The event also gives Kern writers and actors the opportunity to get experience and be paid for their work. “A big thing for me at the Arts Council of Kern is that the arts is a vocation and a lot of people make their living doing it and so my job is to make sure that artists get paychecks,” said Gordon. Gordon mentions that Col. Thom-

“It fits our mission so well. Our mission is to provide support, promote arts success, advocacy and education for all Kern County residents and visitors.” — David Gordon, executive director of the Arts Council of Kern

CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTOS


Stories on the Sidewalk Feb. 8–9, 11 a.m. Arts Council of Kern, 1330 Truxtun Ave., Suite B $10 per person www.kernarts.org

LEFT: Josh Caruthers plays Dick Fellows at last year’s Stories on the Sidewalk. Bottom left: Ed French plays Col. Thomas Baker during Stories on the Sidewalk. BOTTOM RIGHT: Sylvia Meza leads a group of attendees for last year’s Stories on the Sidewalk event.

as Baker, a previous character from last year’s show, will make a return to Stories on the Sidewalk while the other 10 characters will be new. People who attend can expect to travel through time and see the past come alive on the streets of downtown Bakersfield. “It’s a big learning thing. You watch it but you’re also hearing how people are describing it,” said Gordon. “The actors talk in their current state, as if it were happening now. They are very animated. That’s what makes it fastpaced and exciting.” The event will start at the Arts Council of Kern, 1330 Truxtun Ave., Suite B, with food and beverages, then

visitors will head out on a journey to some of downtown’s most historical locations. Tickets go on sale Feb. 8 and are $10 per person. Gordon said Stories on the Sidewalk gives residents and visitors a chance to look at Bakersfield in a positive light. “We’re actually helping to turn people’s attitude around to our county. This is something that is a pride builder, not only about the history but current people that are interacting in the arts and are doing something out of pride and out of love that’s creative and that there are community people that will sponsor it,” said Gordon. www.BakersfieldLife.com

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TOUR DE NEW YEAR’S

Over 100 cyclists ride from Beach Park to the top of Round Mountain Road for the annual New Year’s Day ride hosted by Kern Wheelmen.

PHOTO BY MARK NESSIA

www.BakersfieldLife.com

41


H E A LT H Y L I V I N G

Let’s Get Physical

WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? By Alex Garzaro

There is nothing more complicated than this four-letter word: love. At first, being “in love” was enough to feel loved. But research has shown that the experience of feeling “in love” is temporary. This could be why this simple word has been the culprit for so many arguments, breakups, makeups, disappointments. I know you have been trying hard to show him/her you love them. But are you showing the one you love, love in the way they want to receive it? Or are you giving them love in the way that you desire to receive it? You are not alone in making the mistake of giving love the way you want to receive love instead of how your partner enjoys being loved. I am about to save you from years of “ I feel like he/she doesn’t love me” followed by “I’m doing everything she/he asked me to.” There are five types of love languages — words of affirmation, physical touch, gift receiving, quality time and acts of service. Let’s break them down. Words of Affirmation Do you find that insults lead to arguments, sadness or grudges in your partner? Chances are they feel that words speak louder than actions. They thrive on hearing kind words, compliments and I love you’s. So if they ask you the same question more than once, just go with it. Answer the 50th time with as much love and certainty as you did the first time you answered the question. Physical Touch To some degree, we all need physical touch, hand-holding, hugs, pats on the back, the laying of your 42

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February 2020

head on your partner’s shoulder. For someone who has a physical-touch love language, they may have already been displaying this behavior toward you. So even if you are not a touchy-feely type of person, remember that love takes work and it’s a give and take. Let them feel your connection with timely touches that communicate warmth, safety and love. Gift Receiving If your partner is a material girl/boy, they thrive on thoughtful gifts. They want to know you were listening when they were talking about that cute new bag being released this fall (hint, hint). Getting the perfect gift for your material partner means that you cared. A missed birthday or holiday can leave them feeling unloved. Quality Time No phones, no distractions — this is all about attention. Take a walk and find activities where you can just be focused on them. Canceling a date, failing to listen and distractions can have them feeling hurt by you. So turn off the TV, stop what you are doing and share your time so you can deepen your connection. Acts of Service Completing simple acts without being asked, such as washing the dishes, folding the laundry or the words “let me do that for you” will have them light up. So be careful with broken commitments, laziness or creating more work for your acts-of-service partner.

Alex Garzaro

Alex Garzaro is a lifestyle strategist, weight loss expert for women and transformational speaker. The views expressed are her own. DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM


H E A LT H Y L I V I N G

Peace of Mind

YOUR HEART, YOUR HAPPINESS By Anna Marie Frank Love is a universal emotion, yet the language of love can differ from the love we show our partners, families and friends and the love we show for ourselves. Our hearts long for connection with others but for our hearts to be able to fully love, we must not forget to love the very person reading this. Loving ourselves comes from not just a thought of “self-love” but from many little actions, many of which can be turned into habits. These actions will fill your heart and expand your happiness that then radiates out into the world. Like attracts like. If you have love in your heart and truly love yourself then you are better able to truly love others. So what does loving oneself consist of? How do we love ourselves? We must take action and bring love and awareness to all aspects of our lives! We must fill ourselves with lovable thoughts, actions and things. Take into account the music you listen to. Is it positive and uplifting? How about the conversations you partake in. Are they positive, productive and friendly? What about your sight? What are you looking at, paying attention to, watching? Do you look for beauty all around you — appreciate the tree that gives you oxygen, the flowers that give color to your home? What are you taking in with your sight? How about your sense of smell? Do you take the time to smell the roses? Or even just appreciating the smell of a good home-cooked meal you made? Which brings me to taste. What are DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM

you eating? What are you nourishing your body with? Real home-cooked, whole nutritious foods? Now, what about how you move your body? How you go about your day? Do you stretch, do you walk, do you run, do you lift weights, do you utilize every element of your body in a positive way? The truth is when we take care of our whole self, our love becomes more powerful so we can love more of ourselves and share the love with others. This causes a ripple effect and your love will be spread out for others to feel. And when we take care of our whole self, we are actually protecting our hearts. Our hearts are amazing organs that beat for us every single day. Our hearts do not ask for much in return except for us to take care of the very vessel that they live in. Respecting your body and respecting your emotions allows your heart to beat freely without stress. Enjoy this wonderful heart health month and month full of love, but do not forget to love yourself first and take care of YOU. Remember, you are the only you there is on planet Earth and the only you that will ever be on planet Earth. You are special and it is time you start filling yourself up with love, so you can thrive and enjoy all the health and happiness you and your loved ones deserve. 

Anna Marie Frank

Anna Marie Frank is a brain health and wellness expert, author, lecturer and human-potential coach. The views expressed are her own. www.BakersfieldLife.com

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H E A LT H Y L I V I N G

Feature

HEALTH MYTH BUSTERS

DOES LOW-FAT ACTUALLY MEAN MORE HEALTHY? By Katie Cornford

As you walk up and down the grocery aisles, you will notice that many products are marketed as “low fat,” “fat free,” “reduced fat” or “skinny.” But does this mean that these products are actually healthy? The twisted truth is low-fat products are often unhealthy because they are LOADED with sugar. Some natural foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are naturally low in fat and full of nutrients and health benefits. However, many processed low-fat foods lose their nutritional value when the natural fat is removed from the product. The process of decreasing fat content usually results in a less tasty product, so companies will add sugar, fructose, salt and other unhealthy ingredients to compensate for the lost tastiness. Yikes! Here are four low-fat products that are the worst offenders when it comes to added sugar: CEREAL This may surprise you because many low-fat cereals 44

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February 2020

are marketed as a healthy breakfast choice to start your day. It may seem healthy, but do not be fooled — these cereals are full of sugar. This includes “healthy” cereal like Raisin Bran, which has 18 grams of sugar, and Special K cereal bars, which have 14 grams of sugar in each one! EAT THIS INSTEAD: If you want to make a healthy choice for breakfast, stay away from sugary cereals and breakfast bars. Instead, make oatmeal and add fresh or frozen berries, a banana, natural peanut butter, or a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg. SALAD DRESSING Salad — the ultimate healthy food. Raw veggies have many nutritious benefits, but many of us add salad dressing to enhance the flavor. Low-fat and fat-free salad dressings contain large amounts of sugar and preservatives. There is a lot of sugar in popular salad dressings like fat-free ranch dressing, which contains 3 grams of sugar in just 2 tablespoons! EAT THIS INSTEAD: Swap out your cream-based DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM


salad dressings for oil-based ones. It is even better if you make your own salad dressings. Try different combinations of healthy salad oils, like olive oil, avocado oil or walnut oil, with vinegars, like balsamic or white wine vinegar, with some lemon and spices. YOGURT Yogurt is widely praised as a healthy food that can improve your digestive health and manage your weight. Research supports that PLAIN yogurt is a healthy choice. However, the nutritional benefits of yogurt are lost when you’re eating a low-fat yogurt that is sweetened with sugar. A single serving of strawberry-flavored low-fat yogurt has 26 grams of sugar in it. Yikes! EAT THIS INSTEAD: Rather than choosing low-fat yogurt, opt for plain Greek yogurt. If you want to add flavor, then stir in fresh or frozen fruit, a spoonful of honey or some chopped nuts. PEANUT BUTTER Peanut butter is delicious on sandwiches, with an apple or banana, or even by the spoonful! Research has shown that natural peanut butter is high in fat, but it is a healthy fat called monounsaturated fat. This type of fat has many health benefits, including managing your body weight and promoting heart health. The health benefits are only for natural peanut butter, which contains only peanuts and salt as its ingredients. Reduced-fat peanut butter adds sugar and high-fructose corn syrup to the ingredients, which are unhealthy.

EAT THIS INSTEAD: Always opt for natural nut butters that do not have long lists of ingredients. Simple is best. Natural peanut butter, almond butter and cashew butters are all delicious and nutritious options for sandwiches, dips and spreads. Health myth busted! Low fat does not mean more healthy. Instead, low-fat products are often less healthy and nutritious. The low-fat label is confusing and misleading. You may think that you are making a healthy choice, but low-fat products are less nutritious and more sugary than you expect. As a result, low-fat processed products are not healthy choices. Always check the sugar and trans-fat content on the nutrition label. When you read the ingredients, avoid products that list sugar, fructose or high-fructose corn syrup as the first few ingredients. That means that sugar makes up a large portion of the product. As a general rule, it is more healthy to stick with natural, whole foods that have healthy fats and offer many positive benefits to your body.

Katie Cornford

Katie Cornford works in Kern County Public Health’s Waste Hunger Not Food program. She received her B.A. in political science from UCLA in 2016 and her M.A. in political science from UCLA in 2018. She is working toward her teaching credential from CSUB.

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Bakersfield hot spots by day and night Compiled by Bakersfield Life

Bakersfield can be very underrated in terms of its daytime and nighttime attractions and activities. From family friendly events to evening hot spots, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something for everyone across all corners of the city at all hours of the day.

Spanning 370 acres with two lakes and three canals, Hart Park is Kern Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest park and a popular destination for family gatherings and photos.

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City Guide Area Breakdown

AL F

HWY

PALADINO DR

Bakersfield is generally broken down into regions, such as northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest. However, there is no official designation for where one area begins and another ends. For the purpose of this guide, we used Highway 99 as an eastwest divider and Rosedale Highway/24th Street as a north-south divider, breaking down the city into northwest, northeast, southwest, southeast regions and downtown as its own separate area.

178

178 NILES ST EDIS

ON H

COMANCHE DR

Southeast

WY BRECKENRIDGE RD

WEEDPATCH HWY

OSWELL ST 58

LL

Northeast

FAIRFAX RD

COTTONWOOD RD

MOUNT VERNON AVE

AIRPORT DR WIBLE RD

HARRIS RD

99

STINE RD

OLD RIVER RD

ER ST

BRUNDAGE LANE

WILSON RD

AM A D R

FLOW

24TH ST

EAST PANAMA RD

HOUGHTON RD H OUGHTON R D

5

PA N O R

COLUMBUS ST

Downtown

GOSFORD RD

119

BUENA VISTA RD

PANAMA LANE

v er

AVE N TU IFORNIA AVE T R U X CAL

ASHE RD

MING AVE

WHITE LN

Ri

204

STOCKDALE HWY

Southwest

rn

UNION AVE

BRIMHALL RD

Ke

H ST

COFFEE RD

ALLEN RD

RENFRO RD

ROSEDALE HWY

OLIVE DR FRUITVALE AVE

CALLOWAY DR

AY W

NORD AVE

FE

58

99

DH

RE

A NT SA HAGEMAN RD

NORRIS RD

RE

CHINA GRADE LOOP

AR

SNOW RD

N. CHESTER AVE

7TH STANDARD RD

Northwest

BUENA VISTA BLVD

SHAFTER RD 1 MILE

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D AY T I M E Northwest Bakersfield is one of the fastest-growing areas in the city. The area consists of residential communities, retail centers and industrial sectors. In the area, residents and visitors can find activities throughout the day and night, like a shopping center in Northwest Promenade, entertainment venues like Gaslight Melodrama, popular dining from Firehouse and J's Place Waffle House & Southern Style Cooking, and more.

The Brimhall Farmers Market is held every Saturday.

Studio Movie Grill features the perfect package of dinner and a movie.

Action Sports — Bakersfield’s go-to shop for sporting goods, from cycling, snow sports, water sports and more. Brimhall Farmers Market — Held every Saturday, the Brimhall Farmers Market features the freshest produce straight from the farms surrounding Bakersfield. Studio Movie Grill — Dinner and a movie is no longer a separate nighttime activity. Studio Movie Grill is a restaurant and theater serving up classic American cuisine and playing the latest Hollywood blockbusters for an all-day dining-and-entertainment experience.

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Guests at Studio Movie Grill enjoy dinner and a movie.

February 2020


NIGHTTIME

Firehouse features a bowling alley for a night of family friendly fun.

Gaslight Melodrama

Firehouse — A sports bar, bowling alley and family restaurant rolled into one, Firehouse features billiard tables, regulation-size bowling lanes, arcade and more. There is also a Firehouse in southwest Bakersfield. Brix Lounge — A nightclub and bar with DJs playing top40 hip-hop, pop, Spanish and house music nightly. Respawn — A modern twist on a familiar game, Respawn brings all the action of a first-person shooter video game to life in its indoor laser tag arena, with sound effects, vibrations, laser sights, muzzle flashes and customized

Captain Jack's Family Fun Center

weapon settings across a variety of game modes, from capture the flag, domination, team battle and more. Captain Jack’s Family Fun Center — Captain Jack’s provides fun for all ages with its arcade and virtual-reality games and state-of-the-art go-kart racetrack. It’s great for birthday parties, corporate team-building and just an overall good time. Gaslight Melodrama — The Gaslight Melodrama brings original, family oriented live entertainment oozing with Bakersfield and Kern County flair to the stage. www.BakersfieldLife.com

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D AY T I M E Residents in Northeast Bakersfield can admire and value its views of the southern Sierra Nevada, low traffic congestion, mountain bike trails and blue skies. The area is home to Lake Ming, the California Living Museum, Hart Park, Panorama Park and spectacular golf courses. The area is great for exercising and adventuring. Bakersfield College is a hub for educational, cultural and entertainment activities.

Panorama Bluffs — The Panorama Bluffs offers a unique view of Bakersfield along long stretches of paved paths. Below the Bluffs is the Panorama Vista Preserve, a popular spot for hikers, joggers and cyclists.

A bird’s-eye view of the Panorama Bluffs.

CALM

Lake Ming

California Living Museum (CALM) — Home to native California animals and plants, CALM is a hub for education, conservation and research that welcomes thousands of visitors annually. CALM also hosts the ever-popular HolidayLights at CALM in December. Hart Park — Spanning 370 acres with two lakes and 50

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February 2020

three canals, Hart Park is Kern County’s largest park and a popular destination for family gatherings and photos. Lake Ming — Lake Ming is a man-made lake primarily used for motorboating and water-skiing. Rainbow trout are stocked in the lake during winter months.


NIGHTTIME

Buck Owen's’ Crystal Palace

Bakersfield Speedway

Bakersfield Speedway — The high-banked clay oval is “the fastest one-third mile” in the West. Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace — The idea for the Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace originated in the mid-1980s. Buck wanted a high-class place for country western music to be performed and a place to be himself. To this day, many famous faces have performed at the palace.

Temblor Brewing Company and The BLVD

Temblor Brewing Company — Live music and shows, ranging from local acts to major performers, take this brewpub to the next level. The BLVD — An energetic venue featuring gastropub-style farm-to-table cuisine, cocktails, games, bowling and more in a family friendly environment.

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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D AY T I M E Downtown is the central business and city government district for Bakersfield. Known for its historic neighborhoods like Westchester and Oleander, residents are close to a variety of dining and entertainment options, city parks and shopping. Notable attractions include Mechanics Bank Arena, Kern County Museum, the historic Fox Theater and the Padre Hotel. Downtown is also home to First Friday and Second Saturday. The downtown art scene is anchored by the Bakersfield Museum of Art, which holds art openings, special events and classes throughout the year.

Kern County Museum

McMurtrey Aquatic Center

Flight Fit N Fun

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Camelot Park

February 2020

Flight Fit N Fun — This indoor center is complete with trampolines, a foam pit, climbing walls, ninja warrior courses and more. McMurtrey Aquatic Center — A swimming, diving and recreational facility open year-round — a popular destination during Bakersfield’s hot summer months. Camelot Park — Camelot Park hosts a variety of family activities, such as mini golf, go-karts, batting cages, an arcade, bumper boats and more. Kern County Museum — The Kern County Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of Kern County across 16 acres. It is also home to popular annual events like Village Fest.


NIGHTTIME

A Bakersfield Train Robbers game at Sam Lynn Ball Park.

Bakersfield Museum of Art

Mechanics Bank Arena is home to the Bakersfield Condors.

Mechanics Bank Arena and Convention Center — Bakersfield’s premier concert and event venue, Mechanics Bank Arena hosts some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. It is also home to the Bakersfield Condors, the AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers. Padre Hotel — It’s hard to think of downtown Bakersfield without thinking of the Padre Hotel. The iconic hotel serves as a popular lunch

The historic Fox Theater

destination for the workday crowd as well as a hot spot for urban nightlife, with fine dining at Belvedere and craft cocktails at Prospect and Prairie Fire. Bakersfield Museum of Art — The Bakersfield Museum of Art not only features works from regional artists and traveling exhibits, it also hosts popular events such as Art After Dark and ArtMix, which offers signature cocktails and food from

The Padre Hotel

Bakersfield’s most popular restaurants. Sam Lynn Ball Park — The historic baseball venue is home to the Bakersfield Train Robbers of the Pecos League, an independent baseball league. Local theaters — Downtown is home to the Fox Theater, Stars Theatre Restaurant and Ovation Theatre, providing easy access to local productions. www.BakersfieldLife.com

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D AY T I M E The southwest region of Bakersfield contains major residential communities, shopping centers, parks and CSU Bakersfield. CSUB rests in the heart of southwest Bakersfield, which also contains the Seven Oaks community surrounding the Seven Oaks Country Club and shopping centers like The Marketplace and The Shops at River Walk. The Park at River Walk is a popular destination for leisure activities and annual community events. On the commercial side, southwest is home to many regional offices and corporate headquarters, including Chevron, Aera and Wells Fargo.

The Park at River Walk

The Shops at River Walk — A goto shopping and dining destination in southwest Bakersfield, the Shops at River Walk feature a variety of stores, like Nordstrom Rack, DSW, Jared, Sprouts and BevMo, and restaurants, like BJ’s, Eureka, La Costa Mariscos and Yard House. The Park at River Walk — Adjacent to The Shops at River Walk is The Park at River Walk, a 32-acre park complete with lakes, streams, a playground and easy access to the Kern River Parkway. It is also the site of numerous running events throughout the year. Kern County Raceway — The oval track is home to fast-paced, high-octane action throughout the year. CSU Bakersfield SRC Challenge Course — A state-of-the-art high-ropes course, the SRC Challenge Course accommodates small and large groups and can be raised as high as 32 feet.

Kern County Raceway 54

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NIGHTTIME

Rollerama West

The Marketplace during the holiday season.

The Marketplace â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The Marketplace hosts numerous shops, restaurants and a movie theater centered around its iconic fountain. It is home to the annual Via Arte Italian Street Painting festival in the fall and Concerts by the Fountain in the summer.

People can find performers at The Marketplace as a part of the night scene.

Rollerama West â&#x20AC;&#x201D; A throwback good time, Rollerama roller rinks have been providing fun, healthy and safe recreation for locals since 1957. Rollerama West joined the family in 1995. The original location is on 34th Street.

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D AY T I M E Southeast Bakersfield is known to be culturally diverse with a rich history. Union Avenue was once a part of Highway 99 and home to the original Bakersfield sign and the historic Bakersfield Inn. The area is also home to the Historic Union Cemetery, resting place of the city’s namesake, Col. Thomas Baker. For nearly a century and a half, Union Cemetery has been the resting place of thousands of pioneers and settlers, Civil War soldiers, prominent local families, cowboys, farmers, bankers and builders, and remarkable men and women who have shaped our community’s history. Today southeast Bakersfield features Valley Plaza Mall, the Kern County Fairgrounds, Golden West Casino, Murray Family Farms and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park.

Stay Focused Ministries’ Spring Break Easter Blast Rally at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park. 56

Bakersfield Life Magazine

Murray Family Farms

Historic Union Cemetery February 2020

Murray Family Farms — This family owned and operated farm features hayrides, tours, games, animals and, of course, fresh produce. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park — The southeast park features a softball field, pool, tennis courts and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, which has a gymnasium, kitchen and meeting rooms available for rental to the public. Historic Union Cemetery — Col. Thomas Baker, the man for whom Bakersfield is named, moved to Kern County and ultimately settled in what was then known as Kern Island. Col. Baker’s stone stands before the cemetery.


NIGHTTIME

The Kern County Fair is held at the Kern County Fairgrounds.

Shoppers at Valley Plaza Mall.

Valley Plaza on Ming Avenue.

Kern County Fairgrounds — Home to the Kern County Fair, the Kern County Fairgrounds also hosts a variety of community events throughout the year. Valley Plaza Mall — With over 140 specialty stores, dozens of restaurants and a 16-screen movie theater, Valley Plaza is a local favorite year-round. Golden West Casino — Open 24/7, Golden West Casino is Bakersfield’s place to play, with games like Texas Hold ’em, blackjack, poker, and baccarat.

Golden West Casino www.BakersfieldLife.com

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            !              !   !            !  !  !              

         

           


PEOPLE & COMMUNITY B a ke r s f i e l d M a t t e r s / S t u d y H a l l / P e r s o n a l i t y / H i s t o r y / A l l - S t a r R o u n d u p

/

Snap!

/

L a s t Wo rd

THEY GOT SPIRIT!

BCHS cheerleader Kate Cheek sings the school alma mater at the conclusion of celebrations at Bakersfield Christian High School and a communitywide celebration.

PHOTO BY ALEX HORVATH

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PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

Bakersfield Matters

At a press conference held on Jan. 6 at CityServe headquarters on F Street, Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh announces the upcoming inaugural Mayor’s Ball benefiting the faith-based nonprofit, which is connecting more than 100 churches of multiple denominations with families in need.

MAYOR’S BALL

INAUGURAL GALA TO BENEFIT CITYSERVE ORGANIZATION TO HELP NEEDY FAMILIES By Lisa Kimble

Dust off your tuxedo and pull out your dance card. You are cordially invited to take a spin around the dance floor with the Honorable Mayor Karen Goh in two weeks. The inaugural Mayor’s Ball, slated for Feb. 8, promises to combine black-tie dining and dancing with the worthiest of causes: helping broken families in our midst who are experiencing extreme hardships. The gala will benefit CityServe, a nonprofit organization and communitywide endeavor meeting the tangible needs of people in crisis, whether it be with food or furnishings, meals or microwaves. In just three years since its establishment locally, CityServe, through a partnership with 109 churches of all denominations across the county, other nonprofits, major retailers and community resource agencies, is giving hope back to the hopeless. Two years ago, the bottom of Rose Ortiz’s life fell out from under her. Her husband abandoned her, their 60

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February 2020

5-month-old daughter and 2-yearMayor’s Ball old son. With no Feb. 8 family locally or any City Center, 3201 F St. means of support, Advanced tickets required. the stay-at-home 661-371-2650 mother was beside www.cityservebakersfield.com herself wondering how she would feed and care for her children. “I had no one. I had nothing,” Ortiz said, her voice cracking with emotion. “That’s when I got a knock at my door.” On the other side of the threshold stood Ashley Stutzman, now the finance administrator for CityServe. Ortiz was at the mercy of Stutzman, who invited the Ortiz family to dinner. “I couldn’t believe that they invited me, a total strangPHOTO BY STEVEN MAYER


er,” she added, as she wiped away tears. But a bond of friendship and a path out of hopelessness were forged that evening. There are thousands of people like Ortiz whose lives have been touched by CityServe and the long-lasting relationships it aims to create. Last year alone, 360 truckloads, each containing an estimated $65,000 worth of surplus goods from giant retail partners like Costco, came through the 165,000-square-foot Bakersfield Hub at City Center, the former Montgomery Ward Department Store on F Street. “I don’t lend my name to just anything,” Goh said at a recent press conference announcing the ball. “But this is something I believe in that is impacting lives in our community and bringing the power of change.” The collaborative is also being eyed as a prototype across the country. As the community grapples with how to help the needy, CityServe is filling an enormous gap with its innovative model of connecting area congregations with resources from major retailers and placing them into the hands of families like Ortiz who are struggling to get back on their feet. “I realized that there was hope out there for me,” Ortiz said. “We are not alone. I now have a whole CityServe family and I am so thankful.” The impetus for the nonprofit, according to Goh, was when church leaders noted that missionary work that is so widespread across the globe was not as prevalent locally.

CityServe, which began in Arkansas, has expanded across the state of California. Initially, it was a project of Canyon Hills Assembly of God. “We are giving people a hand up, not a hand out,” said CityServe Community Development and Church Engagement Director Pastor Robin Robinson. “We aren’t delivering something never to be seen again. The volunteers and churches are establishing relationships with the people they are helping because we believe that is where true transformation will begin.” Last year alone, some 3,500 volunteers helped sort, pack and transport items to 20,000 households. “We are trying to repair the social brokenness in the community by plugging the gaps where other programs aren’t able to,” Robinson added. The Mayor’s Ball is co-chaired by Sen. Shannon Grove and Dignity Health’s Robin Mangarin-Scott. “Being in government, I know that government isn’t equipped to handle all the needs of the community,” Grove said. “CityServe fills those needs, much like a faith-based Red Cross.” For more information about CityServe and The Mayor’s Ball, visit www.cityservebakersfield.com or call 661-371-2650.

Lisa Kimble

Opinions expressed in this column are those of Lisa Kimble.

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PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

Our Town

The Innovation Lab is a 10-month program aimed at developing projects to improve downtown Bakersfield, making it a more desirable place to live, work and visit. The inaugural class consists of 16 passionate men and women split into two groups.

INNOVATION LAB

BRINGING PASSIONATE INDIVIDUALS TOGETHER TO REDEFINE, REVITALIZE URBAN CORE By Mark Nessia

Bakersfield is a city full of untapped potential that is loaded with possibilities. The only thing missing are passionate individuals willing to make them reality. That was the idea behind The Hub of Bakersfield, a nonprofit founded over one year ago by Councilman Andrae Gonzales, whose mission is to redefine and revitalize the city’s urban core by bringing likeminded individuals together to effect change. Since its inception, The Hub has helped beautify the downtown area and enhance the visitor experience with projects like the Cesar Chavez mural on the corner of 18th and L streets and the street pianos found outside local

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businesses that will return in the spring. The nonprofit also worked with the city to allow breweries to open downtown, culminating in the opening of 2nd Phase Brewing on the corner of O and 19th streets in January. The opportunity to get input and knowledge toward introducing something new to downtown Bakersfield was what got 2nd Phase Brewing owner Francisco Martinez interested in being part of The Hub and its Innovation Lab, a 10-month program aimed at developing projects to improve downtown Bakersfield, making it a more desirable place to live, work and visit. “It was one of the biggest draws,” the Bakersfield native said. “I was coming to downtown to start a business and add to the downtown industry. Through the Innovation Lab, I was hoping to get more input but also get a lot of knowledge of what we could and what we should be PHOTOS COURTESY OF JORGE BARRIENTOS


LEFT: The Cesar Chavez mural on the corner of 18th and L streets is one of the projects made possible through The Hub of Bakersfield. BELOW: Innovation Lab facilitators Heather Laganelli, Jorge Barrientos and Kaitlyn Yates.

looking at to bring more to downtown — more than what’s currently going on right now.” Nearly 40 applicants were interviewed for the inaugural class, with 16 men and women selected and split into two groups of eight. Each group is responsible for the creation, planning and implementation of an installation project. The programs are pitched to The Hub of Bakersfield board for approval and executed by the program’s end in June. “It’s pretty inspiring,” said Jorge Barrientos, one of three facilitators “They’re putting their the Innovation money into this and in- for Lab. “You see all vesting in themselves. these people who feel and think the When I was interviewing them, it just caught same way and want to get stuff me off-guard how done and bring repassionate they were ally cool things to this urban core.” about their city and The groups how much they wanted meet twice a to see it improve, not month and only for themselves hear from guest speakers, take part and their families, but in community for other people, too.” projects and go on field trips to learn from other com— Jorge Barrientos munities, utilizing the information

and experiences to bring something new and unique to downtown Bakersfield. “Our hope is that current students want to continue giving back (after the program ends) and they’ll actually help us with the next class or with other components within The Hub of Bakersfield,” Barrientos said. The Innovation Lab is just one of several programs within The Hub of Bakersfield, along with Second Saturday, Be In Bakersfield and the “Hello! Bakersfield” podcast. The Hub also has committees dedicated to connecting people, creating events and even working with city and county governments. The Innovation Lab will begin accepting applicants for its second class around August, with the goal of starting in September. The program costs $750, which covers class merchandise, meals, trips and more. “There are some companies that paid for the students to participate and there are others that are paying for it themselves — that should tell you something right there,” Barrientos said. “They’re putting their money into this and investing in themselves. When I was interviewing them, it just caught me off-guard how passionate they were about their city and how much they wanted to see it improve, not only for themselves and their families, but for other people, too.”

More Information Find out more about The Hub of Bakersfield and its various programs and committees, including the Innovation Lab, at www.thehubofbakersfield.org.

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PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

Study Hall

Panel members of the inaugural Journalism Day gather for a group photo. The panel consisted of local media professionals.

JOURNALISM DAY

CONNECTS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WITH LOCAL MEDIA PROFESSIONALS By Melissa Peaker-Whitten

The second annual Journalism Day for high school students will take place on Feb. 7, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bakersfield College. Kristen Hunter-Flores, Ridgeview High School journalism adviser, brought back the event last year after more than 10 years had passed without one after funding was cut. She remembers attending the event when she was in high school at East in the late ’90s. It’s what sparked her interest in studying journalism and why it was important to her to be able to offer the same opportunity to her students. Erin Auerbach, associate professor of journalism at Bakersfield College, has also played a big role in getting this event off the ground. “I have a lot of great people around me that are willing to help me because this is a big day and a lot of work,” said Auerbach, who holds a Master of Arts in theater and journalism and has 20 years of real-world experience as a 64

Bakersfield Life Magazine

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writer and reporter. The Bakersfield College Communi“Yes print (journalism) cations Department is providing both has shrunk quite a bit, breakfast and lunch but people still need for attendees, as well their news and their as badges and totes. Students will also local news from trusted be able to choose professionals.” workshops based on their interests. Press — Erin Auerbach photography, different styles of writing, and media law and ethics are a few they can choose from. Featured speakers include Mark Nessia, editor of Bakersfield Life Magazine; John Harte, longtime photojournalist and journalism professor at Bakersfield College; PHOTO BY ERIN AUERBACH


Journalism adviser Kristen Hunter-Flores discusses layout and headlines options with Ridgeview High School newspaper Opinion Editor Melanie Romo. Hunter-Flores leads the journalism program at Ridgeview High School.

Nick James, sports director at KGET 17; and Erin Briscoe, public information specialist for Kern High School District and former news anchor at KBAK. The event will also host an on-site competition. Mothers Against Drunk Driving will stage a mock crash and participants can choose to take a photograph, write a

news story or create a broadcast script on the spot to enter. There was also a mail-in contest, with categories for best front page design, best news story, best feature, best sports story, best photograph and best broadcast. Winners from both contests will be awarded plaques, provided by Chain, Cohn and Stiles. Although some may question the future of journalism, Auerbach is confident it isn’t going anywhere. “Yes print (journalism) has shrunk quite a bit, but people still need their news and their local news from trusted professionals. It really does take some training and skill, whether you have a degree or not, to know how to interview people and how to present a story, whether it be digital or broadcast,” said Auerbach. “I think Bakersfield is great. It’s a fantastic news town — a great starter market for (people) fresh out of journalism school. I find it fun to watch the news here, to watch the young talent come in and watch them grow and improve. Bakersfield presents a lot of unique opportunities. The skills you’re going to learn at BC and CSUB, you can use these things for so many jobs.” This is a unique opportunity for students to interact with local professionals and learn more about career possibilities within the communications industry. “The point of the day is absolutely to get them excited about the profession. We have this great group of people who can share their passion,” said Auerbach.

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www.BakersfieldLife.com

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Personality

PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

Kami Paulsenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bako Box is a monthly subscription box full of handmade local products.

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2020

PHOTO BY APRIL MASSIRIO


‘STAY GOLDEN’

LOCAL LAUNCHES PRODUCT PROMOTING THE GOODNESS OF BAKERSFILED

By Julie Mana-ay Perez

Some people who leave Bakersfield say they never want to come back, especially after traveling. Kami Paulsen is an exception. She saw the goodness of what Bakersfield had to offer, which inspired her to start a community-focused business, Bako Box. Before Paulsen’s start with Bako Box, she left Bakersfield in 1995 to reside in Santa Barbara, where she would attend college and begin her career, and where she would stay for over a decade. “I lived coastal for almost 12 years because I lived in Santa Barbara,” she said. “There were cool beach houses, restaurants and farmers markets, so when I came back to Bakersfield, I was expecting to (feel indifferent) because we didn’t have that when I left.” Paulsen and her husband, Greg, eventually moved back to Bakersfield in 2014. She didn’t expect many changes since she left many years ago, but saw potential in her home. “When I came back, there were cool businesses and restaurants and it had a little bit of a coastal-city vibe,” Paulsen said. “There’s so many niche vendors that are doing their thing. It’s a cool place to be.” In May 2019, Paulsen and her family decided to sell their Bakersfield home, and in June they traveled throughout the Midwest to live their dream of traveling in an RV. “We went as far as we could and decided to have a big adventure,” she said. After they returned to Bakersfield, they parked their RV and fled to Italy, where she would reunite Keller, her adopted son, with his brother. While traveling, Paulsen hoped to find another place to call home but admits that living in Bakersfield was more affordable and she was able to be near her family. When Paulsen returned to Bakersfield in October, she found her husband’s subscription boxes waiting for him. Then an idea sparked: She would open up her own subscription box with local Bakersfield vendors. Paulsen connected with local vendors, crafters and artisans to help her put together her first box, which launched in December 2019. Bako Box is Bakersfield’s first monthly subscription box full of handmade local products. “I put the first box together, not knowing what I was doing, as a prototype and the community’s reaction was immediate,” said Paulsen. “I got phone calls and my inbox was flooded. I thought, ‘We must be onto something.’” As a full-time technical consultant for a company based in San Francisco, Paulsen has had the opportunity to travel around the world but believes Bakersfield is special to her.

“The community in Bakersfield is amazing. With my career, I’ve seen a lot of different places. After we traveled the Midwest, we really liked it here (in Bakersfield), even though it’s small. The value of people and the town is something we loved,” she said. Paulsen’s goal for Bako Box is to promote the goodness of Bakersfield by partnering with the creatives in the community by selling handmade local services. “Bakersfield gets a bad rap but this town has grown a lot since I’ve been here. There’s so many good things about it and this is why my tagline (of Bako Box) is ‘Stay Golden,’” she said. “I want everyone to remember what’s awesome about Bakersfield and I feel like that’s what we’re highlighting.” After being away from her hometown for several years, Paulsen realized Bakersfield is her home. “I never thought I’d come back and I did. Now I’m glad I’m here,” she said.

www.BakersfieldLife.com

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PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

History

Crowd outside of theater on opening night, Sept. 14, 1920.

THE CALIFORNIA THEATER

USHERING IN THE EARLY DAYS OF MOVIE MAGIC By Julie Plata

As early as the 1950s there were grumblings that pay television was going to destroy the movie theater industry. Over 100 years after the production of the first motion picture, not even the binge-watching opportunities offered by today’s streaming services can replace the smell of buttery popcorn, the overpriced candy or the excitement of seeing your favorite characters on the big screen. In a short period of time, movies grew from short “one reelers,” which lasted just five to eight minutes, to today’s 90-minute-plus-long movies. On Sept. 14, 1920, one of the “most handsomely appointed amusement houses” in the state opened to a packed house. The new 959-seat California Theater, also called the Temple of Photo-plays, dazzled audiences with the screening of the silent film “Forty-five Minutes from Broadway” starring Charles Ray. The Grogg Amusement Company announced that it planned to open this new “picture theater” to add to its 68

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February 2020

chain of entertainment venues in the Oct. 13, 1919, Californian. The California Theater was anticipated to be the crown jewel of the company’s collection. Charles Grogg purchased the old Scribner Opera House and invested $100,000 (approximately $1.5 million today) to renovate the building and install every luxury and convenience in order to create a theater as “palatial and elegant as any large theater of San Francisco and Los Angeles.” The California was a longtime dream of Grogg’s. His first foray into the amusement industry was the establishment of a small nickelodeon at 2023 Chester Ave. Soon he added the old Parra Theater (renamed the Hippodrome), the Bakersfield Theater and the Pastime to his collection. Unfortunately, while the California was Grogg’s dream, he did not live long enough to see it realized. He died in 1918 during the influenza epidemic and it was up to his heirs to bring his vision for a modern first-class theater to fruition. When the California Theater celebrated its grand opening, Grogg’s heirs wanted to let their customers know that they were upholding “a duty which is almost sacred PHOTOS COURTESY OF KERN COUNTY LIBRARY, CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTOS


Exterior of the California Theater, Sept. 14, 1920.

Opening night schedule.

Waiting to see the show, 1923.

— the bringing of happiness and laughter — for these are the things that make life so radiant.” The theater was an immediate hit, but by January 1921, the family decided to sell their holdings to the Fox West Coast Theater company. In 1928 under the direction of the Fox company, the California underwent renovations that made it Bakersfield’s first theater to show “talking movies” with the installation of Vitaphone and Movietone equipment. For the next 46 years, the California Theater brought the most popular films to Bakersfield’s movie fans, but what was once the city’s eminent “picture theater” had an unceremonious end on Dec. 3, 1966. There were no planned farewells, just an ad for the theater’s scheduled showings of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in “Fortune Cookie” and Kirk Douglas in “Cast a Giant Shadow” with no additional hoopla, just a simple “Last day — Open at 1 p.m.” In 1968, the old theater located at 1810 Chester Avenue was replaced by the headquarters for the now defunct Community National Bank. Although long forgotten, the California Theater helped usher in Bakersfield’s early days of moviegoing and brought happiness and laughter to The night the California Theater closed. audiences. www.BakersfieldLife.com

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PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

All-Star Roundup

The CIF State Wrestling Championships will be held in Bakersfield for the 17th consecutive year.

LOCAL PREPS WRESTLE FOR SPOTS AT STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS By Stephen Lynch

There are several big sporting events held in Kern County every year. Arguably the biggest of them all takes place this month, when Bakersfield will host the CIF State Wrestling Championships for a 17th consecutive year. Hundreds of competitors and thousands of spectators will convene at Mechanics Bank Arena (formerly Rabobank Arena) for three days (Feb. 21–23) of dramatic, highstakes high school wrestling action. Like last year, the girls and boys tournaments will be held simultaneously. The event kicks off fast and furious on day one with 10 matches going at the same time. It ends Saturday night with only the best of the best taking center stage for the 14 girls and 14 boys championship bouts. Last year marked the first time since 2007 that Kern County didn’t have a wrestler in the state finals. Eleven local wrestlers did earn state medals. Six of them were underclassmen who hope to do even better this year. Just earning a spot in the tournament is a grueling task. 70

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February 2020

After the regular season ends, wrestlers must battle their way through a league championship tournament, the divisional championships and the Master’s Meet in order to be one of 32 girls or 40 boys to compete in each weight division. Kern County wrestlers compete in the ultra-tough Central Section, which has produced the boys team state champion each of the last 10 years, including Bakersfield High in 2010. Last year Frontier, boosted by four medalists, was the highest finishing boys team, taking seventh place, five spots ahead of BHS. Shareni Donis On the girls side of things, South had the highest local individual finisher (Shareni Donis, fourth place) but Ridgeview finished best (35th) among local schools in the team competition. Currently several local competitors look poised to win a state medal, including a handful who could make a run at winning a state title. CALIFORNIAN FILE PHOTOS


More Information Here are 11 local girls and 10 local boys wrestlers to keep an eye on as the state meet approaches. Girls 106 pounds: Jacqueline Hernandez, sophomore, Frontier (finished eighth in state last year at 101 pounds) 106 pounds: Destiny Dominguez, junior, Golden Valley 111 pounds: Alyssa Valdivida, junior, Frontier 116 pounds: Genesis Quirarte, senior, Ridgeview (finished sixth in state last year at 106 pounds) 121 pounds: Ariana Juarez, senior, Foothill 126 pounds: Yasmine Scherer, sophomore, North 137 pounds: Aliana Lefotu, junior, Golden Valley 137 pounds: Jessica Manriquez, senior, Foothill 143 pounds: Orianna Morales, junior, Bakersfield 150 pounds: Audrey Chavez, freshman, Golden Valley

160 pounds: Ehireme Ohens, junior, Stockdale (finished eighth in state last year at 160 pounds) 235 pounds: Monique Bravo, sophomore, Ridgeview Boys 120 pounds: Noah Ozuna, junior, BHS 132 pounds: Joseph Landin, senior, Frontier 138 pounds: Cade Lucio, junior, BHS 138 pounds: Garrett Fletcher, senior, Frontier 160 pounds: Jaden Sanchez, senior, BHS 170 pounds: Jarad Priest, senior, BHS (finished seventh in state last year at 170 pounds) 170 pounds: Christian Landin, junior, Frontier 195 pounds: Ty Shepherd, senior, Frontier 220 pounds: Justin Darter, junior, BHS (finished fourth in state last year at 220 pounds) 285 Josiah Hill, senior, BHS (seventh in state last year at 285 pounds)

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Snap!

PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

Bike Bakersfield Holiday Lights Ride Date: Dec. 19 Held at: Haggin Oaks Photos by: Carla Rivas

Vanessa Joaquin and Lloyd Joaquin

Emilio Pasamante and Loula

Lily Cornejo and Josiah Rueda

Colbie Sawyer, Macen Sawyer, Emerson Mulhause and Brogan Mulhause

Joey Estrada and Audrea Estrada 72

Bakersfield Life Magazine

John Frankhouser and Shell Zander

Louise Shamblin, Auria Shamblin, Jillian Shamblin and Cassie Williams

Alex Ibarra, Ruben Ibarra and Sydney Ibarra

Macen Sawyer and Lauren Sawyer

Matt Roy, Edwina Tripp and and Rachel Rivera

Blaine Hanson, Allie Hanson, Logan Hanson, Luke Hanson and Brooke Hanson

Bryon Sandrini, Chyrill Sandrini, Paisley Tramel and Ashley Tramel February 2020

Jonella Steiger, Nancee Steiger and Richard Steiger

Julie Williams and Haley Williams


PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

Snap!

Erika Pierce, Kimberly Graham, Santa and Heather Richter

Peter Raya and Erika Raya

Dean Cupp, Joanne Perez and Pubudu Madurapperuma

Christa Lacertoso, Addison Anaya, Corey Wahl and RoseMary Wahl

Jingle Bell Run Date: Dec. 15 Held at: The Park at River Walk Photos by: Carla Rivas

Ashley Perlman, Reese Perlman, Henry Perlman, Ryan Perlman, Dore Perlman and Zach Perlman

Jodi Carkner, Jocelyn Carkner, Jeanie Nugent, Char Johnson and Angie Kruger

Anjolie Doan, Jasmine Flores, Vanessa Li, Junia Wilcox, Mier Fu, Alina Dao and Amy Cheng

Lisa Tyo and Katie Tyo

Kooper Thomas with Franklin and Kathleen Thomas with Bambi

Team IBProFun

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PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

Bakersfield Fit Fest Date: Jan. 11 Held at: Kern County Fairgrounds Photos by: Carla Rivas

Nathan Andrade and Andrea Bersentes

Luis Medina, Mariela Vizcarra and Domingo Vizcarra

Laura Cabrera and Adam Huerta

Don Godley, Samantha Scott and Thomas Tennet

Mary Hollandford and Janel Harris

Ken Wheeler and Lord Elliott

Marcos Uribe and James Burell

Jessica Slaughter, Odin Slaughter and Lindsey Stone

Justin Hoang, George Yang and Matthew Nguyen

Derron Juarez and Tim Bird



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Bakersfield Life Magazine

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Elisabeth Wales, Renee Kaehny and Todd Alexander


PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

Snap!

Kathy Morrow and Crystal Benavides

Lily and Allen Hamblin

Michele Jasso, Chasity Briese and Lynn Grochowski

Marylou Long and Robin Aldridge

Frontier High School girls basketball team

Cadet Franco, Cadet Murillo, Cadet Greenan and Cadet Eaton

Brandy Eatmon and Erin Devries

Fog Run Date: Jan. 4 Held at: Lake Ming Photos by: Carla Rivas

Jessica Cortez and Josie Villa

Fabian Pina, Nicholas Pina, Joseph Valdivia, Jocelyn Pina and Samuel Pina

Breanne Ruelas, Madison Lyons, Alex Lyons, Charlie Lyons and Ken Ruelas

Sandra Ramirez and Lisa Gurule

Lynn Heiter and Anna Teeters www.BakersfieldLife.com

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Snap!

PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

Polar Bear Plunge Date: Jan. 1 Held at: McMurtrey Aquatic Center Photos by: Greg Nichols

Kylie Bartels and Crystal Bartels

Elijah Harris, Ty Harris and Megumi Harris

Gina Henry and Teri Webb

Camille Carver, Monte Carver, Hudson Tilley and Greta Carver

Grace Martinez and Destinie Martinez

Cara Kerns and Brooke Merrifield

Cadra Hill Miles and Isis Miles

John Williams, Seidy Garcia and Susan Williams

Veronica Jaquez, Samuel Jaquez, Luis Ramos, Lyah Ramos and Amia Jaquez

Mark Arroyo and Luke Garcia

Isaiah Provencio, Raul Provencio and Alex Provencio

Aunt Mae's Sweet Tooth will be Opening in February The most delicious Best Valentines Gifts 830 18th Street!!! Our Gourmet English Toffee, Chocolate Pecan Fudge, and Gourmet Nuts are available at Home Bakery & Boutique, Luigi's, CafĂŠ Med, Sweet Surrender, Brookside Market and Deli, Caesar's Deli, Sully's Chevron, select Countryside Markets, Cosaree's Deli.

For orders please call 725-5200 or visit auntmaessweets.com

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Bakersfield Life Magazine

February 2020

Irma Herrera, Nancy Maciel, Corinna Valenzuela, Andrea Maciel and Araceli Herrera


Nik Boone and Jorge Barrientos

Nick Ortiz and Darlene Mohlke

Andrae Gonzales and Carlos Bello

Derek Jeffries and Leticia Perez

Mark Woodward and Heather Pennella

Jeannine Johnson and Mark Perry

Dana Brennan and Lauren Skidmore

Ronda Newport and Wendy Porter

Kim Huckaby, Victor Martin and Jenifer Pitcher

2020 Board Installation & Awards Luncheon Date: Jan. 15 Held at: Seven Oaks Country Club Photos by: April Massirio

Lina Park, Karen Goh and Bea Sanders

Sophia and Justin Cummings

Gabriela Gonzales and Gloria Williams

Jennifer Self and Hillary Haenes www.BakersfieldLife.com

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PEOPLE & COMMUNITY

Last Word

WARMTH AND COMMUNITY MAKE UP THE LEGACY OF BAKERSFIELD By Anna O’Neil Wilder

For me, the history of Bakersfield and my own family history are inextricably tied together. My great-grandfather, Elmore Calderwood, came here with a degree in agriculture from the University of Vermont in 1897, eager to try his hand at farming this warm, sunny land. By 1900, when the population of Bakersfield was a mere 4,500, he was living in a boarding house on F Street. Here he would meet my great-grandmother, Katie Hasch, a recent immigrant from Germany who worked as the house cook. They married in 1902 and bought land south of town in the Greenfield area, located off South Union and Hosking Avenue. There is a street that today bears their name — Calderwood Lane — in the area where their farm once stood. My grandma, Leona Calderwood, and her three siblings, Florence, Arnold and Robert, grew up on this farm. My entire childhood was filled with stories of her days there — the long walks to and from Greenfield school and later Kern County Union High School (now BHS), the weekly horse and buggy rides downtown to Hochheimer’s General Store (later Brock’s downtown), along with the many toils and amusements of living on a farm, from predawn cow milking and the annual Thanksgiving turkey kill to Saturday community picnics with food, three-legged races and games for the kids. One story that especially stands out is the one of the fire that destroyed the family home in 1913 when she was 7. It was early morning and her father had been making candy when the cookstove caught fire. As she woke to the horrible sight of flames, he told her to run for help. She had to run more than a mile to get to the nearest house. She described the way the wet earth felt 78

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February 2020

under her stockinged feet as she ran through the predawn fields. Despite all efforts, they couldn’t save the house, but neighbors from miles around came out to help build a temporary cabin for them to live in until a new house could be built. They worked from sun up to sun down, and by nightfall the family had a place to rest their heads. Neighbors brought them clothes and furniture and children even gave up their toys so she and her brothers and sister would have something to play with. The family had lost everything but what my grandma remembered most wasn’t the sadness or the tears, but the busy, hardworking sound of hammers on wood, the excited chatter of children playing and the flurry of women preparing food and drink for all the workers who had assembled to help. Fire may have destroyed the house, but thanks to the selfless generosity and hard work of their neighbors, the family home remained. This is the legacy of this place: a warmth of community like no other. The Calderwoods’ new house was the site of generations of family memories, as well as a showpiece of craftsmanship for decades. It still stands, though no longer in my family — it was bought and moved in the 1980s to a location in south Bakersfield. Like my grandma, I, too, feel the earth of this place under me, a deep and lasting connection to Bakersfield I wear proudly and would never want to lose.

Anna O’Neil Wilder

Anna O’Neil Wilder is an English teacher at Centennial High School and a proud multigenerational Bakersfield native. The views expressed are her own. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ANNA O'NEIL WILDER


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