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Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

Herb Benham

I used the word "Yuba" to describe the hometown of Jack Phillips, a friend who came from San Diego in October for the Vince Gill concert with his wife, Mel (Marilyn).

Jack, a crackerjack defense attorney, is from Yuma, as in Arizona. Normally, "Yuba" -- "the Prune Capital of the World" -- has "City" trailing behind it, and is about 700 miles to the north of Yuma.

If I had put an "n" on the end, Yuba could have been a mouth-watering cup of coffee. As it was, Yuba was just a short-tailed mistake.

Yuma has fewer than 100,000 people, is near the border of California to the west and Mexico to the south and close to the Gila River's confluence with the Colorado. Jack's from Yuma and visits occasionally, which may be a reason he appreciates a humble town like Bakersfield.

In regard to the column about going to bed after a full day of exercise feeling 18, only to wake up feeling 60, Janet Hopkins writes: "I enjoyed reading your article about physical activity this morning.

"Have you read the book, "Younger Next Year" by Chris Crowley? It is wonderful. The author talks about the importance of staying active.

"He says our 'job' once we reach 60+ should be to get and stay in shape."

I like that job. The pay is modest but the satisfaction could be high.

Barbara Mack writes, "Thank you for your 'Wake up 60, go to bed 18' article. I got up today, made a cup of coffee, and prepared to go back to read in bed. I started reading your column, jumped out of bed, hurriedly got dressed and walked to my 9:30 exercise class. Thanks for the inspiration."

Another new job. Inspiration counselor and sleep interrupter. Should I record something for everybody's alarms like NPR's Carl Kasell does on "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!"?

"Time to get up. This is Herb. I'm cooking and so should you. Join me in the pool, at the river or in the garden for some medicine that will make you feel 18 again."

In reference to the column about the importance of not having one foot in the La Brea Tar Pits and the other foot on a banana peel, Kerry McGill writes:

"I am 65. I suppose I am a minority in that I am healthy at an age when many are not. I take no medicine, except glucosamine for my knees (haven't decided if it works or if my knees are just healing themselves). I wrote you a couple of weeks ago about my ElliptiGO and how it has revolutionized my exercise.

"I decided in my 20s when I started running and eating right that I wanted to live long with no age-related problems. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy good food and wine and liquor. It just means moderation and regular exercise.

"I wish you well on your upcoming 60th. Keep it up. I want to keep reading your columns long into the future."

Better to take this column thing one column at a time.

A few minutes ago, while I was assembling these notes, I saw a skateboarder flying down the middle of 20th Street. Day and night, you can hear the sound of the wheels on the asphalt. Skateboarders skate back and forth from downtown and other parts of the city to the skatepark at Beach Park. The park, built nearly 14 years ago, has been used nonstop.

The Hitler rant on Bakersfield is raunchy but funny (I do not recommend it to readers who have a gentle sensibility when it comes to language).

YouTube Hitler Rants on Bakersfield if this interests you.

These are the opinions of Herb Benham and not necessarily The Californian's.