I've lived in Bakersfield for more than 50 years and I've seen the city grow in population each year. I thought that the small-town, good-neighbor philosophy went down the drain when we started getting these big retail businesses overrunning the local, family-run businesses that offered the best customer service. I thought those days were over until, when I was at my wit's end trying to find someone to play taps for my cousin's memorial service, I encountered two amazing people at California Keyboards on Oak Street.
My cousin, Robert Tafoya, a U.S. Navy veteran, already had his military honors played in Oracle, Ariz., for his memorial service, so it could not be done again here in Bakersfield. I tried calling the Veterans of Foreign War posts and the local high schools, but to no avail. I was driving by California Keyboards when I decided to stop and see if perhaps they would know of someone that would be able to help.
The memorial service was the next day! Jim Weesner got on his phone, started making calls and texting, and within 10 minutes, I got a phone call from Brent Wilson, a local bugle player who also volunteers for the Kern County Sheriff's Office, who said, "I would be honored to do this for a serviceman." Thank you, Jim and Chris, and all the employees of California Keyboards! You make me proud to be from Bakersfield.