Bakersfield didn't seem much interested in its musical heritage in the 1980s and 1990s, but it eventually started making up for it, and the reclamation of the city's cultural birthright is now in full swing.
The latest evidence is Monday's vote by the Kern County Museum Foundation to find a place on the museum's ample grounds for Merle Haggard's boyhood home -- the most legendary of his homes, anyway. The 629-square foot home that Haggard's father Jim constructed from a Southern Pacific boxcar in 1935 will be moved from Yosemite Drive in Oildale about two miles south to the museum.
The museum has relocated many historic buildings to its Pioneer Village area. The boxcar will be among the most humble -- and the most representative of Bakersfield's unique musical past. Now, if only museum leaders will try to re-create the old Blackboard saloon.