DOROTHY: I was saddened to hear that Dorothy Harrison, the mother of Monsignor Craig Harrison, died this weekend. Dorothy had been diagnosed with state 4 pancreatic, liver and lung cancer over a year ago and was not expected to last this long. But she did and, as Monsignor Craig said, she was an "amazing witness of faith." Services will be at St. Francis Church at 6 p.m. Tuesday. A rosary and funeral Mass will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m.
WEEKEND: Could we have asked for better weather to bless us for an Easter weekend? I spent Saturday evening at a Passover Seder in a beautiful La Cresta backyard, surrounded by an eclectic mix of Jews, Christians, seekers, atheists and deists. It made for a spirited discussion and the ultimate realization that wherever you stand on religion, friendships endure when we appreciate what we have in common and not our different personal views or faith.
: One of our great gifts here in Bakersfield is that we are just a half hour-drive from some of the most beautiful hiking country anywhere in the nation. A few of us headed up the Kern River Canyon Sunday and spent a few hours hiking on Cow Flat Road in the Sequoia National Forest. Despite the lack of rain, there were plenty of wildflowers, and the views of the canyon and beyond were stunning. All you need are shorts, hiking shoes and the will to get a workout.
VINTAGE: The renovation of an old restaurant building downtown continues to be the talk of the town. Located at the northeast corner of 18th Street and Chester Avenue, what was once a home to a taco and enchilada restaurant is being returned to its original glory, a 1910 structure that was built to house the old Security Trust Bank. It is fascinating to watch the old facade stripped off to reveal a beautiful old building that owner Sam Abed promises to restore.
GOOD FORM: Mary Christenson is best known as one of Watson's star Realtors, but each year around this time she is known for turning her yard into an Easter extravaganza. For the past four years she has covered her Seven Oaks front lawn with plastic Easter eggs -- some 1,500 of them -- to the delight of neighborhood children who stop to enjoy the scene. The eggs, along with her array of colorful blooming roses, make for quite a scene.
BAD FORM: A pox on whoever stole the special palm planter next to the door of the Bakersfield Community House near the Bakersfield Museum of Art. This is a worthy organization that operates on a shoestring budget. The palm was planted to welcome folks to the senior center.
MEMORIES: Wilson Call added to those readers who remember Toohey's steak house in La Cresta. As he remembers it: "Toohey was very controversial. If you would ask for steak sauce he would tell you his steaks are the best, and you don't need any sauce!"
Email Richard Beene , Californian president and CEO, at email@example.com. His column appears here on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; the views expressed are his own. Read more on his blog at BakersfieldObserved.com.