WRECKING CREW

Before he rose to fame, the late Glenn Campbell was an accomplished studio musician and a member of a famous group of musicians in Los Angeles called The Wrecking Crew. Active in the 1960s and 1970s, The Wrecking Crew became the most requested session musicians of their time, playing with artists such as Frank Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, the Beach Boys, the Monkees and even the Byrds. In addition to Campbell, other members included keyboardist Leon Russell, guitarist Tommy Tedesco and saxophonist Steve Douglas. And, not to be forgotten, the crew also included a talented young bass guitarist named Carol Kaye, who at 84 now lives in Rosamond. Kaye was the bassist on Phil Spector and Brian Wilson productions and recorded guitar on Ritchie Valens' huge hit "La Bamba." The story of The Wrecking Crew was made into a documentary now available on Netflix.

HAPPY JACK'S

My friend Gene Bonas, a proud Navy veteran, reminded me of an important event this weekend that is worthy of note. Said Bonas: "Stopped in at my favorite diner to have a delicious hamburger and spoke with the owners of Happy Jack's, Frances and Ruben Rosales. They said they're sponsoring another fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House this coming Sunday, Aug. 13, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. All money collected will go to Ronald McDonald House, and workers are donating their time, wages and tips. Last year, Happy Jack's presented Ronald McDonald House $8,000. The goal this year is $10,000. So, for a delicious breakfast or lunch please support this worthwhile fundraiser."

RIP, HARRY

Taft College lost a friend and community role model last year with the death of Harry Wilson, who graduated from the school in 1942. Wilson, who died last September at the age of 96, served in both World War II and the Korean war and later worked at Arco for 30 years before retiring. The college has now announced that Wilson left the college $1.6 million, which will help fund student support services along with starting the Opal Smith and Harry Wilson Endowment for Taft College.

SPOTTED ON TWITTER

"Sometimes I'm good at eating healthy, but other times I have to change into bigger clothes in the middle of a meal."

SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK

"Unfortunately, I don't have the type of rage that makes you want to clean house."

NUESTRO MEXICO

Congratulations to the folks who own Nuestro Mexico, the intimate eatery on 21st Street that consistently serves up quality food at affordable prices. (They also happen to offer an awesome margarita). According to The Californian's Dorothy Mills-Gregg, the restaurant is looking to open a lounge at the corner of Calloway Drive and Hageman Road to serve the fast growing northwest area.

MEMORIES

Did you know that the Grapevine is actually a community located at the foot of what we now know as the "Grapevine grade" headed to Los Angeles? According to the Facebook page Kern County of Old, "The village and grade are named, not for the once-winding road known as the Grapevine that used to climb the steep mountain canyon, but for the canyon it passed through with its wild grapes that still grow along the original road. Its Spanish name was La Cañada de las Uvas, i.e., Grapevine ravine." Wikipedia added: "The top of the Grapevine is registered as California Historical Landmark #283, where Don Pedro Fages passed through in 1772 during his explorations through California."

Email contributing columnist Richard Beene at rsbeene@yahoo.com. His work appears here on Wednesdays and Fridays; the views expressed are his own. Read more on his blog at BakersfieldObserved.com.

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