EARTH DAY

An interesting note from Stephen A. Montgomery on Bakersfield College’s Garden Fest held on Earth Day. "(It) sort of implies a concern for the environmentalism and sustainable living. Yet in the face of long term concerns about the health affects of sugary beverages on diabetes and weight and now new concerns about the health risks of artificially sweetened beverages, the BC Culinary Arts food concession sold sodas for a buck and charged $2 for water! Food consisted of pulled pork sandwiches or hot dogs with salty chips. Healthier options? Not here. Hello! Are we a little tone deaf?"

OVERHEARD

At the Starbucks downtown a man is complaining to his wife: "Starbucks has become like United: crowded, horrible service and uncaring."

SPOTTED ON TWITTER

"Siri pronounces Spanish street names like a white guy in a Hawaiian shirt ordering in a Mexican restaurant."

GOOD FORM

"Last Tuesday my husband and I went in to Walmart on Gosford to shop for our Vegas snacks. We were in a hurry so we went through the 'self’ checkout line and upon checking out we (received) cash for $100. We left the store and once inside the car we realized we didn't collect our $100 from the cash dispensary. We ran back into the store and the family behind us were still checking out. The lady noticed the look on our faces and asked if we were looking for our $100 cash. We told her we forgot to collect it and she proceeded to tell us she turned the money in to a Walmart clerk. It's so awesome that there are still honest people in Bakersfield! We did try to compensate her $20 for her honesty and she refused to take it. So we paid it forward in Las Vegas!"

MEMORIES

Here's one more memory of Maison Jaussaud's from Richard Stricklen, president of the Motor City Auto Center. "For many years, the Bakersfield New Car Dealers' Association held their monthly lunch meetings at Maison Jaussaud's. In the late 1960s I was absent for the annual election of officers meeting and was informed the following week that I was elected president. I was 23 at the time and got a call from John Barber saying, 'See kid, that's what you get for being a no-show.' Also in that era, the hit singing groups, the Four Seasons and the Leland Four performed at Maison Jaussaud's several times. The Jaussaud family had a knack for attracting the very top entertainment."

MORE MEMORIES

And there was this from reader Phil Foster: "My father Les Foster and his brother Lawrie Foster came to Bakersfield in 1929. My father formed a dance band and played the Crystal Inn, the Beardsley Ballroom, the La Granada Ballroom (where City Hall annex is today), the Barn in Oildale, the Bakersfield Inn, the El Tejon Hotel (where the Bank of America Tower sits today). They taught music for the Phillips Music Company on 19th Street and had many students of music in the 1930s and 1940s. Footnote: the Crystal Inn is now the Basque Club on South Union Avenue."

CRYSTAL INN

Finally, Gail Oblinger was in high school in the 1950s when the Crystal Inn was popping. "It was always crowded with couples dressed up … girls in pastel colored formals and boys wearing rented tux on prom nights. They served meals late into the night, so you could attend the dance and go out to dinner afterwards. I felt very special to be all dressed up and going to a such special place with my date. I had been told me a time when I had to be home, no exceptions. One such evening, the service was a bit slow due to the crowds. I was directed to a dimly lit back office by the waiter when I asked if there was a place I could phone home. My mother understood about the dinner crowd and extended my curfew. As I was starting to leave, a man I hadn’t noticed before got up off the couch and came staggering towards me. I guess he had been drunk and was sleeping it off, but it sure gave me a fright. I didn’t tell that part to my mother, for fear she wouldn’t let me go another time."

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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