The Latest: Astros romp past Dodgers for 1st title

Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen throws against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning of Game 7 of baseball's World Series Wednesday in Los Angeles. While some Dodger fans are despondent over the team's loss, others, like columnist Herb Benham, can appreciate the great season leading up to it.

Jae C. Hong / AP

I’m not one of those all-or-nothing fans — the scorched earth variety — where it’s a World Series championship or all is lost.

What a great year the Dodgers had. A great year that included losing the seventh and final game of the series to the Houston Astros, a feisty, deserving bunch.

Yesterday, L.A. fans were talking about the heartbreak and the tragedy of not having won a championship for 30 years now.

“Tragedy?” You don’t have to go far for tragedy. The shooting in Las Vegas was a tragedy, the incident a couple days ago on the bike path in New York was a tragedy, but the Dodger season was an absolute gift. The series was the best thing on TV in a long time.

That team delivered solid and almost unimaginable pleasure for seven months. The Dodgers gave its fans something to celebrate, rejoice in and marvel over. The Dodger season made a glass of red wine taste good.

That’s not a tragedy and if it is, I want more. This season was a huge victory. Thank you.

•••

The recent column on discovering Dauphine Street Books in New Orleans elicited these responses.

• “Being an avid reader myself, I must share with you that Assistance League Bargain Box Thrift Shop has a vast array of books, most gently loved before being generously donated. Our prices are well below other stores and include current best sellers as well as vintage finds.

"Look forward to seeing you at 1924 Q Street!

Happy reading, Sandy Spray"

• Kym Vliem writes:

“I have been a voracious reader since childhood.

"Nice to know I'm not the only remaining person who still reads a physical book. There is something so satisfying about picking up the book, reading the description, checking the font and after reading it, lending or donating it.

“When a used book smells too musty I put in a plastic bag with a squirt of perfume and seal it up for a week or two. Works great! I imagine you could use fresh herbs and get the same effect. Happy reading!!"

• “Just read your article on used books,” wrote Jennifer Magnum.

“We have a used bookstore in Taft, Ben’s Books 810 Center Street. The store is owned by my husband Ben. There are at least 20,000 books. Make a trip to Taft, look through the books and have a cup of coffee with Ben.”

•••

That could be an outing. Go to Ben’s Books, whip up a literary appetite and then eat at Asian Experience. Restaurant regular Harry suggests red curry with chicken and vegetables, pad Thai and stir fried veggies with chicken.

I suggest it washing down with their miraculous Thai iced tea.

•••

Paige Hill, writer, mother and former Bakersfield resident sent this from writer Hugh Mackay.

"The idea that — I don’t mind people being happy — but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness.

"It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying 'write down three things that made you happy today before you go to sleep' and 'cheer up' and 'happiness is our birthright' and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure ...”

Herb Benham is a columnist for the Bakersfield Californian and can be reached at hbenham@bakersfield.com or (661) 395-7279.

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