milk carton kids

Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale (left to right) are the Milk Carton Kids. The band performed at the Crystal Palace last week. 

Tell me this doesn’t feel good. Mornings in the 50s, warm, lazy afternoons that are easy on your skin. The relief is palpable in everybody’s faces.

I’m not saying we deserve this, “this” being fall, but we‘ve earned it and if we haven’t earned it, we appreciate it. I looked at the pomegranates a couple of days ago and, almost on cue, they had turned redder than a red crawdad.

A tasty literary treat

Life is full of surprises, some challenging but others delightful. I’ve lucked into some literary candy. It’s the reading equivalent of a bowl of Dewar’s peppermint ice cream topped with hot chocolate sauce.

I discover new authors and musicians by reading the obits. I read one recently for Andrea Camilleri, an Italian mystery writer, whose books are set in Sicily. Donna Leon is normally the go-to person for Italian mysteries but the obit was intriguing so I went on Amazon where they had a deal on a 10-book set (new) for about $4 a book for Camilleri.

The risk is if you don’t like the first one, you’re in trouble with the other nine, but I’ve blown through five books already and I can’t stop reading them. They’re like candy corn. The main character is Inspector Montalbano who loves great Italian food, hates phonies and has trouble with his superiors. They’re funny, wise and terribly addicting.

Family business

Jennie Henden emailed a clarification on a column about Quality Refinishing:

“I have a comment about your Sunday article featuring Quality Refinishing. It was all about Jim Barlow. Bill Barlow (Jim’s father) passed away a few months ago and was a dear friend of mine. I wish you had mentioned that Bill was also responsible for the beautiful work that came out of the shop.”

Pick of the week

Musical recommendation of the week, maybe month too, is the oddly named Milk Carton Kids. The duo that just played in town is the modern incarnation of Simon & Garfunkel. Harmony-rich, spare focused songwriting. Their album “The Ash & Clay” is great. Search YouTube for “Younger Years.”

Herb Benham is a columnist for the Bakersfield Californian and can be reached at or 661-395-7279.

(1) comment


You and Price are wonderful. Keep up the great work. You two are the biggest reasons I read this paper,

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