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HERB BENHAM: Peace be with you

Yoga Herb column

Reader Bruce Deeter tried this yoga position and just about ended up in traction.

Sunday: glorious. Monday: good, good being anything under 90.

Clouds too. Puffy white clouds. When's the last time you've seen that?

On Sunday everyone was on the bike path and, if not on the bike path, doing something outside. The day expands when it's cool. No need to rush working in the yard. No push to prune the pomegranate tree before 8 a.m. Nine works fine and so does 10 or 11.

It's peaceful when you don't have rush, rush inside or rush outside. We're coming to the end of the rushing season.


I didn't know much about the comedian Norm Macdonald who died recently at 61 of cancer, which he told very few people he had. We must have been in the thick of raising kids when Macdonald made many of his appearances on Weekend Update on "Saturday Night Live." In addition to the comedians who praised him, what impressed me was an excerpt from his book "Based on a True Story: A Memoir."

"The only thing an old man can tell a young man is that it goes fast, real fast and if you're not careful, it's too late."

You can take days off, but not days off from life.


Good news. The soaring voices that make up the Bakersfield Master Chorale are back in action, according to chorale president Jerry Buzzell. Rehearsals have resumed and the chorale's first concert, "A Master Chorale Christmas "Breathe" has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Monday, December 13th.

The chorale is now under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Garrett.


Bear Valley's finest Cheri Hadley called in a reference to the column about emptying our youngest's (Thomas) room.

"We still have our daughter's stuff when we moved 27 years ago from L.A. to Bear Valley," she said. "The Barbies, the Cabbage Patch dolls and the classic books. I don't think you truly ever get rid of the things from your kids and we don't want to."


Teeth, I know this is not super sexy but teeth are important especially if you want to eat corn on the cob and its kissing cousins, candy corn and corn nuts.

I thought more people would have sunk their teeth into the column suggesting that Medicare include provisions for dental care. Thank goodness for Bill Leonard, otherwise it would have been crickets.

"Like you, I think teeth are a great thing to have and keep (I'm 77). But it seems to me that your assessment of the economic impact on dentists (of including dental coverage in Medicare) is misplaced. As you noted, 'nearly half of Americans 65 and over didn't visit a dentist last year.' I'd guess most don't want to pay, or can't afford the cost of private dental insurance.

"If that is correct, then including dental services in Medicare wouldn't result in a pay cut for dentists, it would increase their revenues by amounts that they haven't been receiving in the first place. Those payments under Medicare might be less than the dentists' normal 'retail' prices, but more than zero.

"I suspect many dentists would actually be glad to be getting the incremental revenues from new patients."


Longtime runner and thoughtful human being Bruce Deeter responded to the column about yoga.

"The column brings back memories. I used to do a Wednesday class with Shelly Freesemann at Inner Bodyworks until COVID shut it down permanently. Must have gone for 10+ yrs and there were still troublesome poses for those like me and Tin Man.

"Once, she had us do a pose called Dandayamana Janu Sirsasana.

"I barely made step 1, and my back spasmed something fierce. I was rolling in agony. Shelly thought I was having a heart attack. She calmed me down, then had me lay in savasana for the remaining 45 minutes of class. Never did that one again. Couldn't move.

"Distance runners are not limber, generally speaking. Cyclists I think, same deal. Double whammy for me."


Song of the week: "Five Minutes" from Gretchen Peters. Tells a story, it's beautiful and it doesn't try to do too much.

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