Ken photo

Pictured is an old photo of Kerr Sport Shop that was located in Beverly Hills, Calif.

A few weeks ago I received an E-mail from a gentleman by the name of Carl Bachhuber, who lives in Colorado.

He said he read my article a few months ago about the old Gilbreath Brothers duck club out west of Wasco. He stated that when he was just a young boy in the mid 1950s, he went hunting there with his father after driving up from the Los Angeles area where they lived.

He said he has been a duck hunter ever since those days. After reading his comments, I answered back that if he didn't mind sending me his phone number, I would contact him to discuss that area at length.

The next day I received his number, so I gave him a call. We had a terrific conversation for almost a half an hour. I updated him about how the Gilbreath operation changed after the Kern Wildlife Reservation became active, and how a lack of water put many of the old clubs out of business. He told me about his hunting activities in Colorado, and how the migration patterns had changed in that state over the last few years away from his home area, and more to the east.

I asked him how he found my column, and he said by typing in 'Gilbreath Brothers' on Google. He had just been thinking about what had happened over the years. Before hanging up the phone, I told him he could read other columns I have written by going to Bakersfield.com, and they could be found from most recent, then backwards to others for the past two years. He said he would, and we exchanged pleasant goodbyes.

Now I am getting to where it really is a small world. Many of you readers may recall the column I did entitled "A Mentor, an Actor, and Elvis." I told about my old friend and shooting partner, Alex Kerr.

And, I mentioned my actor friend Robert Stack and the time we shot a round of skeet at a tiny range located on an oil lease in Culver City. I am now going to quote the exact E-mail Carl sent me that evening. . . .

"It was very nice talking to you today. I got to reading some of your articles and I saw one about Alex Kerr and did that bring back some memories. I never met the man but did I ever like to visit his store! I went to UCLA and it wasn't that far away. I was just a kid in school and when I walked in the first time I figured this place was way above my pay grade but what the heck. I found the gun department and spent the next hour or so drooling all over the display cases. The guys behind the counter turned out to be some very nice folks and I spent some time talking shotguns with them. Their used gun rack was great and the prices were not bad at all. Later on I bought a S & W revolver from them and still have it. And the mention of the trap+skeet club in the oil field in Culver City, I used to know exactly where that was. I only lived a few miles from there. When I was in elementary school a buddy and I used to roam all over those hills and stumbled across it one day. We heard the shooting so went looking and found some folks breaking birds. There was a nice woman at the 'club house' that let us sit and watch for a while as people shot. Was that ever a long time ago."

This whole sequence of events with Carl started with him doing a search for Gilbreath Brothers, and ends up with both of us, who have never met during our long lives, sharing three special places in our lives. . . Gilbreath's, Kerr Sport Shop, and a small skeet field in the middle of nowhere. Social media and the internet is really taking life to one far away place. But, I love the connection.

Ken Barnes is a record setting shooter and longtime outdoorsman from Kern County. Email him at ken.barnes@aol.com with comments or column ideas.

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