Every once in a while, but not nearly often enough, Roger Berry will hear an unfamiliar voice coming from a line at the store or at a table in a restaurant. A voice not remotely like the high-pitched intonations he was accustomed to hearing every nonsummer weekday for 40 years. An adult voice.

Can we be friends again now? No, I suppose not. Certainly not this week, and probably not anytime soon. Those more sophisticated than I — and that’s a serious chunk of the population — will insist it can never happen. Not when more than 70 million Americans somehow voted for that guy despite…

editor's pick

If you’ve spent any significant time, at work or at play, on Bakersfield’s true main street, 18th, you have seen them: solitary souls, faces of grit and exhaustion, towing battered, wheeled suitcases piled high with backpacks and shopping bags and worried Chihuahuas in tiny cages.

editor's pick

Mayf Nutter doesn’t look like anyone’s idea of an environmentalist, sitting there in a Bakersfield recording studio in his boots and sparkly Western shirt, but irrefutable evidence says he was and is. Whether that particular word entered his thinking at the time he took his first anti-pollut…

editor's pick

It had a special symmetry. 2020. The configuration conveyed order and balance, almost a harmony of sorts. Twenty on your side of the ledger, twenty on mine. In a society that bats around phrases like equal justice — never mind what the reality might always have been — its rhythm felt like a …

editor's pick

It was a clear, perfect day at the perfect man-made oval known as Pinewood Lake. Hazel-gray ducks cut across the water in threes and a daring squirrel darted straight up the trunk of the substantial cottonwood at water’s edge. Jacquie Sullivan served apple juice on the back patio in tall, sl…