My wife, Susie, and I returned home from a not too common mom-and-dad-only date night. When we arrived home our young children, Nikki, Brenna, Sean and Aaron, were sound asleep cuddled up in their favorite cozy spots in our living room. Twins Sean and Aaron were barely visible stretched out …

Like many of you, my large family of brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and family of the heart take “shelter in place” seriously. Family birthdays, deaths, births and anniversaries have all occurred during “shelter in place.”

He was walking in front of me on the crowded Disneyland’s Main Street. He was with his wife and three young children. At first glance you would think the black T-shirt the father was wearing was stylish in its simplicity. No Mickey or Minnie artwork adorned his T-shirt. Other than the words,…

In the 1960s my older brother Willie and I would drive to downtown Bakersfield and visit Booth’s Records and Appliance Store on H Street. Our intent wasn’t to purchase any appliances, it was to listen to music. Mixed in with the latest Westinghouse washers, dryers and other modern-day applia…

She could easily have been mistaken for Bea Arthur from the "Golden Girls" television series. She appeared to be in her early 70s. She was walking alone and leaving the event as fast as her cane would allow her.

Is it a tool of the devil, a meaningless family game or mental wormhole between the dead and the living? The Halloween season is the perfect time to ask anyone who has touched or been touched by, what some people claim to be, the mystical powers of the Ouija Board. Flicker the lights, cue th…

As she has done nearly every weekday for the past several years, Lorraine Hernandez sat next to me on the stationary bike at 24 Hour Fitness last Monday to begin her workout. After some morning small talk, and almost as though she were asking me to pass the sugar, she said, “I’m jumping out …

The repair man walked into our living room this morning to fix our refrigerator. It was Thursday and our first day back from our annual Wavehog Central Coast beach camping trip. Ice chest, camping chairs and canopies littered our entryway and living room. I asked him to please be careful and…

Almost to a person, each of the 30 media people and community leaders who performed in the sold-out recent Media Music Jam, have explained to me how they have been personally affected by cancer. And although no survey was taken, my suspicion is many in the audience have also dealt with the e…

I walked into the center's small break room to stretch my legs. While I was trying to decide which soda to pick from the vending machine, a woman who looked to be in her early 40s walked in. She reminded me of Dorothea Lange's iconic 1936 black and white photo from the Great Depression— the …

My wife, who battled cancer for two years, was at the end of her journey in the hospital. I explained to my children that God would cure their mother. It would either be here with us or there in heaven, where she would be in perfect peace. The doctors came in to explain there was nothing mor…

The mother stands slumping in the corner. The moonlight gently casts the shadows of the bars in her cage which highlights her sadness. Through the bars of her window she sees the top of her child trying to reach in. The mother stands straight and her sadness is immediately replaced by a huge…

Now that the football season is officially over, I can say it. Some people will miss the excitement of the actual games. (Obviously, when I say "excitement," I am not including the Patriots' 13-3 victory over the Rams, the lowest scoring Super Bowl ever.) Me, not so much. I will miss the foo…

I was returning from a business trip and my short layover was in LAX. He was standing in front of me in a short line on the tarmac. We were waiting to board our flight to Bakersfield.

Depending when you are reading this, we will have either just started to head out on a Wavehog chartered deep sea fishing boat from Dana Point in Southern California, or already stopped at our first fishing spot with our poles in the deep Pacific Ocean waters, or headed back to our San Cleme…

It was a proud moment for my niece Rachelle and her husband, David Yubeta. Their son, Josh, was drafted to play in this year’s U.S. Army All-Star Bowl at Rabobank Arena. According to the U.S. Army website, “the All-Star Bowl is the only high school arena-style football game held indoors.”

Sunday night while viewing the Oscars, my adult children begrudgingly watched and waited for their favorite actor and actresses to make their appearance. The crowd favorite in our living room was Mary J. Blige. Many agree, including my children, that Blige’s performance of “Mighty River” put…