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DELANO RAMBLINGS: Local young women participate in California Girls State

Four outstanding young women from Delano and McFarland represented Merle Reed Auxiliary unit No. 124 at California Girls State over the summer.

The Girls State session was from June 28 through July 1 with girls from all over California meeting on Zoom.

Representing Delano high schools were Kimberly Mendoza, Robert F. Kennedy; Zsaby Diana, Delano High; and Aubrey Ruanto, Cesar Chavez High.

The delegate from McFarland High was Davianna Diaz.

Interested junior girls were interviewed by the Legion Auxiliary and then chosen to represent their schools.

“The auxiliary unit is very proud of what each of the girls accomplished during Girls State and even before,” said Zana Chaney, Girls State chairperson for the unit and also unit first vice-president.

The high school girls are entering their senior years.


James (Jim) Bartleson, longtime instructor at Delano High School, was honored earlier this month at a Delano Lions Club function hosted by the Richgrove Lions Club at the Richgrove Memorial Building.

I was a Delano High teacher at the time Bartleson came from his native Nebraska in 1965 to teach at Delano High in the science department. Later he became an instructor in the business education department and was the first knowledgeable staff member when computers were first installed at the school.

Bartleson remained at Delano High until his retirement in 2002.

For 55 years he has been a Delano Lions Club member, holding numerous positions in the club and even serving as district governor.

He was elected to the Kern County Board of Education in 2002 and has remained in that position until his successor, Delano educator Joan Smith, takes over effective Aug. 31.


Delano Harvest Holidays still is hopeful that the 76th annual queen’s scholarship program show — now changed to queen and king program — will take place Saturday, Sept. 25, in the Delano High School auditorium.

If approval for an in-person show is not possible, then candidates will gather with a core of show organizers and a three-judge panel to select the queen and king and other award recipients in a more virtual format.

First event in the Harvest program will be the Saturday, Sept. 18, Tiny Tots program to take place at the meeting room of the First Assembly of God Church.

The royal court of senior girls and boys, Tiny Tot participants, and the Grand Marshals for the Harvest Holidays will be honored at a takeout barbecue Oct. 9, also at the First Assembly of God Church.

A caravan of vehicles including queen and king show and Tiny Tot participants, the Grand Marshals, and Harvest directors will motor through some areas of the town.

No Kiddie Parade will take place for the second straight year, but Delano Union School District Superintendent Rosalina Rivera said she hopes that the district can resume its sponsorship of the parade in 2022.


Delano Elks Lodge No. 1761 plans its initiation night for new members and a dinner for Wednesday, Aug. 25.

The Elks’ twice-a-month bingo is slated for Thursday, Aug. 26.

The annual Dallas Night is planned Oct. 16 and is planned to be “live.” Louis Pandol is selling tickets but is suspending sales for a time as the American Legion is starting its reverse drawing sales for a Sept. 18 event.

The Lodge bulletin editor, Anthony Zaninovich, reported that 31-year member Al Watts had died in July. He was a longtime local educator who had served as principal at Cecil Avenue and Princeton Street schools.


Over the summer I have spoken by phone with 1989 Delano High graduate Carlos Quintana, who is now a neurologist in San Francisco. He attended Stanford University after high school.

Carlos organized a summer gathering of team members, relatives of those who have passed on, and coaches of Delano High’s co-champion 1989 varsity basketball team.

Carlos also ran cross country in the fall and played tennis in the spring. He noted that cross country had been left out of the school yearbook, but he says he recalls that sophomore Juan Sanchez for the boys and Diana Delgado for the girls were team standouts. IF anyone has a team picture, he would appreciate a copy.


Mrs. Walker also reminded me of Delano High’s Class of 1980 class reunion planned Oct. 16 at Bakersfield Country Club, with a social hour at 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 6.

Charge is $100 per person for a meal of beef, chicken or pasta. Sept. 21 is the deadline to reserve a reunion spot. Andrea Turnipseed is event chair and may be reached at 1016 El Camino Real North, Prunedale, CA 93907, or email at


Earlimart School District is serving meals to students under the National School Lunch/School Breakfast program for the 2021-2022 school year.

There is no charge for the meals that are available at Alila Elementary, Earlimart Elementary and Earlimart Middle schools.


COVID concerns wreaked havoc with the season-opening football game between Delano and Cesar Chavez high schools. DHS athletic director Albino Duran was able to find a replacement for Chavez and lined up Chowchilla as a first-game opponent last night (Aug. 20). Kennedy’s opener with Golden Valley was canceled because of COVID concerns at Golden Valley.

Because of lack of officials, some Kern County games are being slated for Thursdays. Delano will host Kennedy and Mission Oak in Thursday games and the season finale of Kennedy and Chavez will be played on a Thursday.