It was wonderful to read John Pryor's Community Voices piece ("COMMUNITY VOICES: Baker Street in the 1930s and '40s," March 31) which nicely supplemented Robert Price's "Where We Live" Old Town Kern installment (“WHERE WE LIVE: In Old Town Kern, renowned restaurants and pervasive homelessness are side by side,” March 24).
My father, Patrick C. Steele, his parents and five brothers lived in the area during the same period in a home on east 21st Street where Clerou Tire now stands. John Pryor refers to St. Francis school being on Baker Street, but I believe he meant St. Joseph School. St. Francis School, which Dad attended when the family resided at 1626 17th St., was located at Truxtun Avenue and H Street (current site of Bakersfield City Hall North) from 1926 until 1952, when it moved to its current location at Palm and Pine streets. Dad graduated from St. Joseph School in 1935. I do not know when St. Joseph School closed, but it still existed and served the east Bakersfield area until at least the late 1950s, and there are still many former students in Bakersfield.
As John Pryor noted, the Baker Street neighborhood was a diverse, thriving place. Many others will confirm that it continued to be so at least until the Highway 178 cut through the residential section which had supported many of the businesses. Thank you, Mr. Pryor, for giving us a glimpse of the past glory of this area.
Mary Anne Steele, Bakersfield