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Category Archives: Kern River

Merle Haggard’s Boxcar

This hot dry expanse of land, now rich in oil and agriculture, used to be the wet floor of an ocean overlooked by dinosaurs in the Tehachapi Mountains to the east. In the nineteenth century people of European heritage settled here and named it Kern County, and today the regional museum is hosting a one […]

Also posted in Bakersfield, Dinosaurs, Kern County, Merle Haggard, Music, Redding

Homeless on the River

This story is in “In Other Hands,” a collection of riveting stories about human trafficking, prostitution, poverty, and homelessness.

Also posted in Alcohol, Bakersfield, Drugs, Economics, Health, Homeless, Mental Health, Methamphetamine, Nicotine, Poverty

Drought is God’s Punishment

Until last week I thought the drought that’s squeezing California resulted from natural weather fluctuations, and didn’t want to be political or presume to have scientific insight so rarely mentioned climate change and then only as a relatively minor factor. I should’ve known there was a much simpler yet more ominous explanation, and Shannon Grove […]

Also posted in Abortion, Bakersfield, California, Kern County, Religion, Rick Perry, Sacramento, Texas, Weather

Almost Missed Manny and Money

I realize most sports fans and other seekers of excitement planned to watch the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight at cool places like the MGM Grand Arena or packed sports bars or at least at big private parties enlivened by booze. My intention was far more mundane: I’d view the eternally-hyped showdown with my Philippine wife […]

Also posted in Al Bernstein, Bakersfield, Boxing, Bright House, Floyd Mayweather, George Thomas Clark, Jim Lampley, Jimmy Lennon, Joe Frazier, Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao, Michael Buffer, Muhammad Ali, Philippines, Roy Jones

Gold Rush

Poor guy farming hardpan back East hesitated and missed first California opportunity but rode fast and walked hard in eighteen fifty-five for Kern River Rush yielding most miners three, four, even five ounces of gold daily and up to fifty bucks per. Guy didn’t have many good days and following year wadded smart aleck newspaper […]

Also posted in Bakersfield, California, Gold, Short Pieces - GTC