Donald Trump is visiting Republican hotbed Bakersfield where native son and House majority leader Kevin McCarthy hosts him.
After thrilling a crowd of believers downtown, Trump says, “Kevin, it’s hotter than hell. Is it any better up in those hills I can barely see?”
“Sure, Tehachapi’s a lot cooler and you can breathe.”
A secret service agent says, “Mr. President, we haven’t done any advance security.”
“Don’t worry. No one knows we’re coming.”
A caravan of fortified vehicles cruises up Highway 58, gaining elevation and passing oak trees, and after thirty miles moves by Keene where McCarthy points. “Right over there Cesar Chavez lived and had his United Farm Workers offices.”
“Where’s he living now?” asks Trump.
“He died twenty-five years ago.”
“He hated businessmen, I know that.”
In ten more minutes, rolling by an occasional thirsty pine, they enter Tehachapi and cruise down the main street.
“Don’t quote me, Kevin, but this place is a hick town. Do they even have a golf course?”
“Horse Thief Country Club’s about ten miles from here. It’s surrounded by little mountains and real pretty.”
“We’ve got time for nine holes. Let’s do it.”
“I played there all the time as a kid,” says McCarthy. “It’s an exciting course, lots of boulders and elevated tees.”
“I hit massive tee shots from elevated tees. You’re twenty years younger, Kevin, but I’ll beat you by five strokes today.”
After cruising through the tiny community of Stallion Springs, McCarthy says, “Okay, we’re just about there. Look to your right.”
Trump turns his full face to the window and says, “I get excited every time I see a beautiful layout.”
“Coming right up.”
“I thought it was there. It’s got to be around the next turn.”
“All I see is brown weeds high as my ass.”
“I know there’s a long par five around here,” says McCarthy.
“You sure we’re on the right road?”
“Positive. This is it. Oh…”
“Kevin, they’ve stopped watering the course and turned it into a cow pasture. Why didn’t you know they’d closed the course? You should’ve at least called before we drove out.”
“Where was the clubhouse?”
McCarthy points and informs the driver. The caravan turns right and then right again into a parking lot sprouting weeds. The clubhouse and restaurant are shuttered and shabby.
“This is a dump, Kevin. I may have to back someone else as the next speaker of the House.”
“Please don’t overreact, Mr. President. I’ll take you to lunch at the beautiful motel on the hill overlooking the course.”
They go back the same road about a half mile and turn off to climb a steep hill leading around trees and rocks to the motel and a parking lot.
“There are a few cars here, but the place looks abandoned.”
“No, there’s a young man,” McCarthy says, powering down the window. “Hi, there. That great restaurant’s still open, isn’t it?”
“No,” the fellow says, “this is just a dorm for the extreme sports academy down the road.”
“That dining room had the greatest view in Kern County,” McCarthy says. “You could see the whole valley as well as the golf course. We can walk around the building and I’ll show you the patio.
“Okay, Kevin, get my clubs in the trunk. I’m gonna hit some bombs over the road and into the weeds.”