Herb Benham: Good music, food and fun little boxes

·3 min read

Dec. 6—Talk about a misfire. I woke up Thursday night and realized I had forgotten to submit the photos of Henry and Nora eating pomegranates for the Friday column about pomegranate season.

Instead, I had a photo of the tree itself, which is lovely and backlit but there's hardly anything cuter than a couple of kids sitting in a truck eating pomegranates.

----I drove through downtown the night of the Christmas parade, skirted it really, to pick up food at Great Castle. I hadn't been there in years.

When the kids were small, and Dad would visit, his treat was to bring in takeout from Great Castle. We looked forward to his visits.

Tough neighborhood, but Great Castle is still standing after 46 years and the food — vegetable lo mein, snow peas and black mushrooms, beef with broccoli, kung pao chicken, moo shu pork, shrimp and bamboo shoots — was delicious. You forget how much fun those little boxes are.

It was nice to see downtown lit and looking alive, promising, inviting and as if it was on the comeback trail.

----Message from Chris Fendrick concerning the column on the bike path and Panorama Park, two of Bakersfield's best assets. Chris clarified my murky and incorrect history of the park.

"Just wanted to add some history to the second best venue in Bakersfield of Panorama Park. I appreciate that you mentioned that retired Supervisor Pauline Larwood had the vision to build a pathway along that stretch of the bluffs. However, after that short pathway was built, it sat for years until a coalition of people came together to build it to what it is today.

"In 1998, I was driving down Panorama Drive to my home in upper La Cresta and wondered why the park was never developed past the initial pathway. I wrote a Community Voices article to rally the development of Panorama Park.

"After that letter and calls to then-Supervisor Barbara Patrick, we rallied a great team to build the park to what it is today. Credit goes to the Friends of Panorama Park ad hoc President and retired parks Supervisor Carl Park, Supervisor Patrick, her assistant Stephanie Lynch, now-Supervisor Mike Maggard, Bob Larue, the late Jimmie Icardo, Ed Berchtold and countless other people who helped with grants, donations and the planning of the trees and vegetation that we all enjoy today."

----How about the fog over the last few days? That will take you back. Way back. Way, way back to when we were kids and the Tule fog would set in for what seemed like weeks at a time.

Often fog was tied to rain but not this fog. At least there was some moisture on the street Sunday morning. We'll take it.

----Musical recommendation of the week is Katy Trail's new CD titled "Come on Rain." If you're local, you may know Katy as Katy Glentzer through her work as a real estate agent but she has a whole other side. Katy is a terrific singer and songwriter. This five-song CD was recorded in Nashville and the production value is high.

You can listen to the songs on YouTube and the album is available for purchase in the iTunes store.

Herb Benham is a columnist for The Bakersfield Californian and can be reached at hbenham@bakersfield.com or 661-395-7279.

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