Herb Benham

Recent Stories

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    HERB BENHAM: Pastime tethers me to neighborhood kids

    By Herb Benham
    Thursday, Sep 18 2014 02:56 PM

    We have a tetherball pole. It's an old tire filled with cement and a metal pole stuck in the middle. I bought it years ago for $25 from a man on Ming Avenue who had a family of tetherball poles in his front yard.

    Our kids used it, but they grew up and left us with empty bedrooms and an unused tetherball pole. Why would you leave town when there was a perfectly good tetherball pole with which to play?

    We enjoyed a brief flurry of popularity with younger families on their morning and evening walks. I'd hear their voices over the backyard fence. "Dad, do you think it's OK if we play?"

    Yes, it's OK. Play a game. Play two out of three if you want to settle an old family tetherball grudge. Gradually, the ball went flat. Then the string...

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    HERB BENHAM: It's a clothes call, and some didn't make it

    I looked at the Canali suit, seafoam green. Yay or nay? Recently I went through my closet and chest of drawers for the annual purge. It was time to thin the herd, cull the strays and strengthen the bloodline. The Canali suit had been a...

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    HERB BENHAM: Lucky day birding with Mom at lake

    Last weekend I went kayaking with my mother on Mono Lake. When I arrived, the short red kayak and the long green one were strapped to the top of her Subaru. "How did you get them up there, Mom?" I said. "It's easy," she said. You're 87,...

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    HERB BENHAM: Walking to work makes things new again

    When I can, and recently I could, I walk to work. Fifteen blocks. On foot, the world is different. Starting with people. Starting with Alan and Billie Hodges, who were pushing a stroller with their great-grandson, Will. Will is the son...

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    HERB BENHAM: Will buying sweater hasten fall?

    A friend saw me in a slim fitting T-shirt from Banana Republic and reminded me I wasn't 20 anymore and suggested I wear something more age appropriate. "Age appropriate." That's becoming one of my least favorite expressions. It suggests...

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    HERB BENHAM: That's right, call me a quitter

    Three weeks ago, I quit drinking coffee. I wanted to see if I could. I have, but withdrawal symptoms include jet lag, flu and the slow brother syndrome. "He's a nice boy but he's slow. His older brother is as bright as a penny." I love...

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    HERB BENHAM: Love of film grows with cast

    How do you eat for a three-hour movie? Laying down a base isn't good enough. You have to think provisions and staying close to the chuck wagon. Nourishment was near the top of my list last weekend when we saw "Boyhood," which clocks in at...

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    HERB BENHAM: I went vegan and didn't miss the meat

    I was not optimistic when I opened the cold case at Nature's Food Market & Juice Bar and looked at the selection that included an eggless egg-salad sandwich the turkey sandwich made with vegan turkey and the chicken- salad sandwich made...

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    HERB BENHAM: Sometimes the best medicine is your own bed

    A few days ago, Dad called. He had news. Dad calls are occasions, making me feel as if I have been promoted to favorite-son status and have leapfrogged my siblings on the depth chart. "You can stop looking for a place to rent in...

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    HERB BENHAM: Outer Rosedale to inner peace

    When I told a friend I was planning to walk home from Rosedale Automotive after dropping the truck off, he looked at me as if I were crazy. "Don't you have any friends that will give you a ride?" I have friends and when you propose...

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    HERB BENHAM: Bono the boss in Ireland -- just ask Bruce

    Al Palitz, the pride of East Bakersfield High School and a recently retired Kaiser doctor, told me this story about a friend of his youngest daughter, Cordelia: "She's a darling 24-year-old red haired Irish lass named Aoife (ee-pha) who...

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    HERB BENHAM: You’re never too old to take on a pup this cute

    Two missed calls in a row from my father-in-law, John, can be cause for alarm. When I looked at my phone a week ago Thursday, I punched the first of two voice mails. “It’s Thursday afternoon and we’re on our way to Springville to look at...

  13. HERB BENHAM: It's a small - and less complicated - world on this ride

    It's a small world and sometimes we like it that way. It's a Small World celebrated its 50th anniversary at Disneyland recently and the news warmed my heart in the same way that writing a to-do list with a No. 2 pencil on a yellow legal...

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