Herb Benham

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    HERB BENHAM: A short life that cast a long shadow over Taft

    By Herb Benham
    Thursday, Jul 24 2014 02:27 PM

    It’s time for Lee Patterson to get to know his father, a phenom of track and field who died when the Taft businessman was a baby.

    There’s just one problem: He can’t bear to open the biography, written by Kern County native Gerald Haslam, that celebrates his dad and all his many athletic accomplishments — though he’s carried the book around like a talisman since its release in June.

    “I look at the picture of him on the cover and it overwhelms me,” Patterson said. “I’ve been waiting my whole life for this book and now I can’t start.” He’s not the only one who’s been waiting.

    Leon Patterson — Lee’s father and the pride and joy of Taft and then USC — was a golden boy who set national records in the shot put and discus before his untimely...

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    HERB BENHAM: It's any porch in a storm for disloyal outdoor cats

    Our cat disappeared recently. Vanished. Left, as if she had met with a better offer. Blueberry is a porch cat, her world consisting of a green rocking chair, a flat cat scratcher, a soft bed, and a four-foot high porch wall from which to...

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    HERB BENHAM: Cyclists send thoughts, and photo, to injured pal

    At 6 a.m. Thursday we took a group shot of more than 40 cyclists to send to fellow rider Mike Aldridge, who is in the ICU at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno after being hit on July 9 by a commercial truck while riding in the Nevada...

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    HERB BENHAM: LeBron James' future is in his past

    Every so often a sports story rockets from the arena, stadium, field or court and lights up a moonless night. A story that delights, charms and inspires. Thank LeBron James for the latest example. Even if you don't care about basketball,...

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    HERB BENHAM: Text typos: Pissibilities are endless

    I meant to type possibilities in a recent text but accidently substituted an i for the o and wrote pissibilities . There are websites devoted to text misfires. One woman wrote "I'm busty tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday afternoons and...

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    HERB BENHAM: These parents are too cool for the shelf

    A week ago we were in the Bay Area visiting my dad -- who continues to improve after a rocky stint that landed him at the Stanford Medical Center -- along with two of our children who live in the East Bay. Friday was the Fourth of July...

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    HERB BENHAM: Can't even get myself into hot water these days

    The water heater at my brother's house in Mill Valley failed over the weekend and, given that we were guests, I was pressed into action. "It looks like the pilot light is out," Courtney said, after removing the metal guard and peering...

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    HERB BENHAM: No way out and then 'God opened the door'

    Some nights Raquel Johnson sleeps on the brown leather sofa. She has beds in her neat little house near Highland Elementary in Oildale. Four beds in which her girls -- Elizabeth, 17, Priscila 16, Genesis, 15, and Esther Marie, 13, sleep....

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    HERB BENHAM: No car trouble is too far when Sue calls

    The column about Sue having car trouble at the Parking Spot near LAX because I had not tightened a cable on a new battery puzzled some readers. I had driven to LAX to diagnose the problem rather than call road service. Ronal Reynier...

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    HERB BENHAM: In Dr. Benham's opinion ...

    I knew he had a shot when he asked for a pineapple milkshake. Asked for it and then downed three quarters of the cup. That couldn't be a man on his way out. When your father falls sick, you may learn some things about your family....

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    HERB BENHAM: Blending need, persistence at thrift shop

    My latest quest includes finding a $6 blender because when it's hot, I believe a smoothie can blend my life for the good. Who doesn't have a blender? Everybody has one. A blender is a primal piece of household equipment. "Do you know...

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    HERB BENHAM: Folk music in Tehachapi cool way to spend hot day

    Recently I drove to Tehachapi for a concert at Fiddlers Crossing featuring Eric Anderson, a folk singer I'd first heard 40 years ago with his song "Violets of the Dawn." Forty years can be hard on anybody, but 40 years in the music...

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    HERB BENHAM: Changing a car battery gives me a charge

    I can change a battery. Changing a battery is Auto Mechanics 101. It's a step above cleaning the windshield. Recently Sue's car had a dead battery. A friend and I drove to the O'Reilly Auto Parts store in Sebastopol and bought a Super...

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