Herb Benham

Recent Stories

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    HERB BENHAM: Be prepared to fall in love, Grandpa Herb

    By Herb Benham
    Thursday, Mar 26 2015 05:13 PM

    Columns about pets -- especially cats -- usually find an receptive audience, but Sunday's piece on the birth of Andrew Hunter Oliver, our new grandson, was overwhelming. I learned this: Those who have grandchildren may love them more than they do their pets.

    The column triggered an avalanche of good will. If that energy was harnessable, we could illuminate the darkest corner of space. If not space, our hearts. Thank you.

    Marylee Shrider, former Californian columnist and gifted writer, sent this email: "Congratulations, Grandpa. What a beautiful little boy. The love of your life.

    "You know what really surprised (and delighted) me after I became a grandma? Not that I loved her, because I always knew I would. It's the physical...

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    HERB BENHAM: With Sue gone, it's crackers, cheese or whiskey for dinner

    Sue is gone for two weeks. My wife would rather be with her sweet grandson than her husband with the wrinkly neck. Go figure. I'm on my own, which includes providing my own meals. Prior to leaving, she pulled the ripcord on shopping. The...

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    HERB BENHAM: Tears of joy for my grandson

    "Andrew Hunter Oliver Jr. "Born 10 p.m. 3/14/15. "Healthy, nursing, loved." This was the message I sent to my parents, friends and family last Saturday night. I kept it brief. There will be room for superlatives later. Now I understand...

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    HERB BENHAM: New Jeep puts Honda in rear-view mirror

    Heated seats. I have heated seats in my new car. Front and back. It's not the first time I've had heated seats in a car. Every car I've owned has had heated seats. Step into my fleet June through September and the seats are shirt-sticking...

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    HERB BENHAM: Judge gladly pronounced us man and wife

    John Jelletich died last week. The passing of the former judge brought back memories. Good ones. Sue and I were married on a stormy September day nearly 35 and a half years ago. I mention stormy because September rain in Bakersfield is...

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    HERB BENHAM: It’s guaranteed you’ll see the best tennis for free

    “This is the qualifying?” That’s the first thing you’ll think when you stop by the Bakersfield Racquet Club Saturday or Sunday and watch the Bakersfield Tennis Open. This is a Futures Tournament with $15,000 in prize money. The players you...

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    HERB BENHAM: William Penn ageless, but this former sixth-grader is not

    I couldn't say no to being a celebrity reader at William Penn. Even if I hadn't gone there, it looks like the kind of place that I could have gone. Anybody could have. Talk about a neighborhood school. There are neighborhood schools and...

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    HERB BENHAM: These beloved post office employees didn't just mail it in

    Tracy's gone; Chris is a short-timer. How's a downtowner supposed to get his friendly fix? It is the simplest of pleasures. Going to the post office. Buying stamps. Mailing a package. There are a thousand places to do that nowadays. You...

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    HERB BENHAM: Roofer never looks down

    A description of Donna Amparano sounds like the punch line of a joke. If it were, she'd be the first to laugh, if not tell it herself. Amparano is a one-legged roofer with a three-legged dog. What are the chances? "The dog's name is...

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    HERB BENHAM: A dried-in-the-wool laundry rookie

    For Christmas, Sue gave me a blue vest from Nordstrom, made of extra-fine Merino wool. It's a beauty, neither too thin nor too thick. The vest started as a large. I own three vests but the moths chewed two of them, leaving the third one...

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    HERB BENHAM: Selling our city as a novelty for dad's birthday

    My dad is turning 90 in June. He wasn't looking for a party, but we're throwing one anyway. We want to celebrate the he's-alive-and-a-great-guy part rather than the he's-turning-this-awfully-big-number part. He has fans. You know somebody...

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    HERB BENHAM: No man sells a truck until next one’s picked

    Former supervisor Trice Harvey emailed saying that he has had truck withdrawals for the last two years. Trice wrote in reference to the column in which Sue suggested that I sell the truck if I followed through on buying another car. I told...

  13. HERB BENHAM: Song of Hong Kong irresistible to Bakersfield boy

    Attorney Dennis Beaver emailed to say he had a good story: his son, Ian. I understand. Parents are proud of their children. They want the world to share the joy. "He's a nice guy too," Dennis said. "In terms of personality, he's not me. He...

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