Herb Benham

Recent Stories

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    HERB BENHAM: Urban adventure a heavy burden for uninitiated

    By Herb Benham
    Saturday, Oct 18 2014 09:00 AM

    Recently I bought a pair of walking shoes and borrowed a backpack from a friend. We had a trip planned and rather than break both in on foreign soil, it made sense to test-drive them in order to diminish the chance of foot and back disparagement.

    "Those look like sensible shoes," said my friend Sally. When somebody tells you you are wearing sensible shoes, what they're saying is that your shoes are ugly. What they could have said, if they weren't sparing your feelings, was, "I hope those things are comfortable because they are about as stylish as a pair of snowshoes."

    The shoes were wide. It's hard for wide shoes to look attractive. Especially when they have black mesh netting across the top of them.

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    HERB BENHAM: Last meal? Just be sure to eat dessert first

    On a recent bike ride, we talked about what our last meal might be. The conversation began with my friend Bob asking whether I thought it was bad form to eat two doughnuts at Houchin Blood Bank after giving blood. I didn't think so, but...

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    HERB BENHAM: Steve Garvey a hit with Bakersfield

    Steve Garvey speaks like he used to hit -- expertly. I heard the former Dodger first baseman at the Second Annual Heart Never Forgets benefit for the Alzheimer's Disease Association of Kern County at Wes and Tracey Bradford's home. I...

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    HERB BENHAM: Crafty Christians work way into my heart

    Elinor Grant invited me for lunch recently at Mill Creek Christian Church downtown in the Crafty Christian Room. I liked the sound of the Crafty Christian Room, especially because I have gained an appreciation for crafty Christians over...

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    HERB BENHAM: He's the whole package - mailman and friend

    A good mailman is like a crackerjack barber: You hope you die or leave town before they do. Alex Dang is a good mailman, except that, in retiring after 47 years with the Postal Service, he's breaking hearts along the avenues, courts and...

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    HERB BENHAM: I've been called many names, but none as nice as grandpa

    Katie left me a message Sunday morning. I was standup-paddleboarding at Solimar Reef in Ventura. The sun was out, the water was warm and we had finished our session with ankle-slapping-sized waves. I'd rinsed off with four gallons of hot...

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    HERB BENHAM: September full of grape expectations

    Last week I went to the Albertsons at the corner of Chester and Brundage to buy half and half in case somebody wanted coffee at the dinner party we were hosting. I thought it was too hot for coffee -- Sue didn't -- so being the mature...

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    HERB BENHAM: Case of juror dragon breath is dismissed

    "Please leave your weapons and handcuffs in the car," said the jury coordinator during the orientation speech for prospective jurors. I can't bring handcuffs to court? What's wrong with this country? Handcuffs are my version of a service...

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    HERB BENHAM: By end of summer, grass is lawn gone

    Should you have occasion to drive by the house, you will notice that the front lawn is in a state of decline. Some of the grass is green, some brown and some golden brown. We're not far from affording children the pleasure of staging a...

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    HERB BENHAM: Readers in step with walking column

    Columns can surprise. Most disappear quickly and die a quiet column death. Some hit a chord, and who knows why? Walking to work was one of them. Marcia Giumarra emailed. "I read your column about walking to work this morning. My...

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    HERB BENHAM: Sipping on smoothie of life at Kern County Fair

    I went to the fair for you. And you. And you too. I had had it with tiptoeing around. Summer isn't over until the fair closes, this year on Sept. 28, so Wednesday, opening day, I took one for the team and went at 4:40, the hottest part of...

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    HERB BENHAM: Pastime tethers me to neighborhood kids

    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...

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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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