By Richard Beene
Bakersfield has long suffered a "brain drain" as some of our best and brightest young people leave for greener pastures, but now comes word that our community is becoming increasingly attractive to young college graduates. According to a recent survey, Bakersfield ranked No. 3 on a list of smaller cities that pay a premium for college graduates. The Ventura-Oxnard area was No. 1 on the list, followed by Bridgeport, Conn., Bakersfield, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Melbourne, Fla. The survey, conducted by CreditDonkey, took into account median income, cost of living and a salary premium for having a degree.
A pox on the passengers in a small white sedan who deliberately ran down a cyclist on Panorama Drive this week and either threw something at his head or used a club to bash his helmet. The cyclist happened to be Tom Morgan, a former Kern County sheriff's deputy who was shot point blank in the neck some years ago during an arrest and miraculously survived. He is now a lawyer with the County Counsel office and took up cycling for fitness. Morgan escaped serious injury in the latest incident but only because his helmet saved him from serious head trauma. So this is his reward for putting his life on the line in service of our community?
Good news for Timothy Schmidt, a 1989 graduate of Foothill High School who has been awarded tenure at Southeast Missouri State University. He graduated from Westmont College with a bachelor's degree, received a masters from University of Northern Colorado and his doctorate from the University of Illinois. He has been on the music faculty at SEMO for the past five years. He is the son of Gerhard and Mary Schmidt of Bakersfield.
And kudos goes to Elizabeth Key, a graduate of Ridgeview High School who just graduated from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. She graduated with university honors and cum laude. She has now moved to Toledo, Ohio, to work for the Red Cross and plans to eventually earn a doctorate in biology.
The Bakersfield Municipal Airport is holding an open house and a "fly in" at 9 a.m. June 1. This looks like a great event for parents and their children, and it's free to the public. Aircraft will be on display, and there will even be Porsche and Mopar club cars there.
More memories of Wayne's Dairy and the growth of our town. This one comes from reader Bow Porter: "Our family was a Wayne's Dairy customer also. We lived in a Gannon-built house on Mt. Vernon when it was a dirt road, and our back door was open to George, our milkman. As Bakersfield moved east, we did, too, making about three moves as new houses became available over the years ... George's route kept up, also moving east. My son, Ken Klose, had a Sunday-morning newspaper route and would report new residents, new potential customers to George who rewarded him with a special treat of chocolate milk or doughnuts ... We paid our bill monthly, and I didn't keep track of what George put in our refrigerator; he just knew what we used and kept us supplied. Life was so simple and trusting and honest."
And finally, reader Gene Bonas reminded me that May 22 was the 45th anniversary of the loss of the nuclear submarine the USS Scorpion. Ninety-nine sailors died in the incident. As Gene said: "Anytime a Navy shipmate is lost, we Navy veterans say: 'Sailors Rest Your Oar! We Will Always Remember!'"