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

    By HERB BENHAM, Californian columnist
    Saturday, Sep 20 2014 10:48 PM

    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 the day.

    It was throwing yourself into the volcano to placate the ancient gods. This was no time to be a namby-pamby and hold out for one of those cool summer evenings when you stroll the midway and have the breeze ruffle your pompadour.

    No such desperation or posturing for Jessica Eppley and Tim Findlay who I met at F-1 in the parking lot pushing 7-month-old Ryleigh . They'd come because they liked the fair, it was Ryleigh's fair debut and first days at the fair have been a family tradition.

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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Aging mother's plight painful for adult children

    My mother suffers from Parkinson's disease, which is having its merciless way with her. She uses a walker for stability, but she has fallen several times, always because she thought she'd just do this one little thing without her walker,...

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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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    CAMILLE GAVIN: Friedman makes return to stage

    Hal Friedman, known for his innovative approach to staging live theater, is debuting his latest venture, the Hot Spot Theatre Troupe, with "The Last Five Years" this weekend in downtown Bakersfield. "It's a very different kind of theatre...

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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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    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Anniversaries are built on ups and downs

    Once again it is time for the annual anniversary column. The date seems to arrive a little more quickly each year. Will I ever get tired of thinking and writing about marriage? It's a fascinating topic. As both a legal institution and an...

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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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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED A blog about life, media, politics & people

    SCAM: Our nation is awash in telephone scams, and Kern County residents continue to be targeted. Consider this note from reader Wes Wells: "I just wanted to share a recent telephone scam that really upset my wife today. When I came home...

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    CAMILLE GAVIN: 'Hairspray' takes on sticky subject of race

    Teens are well-represented in "Hairspray," the feel-good show about a pleasingly plump girl who becomes a TV star in the 1960s when the civil rights movement was at the forefront and dancing to the beat of rhythm and blues was wildly...

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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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    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED A blog about life, media, politics & people

    JOAN: I ran into John Pryor at the John Brock Awards dinner last week, and he shared his own personal experience with the late comedian Joan Rivers. John and his wife, Meg, were in New York City a few years ago when they stopped for lunch...

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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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