The Cactus Patch
Volume 14       November 2011      Number 11

Fairs, A Show & Isaac in Bakersfield
A Letter From Bruce
by Bruce Hargreaves

Summer is over. Everything is starting a new season. Our Goldenaires choir has started rehearsing and has even sung for a couple of funerals. FLICS at the Fox got off to a bad start when the first film scheduled refused to cooperate and they had to show the second. (They did get the first one shown two weeks later.) On the 25th of Sept. the musical series at the 1st Congregational Church got off to a swinging start with “Sanctuary & dr d’s debris.” The next evening the Community Concert series began with Michael Kaeshhammer and lots of back up presenting more jazz. If this keeps up we’ll be exhausted by next summer’s break.

On the 17th we began setting up for the Kern County Fair. We took Alice on the 19th so we could show her the club setup without exhaustion. We went with Anne on the 23rd (Sr Day) and saw all four ribbons. Another great year.

On the 6th of Oct. we zipped up to Fresno and babysat the succulent exhibit at the Fresno County Fair. They put a fence which keeps people back from the plants, but it makes the labels unreadable. The meeting that evening featured various genetic twists (crests, monstrose forms & variegates) with an illustrated explanation by Tom Glavich. Members brought lots of examples.

We rushed back to Bakersfield on the 7th to help setup for the show and sale. We managed to fit into the new locality without too many hiccups. I was surprised when my beautiful Gymnocalicium (yes – a cactus!) was voted the “Plant I Don’t Want to Take Home”.

The meeting on the 11th was certainly different. Tom Fuentes has been observing hummingbirds for a long time. The pictures were great, but it would have been better with more sound. Also, we got a bit sidetracked on whether hummers see color. (They do.)

And now back to May for a final note on Isaac’s visit:

We reached Bakersfield on the 9th of May and had dinner at Milt’s which is close by, inexpensive and offers a taste of local cuisine. On the 10th we ate with the BCSS at Hodel’s (another local cuisine) and then proceeded to the meeting to hear about Patagonia.

Next day we dropped Isaac at Valley Plaza with instructions on how to return by bus. I was a bit worried about this (his request), but he ran into a Ugandan at the food court and got a ride back.

The 12th was a leisure day at home. On the 13th (a Friday, of course) we went to the Elephant Bar for lunch. We explained to Isaac that this was to Africa as the Spur chain in South Africa is to America -- very remote. We then drove around town to see the sights, ending in Oildale and driving out China Grade Loop. Isaac asked how far the wells extended. Instead of expressing our answer in words, we went up on the bluffs where the extent could be seen. It is impressive.

Next day we went to the BCSS yard sale and then had lunch at Cactus Valley. That evening we took Isaac to the Melodrama to see “Back from the Future”. Another bit of local culture heard from. As a contrast, on Sunday we had our family lunch at Chalet Basque. Isaac was glad to see some good lamb at last, but declined to join me in the pickled tongue.

Finally, on the 16th we drove up 58 with a detour by the “Loop” to the wind farm east of Tehachapi. We then turned south through Mojave and Isaac got a good look at the desert. We detoured to the Poppy Preserve and found some poppies still blooming. Then it was west to Stevenson Ranch and Claim Jumpers. We ordered the usual shrimp-stuffed Jalapenos, but Isaac declined them. Next, we said goodbye at the LA airport.

It was interesting to have new eyes seeing what is altogether too familiar.

Alice - KC Fair

Polly & Anne - Fresno Fair

Dinner @ Hodel's

Polly & Isaac @ Poppy Preserve

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