Colonel Baker’s Field Revisited: Bakersfield Welcome New Biography

She’s Bacccckkkkkkk! That’s how it feels to be seeing friends and supporters in Bakersfield.

May 15th was Chapter 2 in the COLONEL BAKER’S FIELD: AN AMERICAN PIONEER STORY saga. Just as Chris Brewer dedicated a lifetime researching the biography of his great-great grandfather, Colonel Thomas Baker, and then graciously shared his insights with Sandy Mittelsteadt, Jody Salamacha-Hollier and I, I want to chronicle our journey as we offer our interpretation of the life and times of Colonel Baker and Chris Brewer to Bakersfield, Visalia, maybe Iowa, America and my hometown Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo County.

Mayor Harvey Hall encouraged us to present at the Bakersfield City Council Meeting. First I learned Bakersfield has changed their council meeting times since I moved away. They start early….probably so they can end at a decent time for all concerned…so we were there at 4:30 to be sure we were on time at 5:30 to present at public comment. We provided a signed copy for each of the council members and in 3 minutes I read from Chapter 1 where Chris at 10 years old is asking his dad why Bakersfield has a large statue of his great-great grandfather in front of City Hall. It is the dedication scene after the 1952 earthquake and Chris remembered it well. Sandy then told the reality of California going bankrupt in the 1860s due to the flooding, which is why it was critical for our state that Colonel Baker focused on draining the swampland. Did you know he traveled from Visalia to Bakersfield the very first time by boat…that’s how much water was soaking our future ag land. The council members were gracious and welcoming and Mayor Hall couldn’t have been more positive about the quality of the book and supportive encouraging great sales for our future. Thank you, one and all.

Earlier in the day we had a chance to meet with Kern County Museum Board Member and co-chair of the upcoming Nut Festival on June 15 at the museum. We had a wonderful reunion visit and an invitation to do a book signing in the Museum store…where our book is currently on sale!…during the Nut Festival. Hope you will all join us there.

We also delivered 6 copies of our book to Bakersfield Rubber Stamp. Robert McKelvey was a classmate of mine at Garces High and called to say he’d just returned from vacationing and had learned all about the history of the place they visited (sorry, Robert, I forgot where you went!) and when he heard about our book he thought he should be learning more about his own home town…so for his own birthday, he bought himself and all his siblings a copy of our book…signed, of course. Thanks, so much Robert.

Sandy and I went by KGET-TV 17 to thank John Pelios and Michael Trihey for their terrific coverage when we came to Bakersfield the first time. They were busy uncovering news about the Sheriff Dept. and a shooting incident..and cell phone photos.

We also met with Steve Sanders at the Kern County Superintendents office…he’s chief of staff now and incoming Bakersfield Downtown Rotary president. Previous research said one thing about Colonel Baker and Sandy and Chris have proven otherwise. Steve was very receptive to adapt the website version to the correct information. We’re also looking at a future date to present to Rotary.

We’ll be at West Rotary, however, June 26. Thanks, guys and gals.

And Sandy and I just had to visit Tony at Russo’s and see how he was showcasing our book with the posters Jody has designed and provided….WOW…billboard outside the store, front window display and front of store display….Thank you sooooo much.

And thanks all who have purchased so far…would love your feedback, questions, comments, insights…..

Next up is May 31 for another edition of the Scott Cox Show, lunch with the winner of our book give-away from the Cal State 60+ presentation, meetings with numerous people and BIG, BIG day on June 1….11am is presentation and book signing at the Beale Memorial Library Tejon Room…then 1-3pm is book signing at Russo’s. Hope to see you all at both or at least one of our events.

And my goal was just to get us on the shelf at the Beale!!! We’re already there! Thanks, Bakersfield. pixSandy&IatMarketplaceRussosBakerPoster





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