She’s a political analyst for KGET-17 and the Legislative Chief of Staff for Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, and he’s the Political/Business Consultant for Western Pacific Research, but this couple knows when to stop talking shop and have some fun!
What was the first thing you thought when you met your future spouse for the first time?
Cathy: When I first met Mark, he was watching a baseball game, wearing his Air Force uniform, and playing “Country Roads” on the guitar—all pretty foreign to me.
Mark: My friends and I were hanging out. Cathy came through our place like a whirlwind. Skinny as a rail, talking a mile-a-minute with a head full of big, black curly Armenian hair. “Whoa! What is it?”
What is the craziest thing your spouse has ever done for you?
Cathy: Mark sent a concert violinist to my office to serenade me on our anniversary—the office staff was amazed and I couldn’t stop laughing.
Mark: Cathy put my name on the lit marque of a country music roadhouse! “Now Appearing: Mark Abernathy.” I walked into a surprise party, the house lights came on, everyone cheered and put me on stage singing for the rest of the night. You remember those songs, “Sunday Morning Comin’ Down,” “Kiss an Angel Good Morning,” “Watermelon Wine,” “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain.” Hey, let’s crank up that eight-track again right now.
Who’s the first one to admit when they’re wrong?
Cathy: That’s a tough one. I haven’t been wrong yet.
Mark: Nor I.
What is your spouse most passionate about?
Cathy: Mark is passionate about American history and our founding principles; his childhood Illinois hero, Abe Lincoln; how we got our freedom and how to keep it.
Mark: Our daughters, Margaret and Madeline, are first in importance with us both. Cathy’s passion is as a communicator. She loves great writing and speaking that is clear, persuasive, and poetic. She was inspired in college by Churchill’s speeches and writings and was later inspired by Reagan and by Margaret Thatcher. (Wonder how our daughter got her name?)
What’s your favorite thing to do in Bakersfield?
Cathy: Right now, there’s no better fun than watching our daughter Madeline’s softball games at BASA. The rest of the year, we love the historical and unique things about Bakersfield: the Basque restaurants, Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, the Kern River, Sam Lynn Ballpark, Charlie Beard’s NASCAR track at Kern Raceway, Noodle Bar, Park at Riverwalk, Bakersfield Jam, Murray Family Farms. That list scratches the surface…
Mark: Couldn’t have said it better myself.
What is your least favorite thing about your spouse and most favorite thing?
Cathy: Pet peeve? He thinks I want to know the score—inning by inning—of the Cardinals’ games…keeps me entertained from April through October. My favorite thing is that Mark is a studious and caring Christian, brilliantly creative, loyal and wise. Best of all, he laughs at my jokes!
Mark: My pet peeve is Cathy trying to fix all my shortcomings. She’s worked diligently for 34 years but hasn’t gotten the job done yet! She may have bitten off a bigger chew than she thought. Favorite thing—I like that she’s Superwoman. She always has a dozen projects going at the start of the day and has them handled by 3.