It’s hard to imagine what Bakersfield looked like around the turn of the 20th Century. While we have some surviving photographs to give us blurry or faded glimpses into life over 100 years ago, very few artifacts remain.
“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.” -Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture.
To truly appreciate the present, one should have an understanding of the past.
To be able to acknowledge the influence that time has had over everyday surroundings can undoubtedly change a person’s perspective. A deeper respect for those who came before us and left their impression develops, even if their legacy has been plastered over to meet the demands of changing times.
When’s the last time you took a look at your family’s photo albums?
Though it’s not an activity loved by all, most people enjoy taking a walk down Memory Lane and not only seeing themselves at different stages in their lives, but seeing photos of those family members who’ve come before them. Grandmothers, great-great uncles; blurry black and white photos of ancient people to whom you’re somehow related.
We’re lucky to live in a city with so many local, family-run businesses; some of which have been around for decades and continue to grow and serve our needs generation after generation. As such, Bakersfield Magazine continues to profile these longstanding companies year after year in our Generations issue so that readers can have a better understanding of their struggles and triumphs and realize just how important it is to support these businesses and our local economy.
“Memory,” wrote Oscar Wilde, “is the diary that we all carry about with us.” Every soul in Bakersfield and Kern County carries about, through works and days, memories of the past. Each bears an inner diary. In the case of those who have seen many years, there is often the need to open the diary’s pages and make its secrets known. To try and make sense of it all. Six Bakersfield residents did that recently.