Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bakersfield Square Dance Fiesta

Thursday March 19, 1992

We're up and packed and ready to leave at 11 a.m. for our trailer trip to Bakersfield Square Dance Fiesta. We meet Robbie and Dolores for lunch at Bob's on Sepulveda where we pig out on fried chicken dinner. The trip is fine, 2-1/2 hours even though our speed dropped to 30 mph at times coming over the ridge route.

The Fiesta is held at the fairgrounds. We find a great camping area for our group. We rope off a large area for our group of 16 RVs. It should be great fun once everyone arrives by tomorrow night. We have 6 large tables for our Saturday night potluck. By 10 p.m. there are 4 RVs. We all go for a walk after our BBQ steak dinner outside.

We go to bed and watch TV about 10:30. It begins to rain at 4 a.m.

How well I remember the Bob's Big Boy Restaurant on Sepulveda Blvd in Mission Hills. It was my first experience with dining out. When my brother and I were very small we would go to the drive-in where we would all roll down our window to give our order to the waitress. My parents always had a Big Boy hamburger, my brother and I had a grilled cheese sandwich with fries and a cherry coke. The waitress brought each of us a tray that hooked onto the window opening. When my brother and I were much older we finally got to go inside the restaurant. What a treat! I remember the large green vinyl booth seating next to the counter where the cooks prepared the food. I remember how we each got a Big Boy comic book which we read cover to cover and then worked on the puzzles at the back. Finally, we colored the picture in the comic book with the box of crayons we were given by the waitress. It was a rare treat for us to go to a restaurant. Later when I was in high school, the Bob's Big Boy Restaurant in Panorama City on Van Nuys Blvd was our teen hangout after the football games.

The Bakersfield Fiesta still goes on every March at the Kern County Fairgrounds. For Mom and Frank, their square dancing club was about much more than dancing, although they did enjoy that. It was also a social club and a camping club. Several members had RVs and they would get together several times every year to camp together. 16 RVs is a big group!

The "ridge route" Mom refers to is the common nickname for Interstate 5 that connects Southern California with Northern California. Near Gormon is the Tejon Pass, which sometimes gets snow and wind. North of Gorman is a steep descent to the small town of Grapevine, basically a truck stop, and a few miles north, Highway 99 intersects Interstate 5 and heads for 30 miles towards Bakersfield.

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