REMINDER:  Only 154 days until the Taft Diamond Jubilee -- The Taft Oildorado, Inc., celebrating Taft's 100th birthday, October 15-24 and the dedication of the Oil Worker's monument with Huell Howser present to videotape his program called, "California Gold" for public television broadcast on the West Coast.  This is also the anniversary of the world famous Lakeview Gusher -- the granddaddy of all gushers -- that spewed 9,000,000 barrels of oil over a year and a half before it stopped flowing.  A historical marker is located at the crater of the gusher between Maricopa and Taft.

    The Taft Oildorado website is oildoradodays.com.

REMINDER:  Only 154 days until the Taft Diamond Jubilee -- The Taft Oildorado, Inc., celebrating Taft's 100th birthday, October 15-24 and the dedication of the Oil Worker's monument with Huell Howser present to videotape his program called, "California Gold" for public television broadcast on the West Coast.  This is also the anniversary of the world famous Lakeview Gusher -- the granddaddy of all gushers -- that spewed 9,000,000 barrels of oil over a year and a half before it stopped flowing.  A historical marker is located at the crater of the gusher between Maricopa and Taft.
    The Taft Oildorado website is oildoradodays.com.
   
The following article was sent by Larry Peahl, class of 1955, from Bakersfield, CA

Part two -- continued for June 10, 1911 article form Midway Driller
    Supervisor Bush was in town today and stated the probability within 30 days work would be commenced on the road between Taft and Bakersfield.
    The road would be graded, graveled, oiled and repairs made where necessary.
    A levee will be built from Tracy's bridge 26 feet wide and four and one-half feet high.
The work will be done by contract.
    The cost of putting the road in conditions estimated at $15,000, of which the Kern County Land Company has promised at least $5,000, and the Supervisor knows where he can raise the rest without trouble.
    At the present time the road between here and Bakersfield is about the worst in the county, and should have been put back in shape long ago."
    The most present matter being adjusted, the agitation for a separarte county government was dropped, and Kern County remains the largest county in California.  
(End of series)

Readers' Responses

From Jim Rumsey from England
    Dear Mr. Gianopulos
    Congratulations on your recent elevation to the TUHS Hall of Fame.
    I wrote earlier in the year, from England, about the Oakley family who hosted my grandfather during 1926/7 or so.  You kindly provided me with information.  My second cousin, Betty Fletscher, corrected my mistake when I mentioned Edwin (her brother) instead of Jean LeValley (her father).
    Your Oildorado book (1985) seems to contain a wealth of information about our conditions in Taft over the years.  Is any of the detail online?  I particularly ask since I am writing a novel based on my grandfather's life and would like to get the details of Taft 'correct' for the period
of 1926-28  i.e. any particular highlight!
    Many thanks for your time from a currently very cool (50 degrees) May in
England.
    Regards,
    Jim Rumsey

From Louis Kranyak, Class of 1971, from Concord, CA.
    Pete- I graduated in 1971 from TUHS. I moved out of my parents house and worked for several years at Darrell's Body Shop. After three years of that I realized, I wasn't going anywhere so I went to Taft Junior College in evenings while working and in two years, I had enough credits to transfer to CSULB. I quit the body shop and moved to Long Beach and graduated after two years with a degree in Criminal Justice. I had intended to be an attorney but fell into a job with the Marshal's Office and realized after coming in contact with and seeing all the stuff attorney's deal with I decided I didn't want to be one and stuck with the Marshal's Office until the Sheriff took it over.
I retired as a Corporal in Sheriff’s Department after 22 years. After not working for five years, I got a job working part-time security with a security team on the estate of a multi-billionaire. He only hires retired peace officers and pays $42.00 per hour which is great as with the economy as it is now there are a lot of $12.00 per hour jobs out there. My youngest son graduates this year and is going away to college so that is why I'm working again, to get him through school.
My youngest son is a straight A student in High School and ranked 3rd or 4th academically in his school. He's much more mature than I ever was at his age. I never had you as a teacher but maybe you had one of my  sisters or brothers - Mike, Steve, Deirdre, or Alexandra. I believe you had a daughter in my class, Valerie, I think but I really don't know her as we traveled in different social circles. I have a few good friends in Taft and visit it a few times a year.
I've always considered Taft my hometown and it was a great place to grow up in in my opinion. Prior to living there, as a youngster, I grew up overseas in Indonesia and lived in the middle of a jungle. Moving to the USA was quite a shock to my system when we first came to California!.    Louis

From Dick Walsh, Class of 1956, from Palm Springs
     Hi Pete;
     Just finished reading the most recent Taft Newsletter,  I really look forward to getting that each week.  You do a great job and I am sure I can speak for all those who receive it, as to how much we appreciate your efforts .  In the last letter you mentioned the movie "25 Hill" and that the movie had to do with the Soap Box Derby. 
As soon as I read that I thought about my brother Claude, whom I think was one of your classmates at Taft High School.  I don't know if you know this or not, but Claude was the winner of the first Soap Box Derby race held in Taft. 
He  represented Taft at the next level which was held on Treasure Island near San Francisco.  As the story goes he built his car out of saw dust and glue to make it lighter and used for the first time wheels which were filled with air, rather than solid rubber.  You might want to contact him him, because I'm sure he has some good information concerning that whole Soap Box Derby scene. His E- Mail is judybee@cruzio.com. 
Also I remember the days spent with Bailey Newlee.  I think I was in the same class as Mike Adams, class of 56.  One of the things I recall most about his class was that he had a nick name for each of his students.  It was really quite comical when he would call you to the front of the room by your nick name.  I always remembered that, and when I coached my basketball teams each player had a nick name. It was a great way to bring about comaradery.   Pete, please keep up  the good work, we all look forward to it.
Dick Walsh- Class of 1956

From Lynda Lankford of Bakersfield, CA.
 
       Hi Pete,
     I wanted to let you  know so you could tell others in Taft that Joyce passed away May 6th.
 She had a stroke and was in Health South for rehabilitation but sent  back to hospital for a brain scan..while there she had another massive  stroke and passed..
     Her visitation is Friday, the 14th from 3pm-8pm  and graveside service, 10am Saturday at Greenlawn on River Blvd and  Panorama in Bakersfield.
     Sincerely, Lynda  Lankford