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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Authors of of story of Col. Baker and early Kern to present program Thursday

  • Kiwanis is hosting and it will be presented at 12:20 at OT Cookhouse
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  • The Taft Kiwanis Club will host the authors of a book about the founder of Bakersfield and a major figure in the development of Kern County on Thursday and the public is invited to attend.
    Authors Judy Salamacha and Sandy Mittelsteadt will be at the service club's weekly meeting on Thursday at OT's Cookhouse and Saloon.
    The Kiwanis meeting starts at noon and the program will follow at 12:30 p.m.
    Taft Kiwanis invite the public to attend the presentation, meet the authors and have their books autographed.
    Salamacha and Mittelsteadt will provide a visual account of the development of the book and the history created during America's Great Migration, when pioneers settled the West lured by dreams of riches and new opportunities.
    Colonel Thomas Baker, the namesake of Bakersfield, CA and "city planner" for Visalia, CA and Des Moines, IO, is an intriguing, yet unfamiliar pioneer of the 1800s.
    Colonel Baker's Field: An American Pioneer Story (Bear State Books, April 2013) takes you back and forth between the 19th and 20th centuries introducing the reader by interpretive scenes to the life and times of Colonel Baker and his great-great-grandson, Chris Brewer, a California historian and publisher.
    Although brief details about Colonel Baker can be found in most history books about Bakersfield, this book details documented facts and tells interpretative stories never published by the pioneer's descendants.
    Sandy Mittelsteadt, an education consultant, Judy Salamacha, a San Luis Obispo Tribune columnist, and Jody Salamacha-Hollier, a photographer and graphic designer and the illustrator for the Baker book worked with California historian, Chris Brewer, for four years to create the book, which celebrates Bakersfield and the American pioneer spirit which values family, character and community.
    The official biography of Colonel Baker and his great-great grandson, Chris Brewer has been said to "read like a novel." It has also topped local sales at Russo's Book Store in Bakersfield each month since it published in April 2013.
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