Dear Reader
by Thygerson Vaun
Contributing writer and mother of three
Jun 28, 2022
In 1986, like most teen girls, I had “Tiger Beat’s” tear-out posters of Rick Springfield hung up all over my bedroom. I was completely starstruck! For my 16th birthday and my first live concert ever, I went to see him perform at the Mini Dome in Pocatello, Idaho. The night was magical – I even remember what I wore and how much I screamed and danced while he sang. But, most of all, I remember the feeling of pure excitement. Ever since that night, going to concerts has become one of my favorite activities to do. There is nothing like seeing someone you idolize in person and singing along with the crowd for a shared experience of awe.

One of the many things I love about living in Bakersfield is that there are so many options for live music. Locally, we have a lot of musical talent that you can find playing at different venues, lake settings or even backyard parties. And, if you follow Bakersfield Sound Co. on Instagram, they do a local gig menu every week where you can find out who’s playing where in Bakersfield. I’ve been to various concerts at Mechanics Bank Arena, Fox Theater, Dignity Health Amphitheatre, The Marketplace Fountain and the Kern County Fair, where I even saw Rick Springfield again about 25 years later! Another plus to great music is fun videos that are created to promote it. My boys have been actors in two music videos for Hate Drugs and High Voltage Arcade.

If you can’t find what you want in Bakersfield, just a short hour and half drive to Paso Robles is one of the best places to hear live music – Vina Robles Amphitheatre. It’s a perfect outdoor setting as the temperature cools down a little bit more at night than here in town and they get a lot of big names. They also have food vendors and a brick pizza oven on the premises. I promise it’s worth the drive.

Attending an outdoor concert sounds like a perfect summertime activity for me. Callie Collins gives us some more ideas in her article, “11 Ways to Plan the Perfect Summer Gathering.” She says there are a lot of ways to have fun this summer that include everything from a block party to a book club to a movie night. To read all 11 ideas, go to page 5. For even more advice on summer activities, KCFM asked in “Readers Respond” what makes for a successful summer weekend. You can read all of the great answers on page 10.

I can really relate to this month’s Humor at Home, “My Kids’ Lives: Wrapped up in Memories Set in Target and Starbucks,” by Julie Willis on page 22. She writes about mom life and how it really is spent at Target and Starbucks, and it goes by way too fast. It’s easy to become nostalgic as your little ones turn into bigger ones, and when you know that one day they will become adults. And, she also recounts that she breaks some of the rules she swore she would never break before she had kids. Oh, the irony that happens to each and every one of us!

Special thanks to Jennifer Rogers-Etcheverry for the article, “Hello, Happy (Multi-Tasking) Mama: How Jennifer Rogers-Etcheverry Upholds Family, Self and Community through Fame, Entrepreneurship and Future Generations,” by Callie Collins on page 12. As the great-granddaughter of actor, author, and social commentator Will Rogers, Jennifer has learned from an early age to appreciate legacy and hard work. Today, she wears many hats and created her own business from her family’s almond production called, “My Husband’s Nuts.” You can find these delicious flavored almonds and related merchandise both locally and nationally. Or, you can order online at

No matter what you have planned this summer, whether it’s an outdoor concert in Paso Robles or a lazy afternoon with friends by the pool, don’t forget that in just a few short weeks your life will return back to the school grind, so enjoy every minute now! Making these fun memories is the best part of summer. If you’re looking for some great local music, make sure to check out Bakersfield Sound Co.’s Instagram for its weekly gig post. You are sure to find some great talent and a memorable time! And, if you stop for a snack, make sure to pick up some of “My Husband’s Nuts” for your road trip.

Happy Fourth of July! 

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