Dear Reader: Summer Souvenirs: Little Reminders of Big Adventures
by Thygerson Vaun
Contributing writer and mother of three
Jun 27, 2024
SUMMER SOUVENIRS: Little Reminders of Big Adventures

Summertime fun includes day trips, extended vacations, camping, and beach and lake destinations, but one thing that comes with all these adventure is souvenirs! We buy lots and lots of shiny, sparkly, kitschy little trinkets that remind us of these amazing memories. It can be stickers, patches, playing cards, or the like.

My boys haven’t really found a tchotchke-specific niche, but they usually get a t-shirt or a sticker. At one point, my oldest son collected baseballs wrapped in the site’s highlights or engraved with the name of the place, but it fizzled out. My younger son has a collection, but it’s all LA Chargers memorabilia, so not really vacation inspired. On the other hand, my daughter and I have zeroed in on our finds — every place we go my daughter buys a snow globe and I always seek out a unique pen or pencil. In fact, last week we went to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and I found a toy car with workable wheels that doubles as a pen. Proof that you’re never too old for the gift shop!

One souvenir that I always buy, because I’m a sentimental sucker, is the commemorative photo. This summer KCFM wanted you to be able to take some local photos that would be frame-worthy. In the article, “READERS RESPOND: FAVORITE PHOTO LOCATION,” on page 10, Callie Collins asked our readers where is the best place to take a family photo. Answers ranged from Hart Park to the Fox Theatre to the Kern County Library.

While you’re adventuring around this summer, you can also turn these excursions into a time to give back to the community. In the article, “FIVE WAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR KERN COUNTY’S CHILDREN,” on page 18, Callie Collins writes about July as National Make a Difference to Children Month. Locally, there are many ways to make a positive impact in a child’s life such as volunteering as a family or supporting a children’s charity.

Speaking of vacations — “VACATION WOES: TRAVELING WITH KIDS,” Julie Willis humorously recounts the trials of family trips, from tantrums to forgotten items, and hopes for smoother travels now that her kids are older. Find the full story on page 22.

July’s Hello Happy Mama features Maggie Cushine, who is a longtime friend and supporter of KCFM. In Callie Collins’ article, “HELLO, HAPPY (COMMUNITY-MINDED) MAMA,” she writes about Maggie’s unwavering commitment to Kern County through her various jobs and activities. Currently, she works as the director of Grants Management and Program Facilitation at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County. Along with her husband, Mike, and her two adult children, the entire family has made an impactful mark on this community. To read all about her, turn to page 12.

Summertime is here in full blast! It’s time to celebrate the 4th of July and enjoy all the amazing mainstays of summer. Whether you are at the lake or taking a family photo, remember to make memories, and if you can, find a souvenir to cement them with a collectible of some kind! Now, when you get home and unpack, finding where to store all these tchotchkes is another story all together!


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