Sunday, May 27, 2018

Merle knew what it’s like to walk the Streets of Bakersfield. As it turns out, you might too

Oildale's favorite son Merle Haggard, country's only true believer and a man who made something out of dirt, died on his birthday April 6. He was 79. By Andrew J. Pridgen I recall with relative clarity one languid spring Friday afternoon scene at Robert’s Western World in Nashville listening to third-tier honky-tonk acts reverb off of our half-empty cans of Coors...

To my father on his 70th

Today Craig A. Pridgen would have turned 70. This is what he taught me. By Andrew J. Pridgen The father of one of my best friends growing up had a study. It was down a long hallway of the second story of their house and it mostly sat empty—the darkest, most shadowy corner of the home. I never set foot inside...

God Bless you Uncle Bill

Goodbye to William Stiveson: devoted father, grandfather, educator, Catholic and...devout football fan. By Andrew Pridgen It was late-August of 1992. “Uncle” Bill Stiveson was my high school’s vice principal. I was the incoming student body president. Early one morning, a few weeks before the start of school, I was down at his office working on something for the first assembly...

Go get that ring Vernon

That crosswind you feel tickling your neck isn’t the shrill first breath of winter, it’s an exhale of exaltation from a man who was taken from his career depths up to a mile-high-and-beyond season of possibility. That man’s name is Vernon Davis.   By Andrew Pridgen As a former 49er faithful, I can’t wait for Vernon Davis to maul the Lombardi...

The Trinity of West Coast Baseball

Is this heaven? No, it's California. By Kyle Magin There’s a place, somewhere near the sun’s resting place, where baseball is still told as a story. Octogenarians and a sexagenarian do the telling in tasteful suits on TV and over the airwaves. They contextualize Yasiel Puig or Madison Bumgarner’s dazzling ability in baseball’s century-old saga with charming anecdotes woven in and...

We got a lot: 25 incredible things about Point Break on the day of its 25th Anniversary

Special thanks to Pt. Break scholar emeritus David W. Briggs for calling this one out this a.m. By Andrew J. Pridgen If you’re expecting a link-bait piece about the amazingness of Keanu and Swayze and that unclaimed piece of meat in Baja that turned out to be Rosie, well, fine — you got me. But there’s a lot more to Point...

Listening to Vin Scully call his final innings was truly heaven on Earth

Thank you Vin for blessing us with your 67 years in the booth. By Andrew J. Pridgen Vin Scully makes no bones about his faith in God and man...with baseball somewhere there in the middle. He came to the end of his 67-year career in San Francisco Sunday, calling the final game for his beloved Dodgers against the Giants, the team he...

Chase Utley’s Eddie Mathews Moment

How a silver fox back-up middle infielder currently hitting .237 is the MVP of the hottest team in baseball this decade. By Kyle Magin “If you think the world ended today, you don’t belong here.” Sportswriters saw that scrawled in chalk on a board in the visitors locker room at Yankee Stadium on August 25, 1968. Some Detroit Tiger had penned the...

Ziggy Snider’s no. 1 fan

As Indy 500 prepares for its 100th start Sunday morning, a story about my father and how much he longed to be a part of just one of them. By Andrew J. Pridgen For almost a decade starting in the late-'70s my family lived in Bakersfield. My attorney father was doing oil litigation, and my mother had grown up in...

Kristin Armstrong – An Olympian for the Rest of Us

"For all the moms out there, I hope that this was a very inspiring day.” By Andrew J. Pridgen Today’s Olympics are about busting athletes out of the shrink wrap every four years, admiring them, cheering for them and then, when the studio lights dim and it is convenient to do so, moving on from them. There is Michael Phelps, the ageless,...