Big Blue Bear on a sorta-kinda rainy day

Before the new sign debuted, the old one read Big Lue Bear.

On the same day that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney ate turkey chili and Southwestern grilled chicken salad together at the White House, Judy Neukirchner and I had grilled roast beef sandwiches and chicken dumpling soup at the Big Blue Bear. Aside from the grilled bits and the references to color, I doubt our lunches had other similarities. Possibly, napkins.

No shit! There we were, there we were … in a rainstorm. Or between rainstorms, which in the Kern Valley can be as rare as visits to the Congo. Depends on the year. In any case, the Big Blue Bear is a great place to grab a warm somethin’-somethin’. The problem with almost-rain is that it drives away the local fauna, or as they’re sometimes known, “the beards who drink coffee and talk story on the patio every day.” Seriously, every day. But on a sorta-kinda weathery-ish day, they stay home, and there’s no one on the patio but the chainsaw bear and the menu board.

Which is why Judy and I sat inside and ordered the special right off the menu from Deanne, while Michelle the owner appeared and disappeared from the back rooms, like you do when you run a busy coffee-beer&wine-deli in a building that used to be a Bank of America.

“Order Here,” say the lovelies, Deanne and Michelle

The sorta-kinda weathery-ishness got Judy and me talking about what was going on lately. Apparently, a few Sierra South guides had the chance to work on an independent movie shoot last night. The movie: “All Cheerleaders Die.” The premise: Some witchy dude gets dissed by a girl, who might have been his girlfriend. Maybe not. Anyway, she’s a cheerleader. She must die. In witchy dude’s witchy head, he’s convinced that all cheerleaders must die. You get the gist. Watch for it at the Toronto Film Festival.

Just as Judy and I were discussing the shoot, which took place upriver at Willow Point and went from 8 am, Wednesday, to 2 am, Thursday, some of the crew came into the Big Blue Bear. The blond girls looked like they could pass for cheerleaders, or perhaps stunt doubles. The mid-50ish-looking man devouring a raspberry Danish must have been a producer or stunt coordinator or somesuch.

Judy and I continued to lunch and gab, and the movie folk departed, only to be replaced in the coffee line by some friends. It was a partial day for the elementary school today, so Lucy and her dad came in for a cookie after school.

Lucy and her pop enjoy an early-release-day cookie.

When Judy’s boss, Tom Moore, came into the Bear, Judy decided she probably needed to return to Sierra South. I downed my last drops of chai, we hugged g’bye, she turned left toward the bridge, and I turned right toward the post office.

The Big Blurry Bear?



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