By: Donna Thomas
Special to the Sun
It was an evening filled with heartfelt tales of yesteryear told by Barbara Hinkey, Co-Author of “River Children.” Barbara presented slides and narrative, about the book, to a room filled audience at the Senior Center in Lake Isabella. It was the perfect setting to begin the journey of a Historical view of Kernville before Lake Isabella was here. In a soft spoken voice Barbara did tell the audience how the book became into existence.
They are cousins, Barbara and Pat Mc Pherson, living in two separate cities writing stories and memories about growing up in Kernville. Having no idea that the other cousin was writing on the same topic, and both wanted to pass on the memories to their children. Together they wrote the book “River Children.” The stories took place when they were five years old and ends when they are ten years old. During this time the Lake Isabella Reservoir was installed. “Life was good for the River Children and the Town. Then it started to change.” Barbara set the mood and took the audience back in time. She continued by saying, “It’s the people, that’s what made Kernville, the people and the culture that went along with these people. Kids playing hide and seek, one of the games we played. We had a lot of freedom it was safe.”
The audience listened carefully and viewed photos as Barbara describes the town and the people that lived there. Some photos showed old downtown Kernville, the store, post office and barber shop to name a few places. Barbara told stories of how some houses and buildings were moved to a new location in preparation for the Lake Isabella Reservoir. Saying, “History are stories they make you laugh, they make you cry.” She shared some fun childhood stories and had the audience laughing and interested in her next adventure. Then suddenly the tone changed, progress moves in and Lake Isabella is created changing the lives and the landscape of Kernville.
The night ended with a question and answer period, followed by a book signing. Proceeds from tonight’s presentation were donated to the Kern Valley Museum and the Nuui Cunni Native American Cultural Center. The book “River Children” is available at both locations.