By Ashley Loza
Kern Valley Sun
Another year, another group of rabble-rousers converging on Ewing’s to celebrate the kickoff of the 61st Annual Whiskey Flat Days.
This year’s dinner was hosted on Friday, January 5, and bragged two full rooms full of guests and live entertainment by local band Riverwind, led by 2016’s Whiskey Flat Mayor, Dead-Eye Dave Redman.
The event hosted some of the region’s political candidates; District Attorney Candidates Cynthia Zimmer and Scott Spielman attended, as well as candidate for State Assembly Jack Lavers and Superior Court Judge Candidate Chad Louie.
The event started with 2017’s Mayor Sarsaparilla Sue Seeger giving an account of some of the good she was able to do for Kern Valley Healthcare District’s Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) after she bribed her way into the hearts of the residents of Whiskey Flat.
Seeger was able to raise enough money through her race to buy all new furniture for the SNF, as well as blinds for the Day Room.
“I was able to do something that no politician has ever done before on this earth: bribe my way into office,” she joked, before adding, “AND keep my promise.”
This year’s candidates are focused on the valley’s children.
Evangelic Eve and Nate the Pistol-packin’ Preacher (Yvonne Pickerell and Nathan Eddy) are dedicating their funds raised to Toys for Tots, One Spade Youth Packers and the Camp KEEP program at local schools.
Pickerell is the coordinator of Toys for Tots in the Kern River Valley and delivered toys to 1,065 needy children this past Christmas. She also emphasized that her daughter and Eddy’s granddaughter have been helped immensely by the One Spade Youth Packers, a group that helps at-risk children by teaching them to pack and care for mules. Each year, the packers take a trip to Bishop’s Mule Days to show off what they have learned, and the entire endeavor is paid for through community donations.
The pair’s goal is $30,000, and after the Chamber’s cut, they aim to give $4,000 to each of their programs.
Claim-jumpin’ John and Madam Annette (John and Annette Davis) will be raising money for Kernville Union School District’s “Leader in Me” program, which teaches children leadership traits from preschool age. The program’s first year was raised by Kernville Elementary Principal Brian Polston, but the next two years’ funding goals must still be met.
But this is the Wild West, and these pairs weren’t just there to be family friendly. The Pistol-packin’ Preacher made sure his intentions were known by telling guests that they could give to their cause because “givin’ is good for God,” or he could “help ya out the other way, too,” and pulled out his firearm as a threat. Claim-jumpin’ John regaled the crowd with a story full of double entendre about Madame Annette’s “biscuits” before being hauled off by the 52nd Kentucky Cavalry for unpaid dues.
To find out who wins this rowdy race, be sure to mosey on out to Whiskey Flat Days, which will be held from Friday, February 16, to Monday, February 19. Mayors will be announced on Sunday, February 18. For the mayoral candidates’ campaign schedules, see page B4.