When I came through the door of the Hanford Sentinel and said I wanted to write a column,the editor I spoke with agreed to let me try it out. I’m pretty sure he figured he was signing up for a one off deal. I had different ideas. So,a couple of days after my first column ran,I sent him another one. This one charted the course for weeks of columns to come. Basically I used this column to tell the paper and the readers they’d be hearing from me weekly. Amazingly,the Sentinel published it too…and another 28 after that.
A pretty bad photo of the family minivan.
Finding America by Tamara Keith (June 1995)
Chevy Chase did it. So have the guys from Easy Rider (a cult turned main stream film that came out in the 60’s. It starred Dennis Hopper,Jack Nicholson,and Peter Fonda.). But it somehow seems different with my family. The great American family vacation can be a pretty scary thought. Movies like National Lampoon’s Family Vacation,Lost In America or Easy Rider have glamorized the idea of crossing America in (or on) a motor vehicle.
For the next six weeks I will be putting up with my little brother,motion sickness,unfriendly locals,and strange insects (I’ve heard Texas has some really huge misquotes) all on the quest to find America,or what’s left of it. Read More
Tamara when she was 15,penning,literally penning a column.
In the summer of 1995,I started writing a column for the local newspaper in the relatively small town where I grew up. The paper was the Hanford Sentinel,the town was Hanford,California –population 30,000. At the time,there were by far more cows than people. I was 15 years old and about to start my senior year of high school. For the next several months I will be posting the columns I wrote for the Sentinel and later the the Fresno Bee. Some of the columns are pretty bad,like this one,my first. But they get better,I swear. They also clearly reflect a 15-year-old me. I was cocky,and clearly thought myself both more intelligent and cosmopolitan than I actually was (oh yeah,and I also loved parenthesis). But that’s what it’s like to be a 15 year old writer with limited editing.
There’s Nothing to Do in Hanford by Tamara Keith,June 1995
We are constantly complaining that there is nothing to do in Hanford and as far as I can see these complaints are valid. Right now there just isn’t anything to do. Though the future is looking promising in terms of recreation centers,it would be nice if the community could produce some places for us to hang out right now.
A few years ago everyone was excited about Hanford getting a new mall. Mall rats from miles around swarmed to the newly built “hang-out” spot. However the novelty has since worn off and even the most loyal mall lovers can only spend a few hours there before being overcome by the stark white walls and “muzak.” There are three forms of entertainment in the mall other than shopping (and I consider that more like torture than fun);the movies,the food court,and Aladdin’s Castle. The movies and food are great,but out of the question if you are low on funds (which most teenagers are) and the arcade is another challenge. Overrun by sticky fingered,dirty faced,glassy eyed 9 year old Mortal Kombat fiends,that jingle when they walk (their pockets are full of “get out of the house quarters”). That’s just not my idea of a fun time,especially since I have the home version of Aladdin’s Castle in the room next to mine with my little brother and his friends. Read More
A billboard for the California Milk Advisory Board. I'm the one crawling.
I wouldn’t have picked my first career. But it started before I was old enough to pick much of anything. At that time I wasn’t in control of what I wore or ate or even where I went to the bathroom. I was a child star. Well,calling me a star might be a bit of a stretch but I was a model and an actress. Read More