- HOLLYWOOD ain't got nothing on Oxnard - -

Stories & Opinion by Debbie Killpatrick - Oxnard Resident.

Oxnard, good news - man oh man there is a little know find out there in Oxnard in the nature of a great Bar-B-que resturant. You have just got to try the ribs at Big Daddy's BBQ. I mean this is real food! Located at Corner of 5th and Ventura Blvd ( @ Tasty Freeze Drive-In near the Car Wash), Oxnard, CA. I have travelled plenty and tried ribs in Kansas City, North Carolina, Georgia, and other points. I put this place to the real test, beef ribs you know how tough they can be if not treated right. I bit into one of these and it nearly melted, what a surprise it was. But it's not just about the meat at this little spot there are great sides too. Talk about a dollar getting a work out a full dinner plate is only $7.99 and ala cart is a great bargin too. Make up your own dinner bucket to take home to the family is my suggestion. This is food so good you will want to savor it without being cute when licking those fingers (you are not going to want to miss that sauce, kinda sweet, but not overly and with the right amount of heat). Just to let you know, I don't work at this place, know anyone who works at this place, nor have an interest in Big Daddy's. And tonight on the way home I had to stop for chicken from there. Two nights at the same resturant is not my normal. A little extra about this place. This is about young people trying to do what they love. Taking that risk jumping out the door with little and no money but a whole lot of determination to make it happen. I personally support small family operations and look for them. If you want to spend some money and help someone live their dream plus get a meal like you deserve and then feel good afterwards, then give your support to Big Daddy's BBQ. I know I will be going back.

Another one of Oxnard's dirty little secrets. On saturday evening October 6, 2001, about 5:15pm I called the none emergency phone number of the Oxnard Fire Department. There was no answer at that number, I then called the non-emergency number of the police department. Where I reported a chemical that smelled like petroleum product of some kind in standing water an alley in the 400 block area of Oxnard. I was concerned that with so many small children that someone may get hurt. Well I was told that the Fire Department would be there in 5 minutes. 15 minutes later I called the non-emergency number again and reported that I had just seen a small child wall through the water and that someone had just walked out a back door with a lit cigarette. Well 5 more minutes passed and the Oxnard Fire Department did arrive. Though he did not identify himself I believed that I spoke to the most senior fireman. I showed him a puddle of about 20 feet in length and about 3 feet in width and nearly 2 inches in depth in the center of the alley. There was a milky white fluid in the center and a rainbow sheen on the sides of the water. Checking the garbage can in the alley a can of gunk-engine cleaner was found. The fireman (senior I guess) seemed uninterested in cleaning up the mess. I was concerned as there are so many children in the area. The fireman told me that he would not close off the alley. I told him that I knew someone who worked for US Fish and Wildlife Service, and was a contaminant specialist. He then decided that he would return to the station and get some materials to clean the chemicals. It took me saying I knew a contaminant specialist for him to clean this mess up! He told me that there were many worst mess in the city. My mental question was why haven't you cleaned them up if you know of them, and then so what here was a known danger that he could do something about. Well when they returned they came with a bag of a sawdust product that is treated to clean up spills of various chemicals. They put down less than a 1/3 of the bag and gathered the floating chemicals, but left the standing water in the center of the alley. Lucky for the children of the neighborhood, a neighbor who spoke enough english was around to translate into spanish how dangerous it would be for them to walk through the water. Of course it does not stop the cats and dogs that wander the neighborhood from drinking it and then dying.

I got to thinking later that same night. I wondered and of course could not help compare what I saw in an Oxnard Fireman vs the New York Firemen who lost their lives trying to save others. Perhaps I am being unfair to the Oxnard Firemen? But what I thought as I after my first contact with the Oxnard Fire Department, that man must of thought that a small chemical spill was beneath him. I know it was no burning building or a serious car accident or even something that would garner press from the local papers yet I knew that chemicals especial petroleum ones can and do cause breathing problems in children and senior citizens, that cats and dogs die from poisoning each day, and what would of happened if it had caught on fire. But this was my first contact with the Oxnard Fire Department

I addtionally wonder, if such a mess would of been left in Ojai or even Santa Barbara, but in a poor Mexican neighborhood in Oxnard, it was going to be left, except that I did protest and made it known that I knew specialist in the field