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Notary in Taft

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Notary in Taft

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Taft Was Perfect For Movie About Oil Drilling

If you are tailing the Taft traveling notary as he verifies signatures all over town, you won't be able to help noticing that this town had its inception in oil and petroleum production. It sits on top of a huge underground reservoir that has been producing the products since the late 1800s. Taft is one of several towns dotted over the extreme southwest edge of the San Joaquin Valley that have built their fortunes on the natural resources.

So Taft was a natural for the filming of "There Will Be Blood," directed by P.T. Anderson. That's the same Anderson who wrote and directed "Magnolia" and "Boogie Nights." In the process of production, an old derrick that sits on the site of the West Kern Oil Museum, became the model for the derrick that was constructed and then burned as the film tale unfolded. Anderson visited the museum a time or two to take a good look at the hundred-foot tall memorial derrick. He was so unobtrusive about his visits that museum volunteer Agnes Hardt could only exclaim when told, "Well, I'll be darned!" Another volunteer, Bob Foreman, steered the filmmakers to the original plans for the memorial derrick. They purchased copies of the plans and were in business.

Production designer Jack Fisk (The Mulholland Drive," "The Thin Red Line") also scanned the town and its oil drilling relics to add realism to "There Will Be Blood." Natives of Taft might choose the museum as a memorable place to sign important documents, witnessed by the city's traveling notary. The notary could point out other sites of interest in the vicinity as well. Besides the replica derrick at the museum, there is a 37-foot memorial to the oilers who dredged the wealth from underground. Now-a-days, the derricks have bowed to new scientific methods of oil extraction, including the use of steam to force the products out of the ground.

History buffs, especially those whose interests lie in the long saga of mining and petroleum production in the American West, would find plenty in Taft to keep them drooling. The huge oil reserves have been the financial lifeblood of the San Joaquin Valley towns. Standard Oil, which segued into Chevron over time, had its headquarters in Taft.

Stay with Taft's notary and he'll take you to the Vin Scully baseball/wiffle ball field. The noted Los Angeles Dodger baseball hero came to Taft on May 9, 2015, to help celebrate the opening of the field. That's heady stuff for a town that boasts fewer than 10,000 residents.

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