Either the voters in Barstow, California are just doing a bang-up job with their elected officials, or the officials are doing a good job hiring their staffs, but the folks in the Barstow City Hall are just about the nicest bunch of civil servants I've ever had the pleasure of dealing with. About 2 days after I returned from France, I managed to lose my passport, and since I'm going to Toronto in June, I needed to get a new one. Since the office in Lancaster is open an oh-so-convenient 9:30am-1:30pm, I decided to use the Barstow office en route to my brother's bachelor party in Vegas. According to their website, they are closed from 12-2pm, but when I showed up at 1pm, everyone was home and just as pleasant as can be. The nice woman at the desk informed me that I needed to make an appointment to get a passport. Crestfallen, I explained that the website mentioned nothing about an appointment. She tells me to hang on, and rings up the City Clerk, JoAnne Cousino, who, while busy, agreed to let me file my passport paperwork (which I'd already brought and filled out, to her delight). So she swears me in, dots the i's and crosses the t's, and I'm on my way!
Thanks so much!