From bees to medicines, from diamonds to sleep, the Bakersfield native loves doing business news

It doesn’t really matter what kind of business he’s doing.

The shop is in Albert Benssen.

He is a beekeeper, environmental medic, medical representative, diamond broker, finance broker, and long-time owner of the Sandman Sleep Lab, the oldest locally owned sleep disorder test until it closed last year. -I was the operator. Kern County Establishment.

“My wife says I’ll keep reinventing myself,” said Benssen.

Throughout his career, entrepreneurs have often worked in two or three companies at the same time. In addition, multiple companies can share a single phone number.

“I answer the phone and say, ‘Hello, this is Connie,” remembers his 32-year-old wife. “And the caller can say,’ Is that a diamond mine? ‘

“Yes, that’s right,” she replied. And so it was.

Al Bensusen, now 78, is likely known in Bakersfield as “Sandman” for his knowledge and diagnostic skills in the areas of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.

“He saved my life,” said Ralph Bailey, a local talk radio host who had suffered from insomnia for years before helping Benssen control his insomnia.

Long time community resident Phil Radnick said he owed Benssen plenty of time for a gift of restful sleep.

“He was the first pioneer in sleep research at Bakersfield,” said Rudnick.

But for about a year now, Benssen has been facing life-changing challenges. His diagnosis of cancer of the throat led to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which he managed to get rid of the cancer. However, harmful radiation compromised his ability to swallow food, forcing him to take nutrients through tubes, at least for the time being.

But that didn’t hold back his sense of humor.

When the reporter walked into the couple’s home in southwest Bakersfield, Benssen sat on the couch and pulled food from a bag that hung on a metal stand.

“It is clear that the manners are bad,” he paused. “I eat in front of you.”

Then he added, “May I give you a bag?”

Born in 1942 at Miss Fries Maternity Hospital on Ace Street, Bakersfield, Benssen attended Roosevelt School, Castro Lane School, and Golden State Junior High. He graduated from Bakersfield High in 1960.

Benssen’s father was Jewish and his mother a Catholic.

When asked whether he considers himself a Jew or a non-Jew, Benssen is practical.

“If I am among the Jews, I am a Jew,” he said with only a few smiles. “If I am among the Gentiles, I am the Gentiles.”

Originally, he wanted to complete his research at Stanford University after his first visit to Bakersfield College, where his widespread interest focused on science. However, the tuition fee turned out to be too high.

Instead, he moved to San Jose, where he received a degree in microbiology.

When he was young, he worked for the Kern County Health Department. However, he was soon hired by a multinational pharmaceutical company and ironically sent him to Stanford, where the science of sleep was born.

“Sleep was a whole new thing at Stanford,” he recalled. Well-known researcher William C. Dement developed the field of sleep research at Stanford University, and Benssen happened to be in the right place at the right time.

“I learned to sleep at Stanford,” he said.

It was knowledge that remained hidden in his memory until he needed it.

In the late 1970s, when he was still working at Big Pharma, he saw the opportunity to become a gemologist and diamond broker.

“I didn’t know anything about diamonds,” he recalled.

It didn’t matter. He knew how to learn. Around 1979 he opened a store, Diamond Mine, near the 24th Street Cafe in downtown Bakersfield.

The gambling went well. Or maybe it wasn’t a gamble.

“I had a good product,” he said. “There were two goldsmiths who worked for me.”

For years he wore a magnifying glass, a small magnifying glass used by jewelers. His reputation has grown.

“In the diamond business, you can trade millions of dollars by shaking hands or the phone,” he said.

Despite his success in so many areas, his favorite job was beekeeping, Benssen said. But it didn’t seem to matter what he turned to, and he wanted to do it well.

“You choose a business. You choose a city, ”he said. “And I can make money.

“You just have to serve,” he said, revealing what the secret to his success was.

Other secrets? It is much work.

“I’m going to blow my ass,” he said.

Benssen denies the skills required to run a sleep business. Even so, he is not afraid to compare his long history with others in the field.

“The only reason I’m better than anyone in town is because I take care of my patients.

“This is not rocket science. I spend a lot of time with patients.”

After two marriages and a mix of eight children and stepchildren, meeting Connie, Cajun, Louisiana will change his life again. The couple married on February 7, 1989 in New Orleans during Carnival.

“These clothes that we wore to the wedding we wore when we met,” she said, pointing to the wedding photo.

Life has adjusted after decades of hard work and short vacations since Benssen fell ill, to put it lightly.

He rested all the time and was bored. The way most people cure boredom is not Benssen’s cure for boredom.

“I studied calculation,” he said. “I do not know why. I will never use it. “

It shows an insatiable interest and thirst for the knowledge that has been in its DNA since childhood. He is interested in almost everything, including happiness.

“He makes me laugh every day,” Connie said. “32 years later this is really something.”

From Bees to Medicines, From Diamonds to Sleep: The Bakersfield Native Loves To Do Business News Source Link From Bees To Medicines, Diamonds To Sleep, A Bakersfield Native Loves To Do Business | news

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