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Articles written by Jon Hammond

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 By Jon Hammond    Local News    July 6, 2019 

Independence Day: 160 years of celebrating in the Tehachapi Mountains

The Fourth of July, the annual holiday celebrating independence from England and the creation of the United States of America, is a festive occasion in the Tehachapi Mountains. It has been since it...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    July 6, 2019 

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's the Mule!

I went to work at Monolith when I was still in high school – the company (Monolith Portland Cement Company, four miles east of town) would hire you at 16 years old. You couldn’t work at the...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    July 6, 2019 

When Confederate horse thieves descended on Tehachapi

Although the Tehachapi Mountains are more than a thousand miles away from the principal battlefields of the Civil War, in fact the War Between the States did have some effect on local residents....

 

Snake season: Gophersnakes and rattlesnakes return for the warmer months

The warmer months have arrived in the Tehachapi Mountains, and with the rise in temperatures comes the return of the reptile kingdom. Snakes and lizards are here year-round, of course, but they...

 

Location, location, location – and aroma

"The first time I came to Tehachapi was in the 1930s when we came up to buy apples. There was an underground apple storage place on C Street, just down from Curry Street and Farmers Supply (now...

 

Moonshine, Old Town Road and a boy behind the wheel

"During Prohibition, my dad leased a ranch on Old Town Road, on the south part closer to Highway 202, which was known as 'the Lovejoy Place.' It had a barn and he and my Uncle Bob put a still in a...

 

Be careful when showing off for girls

"When I was growing up, a lot of people didn't pen up their chickens during the day – they'd just let them scratch around for seeds and bugs, and then shut them in at night to protect them from racc...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    June 8, 2019

Tehachapi weather, January through April

What kind of weather can you expect in Tehachapi during each month? Here's a first look In the last issue of The Loop, I mentioned that I would give a little month-by-month look at weather in the...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    June 8, 2019

The most incredible linking of steam locomotives in history – and it happened in Tehachapi

The following is Frank Nejedly's marvelous account of what may have been the greatest single assembly of steam locomotives in railroading history, and it occurred quite unintentionally in Tehachapi in...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    May 25, 2019

Tehachapi winds: Blowing through our lives from different directions

Wind is a fact of life when you live in the Tehachapi Mountains – there's a good reason there are hundreds of millions of dollars worth of wind turbines on local hillsides. Mountain passes tend to...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    May 25, 2019

When kids drove the school bus

When I was growing up, I lived on a ranch between Onyx and Weldon, in the Kern River Valley. There were no high schools in Tehachapi or Kern Valley, so the kids who lived there had to go down to Baker...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    May 25, 2019

The Home Front: World War II in Tehachapi

During World War II, the Marine Corps put an anti-aircraft gun in a field right by where the Tehachapi News office is today, near the corner of North Mill Street and Highway 58, though neither of...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    May 25, 2019

A Tehachapi Indian lady cools off

When my wife Lucille and I lived down in El Centro, her mother, Gladys Girado, lived with us. She was a wonderful Nuwä (Kawaiisu) Indian lady who had been raised around Twin Oaks and Lorraine...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    May 11, 2019

The diversity of spring in Tehachapi

Of the four seasons in the Tehachapi Mountains, spring is the one with the greatest diversity of weather, temperatures, natural changes and other conditions. Officially beginning about March 20 and...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    May 11, 2019

Tehachapi Cows at the Beach

Mountain Tales are accounts and recollections of life in the Tehachapi Mountains, collected over decades by Jon Hammond. "My parents, Evard and Hazel Dickerson began farming and dairying in Tehachapi...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    May 11, 2019

Back when projectionists fell out of the Tehachapi sky

Mountain Tales are accounts and recollections of life in the Tehachapi Mountains, collected over decades by Jon Hammond. "Harry Beauford Jr. was a film projectionist and he had two projectors and one...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    May 11, 2019

How farmers opened a Tehachapi bowling alley, bar and restaurant

Mountain Tales are accounts and recollections of life in the Tehachapi Mountains, collected over decades by Jon Hammond. "I (Jim) started school in Tehachapi in 1932 when I was 7 years old. For...

 

The colors of Spring - Common wildflowers of the Tehachapi Mountains

Spring can be an amazingly beautiful time in the Tehachapi Mountains, especially after wet winters like we've had this year, when frequent storms are followed by a rainbow of colored wildflowers. It...

 

Country back roads

My favorite Tehachapi area back roads for you to explore I often get asked to recommend pleasant drives for people who are newer to the area and I'm happy to do so, since the Tehachapi Mountains have...

 

Surrounded by mountains: Peaks of the Tehachapi area

The Tehachapi area is defined and delineated by its mountains. Valleys in the Tehachapi Mountains tend to be bowl valleys, ringed by mountain ridges on all sides, rather than open ended V-shaped...

 

Nuwä – First People of the Tehachapi Mountains

Prior to the arrival of Europeans to North America around the year 1500, California was home to an estimated 300,000 Native people who spoke 300 dialects of about 100 distinct languages. It was one of...

 

Tehachapi: Where exactly are we, again?

Editors note: Jon Hammond has been a friend of The Loop's for a long time and we are excited to be the home of his column, Land of Four Seasons. His knowledge of Tehachapi's history, and the flora...

 

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