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Articles written by Jon Hammond

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 By Jon Hammond    Local News    July 4, 2020 

Ephedra: The first tea of Tehachapi

A small dark green shrub flourishes in the Tehachapi Mountains, growing among California Junipers...

 

Murray Family Farms: a great Kern County tradition

Although the pandemic has, at least temporarily, caused many changes in daily life, many things...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    June 6, 2020

Bakersfield National Cemetery: Sacred Ground at White Wolf

Moments after the last notes of "Taps" fade away from a lone bugler, you can hear the "ka-KER-ker" c...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    May 23, 2020

Rattlesnakes? Brumation? The snakes are back. . . .

Longer days, warmer temperatures and changing barometric pressure have started bringing about the...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    May 23, 2020

Vic Horton and the YF-12: From Seattle to Bishop in 20 minutes

Although both Louise and Nellie Fickert, who owned the sprawling 25,000-acre Fickert Ranch that...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    May 23, 2020

The truth about cavalry horses – from a remount wrangler

In 1925, when I was 16 years old, my cousin and I got jobs with the remount unit at Fort Bliss, in E...

 
 By Jon Hammond    Local News    May 9, 2020

David Schulgen: the unexpected journey of a Tehachapi boy from the Marines to wind industry pioneer

David Schulgen, who made a career in the wind industry starting from its early days in the 1980s,...

 

Springtime, Easter and the season of ravens nesting

We usually have a big Easter egg hunt at our old farm on Cherry Lane for the children of family and...

 

Louise and Nellie Fickert: proud and feisty pioneers

Although both Louise and Nellie Fickert, who owned the sprawling 25,000-acre Fickert Ranch that late...

 

When you shoot a grizzly bear – unsuccessfully

The incident occurred on March 15, 1870, in the mountains of Kern County where John W. Searles was...

 

Dandelions: lighten up, they're more delicious than frustrating

Our ongoing spring storms, and occasionally sunny days in between, have brought out those little...

 

Ravens prefer blue eggs

I had an interesting experience observing a pair of ravens in my orchard. I had gathered some eggs...

 

When there were only two cars and livestock walked through town

In 1914, there were only two cars registered in Tehachapi – one belonged to Phil Marx and the othe...

 

Snowboarding to celebrate his 80th birthday

When I turned 80 years old, I gathered my family together and we went snowboarding at Mammoth...

 

Raccoons: clever and curious masters of the night

As I drove slowly through the quiet, older residential streets east of Downtown Tehachapi, my...

 

Gary Davies: a veteran and Tehachapi native who finds therapy in wood carving

Gary Davies is a lifelong Tehachapi resident and military veteran who has found solace and...

 

Life on Old Town Road at the White Feather Ranch

Our family moved to Tehachapi in 1930 when my parents, Julius and Jeanne Fritz, swapped their home...

 

The case of the missing earring

When my daughter Teagan was born, her father gave me a pair of 1-carat diamond earrings to...

 

Pat Gracey: a switchboard operator when there were only 200 phones in the Tehachapi Mountains

There aren't many Tehachapi residents left who remember the days when almost every phone call made...

 

Where's Tehachapi's beer allotment? Gone to Monolith

I used to sell a lot of beer when I owned the Monolith Store. It was all Acme brand – about as...

 

Well, technically it is true

I was out irrigating a five-acre alfalfa field that we had at our place on Cherry Lane, moving...

 

Bladderpod: a unique and incredibly tough shrub you've seen but didn't notice

While driving home from Bakersfield on the back way (Bena Road) between Edison and the Arvin Cutoff...

 

The Last Teacher at the Keene School

It was late August, 1966 on a very hot afternoon when my husband and I pulled into Tehachapi for the...

 

Firefighting on Bear Mountain in July, 1908

A fire at Bear Mountain destroyed much feed and valuable timber. The fire started near Sycamore...

 

Growing up in Cummings Valley at the turn of the 20th Century

I lived in Cummings Valley with my family. I was born on my Grandfather Ocana's ranch on December...

 

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