The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Pat Doody
Welcome Hostess 

Meet your new neighbors

Hilltop Welcoming Service


I first met Laurence Gutierrzez last summer at the Tehachapi Beer and Wine Fest where he had a booth for his business, Blacktop Cyclery. He said that he had plans to move to Tehachapi when he and his wife, Molly, found the right house. They finally found their hilltop retreat by the end of last year and I finally got the chance to visit their new home and meet Molly in March.

Laurence was born in Bakersfield and lived there all his life with the exception of 10 months when he lived in Lancaster. He told me that he has half, step and full siblings, and they are all still in Bakersfield.

Luarence began a mobile bike service which he ran out of the couple’s living room in 2009. In 2011 he opened his first store in Bakersfield. It wasn’t long before he needed to expand again and he moved to his new larger location last fall. Laurence says that he would like to open a store in Tehachapi if he can find the right space. Blacktop Cyclery has recently become a sponsor of Tehachapi cyclist, Cory Lockwood, who is turning “pro” (see Cory’s article on page 26).

Molly also was born in Bakersfield. Her parents and older brother still live there. She is a certified teacher and taught fifth grade for three years until 2010 when her father, a geologist, bought some old oil wells in Edison. Molly and her brother now work with their father in his small independent oil company that currently has 80 working wells. Molly supervises operations and gages the oil level in tanks.

It is no surprise that both Laurence and Molly love to cycle in their free time. They also own a cabin near Camp Nelson in Tulare County where they can hide away on weekends. Camp Nelson, at last count, had 97 residents.

Molly also loves to cook and has an extensive cookbook library attractively displayed in her kitchen. Their children are their two dogs, Rhys and George and a friendly steel grey cat appropriately named Bullet.

Welcome Laurence and Molly, I know we will see you ‘round town.

Eastern Kern County has been in the forefront of aviation development for decades and that is where Charles Fant wanted to live. The aeronautical specialist was just completing his MBA at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, and would be looking for work. After a cousin arranged a tour of the spaceport in Mojave, Charles applied for several positions and was hired as a production technician at the Spaceship Company. He found Tehachapi with its clean fresh air and rural mountain atmosphere the perfect place to live.

Charles was born in Lemoore, California. At that time, his father was a navy carrier pilot and based at the naval air station there. His mother came from China Lake, near Ridgecrest, and his parents met when his dad was stationed there. He still has family there. Charles is the youngest of four children. They all grew up in Walnut Creek, California, where the family finally settled. His brother and a sister own a bike shop in Santa Rosa. Another sister lives in San Luis Obispo. They are the parents of his three nieces and two nephews.

Charles spent six years in the Army in the field of aviation and completed his undergraduate college degree in aeronautics at the prestigious Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. He had always wanted a career in the aviation industry.

Charles flies gliders and likes to hike and shoot. Since moving to Tehachapi, he has already had the opportunity to hike Red Rock Canyon. A neighbor who works for the railroad took him on a tour of the tracks and tunnels of the area around the Tehachapi Loop, teaching him the history of the area. He said he found that fascinating.

His newest interest is flying remote control quad-copters and he plans to become more involved with that this year. He has joined the local American Legion post and, although one of its youngest members, is second vice chairman. He said that he wants to be of service and especially enjoys helping out with bingo night.

Welcome to Tehachapi, Charles. We are delighted that you chose our town to call home.


If you have moved to the Greater Tehachapi Area within the last six months and would like to know more about your new community, call 661-822-8188. We will be happy to make an appointment for a hostess to come by and give you lots of helpful information, some valuable coupons, gifts and much more. Many families and individuals who come to the area are pleasantly surprised with the amount of knowledge they gather about their new home. Publishing your welcome article is completely voluntary and is not a requirement of being welcomed.


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