Author photo

By Pat Doody
Welcome Hostess 

Meet Your New Neighbors

Hilltop Welcoming Service


I met Bryanna and Paul Pleis in Phillip Marx Central Park during the 4th of July Hot Dog Festival. Although they had actually moved here at the end of last summer, Bryanna said that she is not able to get out much and wanted to know more about their adopted town. She said that the family had primarily moved here from Bakersfield for medical reasons but the weather and the beautiful mountains were also factors. She added that people in Tehachapi have been wonderful.

BryAnna said that she was born in the Ozarks and her family moved to California when she was eight years old. She has a sister who now lives in Missouri. She was a pediatric nurse for 10 years before being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). She said that as much as she enjoyed her profession, it broke her heart every time a little one was lost. It is the one part of nursing that she does not miss.

Paul was brought up in Compton, one of the rougher parts of Los Angeles, and has what Bryanna calls a “BIG little brother”. For the last 24 years, Paul has worked as a commercial painter and, according to Bryanna, he is a perfectionist. In his spare time, he likes to work on cars. He has four and one is a Mitsubishi Eclipse, a race car made famous in the” Fast and Furious” movie series. He has not raced it, at least not yet.

Together, the couple has three children. Nineteen year old John helps his dad when he can. He is the caretaker of a pet gopher snake named Mr. Walter. His 18 year old sister, Hayley, said that she loves to cook and would like to become a chef and have her own restaurant someday. She and Bryanna both like to sew but Hayley sews cute teddy bears by hand and is thinking about selling them at craft fairs. Seventeen year old Journey is just anxious to get back to school.

Four dogs round out the family. Boots and Mia are Pit Bulls, Yaya is a Basset Hound and Kane is a Chihuahua-terrier mix.

Welcome to Tehachapi to Paul, BryAnna, John, Hayley, Journey and animals.

After 29 years in Baldwin Park, California, and with both of them retired, Phillip and Stella Murrieta were ready for a move. One of their daughters announced that she had a friend in Shafter and really wanted to move there so Phillip and Stella decided to accompany her on her quest. They all drove up and had a look around. While they were “in the neighborhood”, they decided to look up friends in Stallion Springs and that trip up the mountain turned into a love affair with Tehachapi. Phillip and Stella made the move here in June and their daughter is still in Los Angeles.

Phillip said that he is now only semi-retired. He has taken a part time job with the local Sears store as a truck driver. For 18 years he drove bobtail trucks for a mail house in Los Angeles. Stella retired in 2001 from her customer service job with the Tribune in West Covina. They were both raised in Los Angeles and met while they were both working for Lerner’s Clothing, Stella in customer service and Phillip in the warehouse.

The mountains are not new to the Murriettas. They moved to Big Bear in the San Bernardino mountains from 2011 to 2014 but then moved back to Los Angeles to be closer to their family. Stella said that although Big Bear has the tall pine trees, she finds a lot of similarities here in Tehachapi plus some advantages that were missing… shopping. Stella loves shopping in thrift stores and has already visited many of our local shops. Phillip plays the congas although he hasn’t done much since moving. He used to play them on a worship team for their church in Baldwin Park.

The Murrietas have two grown daughters. Carmella is the mother of two sons and a daughter and Rose has a boy and a girl. They all now have a great vacation spot to visit and Stella and Phillip are looking forward to it.

Tehachapi welcomes Stella and Phillip back to the mountains. We know you will enjoy your new community.


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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