Meet Your New Neighbors
Hilltop Welcoming Service
Photographer Ben Dewell moved to Tehachapi in July. Ben felt it was time to downsize from his home in Valencia, a town about an hour and a half south of Tehachapi. He had loved the outdoors since he was a teenager and had done some camping at Tehachapi Mountain Park. He wanted a place in the mountains and his new home in Stallion Springs was a perfect solution.
Ben said he was born in Burbank, Calif. but was raised in Fresno. His father worked for Leslie Salt, a Bay Area company. He went to college and earned a Master's Degree in Meteorology from U.C. Davis. When he was young, he did not get to do much hiking but he loved the outdoors and said that he stored mental images of the mountains. As an adult, however, he explored much of the Sierra Nevada Mountains on foot and with camera in hand. He became enthralled with the natural light of the outdoors and recorded it on film. He processed all his pictures in his darkroom at home.
Ben said that over the years of photographing nature, he developed a true appreciation for the nature of light. He developed his techniques over about 20 years, still working with a film camera and his own personal darkroom. He said that he felt he could communicate more feeling when working in black and white and thought that color could be boring. By printing the pieces himself, he is able to control the outcome of the prints. Many of his black and white prints are reminiscent of those by Ansel Adams, an artist for whom he had great admiration. Ben is now considered a master of the Geletin Silver Print. His work can be seen on his website, http://www.rangeoflight.com.
He owned a gallery on Gallery Row in downtown LA and is also a past exhibitor at "Photo LA". He had a major showing in 2008 in LA; however, he said it opened just before the stock market fell and with it the art market. He said that today he considers himself more of a printer than a photographer. A look at his website and you will know why his work is still sought after.
Ben said that the new house does not have a darkroom but it may someday. He does not own dogs, but he has been a Rover Host. He introduced me to the concept of Rover.com where the hosts take care of dogs when their humans are on vacation. What a great idea.
Welcome Ben, we hope the Tehachapi area will inspire you.
Dennis and Mary Ferrell arrived at their new home in Bear Valley in June, shortly after the end of the Bakersfield school year. After years in the Central Valley, they were excited to be able to live and work in the natural surroundings of the Tehachapi Mountains. Dennis began the school year as the new Director of Programs for Special Education at the District Offices of the Tehachapi Unified School District. Mary signed on as a Speech and Language Pathologist at Cummings Valley School. Prior to the move, Dennis had taught high school Special Ed for the Bakersfield City School District and a bit at Tehachapi High School.
Mary had lived in Bakersfield since she was six months old. Two of her three brothers still live in there. She has two grown sons, Patrick and Thomas, who also live in Bakersfield. She says that she is "grandma" to a pug named Zelda. She likes to cook, bake and take walks with Charlie, their 11-month-old Husky/Lab rescue dog. Mary said that he came from a drug home with the name Kilo. Well, that name had to go; it didn't fit such a sweet dog.
Dennis was born in Indiana. His family moved to Ontario, Calif. when he was about six months old. He loves sports and loves to swim. He played basketball when he was in high school and also in recreation department league play. As a teacher, Special Education is his passion.
Mary said that they both love to travel. Among their favorite trips was a ten day trip to Maui and Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands. Another favorite was a cross country trip in a motorhome during which they hit as many of the National Parks as possible.
Dennis and Mary look forward to adjusting to mountain life and having four seasons. Welcome to you both.
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.