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

By Pat Doody
Welcome Hostess 

Meet Your New Neighbors

Hilltop Welcoming Service


October 27, 2018

Yasmine and Shane Swisshelm moved into their Bear Valley home in August. After spending most of their lives in Orange County, they know that mountain living will be a real adjustment but are looking forward to it. It was Shane's work as an engineer that brought them to Kern County.

Yasmine said she had lived in La Habra since she was 3 years old. She has a sister living in Lake Elsinor. Shane was also raised in La Habra with his two brothers and one sister. The couple met at work. Yasmine was Shane's boss at ServePro. She said that he loves all outside activities and since moving to Tehachapi has already purchased two new kayaks.

Yasmine told me that three years ago she had cancer and is currently in remission. She said a bone marrow transplant from her sister is what saved her life. She loves crafts and loves to paint decorative signs, many of which decorate her Bear Valley home.

Yasmine's mom, Lily, lives with them and helps take care of their two young daughters. Lily and her husband came to the United States from Lebanon in 1989. As I understand it, she makes some great Lebanese dishes. The rest of the time, she helps Yasmine ride herd on Katie, age 6, and Kinzie who is 3-and-a-half, as well as the four family dogs, Buddy, Benny, Hannah and Arrow.

Welcome to Tehachapi to the entire Swisshelm family. We know you will enjoy your new mountain home.

Terry Stanley has actually been in Tehachapi for over a year but he still considers himself a newcomer. I first met Terry at the recent Health and Senior Fair at Woods Pavilion where he was checking out local senior services. On a subsequent visit at the Coffee Mill, I learned a lot more about Terry.

Terry is retired and came to Tehachapi at the invitation of his nephew, local artist Don Towns who has been in the news lately as the art coordinator for the new Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley hospital. Terry had lived in Atlanta, Georgia all his life so California is a new experience for him, although he is not new to mountains. He said that he had always loved the mountains in northern Georgia near Rome where his family had a retreat.

Terry is the youngest of 10 children – four boys and six girls – and they are all still in Georgia. He said that he grew up with Don since Don's mother was his sister. I have to admit that it took me a while to figure out that relationship. He said he missed Don when he moved to California. Since coming to Tehachapi, Terry has been helping out as a handyman for the Tehachapi SDA church.

Terry said he grew up learning many trades. He has been an electrician, plumber, carpenter and handyman and admits to being a bit rowdy in his younger days. An accident in 1991 changed his life. Pronounced dead at the scene, he somehow survived. "I am a miracle," he said and adds that he has been a witness for Christ ever since.

Volunteering is one of the things that keeps him going. Since coming to Tehachapi, Terry has worked with Tehachapi College Community Services and the Tehachapi SENIOR CENTER's Meals on Wheels program. He is hoping to become a Peer Specialist at CCS. Although he says his is far from the artwork his nephew Don does, he was proud to show his work in a beginner art show this year proving that you are never too old to start being creative.

We are delighted that Terry decided to make Tehachapi his home. Welcome Terry and thank you to Don for inviting you to come here.


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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