Meet Your New Neighbors
December 22, 2018
It was a long time from start to finish, but in November Tom Gates and Nydia Aguero finally made the move from Huntington Beach into the house Tom had been designing and dreaming about since 2002 when he bought the Stallion Springs property. For 24 years he lived in Huntington Beach and had planned to build a home in Tehachapi for over half of that time. Tom said that he originally had Fairview Ranches in mind until he found the lot in Stallion Springs that would be perfect for his all concrete home. The first stage was to add a well which, he said, turned out to be 650 ft. below the surface. The house itself was not actually started until 2016.
Knowing exactly what he wanted in a concrete house, Tom interviewed five or six contractors before settling on Tehachapi's Finn McCool. McCool knew about passive solar which was at the heart of Tom's design. They hired an engineering firm from Bakersfield and were ready to go.
The amazing house has 1,700-sq.-ft. of living space above a 1,700-sq.-ft. man-cave below, designed for Tom to work on his various woodworking and DIY projects. He added roll-up doors to the outside that are tall enough to allow for RV access. All the major walls in the house are two stories of solid concrete with large south-facing window. The walls behind those windows and facing the sun are painted dark to retain heat. Tom thought of almost everything, including a mud room with a laundry shoot that goes right down next to the washing machine. The master bath is designed for possible wheelchair access should the need ever arise. The details are mind-boggling; Tom tried to think of everything.
For many years Tom worked in the pharmaceutical industry working for Johnson & Johnson, Stewart and Stason Pharmaceuticals among others. He has been retired for six years. He is a California boy, born in Glendale and raised in the LA area. He has a son and daughter now living in Orange County.
Nydia was born in Lima, Peru. She came to the United States 16 years ago and has been a US citizen for 7 years. She has a son living in Peru and a daughter living in Orange County. She and Tom met on Match.com discovering that they only lived three miles apart. He was the first man she dated on the site and never had a chance to date another.
Tom said he is in love with Peru. He has been to there twice and is planning to go back again and again. He said that one of his favorite books is, "Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City one step at a time" by Mark Adams. To Tom and Nydia, it is a very special place.
Welcome to Tehachapi, Tom and Nydia. Enjoy your newly completed home.
Lisa Wood is a self-described mountain girl. She loves to hike and has climbed Mt. Langley and Mt. Whitney, the latter three times. She said she has hiked most of Kern County, the Sierras and the western states. She said she usually likes to hike with a group. The former Bakersfield resident and bookkeeper said that she had been looking to move to Tehachapi for 10 years.
Lisa was raised on a 26-acre farm in Arvin. Her mother lived there until her passing earlier this year. At about the same time, Lisa found her cabin in the mountains and her Bakersfield house sold in two days. Everything came together as if by divine intervention. She said she had not had a vacation in 30 years and now she is living in her vacation home.
Lisa has two daughters, a grandson and four dogs. Most of her family is still in Bakersfield except for the dogs. She calls them her houseful of misfits. Fourteen-year-old Jamie is her retired hiking dog.
"That dog is in a lot of hiking registers," said Lisa.
Two year old Roxie is prone to seizures. Sweet Penny the Poodle belonged to her mother. Wiley is a rescue with signs of PTSD and once belonged to her daughter. They are all quite a cozy contented family.
A big Tehachapi welcome to Lisa and her canine companions.