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

By Pat Doody
Welcome Hostess 

Meet Your New Neighbors

Hilltop Welcoming Service


February 2, 2019

Pat Doody

In early January, Hannah Thompson arrived in Tehachapi from Wichita, Kan. Her husband, Christopher French, had come to California in September to start his new job at The Spaceship Company as a test technician for rocket propulsion systems. He was just in time to be part of the launch team for Spaceship Two.

Hannah said that she and Christopher have been married less than six months. He came to California for his interview the day after they got back from their honeymoon. Some of his friends were sending their resumes to The Spaceship Company and said that he should, too. She said she encouraged him to do it never dreaming he would get an interview, never mind a job offer. It took Hannah another four months before she could leave her position as Executive Director of the Harvey County Historical Museum & Archives in Newton, Kan.

Both of them were born and raised in Kansas. Hannah considers herself a country girl, coming from Valley Falls. Her dad had a machine shop in their backyard and her grandparents had a farm. She has two brothers and two sisters. She said that, in her opinion, Kansas is still living in the Prohibition Era since liquor can still only be purchased at restaurants or a liquor store.

Christopher is an only child, raised in Carbondale. In Kansas he had been working as a small aircraft mechanic. He received his A & P(Airframe & Powerplant) certification in Kansas City and was completing an aerospace engineering degree from Wichita State University, a degree he will now complete online. He and Hannah met on an online dating site, made a lunch date and that was that.

Completing the family are two cats and an 11-year-old Chihuahua/Pomeranian named Yoji. The cats, 12-year-old Gus and 9-year-old Zyanya ("Zee" for short) came with Christopher and Yoji came with Hannah.

Tehachapi welcomes Hannah, Christopher and family. Hannah said that she has already reached out to the Heritage League and once she gets settled would love to help.

Maria Blasko moved to Tehachapi last November from Grass Valley, Calif. in the Sierra foothills where she had lived for four years. Maria retired in 2013 after 16 years of teaching high school in the Bay Area. She moved to Grass Valley to heal from health issues.

"I came to Tehachapi because of this house," said Maria. She said that a couple of years ago she had been doing a lot of traveling from Grass Valley to San Diego. She had always stopped to overnight in Tehachapi at La Quinta because they were pet friendly. One time they could not find her reservation and were full. While trying to figured out what to do, Maria stopped by The Coffee Mill and did a search on Airbnb. She found a house high up in the Tehachapi Mountains. It was love at first sight. The wide open expansiveness really pulled her in. She asked the owner if he planned to move in there and he said, yes he did.

One day two years later, while looking at notifications on Zillow, she spotted the house and realized it was the same house she stayed in and loved. She said the escrow was so easy, she knew it was where she was meant to be.

Maria was born and raised in Philadelphia. Landscaping was her first career and she said it got her through college. She was a Biochemistry major at Mount Holyoak in western Massachusetts. She said she had everything planned – to go on to grad school and earn a PhD in Ethnobotany. Then she heard about Teach for America, a nonprofit program where teachers agree to spend at least two years teaching in low-income schools across the country. She signed up and was assigned to East Palo Alto, one of the poorest areas of San Mateo County prone to gang violence and extreme poverty. She stayed for 16 years.

Still loving the challenge of science, Maria now considers herself a folk-herbalist. She said that she currently just makes products like the room spray she developed for Christmas and her skin and hair products. Don't be surprised if you hear more from her in the coming months.

When it comes to her animals, Maria refers to herself as a foster failure. She began by fostering Bug and Bean her two Chihuahua mix pups and is currently fostering "kitten" who may also soon become a permanent part of the household.

Welcome to Tehachapi Maria. We are glad you chose to live in Tehachapi.


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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