Meet Your New Neighbors
Hilltop Welcoming Service
April 27, 2019
Andre and Gina Colon decided to move to Tehachapi after a visit to friends here. They enjoyed the visit so much that they decided to stay overnight and then eventually move. Andre said that the weather and the sense of community he found here helped them make the final decision. They had lived in Bakersfield for three or four years where Andre pursued his programming and web design business and Gina studied to be a Realtor while managing two popular Facebook pages in Bakersfield. "Bakersfield Moms" and "Moms Helping Moms" have around 12,000 followers. Gina finally became a Realtor this year.
Both Andre and Gina were both born in New York State although they did not meet there. He came from Brooklyn and she from Long Island. He has an older sister and a younger brother. Gina has a brother in Florida. Andre said that he moved to California to find fame and ended up working for the Department of Water and Power in Los Angeles. While living in downtown Los Angeles, he went to school to learn his programming and technical skills. He met Gina while processing his student loan application.
Keeping them from getting too complaisant are their three children. Andre's son Angelo is 17 and attends Valley Oaks Charter School in Bakersfield. Matteo is four but Andre says it is one-year-old Sarai who is the boss. He calls her "Cheeky." Martha is their Corgi/Pitbull mix and one of the most unusual looking and sweetest dogs you will ever meet. Andre said that they found her tied to a pole in Bakersfield.
Ancient biblical history has always been a passion of Andre's. He has studied everything including the ancient Egyptians, the Jews and the Muslims. He said he is like an "Indiana Jones" at home. Gina's hobby, if you want to call it that, is managing her Facebook groups.
Welcome to Tehachapi Colon family.
When I asked Tom Dake what brought him to Tehachapi, he said "a wrong turn." He was on his way to Las Vegas from his home in Moorpark, Calif. A friend had given him directions to take Hwy. 14 and turn right at Hwy. 58. He turned left and ended up in Tehachapi. He stopped at Kohnen's before heading back east but knew he wanted to come back.
Tom had been a resident of Moorpark for 11 years and before that a resident of nearby Thousand Oaks for 29 years, but after coming back and spending a week in Tehachapi, he knew he wanted to move here. He found a house he loved in Bear Valley Springs and became a Tehachapi resident in early April.
Born in Brownsville, Texas, Tom moved to California as a baby. He said that his father had been killed in a car accident when he was very young, so he was adopted by his step-father who was in the Navy. He grew up in San Francisco. Although he had a baseball scholarship to Cal State Fullerton, he decided to attend San Francisco State. His grades were awful so he dropped out and joined the Army. Years later, he contacted Fullerton to see if he could still use some of that scholarship money. He couldn't but he attended anyway and graduated. By retirement he had spent most of his working life as a safety consultant for OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) and MSHA (Mine Safety & Health Administration), responsible for seven states.
Now divorced, Tom has four grown children. His three girls live in Southern California and his son Scott is an artisan winemaker in Healdsburg, Calif. Tom explained that his son does not grow the grapes; he buys them from growers to craft 57 varieties of wine. Thumbprint Cellers now produces about 10,000 cases of wine a year, has a tasting room in Healdsburg and is now a scheduled stop on my next trip to Northern California. Needless to say, Tom has become a wine aficionado and is looking forward to visiting our local tasting rooms.
In his free time, Tom said that he enjoys working with wood, playing golf and fishing. However, for now he is working on getting his new house in tip-top shape.
Welcome Tom. We are glad you and the Colon family chose 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.