By Pat Doody
Welcome Hostess 

Meet Your New Neighbors

Hilltop Welcoming Service


June 8, 2019

Pat Doody

In my opinion, San Diego County's loss is now Tehachapi's gain. Among Tehachapi's recent new residents are two families who have moved here from San Diego for "a change of pace." Both families have relatives living in the area and have occasionally come to visit in the past, treating their children to our four seasons, natural surroundings and some of Tehachapi's many events.

Joe and Marsha LoMedico arrived in October. Joe said they really wanted a change of pace from the pressures of operating four pizzerias in San Diego's North County that were started years ago by members of his family.

"We are slowing down," he added, "kind of retiring."

Joe was raised in Italy. His father came from Sicily and his mother came from Naples. The family moved to the United States when he was 12.

Marsha was raised in Oceanside, Calif. She is one of nine children and it is her mother that originally brought the LoMedico family to Tehachapi for visits. Bear Valley Springs had been her mother's vacation home for years before it eventually became her full-time home. Joe and Marsha have four children, three boys and a girl, and they always enjoyed visiting the area.

In 2013, Marsha's aunt and uncle bought Triassic Legacy Vineyard and moved to Tehachapi from Orange County. There are few people in Tehachapi who do not know Jim and Sally Arnold or know the success story of Triassic Vineyards. Many will also remember Marsha's mother, Annie Arnold, who so tirelessly promoted the vineyard during the first few years.

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With his background in food service, it should be no surprise that Joe began to fill in behind the bar at Triassic once in a while. His cheerful countenance can now be found in the Triassic tasting room on most weekends and during events. I think perhaps this may have been what Joe meant when he said, "kind of retiring."

Welcome to Tehachapi Joe, Marsha and family. Be sure to say "hello" to Joe the next time you drop by the Triassic tasting room.

Bryan and Clorissa Watters are still in the process of unpacking from their move. They came from the San Diego suburb of Santee where they had lived for the last 10 years. Bryan worked in San Diego as a structural engineer for the Department of the Navy. Clorissa had been raised in Tehachapi and said she loved it here.

"My childhood was bliss," she said, adding that she wanted to give that experience to her kids, so for the last year Bryan had been trying to find a job in this area.

Bryan said he saw an ad for a structural engineer at NASA so he decided to, "throw his resume at it to see if it would stick." Well, needless to say, it stuck and he got the job.

Clorissa was born in Bakersfield. She has seven sisters and two brothers. Her parents moved to Tehachapi over 30 years ago from South Pasadena. Her father, Gil Ortiz, was a general contractor in the area and is now retired. Her mother, Margaret, passed away last year. Clorissa said that her mother homeschooled all 10 of her children. Five of her sisters and one of her brothers still live in the area.

She met Bryan on She stressed the fact that she really didn't want to sign up but her cousin talked her into it. They were married 10 years ago in Tehachapi and have lived in Santee until this year. They are now the proud parents of Benedict, Lavinia, Conrad, Everett and Rosaline, five of Gil Ortiz's "almost" 27 grandchildren. It was Gil who let me know that Clorissa, Bryan and their family had arrived.

In his free time, Bryan is a musician, playing drums and guitar. He added that he also enjoys cycling. Clorissa likes working with interior design and it has become a serious hobby. She also enjoys photography and creating floral arrangements.

Welcome to the entire Watters family. We are glad you are here and are sure we'll be hearing more from you.


If you have moved to Tehachapi within the last six months, Hilltop Welcoming Service has a bag of information about the Greater Tehachapi area, its activities, events, government and facilities. There are always a few coupons and gifts as well. It is a great way to learn about your new community. Being part of this column is strictly optional. If you would like a visit from the Welcome Hostess contact our office at (661) 822-8188.


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