Meet Your New Neighbors
Hilltop Welcoming Service
July 6, 2019
Manuel Tinajero says he moved to Tehachapi for the air. He arrived in November from Bakersfield where he had lived for four years and said he was miserable.
Manuel was born in Los Angeles. He said his parents lived near Bunker Hill in Downtown Los Angeles and he and his brother used to take the Angel's Flight tram all the time. His brother is still in L.A. After high school he was a Marine for eight years and then joined the Navy for four more. He worked for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for 36 years. During that time he was on line crew, read meters (both residential and commercial), worked on high voltage lines and worked out of almost every yard including San Pedro, West Los Angeles, Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley. He said he wore many hats including troubleshooter and tool-room keeper.
For almost 20 years he and his wife lived in Tujunga. They raised three children, two boys and a girl. Manuel said his oldest son now lives in Missouri, his younger son in Santa Clarita and his daughter lives in Fresno.
His wife owned two-and-a-half acres in Southern Oregon so when he retired they built a home there where they lived for 14 years. Following his wife's passing, Manuel tried to move back to Los Angeles, but found it too expensive so moved to Bakersfield.
The active 83-year-old belongs to two Senior Centers and they seem to keep him busy. I met Manuel at the Tehachapi Visitor Center during one of his exploratory searches of Tehachapi. At that time he was headed on a trip to Missouri. He says he is happy to be in Tehachapi and we in Tehachapi are delighted he chose to come here.
Luis and Elena Tamay bought their home in Tehachapi in September and moved from Sunland in the San Fernando Valley. Elena's mother Lilian Segovia who had previously lived in Burbank came with them. The couple immediately began fixing up the cute little house that Elena said had been vacant for a while and needed some TLC.
They had lived in Sun Valley for 26 years but Elena said there was now too much gang activity in that area for her to be comfortable. She added that she is also a workaholic and needed a change of pace. Over the years, she and Luis had attended church retreats held in Sand Canyon and had liked the area. As church secretary, she came every year. Tehachapi seemed like an ideal place to live.
Elena, her two brothers and two sisters came to the United States from El Salvador nearly 40 years ago, as did Lillian. Although diagnosed with Leukemia as a child and plagued with heart problems as an adult, Elena worked many jobs over the years including a stint with The Home Depot. She was an accountant for over 11 years and handled the books for a building management company. Because of her physical afflictions, Elena said she never planned to marry, or have children. Then she met Luis who worked in the auto industry specializing in the repair of luxury automobiles in Los Angeles. She agreed to teach him math and thought he was a genius when it came to learning. She convinced him he needed to get his GED.
They fell in love and got married and soon found out she was pregnant. Elena said that the birth of her son Kevin was a true miracle. Although she went into cardiac arrest at his birth, the doctors were ready and both of them survived. Her second miracle was the birth of her daughter Kimberly. Both of her children are now in their 20's and Elena says that she is truly blessed.
Luis went to school to be a truck driver and is now driving for a local trucking company. They are working on fixing up their new home and she takes daily walks with Louie their Maltese/Poodle mix pup. Elena said she wouldn't mind going back to work for The Home Depot once they get a bit more settled.
Tehachapi sends a big welcome to Elena, Luis and Lillian.
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.