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By Pat Doody
Welcome Hostess 

Meet Your New Neighbors

Hilltop Welcoming Service


August 31, 2019

Pat Doody

Lori Harvey had been in Tehachapi less than a week when we met in Central Park on the 4th of July. When we finally got together and had a chance to visit, I learned that she was newly divorced and had moved to Tehachapi from Gillette, Wyoming to join her daughter and family here. Lori said that Gillette is probably best known for its proximity to Devil's Tower National Monument of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" fame.

Born in South Dakota, Lori has three brothers. Two of them live in Wyoming and one in Arizona. She has two daughters; Kelci lives in Tehachapi and Kasia lives in Billings, Mont. Kelci is the mother of Lori's five grandchildren and Kasia is mom to Lori's two grand-dogs in Montana.

Lori said she has worked her entire adult life. When her daughters were young, she worked for the parks department. Never afraid of hard work, Lori has worked in construction and road construction, including jobs like traffic control, flagging and she has even driven a roller and other heavy equipment. It is no surprise that it took her only a short time to find a job here in Tehachapi working for Flying J.

However, she may have her work cut out for her here in Tehachapi. One of her more pleasant jobs will be helping her daughter take care of her five grandchildren ranging in age from seven years to three months. Kelci's husband is an aerospace engineer with Scaled Composites.

Lori has always enjoyed working in the garden and is an avid rock collector, activities she is looking forward to continuing here in the Tehachapi area.

Welcome to Tehachapi, Lori. It sounds like you will be a very busy lady.

Chuck and LaDawna Tigard said that they had always loved the Tehachapi area. For years they would drive from their home in Cabazon, Calif. to visit Chuck's father who lived in Oakhurst in Madera County. Tehachapi was just about the half-way point and so a perfect place to stop. Chuck and LaDawna had lived in Cabazon since 1982. After retirement, they began to think about possible places to move to and Tehachapi was one of the places on their list of possibilities. They looked for about a year before deciding that Tehachapi would be that place. They found their house and arrived in July with their two dogs, Hershey and Chico and a cat named Squizzy.

Chuck was born in Fayetteville, Ark. However, his family was living in Kansas when they moved to the San Diego area in 1954, settling in the Clairemont Mesa area. After high school, Chuck joined the Navy. LaDawna was raised in San Diego and her father was in the Navy. That is how she met Chuck. They married and eventually settled in Cabazon to raise their two sons Charles and Erik. Cabazon is the small town you pass by off Highway 10 on your way from Los Angeles to Palm Springs or Phoenix. It is also near the Morongo Indian Reservation.

Over the years Chuck worked as a juvenile probation officer, a CPA in Redlands and a chaplain for Dignity Health in Redding. LaDawna worked as a medical assistant in private practice before becoming an administrative assistant at Loma Linda Medical Center, a job she held for 35 years. Chuck said he served on the Water Board in Cabazon for nine years. It was during his time on the Board that they sold spring rights to the Morongo Tribe allowing them to build their giant casino on Highway 10. He added that at one time he also served as a non-sworn-in police officer.

Chuck now has time to focus on his favorite pastimes, gardening, music and rock hounding. LaDawna is a crafter and enjoys volunteering. I told her she was certainly living in the right community for that.

A big "Welcome to Tehachapi" to Chuck and LaDawna Tigard.


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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