A first impression of Tehachapi
Mountain Tales: First-hand stories of life in Tehachapi
November 9, 2019
I was born in Wayne County, Tennessee, one of Charles and Bertha Peacock's four children. In 1942, when I was 12 years old, our family moved to Delano in search of a better opportunity. My Dad, a career barber, opened Peacock Barber Shop in Delano. After graduating from Delano High, I went to Bakersfield College and in school I met a Tehachapi boy named Dick Johnson – we had a psychology class together.
Well, we hit it off and got married in 1949. We moved to Tehachapi in 1950, much to my initial dismay. I had never even heard of Tehachapi before I met Dick. Then we came up here and it was before the earthquake, so it was this old town with all these old buildings. It was more of a backwater than Delano and I thought, "Oh my God, where is this place?" It didn't take me too long to fall in love with Tehachapi and its people, though, and I couldn't imagine living anywhere else.
– Joan Peacock Johnson
Joan (pronounced Jo-anne) and Dick Johnson were married for nearly 65 years, and they had two children, Jana and Scott, five grandchildren and a growing number of great-grandchildren. Joan spent 20 years writing a popular weekly column called "Over the Back Fence" that appeared in the Tehachapi News, which the Johnson family published for many years before they sold it to Bill and Betty Mead.