The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Pat Doody
Welcome Hostess 

Meet Your New Neighbors

Hilltop Welcoming Service


February 15, 2020

Pat Doody

At the beginning of January, both Deanna and Rick Phelan retired from Northrup Grumman in Palmdale where they had both worked for 30 years. When looking for a retirement location, Tehachapi seemed like the perfect spot for the two of them and Deanna's mother, Carol Wilson, who is living with them.

Tehachapi is close to the desert but not in the desert and the desert is their playground. Deanna and Rick spend most of their free time RZR riding and camping in the desert. Carol sometimes joins them on camping trips.

Rick and Deanna met at Northrup where both were involved with supply chain and inventory but in different departments. Rick was in mechanical assembly and Deanna was in electronic assembly. Both said they had grown up in Los Angeles County.

Rick was raised in Simi Valley with two brothers and a sister. After high school he joined the Army. Northrup was his first job after coming out of the military.

Carol originally came from Culver City. She said she spent 40 years as a buyer for businesses throughout Southern California. She raised Deanna and her brother in Thousand Oaks and then moved to Camarillo. She lived there for 20 years before moving to Palmdale, closer to Deanna. She moved into a mobile home park where she lived for five years before joining Rick and Deanna.

When asked if she had any plans to start something new, Deanna said she might try baking again, something she used to do when her daughters were growing up. For now, she and Rick are trying to fence a space at their new home where Maggie and Abby, their two Golden Retrievers, can run.

A big Tehachapi welcome to Deanna, Rick and Carol. May there be many happy off-road adventures in your future.

Carol Ann and Vince Suttmiller bought their Tehachapi getaway last October with the idea that it would someday be their retirement home when Vince finally retires from the limestone mine he currently runs in Paso Robles. This would be the second retirement for the engineer who retired two years ago from a chemical plant he had worked at since 2005 when he moved to California from Ohio.

Carol Ann was a mom to three boys and a girl and at one time worked as a hospice caregiver. She was raised in Mission Hills and at one time lived in Grass Valley, California. She met Vince at an Al Anon meeting and they hit it off discovering that they both loved music. Vince plays piano, Carol Ann sings and they both love rock. They married and eventually formed a rock band, known as the "Bone Shakers," that plays in Paso and also now in Tehachapi.

The main attraction of Tehachapi for the Suttmillers is Carol Ann's daughter Crystal Ann and her two children ages two and five. Crystal Ann is a local horse trainer who has lived here for three years and is already involved in Junior Rodeo. Before moving to Tehachapi, Crystal Ann and her family lived in Paso and very close to Carol Ann and Vince. When the family was transferred to Kern County, Carol Ann was devastated.

Then while visiting family in Tehachapi, the Suttmillers had the opportunity to form local connections for the Bone Shakers, eventually bringing their performing group to play here. They have now played at Triassic for their Wine Club Pick-up Party and are now booked for the First Friday of every month for Wine Down Fridays there. Vince has also had the opportunity to play Triassic's big grand piano in the tasting room. Bone Shakers have also played at Tangleweed Farm for a recent tri-tip barbecue and at the Oak Branch Saloon in Bear Valley.

For events that require a lighter sound, Carol Ann said she and Vince have formed a small acoustic band called the "Off-sets" and are looking forward to expanding their musical horizons in Tehachapi.

Welcome to Tehachapi Carol Ann, Vince, the Bone Shakers and the Off-sets. No doubt we will be seeing and hearing from you in the near future.


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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