Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Meet Your New Neighbors

After living in Oroville, Calif. for 28 years and following the devastating Camp Fire that destroyed nearby Paradise in 2018, John and Sherry Priest decided to move farther south to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Now that they have settled in Tehachapi, Sherry's sister and nephew from Texas have decided to move here as well.

Both John and Sherry are retired. John drove the big semi-trucks hauling oil and gas for 30 years and Sherry at one time managed two ARCO stations and mini-marts as well as being a mom.

John's family, including four brothers and a sister, moved to California from Little Rock, Ark. and settled in Bakersfield. His family used to come up to Tehachapi from time to time. John said he can remember his father used to help out at the Burger Spot once in a while. His father is in a picture dating back to 1955 that still hangs on the wall of the restaurant. After high school John joined the Army and was stationed in Germany. John said he was there when they built the Berlin Wall and he was there when President John Kennedy was shot.

Sherry's family, with her six brothers and three sisters, ended up in Bakersfield via Hanford. She and John met in Bakersfield in 1976. Both had been married before and each had two children. Sherry loved his kids and to this day John says, "she married me for my kids."

Two of their sons live in the Bay Area, one working for the San Francisco Police Department and the other is a CPA in Dublin, Calif. and is also a wine connoisseur. A third son lives in Bakersfield where he works in sign installation. Their daughter is a nurse in Atascadero. John and Sherry have a total of 18 grandchildren.

When their grandchildren aren't around to play with, John and Sherry have the company of their two dogs, a Great Pyrenees named Buddy and a Poodle named Lily. Sherry is a quilter and John likes to work in the yard. Sherry said John had to give up his true hobby of tournament pool because he had too many trophies.

It doesn't sound like this couple will be lacking for company or fun living here in Tehachapi. Welcome John and Sherry.

Jessica and Michael Stevens and their three children moved into their home in Tehachapi last October. Jessica said they had lived for a very short while in California City, "because we didn't know any better." They are delighted to be in Tehachapi. Michael, an Air Force electrical engineer, had been transferred to Northrup Grumman. Jessica said that as Michael travels quite a bit, her job is to be mom to their children.

Jessica and her younger brother were raised in Bolton, near Manchester, England. Michael was born in Washington D.C. but was raised with his sister near Chicago, Ill. Michael joined the Air Force and while he was stationed in the U.K., he met Jessica, a charming elementary school teacher. They were married and lived there for about four years before Michael was reassigned to the U.S. This last Christmas, the family finally had the opportunity to go back to England and visit relatives.

Michael runs to keep in shape and Harvey (11) their oldest son also loves to run, participating in track events and playing soccer. Jessica said that Natty (8) does not have a favorite sport yet, so she loves everything. Bellarose (2) is content to be a spectator for the time being. All of them help to take care of the family dog, a Boxer named Fisher and the chickens that Jessica said are taking the place of a horse for now.

Welcome to Tehachapi Jessica, Michael and family.


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.