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

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By Pat Doody
Welcome Hostess 

Meet Your New Neighbors

Hilltop Welcoming Service


April 25, 2020

Pat Doody

Back at the end of January, and before the social lockdown, Bill and Anya Norton, now recently retired, moved from Lancaster into their new home in Bear Valley accompanied by their four cats. Although both of them are aviation enthusiasts, for Anya it was the 4th of July hot air balloons that sold her on Tehachapi. She has worked on a balloon crew for 13 years.

Bill retired from Edwards Air Force Base where he was flight test engineer and worked on both the F35 and the F22. Born in Northern California, Bill went to college at Cal Poly Pomona and joined the Air Force following graduation. He attended the Air Force Institute of Technology in Dayton, Ohio and said that he started his flying lessons on his first day of active duty. He spent time at Edwards as an intern and also had two other assignments at Edwards during his 20 years in the Air Force. Anya refers to them as "aerospace gypsies." Bill retired from the Air Force in 2002.

Over the years Bill has authored 18 books on aviation and has become a known lecturer. He is a World War II specialist and, while with the Air Force, he wrote a history of the Israel Air Force.

Anya was born in Kirkland, Washington She has played the piano since the age of 7. Always a firm believer in community, for the last six years she has held a potluck with live music and poetry once a month, first in Lancaster and now in Tehachapi.

She and Bill have three grown daughters. The oldest is a computer programmer contracted to the Army in San Diego. Their middle daughter is a portrait artist in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the youngest is a biologist in Hawaii.

Anya spent 14 years as an elementary school special education teacher in Lancaster and three years as a home education teacher for a high school. However, her real love is ballooning and she has crewed all over the country. She cannot wait for the 4th of July this year, assuming things return to normal by then.

Bill owns two aircraft that he currently keeps at California City Airport. One is a home built Long EZ and the other is a 1950 Royal Air Force DeHavilland Chipmunk which he is trying to sell. Now that he has retired from aerospace, Bill is spending more time writing.

Needless to say, the Nortons are in the right place and will soon be able to pursue the activities they love. Welcome to Tehachapi Bill and Anya.


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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