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Jon Hammond speaks to Rotary Club

Rotary Club of Tehachapi

The Rotary Club was regaled on Oct. 14 by Tehachapi's favorite local historian, Jon Hammond.

Hammond is a locally celebrated and respected contributor of The Loop newspaper, Tehachapi News, The Bakersfield Californian and other local publications. His articles and columns focus mainly on Tehachapi history, agriculture and local wildlife. He did not disappoint, educating and delighting his audience with an overview of the agricultural history of the Tehachapi Valley from ancient times to the present day.

Hammond talked about the practices and traditions of the Nuwä people and the way they were able to live off the land by strategies of careful management. Most of the time there was plenty to eat, if you knew where to look. Although there were certainly difficult years, Hammond asserted that there was no occasion for anyone to starve. They "may not have had as much as they wanted, or they may not have had their favorite foods, but there was always enough to live on." The settlers who migrated here in the 1850s could have learned much from the native people who were already here, but as Hammond put it, "there wasn't a lot of that particular wisdom in place at that time."

During the question-and-answer session at the end of his talk, a Rotarian and mother of school-aged children complimented Hammond on his mastery of the topic and asked him if he would be open to visiting some of Tehachapi's schools and sharing his knowledge with the students. Hammond was very receptive to the idea so hopefully local schoolchildren can look forward to learning about local history and heritage from him in the near future.

The Rotary Club of Tehachapi is a volunteer service organization with the motto "Service Above Self." The Club has 32 members and is currently meeting on Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. If you would like more information about Rotary Club, you can visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RotaryClubofTehachapi/ or contact club President Paul Kaminski, (661) 699-5851.