Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Meet Your New Neighbors

Hilltop Welcoming Service

In August Duke Littlejohn gave up his life in Lake Elsinore and moved into his grandmother’s log cabin in Sand Canyon, accompanied by his son Duke Jr., his daughter Chloe and two dogs named Oreo and Brutus. Liz Kachmar and her husband Andy built the 1,600 square foot cabin from a kit with their bare hands in 1974. They were among the first full-time residents of Sand Canyon. Following the death of her husband in the 1980s, Liz continued to live there alone until her death in 2020. Local writer Jon Hammond wrote a fascinating article about her in the Tehachapi News in September of 2014. Duke remembered the property from his childhood and said he did not want to see the family give up a place with such a legacy, so he and his family moved to Tehachapi.

Duke was born and grew up in Orange County and so have his children. He said his family originally came from England and the family name comes from the famed Little John from the legend of Robin Hood. Duke has built a career in restaurant service with many positive online reviews. He was head server at Ruby’s on Balboa Pier in Orange County for 10 years until he moved his family to Lake Elsinore, where he worked for a while before moving to the position of head server at The Bank in Temecula. He was not in Tehachapi long before he was snapped up by Kelcy’s Restaurant.

Liz Kachmar never fenced her property. She loved bears and they roamed the property freely. Duke, however, decided that for family safety he would discourage the neighborhood bears particularly when his dog Brutus, a very large Malamute, charged one and another went after their bird feeder. He double-fenced the property and is in the process of filling the space between the two fences with pinecones. Duke Jr. referred to it as a “landmine of pinecones.” Time will tell as to the efficiency of the fencing.

Duke Jr. is studying Computer Science at MiraCosta College in Oceanside, now online. Chloe is attending Tehachapi High School. She is a surfer and Duke said she learned to swim at nine months old. Chloe said that she is also a gamer. Another sister, Lotus, has remained in Orange County.

Duke said they are all thrilled to be in Tehachapi and added, “I am looking forward to providing a home for my kids and for my kids’ kids.”

Welcome to Tehachapi, Duke, Duke Jr., Chloe, Brutus and Oreo. If you happen to be at Kelcy’s, don’t be surprised if you run into Duke Littlejohn.

Colley and Tracey Smith started their ministry in a tent city in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida but were brought to California in 2016 when Tracey’s mother passed away in Palmdale. Her sister is still living there as well as Tracey’s two daughters. Colley’s two sons still live in Florida. The couple lived in Lancaster for two years and then moved to Rosamond for another two years. They discovered Tehachapi and moved here in June of 2021 with plans to continue their ministry, Healing Waters Outreach, here. Tracey said that they “worked their way up to Tehachapi” and know that God wants them here.

Tracey was born in Ohio but raised in the South. Colley was born in Jamaica and lived there for 35 years before coming to Florida where he met Tracey. He has repaired cars since he was 17 years old and, while officially retired from that occupation, it is still his hobby. Tracey loves to cook and is thinking about starting a catering business specializing in southern cuisine here in Tehachapi.

In 2014, while living in Florida the couple started Breaking Bread, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. It is their mission to supply food for the needy whenever and wherever the need should arise. This mission has become a part of Healing Waters Outreach.

Since moving to Tehachapi, Colley and Tracey have adopted a cute rambunctious little three-month-old pup named Lady Bare. Colley said they thought she was a boy when they chose her, so named her Bear. On finding out she was a girl, the name Bear no longer fit...thus Lady Bare. I have no doubt that they have their hands full with this little ball of energy.

Although Colley and Tracey have not been in Tehachapi very long, there is no doubt that we will be hearing more from them and Healing Waters Outreach.


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.