Author photo

By Sheila Zanghi
contributing writer 

'And, where are you going?'


May 14, 2022

I decided to hang up my trusty Pioneer True Value apron, after 39 years. As soon as the “For Sale” sign went up, I had customers pleading with me to keep it a hardware store. They said they needed a place where they can get the products and service and how-to information.

One distraught customer told me he would pray hard that someone would buy it and keep it a hardware store and, by golly, the next day Karl’s Hardware (of Rosamond, Mojave and Boron) bought it! I joked that I should have kept that customer’s name and number because I have many more items on my wish list to ask for.

Karl’s Hardware should be open soon. As soon as people heard it was sold, they asked what state I would be moving to. Apparently, people think the best solution is to leave Tehachapi or even California. But I have investigated other cities, states and even entertained the idea of visiting my relatives in Finland, to see if that was a possibility (I’ll share more on that later, maybe).

The more I investigated a move, the more I realized Tehachapi is the place I will retire to. After all, I have watched Tehachapi grow from a VERY small town, with one blinking stop light, into a small town with innumerable stop lights (if you can’t count past six).

If fact, we even have traffic issues now. Not like the traffic of Los Angeles, but more than we ever had before. It used to be the only time we had a traffic issue was when four of us would reach a four way stop at the same time. Then we would politely gesture to the other drivers to go first. After a few minutes one of the drivers would go though the intersection and the rest of us would look at each other, tsk-tsking with disapproval the audacity of that upstart. There were times when people would hold up traffic both ways as drivers, coming from opposite directions, would stop and roll down their windows and chat and chat and chat.

But my main reason to stay, besides my son and grandchildren, is the weather. We have seasons with personality. Spring is an exercise in keeping all the winter and summer clothes at the ready as the weather can run through ALL seasons within a matter or hours. Our winters have snow that is usually well-behaved and navigable with help from the snowplows. Fall is actually very nice, but summer is my favorite. I like to call my friends and relatives in Sacramento, Canyon Country and Dallas, Texas in early summer and listen to them complain about the terrible heat while I tell them I need a sweater to keep the chill away. When it gets hot up here, I call them and complain about our heat of 85 to 90 degrees as they complain about 104 to 120. Yikes. So, I am not going anywhere.

I am staying in beautiful and picturesque Tehachapi.


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