Meet Your New Neighbors
Hilltop Welcoming Service
September 17, 2022
When I head out to welcome new Tehachapi residents, I know nothing about the people I am going to interview. This was particularly the case with Dave and Pamela Phillips. In the process of getting to know this fascinating couple and expounding on the glories of living in Tehachapi, I discovered that I had stumbled upon a celebrity in the world of maze creation. Dave has spent much of his life creating mazes both on paper and in "real life" and I have great hopes that Tehachapi can find a way to use his talents locally. To see my point, simply check out Dave's website at http://www.davephillipsmazesandgames.com.
Dave was born in Cheshire, England. He grew up in Grimsby by the ocean and worked on the fish docks. He said he started drawing mazes as a kid and never stopped. For a time in 1951, teamed up with Greg Bright and Adrian Fisher, both well-known maze creators. In 1960, he move to the United States and settled in Maryland. He worked as an illustrator, airbrush artist and photo "re-toucher." It was during this period that he met Pamela, a portrait painter who was also retouching transparencies. They were married in 1984. Their daughter, Tessa, is now a music editor in Los Angeles and the primary reason for leaving their home in Maryland. They did not want to live in Los Angeles so decided to look for a place to live that was about an hour away from Tessa who lives in the San Fernando Valley. Tehachapi is a bit farther away than an hour but filled the bill in all other respects. Dave said that when he was working as an illustrator and art director for Life-Like Products, a model train company, he heard about a train loop in California never dreaming he would end up living so near the engineering marvel.
In 1993, Dave designed the cover for the Aerosmith album "Amazing" and in 2017 designed the maze for Steven Spielberg's "The Haunting." He published his first book in 1975 and has now authored over 50 books on mazes and puzzles. He has been published in Reader's Digest, Highlights, National Geographic World, Ranger Rick and Omni. However, Dave says that corn mazes are his "bread and butter." During corn maze season he will design as many as 75. Go to his website to check out his amazing designs. He designed the electronic games MegaMaze and Jumanji. His maze installations have appeared on the East Coast, Texas and in Britain. He even designed an orange grove maze in Sacramento. Every fall he designs a maze for the Bronx Zoo. A.MAZE.D is a collection of interactive mazes that Dave has designed to be built in cooperation with children's museums and other institutions. He uses local talent in the construction of these mazes. He currently has installations exhibiting in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and in Minnesota.
Since moving to Tehachapi with their pair of miniature Dachshunds, Pam and has joined the Bear Valley Garden Club and the Cultural Arts Association. Having been an artist and portrait painter for many years she will be exhibiting one of her paintings at the upcoming Cultural Arts Association Art Show. Dave said he would love to design a maze in Tehachapi and is looking for a possible venue and partnership. What an "a-maze-ing" project this could be for TVRPD or other local organization.
Welcome to Tehachapi Dave and Pam. I am sure we will hear more from you in the future.
If you have moved to Tehachapi within the last six months, Hilltop Welcoming Service has a bag of information about the Greater Tehachapi area, including local 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.