'Pump first, then pay: this is Tehachapi not L.A.'
April 15, 2023
I remember for years making my customary drive from my home in Thousand Oaks to my office on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks by way of the Ventura Fwy. The drive was always a guessing game. You didn't know if it would take 45 minutes or an hour and 45 minutes. You just got in one lane, turned on music or an audio book and like a zombie just kept edging along the road. This was life and you did not know there was an alternative.
One day I came up to Tehachapi to visit my old friend Bob Stewart who left the rat race and had a house built on the golf course in Stallion Springs. The first thing I noticed about Tehachapi was this sign at a gas station on Tehachapi Blvd. "Pump first, then pay: this is Tehachapi not L.A." I remember the feeling of trust and security I felt.
I fell in love with the town. I started the process and next thing I knew I had a home and a business in Tehachapi. After all, how could you not like a place where you could leave your front door unlocked and, of course, not pay before pumping your gas!
Our not so small town has grown much in the last 30 plus years. The sign over the gas station is long gone and I'm not so sure I'd be willing to take a chance of leaving my front door unlocked anymore. But so much about Tehachapi remains unchanged. I would not change my beautiful 20 minute drive home for my old bumper to bumper hour plus commute on the 101! You have to love our small town.
Marty Pay is a contributing writer for The Loop newspaper. He can be reached at Marty Pay Farmers Insurance (661) 822-3737.