Experience Tehachapi through our newest magazine
September 16, 2023
After 6 months of planning, writing, gathering photos and seeking voices from within our community, The Loop newspaper is proud to present their newest Experience Tehachapi magazine – on stands now!
I've been lucky enough to be the magazine's Editor-in-Chief for the last three years, and with full understanding of my bias and lack of objectivity in the following statement, it is the best publication Tehachapi has to offer. It can be coined a visitor's guide, but to me it is so much more. It is you and me and the whole community wrapped in a beautiful package of photos, happenings, culture and history.
Each year we try to select a theme and this year's makes me very happy because it was less of our voice and more of yours. When I was in school studying journalism, a wise professor of mine always stressed the importance of having a face on each page. Or even better, a soundbite (quote) from your audience on every page. In a small town like Tehachapi, that means you get to see your neighbor, your favorite shop owner or your own family in the spotlight. This year's theme, "Tehachapi, tell us your story," featured stories and photos of life in our mountain town from the people you pass and encounter everyday. No matter when we moved here, or how long we've called these mountains home, we all have a Tehachapi story to tell.
Claudia Baker, owner of The Loop newspaper and publisher of Experience Tehachapi magazine has lived in Tehachapi for 37 years. The first Experience Tehachapi magazine was published in 2009 to coincide with the city's 100th birthday. They published again in 2010, but then put the magazine on hold. A few years later, Claudia once again saw the need for a magazine that represented our community and decided to make Experience Tehachapi an annual publication that not only attracts visitors, but can become a memento for residents new and old.
"When I first started the magazine, I wanted it to be a place to learn things you didn't know about the community. Then, with so many new people moving into the area, I realized there were more and more people who didn't know what was of interest in the community," said Claudia. "I love that everyone comes together to create this magazine. People take the vision I have and carry it out and make it bigger. People don't throw this magazine away, they want to keep it because they want to share it. It's a good product, created with a lot of care. I have a lot of pride for this magazine."
This year, Experience Tehachapi had a new lead designer. Mimi Whitney has lived in Tehachapi for 45 years and was even born in the town's original hospital, which was torn down a few years ago and will soon be home to a community center. She moved away for college and received her first full-time design job working for The Daily Independent in Ridgecrest, California. She's been designing and creating for 28 years, not counting her four years designing the Tehachapi High School yearbook.
"Design, for me, comes from a few different influences. I'm still pretty old-school in that I almost always choose to look at print over digital. When traveling, I pick up visitors' guides, flyers, local newspapers and magazines to look at. Some are very traditional, while others are incredibly innovative, but you never know where inspiration might come from," she said. "I like a mix of both of those ideas and I try to work that into anything I design."
When it came to designing Experience Tehachapi, Mimi said the stories and photos themselves were the biggest influence.
"With this magazine, I buried myself in the photos and stories before deciding how best they could be displayed to their advantage," Mimi said. "Big photos are my favorite and you see that quite a bit throughout Experience Tehachapi. They make me feel connected to others and I think that's what we all want most."
Despite the late nights and never-ending deadlines, The Loop staff and I love producing Experience Tehachapi magazine, as well as The Loop newspaper. We're proud of what we've created and so happy to share it with you. And now, back issues (starting from 2010) of both The Loop, our bi-weekly newspaper, and Experience Tehachapi magazine can be found at the Tehachapi Museum! So, if you missed an issue or just can't get enough of our Loop productions, head over to the museum and experience even more Tehachapi.