Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Artist donates paintings

When Helen McAllister retired and moved to Tehachapi, interest in history inspired her to paint some of the historic buildings in the area. The paintings were much admired, so Helen featured them on note cards which she sold for several years.

In 1995, Helen began donating paintings to the owners of the buildings represented. Kelcy's Restaurant, Depot Railroad Museum, Tehachapi Community Church and Keene Café were all recipients of her art. Recently she found the perfect place for the painting "Depot in Winter." That place was the new café, One Fine Day.

Michael Toppeta opened this new business three months ago, and it has become a popular place for the food, as well as the atmosphere. Developing a railroad theme was a fun way for Michael to decorate and display his interest in trains. There are two different model trains that run on a track near the ceiling. There is even an animated conductor at the counter who waves to customers.

Toppeta's career was in information technology, and he still works remotely in that area on occasion. Four years ago, he opened a café in Tehachapi called Four Seasons because he wanted to establish roots in Tehachapi, a community he has come to love. Both places feature the foods he likes to eat, although he gives credit to his business partner, Wan Pairot, for developing the recipes.

The donated painting of Tehachapi Depot was immediately hung in a prominent place in One Fine Day.

Toppeta thanked Helen McAllister saying how pleased he is with the art work. It brightens up the wall and promotes the railroad theme. That was really one fine day!