Tehachapi – A Centennial Celebration

10 Minute Play submitted by Sparks for TCT Play Festival
Title: Tehachapi – A Centennial Celebration
Characters:
Tori: 30ish year old woman
Calli: older than Tori
Women are wearing hiking attire
Stage setup: Full moon and some stars
Calli is carrying a backpack. Tory is carrying two camping folding chairs, both carrying flashlights. It’s nighttime with a full moon.Tory and Calli walk slowly on stage)
Tori: Are you sure we’re getting close to the right spot? My legs are about to give out on me.
Calli: Yep. (as she reaches the center of stage) Here it is, and all this…(Calli spreads her arms out with flashlight still on and in her hand, and does a 360 degree turn) …is TEHACHAPI.
Tori(looks around) It’s beautiful! Well worth the long hike up this mountain. (Tory hands Calli her flashlight and sets up the two camping chairs. Both ladies sit down. Calli puts flashlights away in backpack and pulls out 2 bottles of wine from the Souza Vineyard and Winery from her backpack and hands 1 bottle to Calli.

Tori(pulls cork out of her bottle and takes a drink of her wine from the bottle) Mmmm, great choice of wine.
Calli(pulls cork out of her bottle and takes a drink of her wine) This wine is made right here at the Souza Vineyard and Winery. You’re drinking fermented grapes grown from Tehachapi soil.
Tori(takes another drink) I have never seen the lights of Tehachapi from this angle before. You’re right; it is very spiritual up here.
Calli: Ya know, in 1876 Tehachapi was created by the railroad, a few hundred-railroad workers and their families were all that lived here. The town was called Summit Station back then. Over there, (pointing toward audience) on Hwy 202 in Old Town; that was Williamsburg, although many towns’ folk called it Tahachapa.
Tori: I forget how much you know about Tehachapi. (Pointing to the left of stage) When was the cement plant built?
Calli: In 1908. It was called the Monolith back then. The cement made from that plant helped build Hoover Dam and the Los Angeles Aqueduct! Most people don’t know that… (Calli takes another drink of wine)
Tori: Hmm, nothing that grand has happened here since I was born.(sigh)
Calli: Are you kidding me? Did you know that on your birthday, I mean the very day you were born some guy won the Guinness World Record for Longest Cowpat Throw right here in Tehachapi.   Two Hundred and sixty six feet, now that is quite an achievement.
Tori(drinking wine.. spits out wine.. laughing). Indeed, that is spectacular! (laughing)
Calli: Ok, forget Tehachapi’s cow crap throwing world record. You were also here when 2 idiots burnt down the Train Depot due to the misuse of firecrackers just last year. That was a disaster that will be read in our history books. Heck, the Train Depot was over a hundred years old too. What a couple of morons.(drinks more wine)
Tori: Yeah, that was a sad day for Tehachapi. (Shakes her head) Hey, why do you live in Sand Canyon instead of in the city?
Calli: I like living on the same ground as the Kawaiisu natives. The Kawaiisu lived on that mountain ridge over there (pointing to the left of stage). That is Tomo-Kahni also known as Winter Village. I swear I can still hear them beating their clappers at night.
Tori: The name Tehachapi meaning the Land of Four Seasons came from the Kawaiisu right? (drinks more wine)
Calli: Yes and no. Sure Tehachapi has four seasons. The climate here can be sunny and warm in the morning, cloudy and windy by noon, and then turn into a raging blizzard by nightfall, but I don’t think the word Tehachapi has anything to do with our seasons. The Land of Four Seasons just sounds better than Sweet Water and Acorns, or A Windy Place as some believe to be the true meaning of Tehachapi.
Tori: What do you think Tehachapi means?
Calli: I think Tehachapi came from the Kawaiisu word Tihachipia meaning a hard climb… In fact I know it did especially after the hike up here, cuz my damn feet are killing me.
(sound of dogs howling/barking)
Tori: It sure was a hard climb (takes off shoes, rubs feet, listens to dogs barking)
OH, hey (looks over at Calli, as she fans the air with hand) Did you cut a fart? (moves chair over, away from Calli a little bit)
Calli: I don’t think so, you’re the one that just took off your shoes(laughing)
Tori: Wow, there sure are a lot of dogs around here.
Calli: Why do you think the first major legislation Tehachapi ever made was a domestic animal ordnance? (Answering her own question) Because Tehachapi folks are all a bunch of crazy ass pet lovers, that’s why.
Tori: (laughs – looks around) I’m still amazed that some of the buildings in town are over a hundred years old.
Calli: Yeah, back in the late 1800’s those railroad workers didn’t tear anything down; heck they moved some of the businesses and almost all the buildings out of Williamsburg.   I mean literally picked them up and moved them over here. (Calli leans back in chair smiling) I’m glad we came up here to celebrate Tehachapi’s 100th Birthday, she’s been good to me. Did you know that Tehachapi was incorporated on August 13th 1909, which was a Friday, I’m not kidd’n ya she was born on Friday the 13th.
Tori(drinks from her bottle) Maybe that is why so many bad things have happened to our town, you think?
Calli: Could be, the town caught on fire and many of the businesses burned to the ground once, and there was a huge flood in 1931. A lot of houses were under water; it rained like hell I hear. And of course there was the 7.7 earthquake that destroyed most of the town in 52. The earth cracked opened wide with that shaker, and train tracks were bent up in the air like giant horseshoes. Even some of the tunnels collapsed. That quake killed 13 people and injured many more. Yep, Tehachapi has seen some hard times… but she always pulls through.
Tori: True, the trains are on track rolling around the Loop and we already have plans drawn up to rebuild the Train Depot. Oh, and don’t forget we rebuilt the new Beekay Theatre this year.
Calli: Yep, the good ol Beekay is back in business, now that’s another thing to celebrate. (drinks wine) Remind me to bring a sweater next time we go see a show would ya?
Tori(laughing) You’re always cold when you’re sober.   Remember when we went to see those big birds and you had to stay in the car because you were cold?
Calli: Big birds? Oh you mean the ostriches; yep I remember. I remember one of those big birds stole a pack of gum out of your shirt pocket too. (laughing)
Tori: (laughing) No one warned me about their thievish behavior. Hey, you never told me why you wanted me to come up here to celebrate Tehachapi’s birthday. Why is this place special other than the obvious?(Tori looks around at the beautiful view)
Calli: Oh that… I lost my virginity right here, right here under this chair I’m sitting on (points down to the ground below her chair, wobbles back and forth a little from being drunk)
Tori: Are you serious? We hiked all the way up this here so you could revisit the place where you had sex for the first time? (laughing hard, bangs hand on leg) I thought you wanted us to have a spiritual connection with this mountain.
Calli: Hey, it was a spiritual connection for me, (smiling)
Tori(shaking her head smiling) I’m sure it was.
Calli: Damn, I’ve sure had some good times while living in these mountains (lifts up wine bottle trying to give a toast to Tehachapi)Happy.. . (Accidentally drops wine bottle on ground, slumps back in her chair) …Ooops
Tori: Here, let me do that for ya. (Stands up raises wine bottle high in the air)

To 100 amazing years, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TEHACHAPI!
(lights dim)