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A Day with Dave



Our Piedmont Recreation Department's Walking on Wednesdays group had a very strong turnout of 55 walkers and two K-9 best friends last Wednesday for our weekly walk. It was a beautiful, cloudless, spring morning. The weather was great for a walk, but there was another reason for us to be at the Exedra. Long-time Piedmonter and Wednesday walker Dave D was celebrating his three-quarters century birthday and had invited us to come to his home after our walk for a party.


Dave was originally a professional photographer and a journalist with a Master's degree from Stanford. He wrote about and became fascinated with African, Pre-Columbian, and all the tribal arts, and immersed himself in it. He turned his hobby into a business in 1973 and has since been a private dealer, gallery owner, and collector. A few years back Dave gave up on commuting to San Francisco and now invites those interested to visit to his art-filled Oakland Avenue home, which was designed by Albert Farr and built at the turn of the last century. So, in addition to a party with Dave, and having the equivalent of a museum visit, we would be able to see the interior of a Farr-designed home. It was a triple treat.


Since we were going to end up at Dave and his wife Nancy's house we wanted to stay in the central part of Piedmont. We could walk the streets near Dave's house and see the "one block wonders" of Estrella, Ronada, and Waldo Avenues. They are near high traffic streets, so people seldom drive or walk them. Going to these streets would work up a little appetite, and we could

be at Dave's celebration. Estrella Avenue was the day's first destination. We headed up Highland

Avenue past the Veterans Hall where we encountered a horde of Wildwood School third graders and their teachers on a Piedmont history field trip. The students were busy drawing sketches of historical structures and couldn't join our parade.


We went all the way down Highland to its end at Moraga Avenue, and down Moraga to where Estrella Avenue runs into it. We walked the one-block Estrella and enjoyed the beautiful roses in the front yard of a home. A dog out for a walk with his best friend was extremely happy to see us. There were also twin, Mission Style homes built in 1923 that share a driveway and have matching, cone-shaped terracotta roofs above their front entrances.


At the bottom of Estrella the street merges into Ramona Avenue, and we took a right up Monticello Avenue, a left on to the one-block Ronada Avenue, and a left to complete a loop that got us back to Ramona Avenue. We took a rest break at Monticello to sign a birthday card for Dave, and then continued up Ramona to Bonita Avenue and Park Way. We walked the one-block Waldo Avenue, and then Blair Avenue and Highland to get to Oakland Avenue and Dave and

Nancy's house in the block above Highland Avenue.


We gathered at the foot of the stairs in front of the house, and then went up to let Dave, Nancy and their K-9 best friend Pepper know their party guests had arrived. At the top of the stairs, we posed for a photo with Dave and Nancy in front of an approximately ten-foot, antique, Philippine canoe that Dave got from an Oakland Museum exhibit. Dave shared the histories of the canoe and his house, and also told the group about his collection. Then everyone went inside, up Albert Farr's over 120 year old staircase to the living room where there were more fascinating antiques. Continuing through the house got us to the back patio where Dave had his barbecue going with

sausages cooking, and Nancy had salads, drinks, and multiple birthday cakes ready for us. We ate, enjoyed, and celebrated Dave for more than an hour. We appreciated Dave and Nancy's kindness, hospitality, and friendship, and only wished Dave would have birthdays more often.



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