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Secret Pathways

May 1 was a clear spring morning and the type of day that makes members of the Piedmont Recreation Department's Walking on Wednesdays group especially motivated to walk. For the past few weeks the group has enjoyed the flowering trees that make Piedmont streets the equivalent of a very large park.

First it was the daffodils, then the tulips, and then the cherry and mock apple trees. This past week all eyes were on the azaleas in front of Piedmont Park that welcomed the walkers as they approached the Exedra for their 10:30 a.m. start.

The group was pleased to welcome Phil Witte as a first- time walker. He is the creator of the "FLIP" single panel cartoon in the Post every two weeks, so he is officially the Wednesday Walkers' first cartoonist. Fifteen other walkers and three of their K-9 best friends welcomed Phil.

This year the walkers are working off a list of 21 paths in Piedmont, courtesy of the Piedmont Historical Society. Members of Walking on Wednesday have set a goal this year of walking all 21 paths and all streets in Piedmont. Two paths were selected for the walk on Wednesday, May 1: the 246-foot path between Magnolia Avenue and Palm Drive, as well as the path between Nova Drive and Fairview Avenues, measuring 249 feet.

Though these are not secret passages, most of the group members weren't sure where they were. Regular walkers Sarah Johnson and Noemi Alvarado lived in the area, and said they could find them. The walkers went down Magnolia Avenue past Piedmont High, where the Alan Harvey Theater once stood. When they got to Park View Avenue they started to look for the first path-way, and a little further down Magnolia they found a path that led them down to Palm Drive. The group discussed the history of early Piedmont and developer Frank C. Havens planting palm trees as an entry way to Piedmont.

Walking down Palm to the intersection of Magnolia and Nova, they turned left in search of the second pathway, from Magnolia up to Fairview Avenue. As they walked up the street they heard a very loud bird call. There in the bushes was a large male male turkey with impressive tail feathers. He didn't seem pleased with the walkers being on his street. Rick Schiller, a neighbor, came out to tell the group that the turkey is a semipermanent resident on Fairview, and neighbors call him Tom.

The walkers continued up Fairview past lovely homes, one of which is a classic Victorian from Piedmont's early days. At the end of Fairview, they turned right onto Jerome, and then left into Keefer Court. This is a delightful, short street with unique homes, some of which have impressive cactus and desert front gardens. The walkers enjoyed gardens so much that stopped to take another group photo. Walkers then continue on Jerome to Magnolia, then uphill and back to the Exedra, their starting point. The climb up Magnolia gave the group some additional exercise and provided a fitting conclusion to the 2-mile, 1-1/2 hour walk. It had been a lovely day with friends, and an opportunity 10 see beautiful flowering trees and plants, a very large bird, and parts of Piedmont best experienced by walking.


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