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Wildwood and Davie Stadium

The Piedmont Recreation Department's Walking on Wednesdays group's unofficial motto is "We Walk Rain or Shine" and part of it was put to test last Wednesday. Light rains reduced the number of walkers to 15, with no K-9 best friends, and those who assembled at the Exedra were prepared for light rain. The clouds also affected the group's destination for the day. Rather than going to see the beautiful views from Bell Avenue, the group decided they might be obstructed, and they postponed this walk. However, the walkers had not been to the streets below Wildwood School recently, and they decided these streets and the Davie Tennis Stadium would be good destinations for the day.

The group headed off through Piedmont Park to the steps that lead to Hazel Lane, and then down it to Requa Road. On Requa they admired an impressive, large gazebo that is being built in the backyard of a home. Tom Reese confessed that nearby, as a third grader, he got his first kiss. The group crossed over Wildwood Avenue to Prospect Avenue. Mike Henn, who once served on the Piedmont Planning Commission, pointed out some of the homes have large areas along their sides because this land has an EBMUD water pipe right of way. They continued on to Oakmont Avenue where Alicia Rivera pointed out some lovely plumbago plants with deep blue flowers just before the entrance of Davie Tennis Stadium.

The fresh smell of the surrounding huge eucalyptus trees was heightened due to the morning rain. The stadium is a set of five courts mainly within the city limits of Piedmont, but owned and operated by the City of Oakland. The site was the for- mer Piedmont Paving Company quarry and was given to the City of Oakland in 1931 by former mayor John L. Davie. The quarry provided rock for early Bay Area roads. Because of the rain, the courts were wet and without players, so it was easy for the walkers to get on them. The group went inside and enjoyed the stadium's clubhouse which is a throwback to an earlier time with old tennis pictures rackets on its walks. The walkers exited the stadium and wanted to see additional streets, so they went down Park Lane to Lakeshore Avenue and then went up Portsmouth Way, the only Piedmont path that has a street sign, to Annerley Road and the extremely step portion of Portsmouth Road that goes up to Wildwood Avenue. The road is now blocked there, but it was once possible to drive down and up this steep hill. It was time to get back to the Exedra and the always enjoyable walk through Piedmont Park was the most direct route. Rain had dampened the day, but the group had enjoyed the walk, Davie Stadium and their morning together.


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