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Wondering about Wyngaard

Our Piedmont Recreation Department’s Walking on Wednesdays group had what some thought was a perfect day for a long walk, and seeing some lovely streets and homes at the far edge of the city. It was cool and overcast with again no chance of rain. There was another strong turnout of 38 walkers and four K-9 best friends in attendance.

Matt Gerhardt won the best pale ale award at the Piedmont Center for the Arts 10th Annual Artisanal Brewing event the previous Friday. Unfortunately, Matt didn’t bring any samples for us. It was also announced that there will be an organizational meeting for a Recreation Department movie appreciation program next Wednesday, October 19th, right after our Wednesday walk at about 12:30 PM at the Recreation Department/358 Hillside Ave.

The walkers and the public are invited to attend and discuss how this program will be structured. As you know, we try to walk every safe Piedmont street during the year, and have gotten to most of them, but one pocket of streets we had not gone to was the Sandringham/Selborne/Estates loop near the top of Hampton Avenue. Additionally, we had not gotten to the uniquely named Wyngaard Avenue. It was understood that those who didn’t want to make this climb could peel off at Hampton Park and return to the town center via La Salle and Crocker Avenues. However, there was an incentive for walkers to push on. Those who made it to Wyngaard would be told what/who Wyngaard is.

With announcements completed, we started off up Highland Avenue to Sheridan and Wildwood Avenues. On Sheridan there was a large persimmon tree in a front yard with a lot of not-quite-ripe fruit. A return will have to be planned. The trees that line Wildwood have some of the city’s best fall colors, and they seemed to be at their peak. Fallen leaves provided a burgundy sidewalk carpet. We checked out the progress on an excavation that is being done in the front of a Crocker home. A three story addition that includes a new garage is being built. Rebar steel rods had been driven into the ground since our visit last week.

We went up Crocker and then Hampton Avenue. We passed the always lovely Crocker/Bear Park, as well as Halloween house decorations and November election candidates’ lawn signs. We reassembled at Hampton Park. Since some walkers were not going to do the entire walk, we posed for the attached photo there. We then crossed La Salle Avenue, going through the old columns that marked the entrance to the early Piedmont St. James Woods neighborhood development.

We continued our assent of Hampton, came to Sandringham Road and went up it to the short Marlborough Court cul-de-sac with a tree and plant island at its end. To our happy surprise, long-time walker Carol Long and her K-9 best friend Bailey were there to greet us. We returned to Sandringham and soon found another cul-de-sac, Sandringham Place, with more lovely homes. We explored it too and then returned to Sandringham Road. Before we did, French speaking members of the group informed the rest of us that cul-de-sac, means bottom of the sack. We came to Selborne Drive. Its wonderful view of the Bay was a bit obstructed by the morning clouds. We passed beautiful homes with For Sale signs in front yards along the way. Selborne took us to Estates Drive and a short walk down it was the uniquely named Wyngaard Avenue. It has old St. James Woods development columns that marked its entrance there too, but they are somewhat hidden behind wisteria vines that almost cover them.

It was now time to answer the question, what/who is Wyngaard? The correct pronunciation of the word was also debated. A Google search found no one named Wyngaard for whom the street might be named, but we learned that this surname is primarily found in Africa, and 86 percent of Wyngaards are found in Southern Africa. Maybe a Dutch influence? Wyngaard is also the 3,684,242nd most prevalent first name throughout the world. It is borne by only 10 people. It seems worthy of a truly unique child, or walker’s grandchild. There are also Wyngaard Kaas Affiné cheeses that are aged for four months, have a soft and creamy taste, and combine perfectly with the flavors of black peppercorns. Later it was reported that a long time resident of the street told a walker that Wyngaard means vineyard. However, no collaboration could be found.

Going down Wyngaard, we checked out a home at its end that is on the market for $3.5 million, and then reconnected with Sandringham Road. We passed more beautiful homes, one of a Tudor half-timber of an Elizabethan architectural style, and another Storybook style home with turrets and a slake roof. We took Cambrian Avenue down to St. James Drive for our return to the Exedra. Along the way we passed St. James Circle. Phil Witte, who lives across the street, said it was actually not a circle, but rather another bottom of the sack.

We continued on to Hampton and retraced our steps back to the Exedra. When we got back to the city center we checked our phone apps and saw the morning’s exploration had totaled a little over four miles. This was a longer than a usual Wednesday walk, but a fun one that explored the translations of some European names, as well as many beautiful Piedmont streets.


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