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Isabel Porter relates how she and her family came to feel part of the Davis community.

Submitted  by:   Isabel Porter, May 2007

This entry relates to:   Past and present

Category(ies) of this entry:  Coming to Davis, New Beginnings

Neighborhood:  West Davis


We moved to our Davis three bedroom, two bath, tract house in the fall of 1963, actually on the very day Kennedy was assassinated. That tragic event cast gloom upon a family already distressed with a move from an idyllic country home on three acres in the Los Gatos hills of Santa Clara County to Yolo County's new urban flatland. 


Finally, the empty moving van disappeared down Anderson Road while the radio continued to report the unfolding tragedy in Texas and we tried diligently but half-heartedly to fit the possessions of five active family members into less than 1200 feet of living space.


Once settled, Dad assumed his prized, new position of northern California Sales Manager in a prestigious, national firm. Mom, the frustrated artist, took the role of avid homemaker. Our teenage daughter entered junior college, our son enrolled at Emerson Junior High and our youngest daughter attended elementary school just up the way on Anderson Road.


Soon, our socializing broadened into the neighborhood. Walks up Anderson Road took us to five other family occupied houses and into the bicycle pathways of little Redwood Park, a place of green lawns, picnic tables, tennis courts, jungle gyms, and elementary school play areas, all interspersed with a variety of well maintained shrubs and many redwood trees. 


One Sunday morning we discovered that a small church group met in a temporary recreation building set in a grove of redwoods deep inside the park. We were welcomed to attend their brief services and soon learned of their hopes for an expanded congregation and a permanent home in Davis. We were invited to join and soon found ourselves enjoyably helping with myriad tasks. Dad was declared acting deacon in charge of folding chair set up and guest greeting. My flare for flower arrangements found weekly expression and I became the self-appointed art committee chairman, inviting a succession of my friends in the art community to share their talent by presenting their work to the congregation. This created more activity since it entailed designing flyers, creating logos, and making posters.


All this was such a joyously creative opportunity to exercise my own talents, uninhibited by any policy stricture. How could I ever forget or fail to appreciate that experience which came my way because in 1963 we moved to Davis!


Note: In appreciation, you will find a garden bench tucked into the foliage of Redwood Park with the inscription: A Gift of the Warren Porter Family, 2005.

This site provided with the assistance of the Davis Community Network.