It was a "Leave It to Beaver" childhood...
From Glenmoor to High School, the story of Rich Varrasso
1957 Glenmoor Gardens in Fremont, California
In 1957, Russia launched the first spacecraft- Sputnik 1,
and the space age begins.
In 1957, there were dozens of nuclear bomb testing,
the beginning of the atomic Age
In 1957, the first electronic watch was made,
the beginning of the Digital revolution
In 1957, Richard Varrasso was born,
an Italian Taurus male a Fremont, Californian
Hailing from the San Francisco bay area,
after WWII his parents settled into a small wood sided cottage in San Leandro where they had my sister Kathy. The east bay was a typical suburban sprawl of unplanned, unincorporated patches of homes south of Oakland surrounded by almond and apricot orchards and rich farm land.
My dad was a florist and had his own flower shop call ‘Phil’s Flowers”. At that time there was a promise of new gracious living in a planned swath of newly scrapped quarter acre lots and finely constructed modern ranch style homes.
They moved to Glenmoor Gardens, a neighborhood born in a newly incorporated city called Fremont made of five closely cornered Townships. It was to be a better planned community with shopping centers, new schools and modern infrastructure.
I was born a week or so before Washington hospital opened, so my mother and Dr Richard Delfs had to take me to another emergency room. I was born on April 24th, 1957 at 4:21pm (close enough!) and named Richard after my doctor.
I was brought home to the new house on Mayfield Drive
and grew up there my whole childhood.
The new trees and shrubs grew up as I did lining the streets.
Back in those days you could run the streets and the neighbors
would keep an eye on you. We would ride our bikes around and
there would be a lot of places to go. Glenmoor elementary was right down the block and I used to ride my bike to school in the first grade!
There was a community pool, tennis courts, and a shopping center with a large grocery, Swensen’s Ice Cream and Union 76. Things were sweet and safe back then. I went through my grade school thinking that there was a Santa Claus and life was just like "Leave It to Beaver"...
I still have friends from my grade school.
Many of us went through school to graduation
and still keep in touch today. I give my second grade
sweetie (Donna) a call on her birthday every year!
Ie were all very close knit, I remember well.
After sixth grade I went to Centerville Junior High. Then it was off to Washington High School.
It's a big city now, can't recognise it anymore...
Dennis Eckersley and Julie Magder
... but where is Julie, now?