By Dana Pingatore August 2020
Looking back through old issues of the Devil’s Advocate newsletter and Jim Stone’s book Diablo Legacy, I was reminded that there have always been hot button issues in our community. E.g. the debate on whether Diablo should install gates began in the 1960s, in the 70s residents considered incorporation to avoid being absorbed by the Town of Danville, and a debate on whether to stop or support a proposed widening/straightening of Diablo Road. In the 1980s the community started to consider preserving vs razing historic homes and even whether the historic clubhouse at Diablo Country Club should be preserved or built anew!
I hope the next chapters of our history book will include the very public debates over who can use our private roads and the “Sign-A-Palooza” happening here right now. You can’t miss the yard signs all over Diablo - discouraging and supporting cyclists, joggers and walkers coming thru Diablo and signs of support for the social justice movement that is sweeping our nation. More than 30 signs have been posted, torn off, and reposted on the fence at the bus shelter at the intersection of Alameda Diablo and Avenida Nueva. This site seems to have become a more important place in our community lately. It made me curious about the history of this little structure. So, I thought I’d share a few interesting facts that I learned:
Although it may “feel” like a public place, the old bus shelter is actually private property. It was built in 1950 for the school children by Masud Mehran and Robert Peterson. Some restoration work was done in 1970s and 2000s by volunteers from our owners’ association. It is no longer used as a bus stop because modern day school buses are unable to make the tight left turn on to Alameda Diablo. (Today, Diablo kids meet the bus in front of the old Red Horse Apartments).
In March 2020, Piper McDonald and her dad Paul noticed a few books left on the ground at the bus shelter. Inspired to create something to help entertain the community during the shelter in place, they added some shelves and christened it the “Diablo Lending Library”. The library has been so well received, it is overflowing with books and puzzles.
As an aside...during my quest to find information related to the bus shelter, Mugs Freeman shared some fun stories about the days when her children rode the bus. They used to cut across the 18th fairway to a path that cut between the Beratta's and the Jones’ “Home Stretch” to meet the bus on Alameda Diablo. Kim (now almost 60) recalls waiting at the bus stop, hoping that the very handsome Steve Cortese would be riding the bus that day.
Mugs also remembers a high school girl, whose name shall not be mentioned, leaving her house wearing a pretty skirt and top for school who would use the privacy of the hedge-lined path to change into her Levis and then reverse the process before returning home. Her mother never knew until decades later. This legendary path was eventually sold off for only $1 and closed off – much to the dismay of Bob Beratta, whose property adjoined the path on the west side. He said he wishes he had known about the deal as he would have bought and kept the path open for the school kids and others who enjoy the short cut to the clubhouse and tennis courts.