Villa Montalvo

April 8, 1967

April 8, 1967

Villa Montalvo is a historical landmark built in 1912 by James Duval Phelan. Phelan, was a three-term mayor of San Francisco, and went on to become California's first popularly-elected U.S. Senator. The estate was his beloved country home until his death in 1930.
Villa Montalvo is a historical landmark built in 1912 by James Duval Phelan. Phelan, was a three-term mayor of San Francisco, and went on to become California’s first popularly-elected U.S. Senator. The estate was his beloved country home until his death in 1930.

When I was sixteen, I rarely conversed with “old” people, aside from my grandparents. I didn’t have anything against them, we just didn’t move in the same circles. I suspect most millennials don’t spend a lot of time with people in their seventies, either. That’s why this encounter rated space in my diary. Seventy-five probably sounded prehistoric. Clearly, I assumed she was moments away from death.

Me at Villa Montalvo, around this time.
Me at Villa Montalvo, around this time.

When I was sixteen, “don’t trust anyone over thirty” was a popular sentiment. I couldn’t imagine myself so ancient. Like Simon and Garfunkel famously sang, “How terribly strange to be seventy” – forget seventy-five.

The grounds of the villa now encompass 175 acres, more than the original 160 acres purchased by Phelan. The estate boasts several large structures as well as gardens and untouched natural areas. Montalvo includes two theaters, an art gallery, the historic Villa Montalvo, an artist residency complex, hiking trails and gardens in Saratoga, CA.
The grounds of the villa now encompass 175 acres, more than the original 160 acres purchased by Phelan. The estate boasts several large structures as well as gardens and untouched natural areas. Montalvo includes two theaters, an art gallery, the historic Villa Montalvo, an artist residency complex, hiking trails and gardens in Saratoga, CA.

Yet, here I am – closer to seventy-five than seventeen but I don’t feel elderly. Aside from the creak in my joints after too many hours hunched over my laptop, I picture myself as a fit early forties. Okay, fifties. For sure, it’ll feel terribly strange to be seventy.

Old Friends

 

June 7, 1964

June 7, 1964

Poetry Award

Montalvo1

Montalvo2
 

 

 

 

 

Moontalvo3

This was a huge day for me – literally, the first dollar I ever earned from my writing. It was thrilling to hear my name called and walk onto the Villa Montalvo stage/podium to accept my prize – even better when the lady who read my poem sobbed. In retrospect, though, she was a pretty soft touch when it came to tears. Misty hasn’t stood the test of time quite as well as I might have hoped.

Skywhys

Misty(In the interest of full disclosure, the beautiful white cat pictured is not Misty – there never was an actual Misty although Whitey and Calico were real cats (such clever names!) The picture is of the beautiful and much missed Skywhys.)

 

Skip to toolbar