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Meet Linda Bailey: Lake Wildwood’s Citizen of the Year

In her words, with prompts by Editor Valerie Costa

I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In my preschool years, Calgary was just a “cow town” with the famous Stampede Rodeo. We were all cowgirls for a week during Stampede Week. Our home was on the outskirts of Calgary facing the Rocky Mountains, a beautiful and undeveloped area (now it is considered inner-city). I walked to school from first grade on through snow drifts and below freezing temperatures. We were always ready to sled, ice skate, or play in the snow after school and on the weekends.

After I turned five, my brother was born and I would spend several summer weeks at my grandparents’ farm in Red Deer, Alberta. Their farm was a grain farm, no animals, but I had a wonderful time riding with my grandpa on the tractor as he plowed the fields and with my grandma as she baked delicious things in her wood burning stove. Our family immigrated to Santa Clara Valley in 1960 after a yearlong process to gain entrance to the United States. We were called “aliens” and had to always show our green card. Eventually we all became “naturalized” citizens and embraced our new homeland.

After raising two children, living on Eastern Long Island for eight years and southern California for four years, we settled back into Santa Clara County while our teens grew up. When my husband, Mark, and I were considering retiring we knew we did not want to remain in the Bay Area, so we began searching all over California for a place to retire and spent some time considering what we wanted our retirement to look like. The only place that eventually met all the criteria was Lake Wildwood (which we found by accident). We bought our first house in 2005 and were part-timers until 2011, when we finally retired.

I retired from a position as Executive Secretary to the CEO of a small company and managed the day to day operations. Because we had been part-timers for a while, we were already a part of the tennis club community and our grandchildren had participated in summer day camp and swim lessons. The transition was smooth and comfortable, and before I could blink I was happily involved in the Parks and Recreation Committee. I have always attempted to be involved in areas where I could offer some help, and enjoyed my time on the Parks and Recreation Committee, eventually taking over as chair when the current chair wanted to retire.

Both my husband and I are committed to supporting improvements to our Lake Wildwood infrastructure. The Parks and Recreation committee began their Parks Refurbishing program in 2013, with the motto: One park at a time. Two months ago, the Board of Directors approved the expenditure for the final shade umbrellas and tables in the parks, thus completing and improving the furnishings in the parks. It took eight years, eight different Boards of Directors, and five general managers to get the job done. Our biggest accomplishment, thanks to our current General Manager, is the complete upgrade to Meadow Park, and it is not yet finished. Phase two will include a third bocce court, a sand volleyball court, and a swim area complete with steps and shade structures. That park is fast becoming the gem in our necklace of parks.

I was asked how I enjoy my free time. I have three favorite things: playing tennis, reading historical fiction, and working on improving the nature walking trail. We are researching to find out who were our first pioneers along the walking trail, their stories along with the historic and pre-historic resources in the area. I hope to develop a coffee table type book with the history, resources, and not photos but original water colors of various aspects of the trail painted by Jane Lee. The trail is managed by volunteers with a little help from staff, and each of us has fallen in love with the beauty of each of the three sections.

Part of growing up in the foremost Stampede Town was the indigenous culture that was nearby and respected. The tribes would be part of the Stampede parade with their teepee poles, papooses, and beautifully decorated deerskin clothing. They would erect an Indian Village at the Stampede grounds and we could go and visit and understand how they lived in their beautifully decorated teepees, cooked over an open fire, and cradled their infants. Each year in school was a segment of understanding the native culture, way of life, and making a papoose of our own. I speak of this because of our close association with our own tribe, the Nisenan, who lived on our Lake Wildwood land and were true stewards of our land and streams.

I would like to thank my Lake Wildwood neighbors for bestowing the honor of Citizen of the Year upon me and for your support over the years as we have worked toward improvements in our Parks.





Hello, friends, neighbors, and fellow residents of District 4. I hope the latest issue of my newsletter finds you staying cool, enjoying the last days of summer before school starts back up, and looking forward…

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