What’s in a neighborhood? | TheUnion.com

What’s in a neighborhood?

By now, many of the women in Penn Valley have discovered The Cotton Field across the street from LWW. I knew the owner, Barbara Kraft, when she had a similar women’s clothing store in Lafayette. She has recently relocated her store here and it is turning out to be a great place to meet other LWW women. She is so upbeat and inclusive that within 15 minutes, the clients are talking among themselves and trading stories. When I was in last week, I had the opportunity to learn about some great people in LWW. What is even more interesting is that they all live on the same street.

First, there is Jean Cleaves, who has lived in LWW for 11 years. She has worked on the Public Safety Committee and on the ad hoc Wildlife Management Committee. Presently, her “pound puppy,” Lucky, is part of the Goose Patrol. For those of you who aren’t in the know, this patrol is made up of 25 dogs dedicated to scaring away geese to minimize the goose poop in the parks and on the golf course. These dogs have exclusive dog rights to the parks and wear neck bandannas to identify their status. When on patrol, Jean wears a blue badge with her name and Lucky’s name to identify Lucky as part of the official patrol. Jean did say that all the dogs seem to love chasing after the geese and sending them airborne, preferably out of LWW.

Jean Masquelier also lives on this street and has been in LWW for 15 years. She has two grown children and an exciting job as District Ranger with the U.S. Forest Service. Jean supervises over 80 people, including firefighters, wildlife biologists, recreation staff and timber staff. She says that her job is never boring and that the biggest challenge is balancing all the different uses for the forest. Jean has been with the U.S. Forest Service for 10 years.

At one end of the block are Natalia and George Corich. They have lived in LWW for 19 years. Natalia is a respected goldsmith and creates custom jewelry out of her home studio. According to George, she is also a tennis and fitness nut. George is a Web site designer and a non-representational contemporary painter. This is a very active and creative couple. George, also a tennis player, loves music and plays the classical guitar and the ukulele using Hawaiian melody technique.

Bob and Carol Webster bought a home in the neighborhood in 1988. They moved up to LWW full time in 1999, after Bob retired from the Santa Clara Fire Department and Carol retired from her job as a project manager for Applied Materials. Married for 44 years, they now spend their time customizing a 1941 Oldsmobile coupe and are looking forward to taking it to the car shows once it is completed this spring. Bob also enjoys making birdhouses and candleholders for friends and charity events.

For the past seven years, the Sperlazza family has called this block home. Mary Sperlazza has her own marketing and event planning business and Jim enjoys running small businesses. He is currently between businesses so he has more time to spend with their son, Eric, age 10. Eric is involved in Little League, basketball, and swim team.

In addition to learning about all of these great people, Barbara gave me a copy of a book by LWW resident, Jean Humburg titled, Honk if you Like Canada Geese, which is full of great LWW stories. This book is a real delight to read.

Got a tip about someone in Lake Wildwood? Contact Shirl Mendonca at 432-3787 or shirlmendonca@gv.net.

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