08/19/02 - posted by Patti Poole
I'm Cecil Poole's daughter. We moved to 90 Cedro when I was still in kindergarten. (Yes, there was an incident where someone burned a cross on our lawn...I was the one who saw it first...). That house was big and beautiful. Growing up, it was my playgound and a place where wonderous things took place in my imagination.

Moncada St. had a small park shaped like a quarter moon and my friends and I would play there and throughout the neighborhood for hours on end.

My own house had 2 floors, a full basement (complete with wine cellar), a huge back yard, expansive lawns (it is a corner house) and this little place on the Moncada side of the house with an enormous palm tree.

My friends and I used to play on the sundial and visit the library and walk to Stonestown at Christmas to ride on the Emporium roof-rides.

When I went to Commodore Sloat, I helped design and implement a colorful wall mural, made of ceramic tiles...it was a big school project. I don't know if it's still there, but I still have a "trivet" I made out of some of the leftover tile pieces.

I attended Aptos Jr. High and Lowell High School. Iguess I could have actually gone all the way through college, gong no farther than about 1 1/2 miles from home, if I had chosen to attend SF State (I went to UC Berkeley instead).

I truly loved that house. That was where we found my cat, Sally, who (before spaying was "in") seemed to populate half of SF. My best friend Kathy and I wrote and put on plays for our family and friends in my living room and on our front lawn. We formed Christmas Caroling groups and went throughout the neighborhood. I learned to ride a "2-wheeler" - all of a sudden one day on Moncada...once the training wheels were off, there was no stopping me. It was where I watched JFK's funeral and saw my father, who was US Attorney, appointed by Kennedy, and a friend, break down and cry.

On holidays, when I was young, it would be so quiet, you could hear the animals at the zoo. Somedays, it was so clear, you could see the Farallone Islands, and the next day it was so foggy, you couldn't see across the street. I remember when I snowed and the snow was thick enough to slide down our side lawn and some of it actually remained in the alcoves of Commodore Sloat the next day.

There used to be an ice skating rink on Ocean Avenue, about 3 blocks from my house. My sister could skate, but I never got the hang of it.

The El Rey Theater was a beautiful deco movie house where my friends and I would go watch movies all day; and once upon a time, on Ocean, near Junipero Serra, there was a comic book store where I was first introduced to DC Comics. Our next door neighbor owned the gas station that was at the corner of Ocean and Junipero Serra.

After my older sister and I moved away from home, and my dad, then a Circuit Judge travelled often, my mom decided she wanted to move. She wanted a house with no stairs, anticipating her older years, and she wanted a warmer climate and respite from caring for such a large home. So she convinced my father to sell the Cedro house and they eventually followed me to Marin County, settling in Novato.

I miss that house. It was where I grew up and where so many memories and milestones were made.

I loved growing up in Ingleside Terraces. It is ironic that the original Association CC&Rs prohibited ownership by women, or people of color, and that my dad actually bought the house directly from the owner, after unsucessfully trying to purchase property in that area and others (St. Francis Woods, Pacific Heights...), due to the then still pervasive prohibitive real estate attitudes (pre-Fair Housing Laws). My mom actually found a copy of the original CC&Rs, while cleaning the acttic.

I was so pleased to find that the "Joseph Leonard/Cecil Poole House" at 90 Cedro Way was declared an Historical City Landmark in 2002.

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