The year was 1957. The Robert Long family moved to a beautiful house on Romany Drive in the new neighborhood of Del Cerro. My name is Lisa Long, the youngest in the Long family. I was four years old at the time. Del Cerro was so new and fun to explore. A new elementary school was being built to open in the fall. I would be in the first class to start at Phoebe Hearst Elementary School in the Kindergarten class. On my street alone were two other kids my age; Alexis Walker (who would prove to be a life-long friend and the namesake of my first child) and Fred Provence, who still lives in his parent’s house today on Romany Drive. Farther up the street lived the Ortleibs. Mr. Ortleib was the head umpire for the little league that was at the site of today’s market, Windmill Farms. My dad, Bob Long, was an umpire as well. He sure enjoyed his time with the boys on the teams sponsored by the businesses of Seedorf, Siegel and Fuller.
Del Cerro holds so many memories for me. Walking to Hearst with my sisters every day, meeting friends at the Speedy Mart, and watching the cute boys playing baseball, never thinking that I would marry one of those boys that played on the Seedorf team; Eddie Hume. At that time, there was a tunnel we could go through that ran under Highway 8 all the way to where the Alvarado Hospital is today. And San Diego State was a college, not a university then and an easy walk up College Avenue. It was there on College Avenue that my family and I watched President Kennedy ride by in an open car. His bright hair glowed red in the sun, as I recall.
So many great friends fill my memories of Del Cerro. My dad and mom were particular friends with Glen and Betty Conklin. Glen was an avid adventurer and spent many times with my dad in Mexico discovering great places to later bring their families.
It was a time of safety. We rarely locked our doors. Our parents never had to supervise us outside, no matter how young we were. Everyone took care of each other and the memories of that time spent in Del Cerro will always stay with me. -Lisa Long