History

Residents' Stories

West Clay Park is a close community – once you move in very few life events make you want to leave again.

Our oldest residents have been here for almost 70 years.

They are in order of arrival:

 

Kris Getz, 1950

Lucille Abrahamson, 1951

Genie Callan, 1963

Bea Baldauf, 1964

Laverne Reiterman, 1965

Kris and Harold built their house at the corner of West Clay Street and 22nd Avenue on a then vacant lot. They raised their three children here and all of them went to public schools in the neighborhood. Brian and Libby still live and work in the city, Randy and family are in Sacramento. Kris worked, and still works, as a volunteer in many different area and organizations, mainly the public schools, the Conservatory of Music and Hospice. Before his death in 1979 Harold was a fixture at the corner in front of his house. He worked as a stockbroker and came home when the neighborhood kids came home from school. He taught Karate in his basement, organized games and contributed ideas to the kids’ neighborhood newspaper, The West Clay Park Snooper, which appeared from 1993 to 2000.

Lucille and Jim moved in with two children, Eric and Joan, and had Robert a short time later. Like the Getz kids, the Abramson kids attended the local public schools. Jim was in the restaurant supply business and owned the Pam Pam downtown. He passed away in 2008.  Lucille devoted her time to public service:  the schools, the League of Women Voters, Human Rights Commission, San Francisco Foundation and the Academy of Science. She was president of the School Volunteers, then ran for the School Board and in 1973 became president of the SF Board of Education. Helping the Academy of Science move into their spectacular new building in Golden Gate Park gave her great satisfaction.

Genie and John had three small children when they took up residence in 1963: Leslie, Tony and Clint. Leslie and Clint still live in the city, but Tony passed away from Leukemia as a child in 1974. The Redwood Grove at the beginning of 24th Ave. is dedicated to his memory, given to the family by their West Clay Park community and friends. John and two partners owned Callan, Strand and Dale Realty Co. He passed away in 2005. Genie is proud to be a third generation San Franciscan. She was active in the Junior League, the Fine Arts Museum Auxiliary and the Children’s Theatre. She loved acting, but her real love became painting. She has had many successful shows.

Bea and Bumps, like the Callans, moved in with two small children -- Hans and Lisa -- and then in short time added Karl. Bumps, like Jim Abrahamson, was in the restaurant business, as maître d' at Trader Vic’s, then as the owner of the Graf Zeppelin near the Embarcadero. Following the 1989 earthquake, the Baldauf house was discovered to be a ‘minor’ Julia Morgan design. In Bea's history of the West Clay neighborhood she describes the kids’ activities and games – they called themselves the WCP Pioneers. Being close in age they roamed the neighborhood, wrote the newsletter articles, formed a ‘pooper scooper’ brigade, built forts and rode their bicycles and skate boards in front of their house – an old fashioned childhood.

Laverne and Milt moved here in 1965 with their three young children Tim, Laurel and Ted. They were both educators. Laverne worked at SF Community College for more than 22 years. Milt turned to labor relations after retiring from SFUSD in 1980. Milt passed away in 2010. For more than 36 years their main charity was the Epiphany Center or Mount St. Joseph – St. Elizabeth as it was known before. On weekends the Reitermans escaped to family property in Novato – especially to escape the fog in the summer.

"A Marine View Residence Park"