Becoming a Del Marian

We moved to Del Mar in 1973 and I quickly became friends with Pat Stroud who then lived a block south on Crest Road. One day on one of our walks on Crest, as cars raced by dangerously close to us, I said, “We need side walks!” Pat explained that “Oh, no, Del Marians like the rural feeling of the road, trees and vegetation not concrete.” Another time walking home after dark from a neighbor party I said, “This town should have street lights.” Again she gently explained to me the importance of dark skies so we can see stars. I was slowly becoming a Del Marian.


Rosanne, daughter Katherine, and Mayor Harvey Shapiro celebrate as the vote is tallied for the Powerhouse acquisition on Feb.15, 1983. Photo courtesy of Joel Holliday.

Since those educational walks with my wise friend Crest Canyon is a preserve rather than filled with a multiple condos.


Powerhouse property is a Park and Community building instead of a restaurant with a multilevel parking structure across the street. In 1983 after a contentious campaign the citizens voted to buy the property from the owners.


The dog fountain. Photo by Rosanne Holliday.

In 2007 Members of the Garden Club restored a section on Crest Road to its natural vegetation with inspirational seating and views.


In 2008 a joint fundraiser effort the City of Del Mar bought the Shores School from the Del Mar Unified School District to preserve the playing fields for children, dogs, and their walkers. $5.4 million, more than half of the purchase price, was raised by donations from the community.

What else did I learn over my 50 years in town? People feel strongly about open space, are generous, and work tirelessly for causes they believe in.


Sometimes it feels like living in Del Mar is a full-time job.