By Lucinda Childress, AKA Sweet Spice:
I moved to Davis from Southern California in 1969 as a 7th grader at Holmes Jr. high school. I know that Jr. high is a hard time for a lot of people but I remember asking my mom “ if life just kept getting better” because I totally and completely loved my new life in Davis. Davis was a magical place for me and I have to admit that it still is. I have no desire to live anywhere else. Well maybe Paris or Venice, but that’s not going to happen because my husband said so.
Sure, Davis has had its share of political issues and once in a while I have had to shake my head and wonder what planet we are on! I have had the typical ups and downs in life that most people endure, but Davis has a special charm that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else.
When I was in Jr. high we used to ride horses to downtown Davis once in a while from a friends house out in the country and tie up in front of Quessenberry’s Drugs for ice cream. We rode bikes or walked everywhere. Davis was so small back then. We only had one stoplight, at the corner of 8th and F streets. Central Davis was North Davis, Downtown was Central Davis, West Davis was being planed for and South Davis was a big field between downtown and El Macero. With the exception of beer, alcohol was only sold 3 miles out side of town. Most everything was closed on Sundays and I remember being in disbelief that there was not a McDonalds in Davis.
Davis has grown a lot since then. In fact the population has gone from about 18,000 to almost 70,000. We have a stoplight or stop sign at almost every intersection in downtown proper. With the exception of some of the nicer restaurants, almost everything is now open on Sundays. I know that because I always want to go out to dinner on Sunday night.
But one of most coveted things about Davis has got to be the “Bike Paths” or greenbelts. We have bike paths that run through around and over almost every neighborhood in Davis. They are beautiful and safe. We also have the UC Davis arboretum that takes you from the “Redwood trails” to “Manicured Garden Paths” to “Vineyards” and of course the beautiful grassy fields all surrounding Putah Creek. We have the equestrian center, the olive trees, oak trees in Willow bank, wild flower fields and of course, the golf courses all connected by bike paths/greenbelt.
It doesn’t matter if it’s winter, spring, summer or fall; hey that reminds me of the James Taylor song! The thought and planning that has gone into our paths make them beautiful any time of the year. I know they call them “Bike Paths”. After all, Davis is the Bicycle capital of the world boasting the Bicycle Hall of Fame. But besides bikes the trails are where you will find many runners, walkers and of course the Davis Divas every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning dawning our Fleet Feet running shoes and the newest Lululemon attire. Rain or shine solving the world’s problem, planning our next “Diva event” or out of town ½ marathon all while sharing our personal wisdom, passion for running, friendship and genuine love for each other.
Getting up and putting on my running shoes and hitting the blacktop first thing in the morning anytime of the year is not easy but knowing that I am going to meet up with the best group of friends I could have ever imagined is. With the exception of a migraine, nothing can keep me home! I love to run and I do it because it feels good, I can eat more and of course it’s good for me but I truly believe that the bond of friendship that I have developed with this group has become one of the healthiest things in my life. Yes Davis has changed a lot over the years but it just keeps getting better!
Lucinda Childress, 52 already! I am the mother of two incredible boys and the wife of a husband that God made just for me. I live to eat! I love people. If I don’t have a vacation or two booked, something is wrong. Being with my family completes me. Yep, that about sums it up. Everything I do is somehow connected to food. I love to cook. Thinking about the mingling of different flavors is like taking a short trip to an exotic place. Then there is my job. I do the books; payroll , HR, etc. for my husband’s dental practice. I’m not sure if I run because I eat so much or because it feels so darn good or because I can’t go without a day or two without the best group of friends a girl could have. They call me SWEET Spice, but I really don’t know why:)