The ARPD program has always been a model organization. Whether it was baseball, softball, basketball, flag football, arts & crafts, fishing derbies, camps, or sand castle contests, at the core of it all was community. I would argue that the parks were the single most important driver of community in Alameda’s post WWII history.
At the center of every activity was the park director. Paid recreation professionals who were trained in providing a great experience and coaching for every child who came to the parks. As Sam Spear said in his interview for PlayBall! – Alameda’s Sandlot Saga “It was inclusive”. The directors were trained to made it so.
One could also argue that every park director was legendary in their own right. Among the elite, was Audrey Elderts who could be spotted anywhere on the park property by her trademark floppy hat. In recent exchanges on Facebook, a number of West End kids fondly recalled Audrey as someone who made an impact on their lives. The photo above features Audrey at a Family Night Picnic in September 1975, accompanied by her equally legendary colleagues Roger Alexander and Chuck Higgins. The Contaxis family is shown toasting their ARPD hosts with some lemonade.
For a taste of community, please join us for the First Pitch Benefit Party at the Alameda Theatre on March 20. Roger Alexander will be there in all his legendary glory! Don’t miss out!