Darlene Batchelder is neither the longest resident of Woodside Glens nor the most recent, but kind of a little of each.
Back in 1939 her folks were the San Francisco residents who were enticed by Southern Pacific Railroad to purchase a weekend cottage in the woodsy hills of Woodside. Growing up in the '50s and '60s, Mrs. Batchelder describes her old neighbors as "kind of like old hippies, an enclave of artists and independent thinkers."
And today, she says, "most (neighbors) fit a particular mold: very tolerant, welcoming, kind, supportive."
The Glens was established as two subdivisions in the 1920s, which included 254 lots ranging from 7,000 to 20,000 square feet. Ultimately, about 185 homes were built. Over time septic tanks gave way to sewer pipes, and the Town of Woodside capped the size of residences.
Mrs. Batchelder, then Darlene Laye, left The Glens to go to school, join the military and marry Darrell Batchelder. The couple returned in 1992 and raised their two sons in a home they built next door to her mother. Eventually, they sold that house and moved back into Darlene's childhood home.
"By the 1990s people were starting to radically remodel and tear down" the original cottages, which weren't designed for all-year-round living, she says.
Most of the major remodels still conform to the rustic ambiance; shingles and wood siding are still far more prominent than the occasional stucco.
Mrs. Batchelder lauds the tight-knit community of neighbors, who regularly get together to celebrate birthdays or hold open houses around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
"A real tradition is Halloween," she says, when they close the streets for a huge block party. "It's very safe. We know our neighbors."
And to catch the fireworks on the Fourth of July, most troop up to Kite Hill, the open space separating the neighborhood from nearby Interstate 280 and a place where children often play.
"Everybody walks," often with their dogs, Mrs. Batchelder says. It's just 15 minutes by foot into the town center of Woodside, she adds.
Zackary Simkover, a competitive bicyclist, and his wife Meghan jumped at the chance to move from San Francisco when they heard about a Glens house coming on the market.
"I think it's a great place to start. We want kids," he says, noting the reputation of the nearby school.
Coupled with Meghan's parents living nearby in Atherton, easy access to cycling thoroughfare Cañada Road, and trails for walking the dog or taking a shortcut to town, Woodside Glens seemed ideal to them.
He can even cycle to the Redwood City train station to catch one of Caltrain's express trains to the city.
A few weeks after moving in, in June 2015, they invited their neighbors over for wine and cheese on the deck. They found the neighbors "amazingly welcoming," he says.
And Mr. Simkover's already jumping into local politics, joining the Woodside Circulation Committee that aims to make the local roadways safer for pedestrians, equestrians and cyclists.
"It's a great fit for me," he says. "This is pretty much our dream. Our friends say, 'You guys won the lottery.'"
-- Carol Blitzer
CHILDCARE & PRESCHOOLS: Woodside Parents' Nursery School, 3154 Woodside Road, Woodside; Woodside Preschool, 3195 Woodside Road, Woodside; Woodside School Child Care, 3195 Woodside Road, Woodside
LOCATION: Between I-280 and Cañada Road, Neuman Lane and Arbor Court
PARKS: Huddart County Park, 1100 Kings Mountain Road, Woodside; Wunderlich County Park, 4040 Woodside Road, Woodside; Kite Hill, between Jane Drive and I-280
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Woodside Elementary School District — Woodside Elementary School, 3195 Woodside Road, Woodside;
Sequoia Union High School District — Woodside High School, 199 Churchill Ave., Woodside
SHOPPING: Woodside Road, Woodside