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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Rest in peace Senor Bob Athenour

Uploaded: Aug 11, 2020
Pleasanton lost one of its long-time residents, businessman, teacher and all-around good guy, Senor Bob Athenour who died Monday. He celebrated his 91st birthday June 8 with a surprise parade at Creek View where he had lived for a few years.

He taught Spanish at Amador Valley High back in the 1960s and 1970s when both my family and my wife’s family attended (it was the only high school in town until 1975). He graduated from Amador in 1947 and, like my bride, returned to teach at his alma mater.

What’s interesting is how many students of that era, my bride included, held Bob in a special place in their hearts. My wife has a gift for language, but to see how well she can pull back the Spanish from her high school days is amazing and a tribute to Bob.

He also was an entrepreneur, founding and running his own travel agency for many years well after he retired from teaching. He also was the driving force in establishing the sister city relationship with Tulancingo, Mexico that continues to this day. He also was an active Rotarian for decades.

He lived a long and full life. Rest in peace Senor Bob.
Pleasanton native and independent filmmaker Chris De Pretis reached out to me last month to publicize his latest film, Death Blood 4.

Chris set it in Pleasanton and used familiar locations such as Meadowlark Dairy, Lions Wayside Park, the Veteran’s Memorial Building, Pleasant Plaza, Inklings Coffee and the historic Main Street gas station. It was cool to see these landmarks, as well as the Pleasanton Ridge, in his self-described SciFi-B Movie.

As I wrote to Chris, I do not watch or read either SciFi or horror flicks, but I committed to watching. I confess I did not watch it in one sitting, so I missed some of the suspense that likely built. You can view it for free if you are an Amazon Prime member and there’s a teaser for another sequel set in Manhattan. Chris said he filmed the Pleasanton version for just $3,100.

It’s a family affair featuring his siblings as well as his dad, CPA Matt De Pretis, as a mad scientist.

We are blessed to live on a large, country lot a couple of miles from downtown Pleasanton. There’s plenty of wildlife that like to graze in our yard. We awoke one morning last week to see a two-spike buck chewing on a bush that typically the deer never bother.

It’s been that way throughout the yard—they have devoured ivy that I only can recall them eating in one other summer/fall period. It’s the same for other bushes that typically are ignored, but now have been stripped bare as high as they can reach. It speaks to what must be awful conditions on the Pleasanton Ridge because we normally would not see this level of desperation for greenery until later in the summer/fall.

It’s a reminder why our roses, my wife’s garden and planting barrels are all fenced so the bambis cannot ravage them.

Incidentally, our wildlife sighting has broadened this year when we observed a beautiful male red fox in our yard and elsewhere in the neighborhood. My bride saw the female in our yard Monday and snapped the photos.

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Posted by Linda Kelly, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Aug 11, 2020 at 7:23 pm

Linda Kelly is a registered user.

Ahh, such fun you and your bride will have when the foxes bring their kits to visit! We've had them in Vintage Hills, and a couple of years ago I was told the western families were not as healthy. Good to know they're better this season. It's great to live in the wilds!

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 12, 2020 at 8:42 am

DKHSK is a registered user.


I don't care for horror flicks either, but both of my daughters love them. Since some scenes are in Pleasanton, I'll have to pass along "Death Blood 4" to them as I think they'd get a kick out of watching it.

Thanks for the tip.


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