Monday, April 03, 2006

Villa Montalvo

Montalvo is a non-profit organization dedicated to forging meaningful connections between art, artists and the communities we serve, through creation, presentation and education in extraordinary ways and settings. Located in the Saratoga hills Montalvo occupies a Mediterranean-style villa on 175 stunning acres, which Senator James Duval Phelan left to the people of California for the encouragement of art, music, literature, and architecture.

Back in the early to mid 1980's I was living in San Jose, CA. Don was going to school. Then I was going to school. We lived in married student house that was so substandard that even the roaches filed complaints for tenant abuse. But is was while I was living there that I discovered the dream place, Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, CA. Saratoga is a small town where a 3,000 sq. ft. house is probably considered a cottage. I went to the Villa a few times to art openings and drove around Saratoga weaving fantasies of life behind any of the doors I drove past.

When I visited Francine and Gary this weekend with Krista, we drove around in the afternoon exploring Los Gatos Village, which is just up the road from Saratoga. Gary and Phaa are considering moving there and so we explored back streets throughout the village looking at likely property. Eventually we moved on to Saratoga. Entering the town, we passed the sign for Villa Montalvo and I jumped at the opportunity to see this dream place again.

In fact, it isn't just the place itself but also the road leading up to the villa that stirs my imagination. The road is lined with magnificent homes and landscaping both natural and by design; one hardly knows where to look first. What was amazing is that I recognized and remembered EVERY home we drove by even after the passage of 20 years. Little had changed except for the random home that I spotted that had not been there before. Francine couldn't believe I remembered the road and was, in fact, able to note the houses that were not there before. But it was, after all, my dream and I had visited often. How could I forget?

I'm glad I had the chance to experience this special place again. It was interesting to discover that during a time when I had little of material value, I didn't covet what I could not have. Now 20 years later, it is easy for me to sit back and admire what others possess but like that earlier time, I don't desire it. I can enjoy the dream without feeling any hunger to make it a reality. This is a very comfortable feeling to have in this latter period of my life.


vicci said...

Annie...This is so beautiful...and I love the story! It is still raining...and just plain awful outside!

Jeremy said...

Hi Annieelf.

Thanks for being the first person to post a comment on my blog (and such a nice one, too).

It seems like you work in an artist's heaven. It looks wondeful. Nothing like that here, as far as I know.

The sun is shining here today, so I have to get two children out in the fresh air before it goes in. I'll look in again later.

All the best,