Growing up in Alameda: Dave and Jerry

Growing up in Alameda: Dave and Jerry

Dave LeMoine

Jerry Green was like a brother. I spent a lot of time at his house on Garden Road, which was just next door to Dan and Dick Lufkin. From their front doors, looking across the street, were farmlands all the way to the bay. Jerry’s dad, Dave, was an Alameda fireman – a kind, wonderful man, and another father figure. I had the privilege of working for him during his last year as an assistant chief in the Alameda Fire Department.

Mrs. Green adopted me. I loved to sit in her kitchen, eat, and listen to the banter and an occasional strong word or two, with friends and family; there was always someone in that kitchen. Jerry’s uncle and aunt would arrive on their Harleys or in their cool ‘41 Ford two-door sedan, which had glass pack mufflers, louvered hood and three carbs. Man, did I love that car!

Flaming Studebaker

Jerry’s dad drove an old, brown Studebaker truck that was left in their garage when Dave was at work. Jerry and I had been thinking that the old truck needed a little upgrading. So, with pencils in hand, we sketched flames all over the hood and front fenders. To us, they looked so good, we thought they needed to be permanent. Having found a can of red house paint and a three-inch brush, we completed our creation. What could it hurt?

I wasn’t at the garage when Dave saw his truck, but Jerry did live to grow old, and the truck was driven around with flames. So, just maybe, he liked it. I need to ask Jerry.


As time went on, we paired off with girlfriends: Jerry with Judy; Dean with Joanne; me with Sharon Selkirk and then Shari Lewis; Red, Frank, Heater, and Budda with assorted girls. Fred had been adopted into the Canapa family and would take the twin girls, Diane and Doris, everywhere. He became their big brother, and then came his lifelong companion, Bev.
Later on, Diane and Doris became cheerleaders. Diane paired with my brother, Jim, and in their senior year, Jim broke a list of football records as a tight end. Cheered on by the twins at Thompson Field with their pompoms waving, we beat Berkeley 47-7 for the championship.

Jim and Diane soon married and went off to Utah State University with a full ride scholarship, and then onto the Buffalo Bills, Houston Oilers, a pre-season with the Raiders, and finally, to Alameda County Fire Department and a busy life together. They both died before their time.

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Submitted by vincentmaloney (not verified) on Thu, Jan 29, 2015

Thanks, Dave. Wonderful stories. Your brother Jim and I developed a good relationship after we treated his boy for a broken wrist. Betsy came to know him when he moved out this way. Gone way too soon.