Growing up in The City wasn’t always like it is today. Ask Wayne LeBlanc, who grew up in the Glen Park home his parents purchased in 1949, the year before his birth.
“[Elk] Street ended at the top of the hill,” he recalls, “because Diamond Heights didn’t start until I was 12.”
Alexander (Al) and Dorothy (Dot) LeBlanc had been married for five years when they bought the home at 37 Elk St. They closed escrow on Dec. 28, 1949, and moved in on New Year’s Eve, said listing agent Vince Beaudet, of Herth Real Estate.
In April, Wayne and his older brother Daniel convinced their parents to move to an assisted-living facility in Daly City. Now 88-year-old Al and his 83-year-old bride pass their days in the center’s activity room.
“They just hold hands and wink at each other,” their son said.
Al LeBlanc got his first job — as a typesetter with the San Francisco Chronicle — at age 16. He stayed with the newspaper for his entire career.
Dot stayed home, painting. She painted portraits of her sons and husband, and still-lifes of the eucalyptus trees across the street. A eucalyptus painting hangs in the couple’s new Daly City digs.
The LeBlancs liked archery. Al LeBlanc spent his free time crafting bows and arrows in his downstairs workshop. He also liked to cook. Now, Wayne says, “He doesn’t make the recipe as much as read about it.”
Daniel LeBlanc was a violin prodigy. He got invites from major symphonies while still in his teens. As an adult, he played for Sammy Davis Jr., among others, in Reno, Nev. Younger brother Wayne, now owner of LeBlanc floors in Seattle, was a painter like his mother, except that he sold his paintings to fellow Summer of Love wanderers on Haight Street.
By the time the LeBlancs decided to sell, their home was in sorry condition. So Wayne came down from Seattle and refinished the floors, using non-toxic OSMO hard wax oil finish. The house was cleaned and its systems upgraded. By the time Dot and Al moved out, they were quite proud of what they’d left.
Wayne LeBlanc remembers the day his next-door neighbor, Crystal, walked up to the farms on top of Diamond Heights and returned with a horse in tow.
“He followed me home,” she told her father.
Sixty years have passed since then. It’s not too late, however, for the next owners to make their own life in this little house.
37 ELK ST.
Where: San Francisco
Asking price: $875,000
Property tax: $11,375*
The property: Classic two-bedroom, one-bathroom Glen Park home. Original details; adjacent to Glen Canyon.
Notable: Same owners since 1949.
Agent: Vince Beaudet, Suzanne Boyle, Herth Real Estate, (415) 861-5222.