Oakland Tribune from Oakland, California on May 6, 1973 · Page 139
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Oakland Tribune from Oakland, California · Page 139

Oakland, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 6, 1973
Page 139
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is -^-^ Her Flower Garden Like an Old Album A .LTHOUGH -aphaesic and impaired by a stroke 10 years back, 85-year-old Linda Genevieve Dodd waters her gardens at her Berkeley home today from a wheel chair. Since she cannot talk to her plants she kisses them instead to encourage their growth. Linda Dodd's great love for plants and flowers was instilled in her when she was a mere girl, no doubt accounting for the courage she now shows in attending the gardens of her old home. Mrs. Dodd was born Gehringer, near Concord in Contra Costa County in 1888, only eight years after Dr! Eugene W Hilgard planted the nucleus of the U. C. jbotanical Gardens in Berkeley. She was raised on the Contra Costa land claimed by her German pioneer grandparents (Denkinger and Gehringer). The history of her family parallels and criscrosses the colorful biographies of such early Californians as the dons Solano, Peralta, Pacheco and Berryessa, Gen. Vicente Martinez, John Charles Fremont, Joaquin Murietta, Three- Finger Jack, Black Bart, John Sutler and John Marsh. Also many others Bancroft didn't mention, dating through the Russian territorial claims, the Mexican Revolution, the Gold Rush, and on to Statehood. This should explain Linda Genevieve Gehringer Dodd's appearance in a whee'l chair at the Oakland Museum a few. months ago during a three^ day exhibit of the Jepson Memorial Herbarium and California Wildflowers, to which she contributed through botanical research from 1909 to 1926. Not only did she discover a rare wild specie of flora in the high Sierra but, as Dr. Willis Lynn Jepson's prize pupil and master's candidate, she was instrumental in the re-establishment of the U.C. Botanical Gardens before they were moved in 1926 and again in 1928 to their present location at the east end of Strawberry Canyon. O NE of the exquisite, realistic wild-life exhibits at the Oakland Museum depicts eagles in the crags of Mt. Diablo. The scene overlooks Ygnacio Valley and includes the original territorial claim of Andrew George Gehringer, one of Contra Costa County's pioneer settlers. During Linda Gehringer Dodd's recent visit to the Oakland Museum it was not coincidental .that she recognized her father's o v fartiirr n N A V Sun., May 6, 1973 15-CM Linda Gehringer wearing flower garden hat disembarks exhibit has been so accurately painted it even includes a landmark in the distant hills -- a wind-break of eucalyptus planted by her grandfather nearly 150 years ago. Still visible today, the trees stand with Concord sprawled beneath them. Linda grew up on those vast lands. Then, 45 years of teaching and school administration., work followed and overlapped. From a stable at Dwight Way and Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley Linda daily rode her horse "Twinkle" to Mills College in Oakland to complete her practice teaching. After a few years at Rio Vista and Brentwood she married an Irish scholar, Frank L. Dodd, later Professor at St. Mary's College. They returned to Berkeley to dwell when the honeymoon was over. Mary E. Wilson, principal, then asked Linda Dodd to teach at the Anna Head school. The little botany laboratory in the 'large shingle complex on Bowditch became her bailiwick for 19 years, after which 25 more years of teaching all grades in two counties followed. During all those years Linda G. Dodd kept her own house, cooked and sewed and raised her three children. She became involved in politics and real estate. Jjosing her home, she was forced to move during the depression. In spite of the financial collapse she played her piano and sang, and started over again. She buried family and loved ones, including Brentwood she Indicated the landscape of the Cwtiiietf M Page 18 H*«.|ovin9 Linda ra cm tarty memo* of It* Sitrra Club

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