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Del Webb National Night Out draws big crowd
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Manteca police sergeant Dan Erb and Lt. Greg Lassell mix with Del Webb residents at their Night Out event near their club house. - photo by GLENN KAHL
Del Webb in Manteca is a unique community of retired folks who have come together much as a family – all very evident at Tuesday’s National Night Out parties.

It is a community within the Manteca community with some 540 houses having been sold, drawing retirees from much of the Bay Area.

Probably the largest gathering within Del Webb was near the club house hosted by four couples representing four neighborhoods – a little over 100 in all.  

It was one of 51 official National Night out block parties involving Neighborhood Watch groups.

They included Reno and Laverne Cortese, Anne and Matt Madrid, Dave Steffy, Carol and Bob Radke, and Ray Oliveras.

The senior Reno Cortese played football with a young grandson with the same name on the grass just out of reach of party gazebo.  

Members of the Manteca Police Bomb Squad along with Captain John Orcutt and Lt. Greg Lasalle were on hand.  Officer Mike Kelly and his new narcotics sniffing addition to the canine unit, “Rusty,” mixed with guests.

The Special Crimes Investigation officers also attended the Del Webb event that offered all kinds of food and soft drinks.

On the west side of the Del Webb community, bordering Airport Way, another party was ongoing beneath a large gazebo where Ron and Mary Ann Kackley made their traditional root beer floats for their neighbors.

A barbecue grill made the perfect backdrop and a source of hot dogs and hamburgers.

Kackley said they moved into their home in the winter months some three years ago with their subdivision being separated from the rest of the homes by water. They named their land, “Gilligan’s Island” and made up t-shirts with that inscription. Kackley said they are known now as just the “islanders,” something that has bonded the neighbors more closely together.

Three Manteca Police equestrian officers, Sgt. Jodi Estarziau, Joe DeAngelis and Tom Nunes rode their mounts into the grass setting under a full moon where residents were still tossing horse shoes in friendly competition.

Several of the women went to their homes to get their cameras to take pictures of the officers and their mounts.  They noted they had not seen Manteca officers on horseback before Tuesday night.

JoAnn Spellman,  a SHARP officer who resides within the Del Webb community, said the residents conduct their own patrols of the neighborhoods during the nighttime hours to ward off vandals and burglars.

“We watch out for each other not only in the Neighborhood Watch but we go out and patrol in our own cars with portable lights, radios and reflective signs to identify who we are,” she said.

She remembers a recent two and a half hour patrol when she and her partner located two women parked the wrong way in the neighborhood.  They explained they were real estate agents, but they were told they didn’t belong in Del Webb during night time hours if they didn’t live there.

Jim and Mary Genone were also enjoying themselves at the party.  Mary has become involved in the Second Harvest Food Bank where she has helped organize the fund raising Chili Cook-off.  Jim keeps himself busy working on the finance committee for Del Webb.  They are retired from the Carmel area where they operated a jewelry store for many years.

Jim admittedly has a love for small town newspapers – seeing something of Americana still in their pages.