In Casa Linda, tree-lined streets combined with generous space between neighboring homes can fool you into thinking you are in the country. Architects, real estate agents, builders, nature lovers, and landscape artists are drawn to this neighborhood. What is the common denominator behind their interest? Land. They see the potential and the value that these lots have to offer.
Austin stone cottages, ranch-style homes, and the occasional Spanish eclectic design dot the neighborhood, offering a quaint, charming feel as you drive its streets. However, it’s being invited into a Casa Linda backyard that’s the real treat. No matter how many of these breathtaking backyards you have stepped into, you will continue to be surprised by the unique slice of paradise that many homeowners have created on their land. If you are looking for an invitation of your own, once a year Casa Linda residents talk Japanese maples, mondo grass, and hostas during the annual White Rock East Garden Tour.
Every Halloween, children from Casa Linda and surrounding neighborhoods crowd San Saba Drive in front of the home of Jim and Marva Witter for their annual festivities. A winding maze, fortune tellers, and skeletons haunt their lawn, delighting and perhaps scaring children and adults alike. For years the Witters have continued this tradition on their own because they love do it. When they needed help last year, Thad Thigpen and Robert Morgan, members of the Casa Linda Estates Neighborhood Association board, stepped in to help with set-up and storage needs for the event.
“What Jim and Marva have been doing all these years is too great of a tradition to just let it go,” says Thad, who lives on El Campo with his wife, Gretchen.
An annual progressive holiday party held in December, a Fall Chili Cook-Off, the Egg Hunt and Spring Social, and Movies in the Park are other favorites that neighbors can look forward to. There are many people in Casa Linda who are committed to making this a fun and memorable place to live, a place where the line between neighbors and friends fades. “Socializing in the neighborhood is easy, and because of the people who live here, it is where I’d rather be than anywhere else,” says Carmen Rodriguez, who lives on El Patio with her husband, Jamie, and their two children.
Last year the Casa Linda community set out on a mission to raise funds for a family in need during the holiday season. Luminaries were lit throughout the neighborhood, and funds were raised for Dallas fireman Jeff Patterson, who was severely injured in a house fire. Donations started pouring in. The response received was overwhelming. More than $5,000 was raised, and nearly every street glowed with the tiny white lights of the luminaries. It was a beautiful night, not only because of the lights, but because it revealed what wonderful people we have living here. The people of Casa Linda opened their hearts and gave willingly and generously. It was touching, to say the least.
This year we are aiming to make “Casa Linda Lights” an even more successful fundraiser to benefit first-responders who are putting their lives on the line to protect others 24 hours a day. When you have a community so full of people who are passionate about their neighborhood, you end up falling in love with the place.
Judith Wolfe moved into a home on El Patio Drive when she was 8 years old and still resides in the neighborhood with her husband, Jerry, on Sereno Drive. She put it best when she said, “Casa Linda has held my heart since 1948, and I am sure nothing is going to change, at least not anytime soon.”
Kristen Boothe has lived in Casa Linda since 2011.