After nine years as caretakers for the San Benito County Historical Park, Don and Deana Pidd are moving on from the role.
The Pidds moved out to the San Benito County Historical Park nine years ago to live on the grounds to become caretakers for the many historical buildings and other artifacts on site. Don Pidd recently caught up with San Benito Live to talk about the transition, his career and the couple’s next steps.
Pidd noted how he’s worn many hats in his professional career such as a firefighter, working for the American Red Cross, as a group home parent for at-risk youths, and administrator of a treatment center. He even “accidentally” got into real estate before his time as caretaker at the county park, which is a collaboration with the San Benito County Historical Society.
“There’s a lot to do out here,” Pidd said. “It’s just starting to be a little too much.”
The Pidds plan to enjoy the rest of their lives with a bit less work involved, he said.
“Not that we did not enjoy it out here,” he said. “We’re passionate about it.”
Pidd said his replacement is “something that our board is looking into right now,” while speaking about the historical society. The society in the coming few months must come up with an appropriate job description that is a less intensive than the duties taken on by the Pidds, he said.
A lot has happened, meanwhile, since they moved in and took over the caretaker role such as the dance hall being built, and work to the Palmtag bar and firehouse, he said. The couple has lived in the historic Garcia House on the grounds.
Since they arrived, there has been a focus on new activities such as an event for a model train group and the Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival each year, while a second bluegrass festival recently became part of the fray.
As for the park itself, it’s a county park, and the historical society runs everything on the west side of the grounds.
“We’re here until the end of the year,” Pidd said. “We wanted to have plenty of time to work with the board to find a replacement.”
He said he and his wife plan to move to Los Banos where it’s more affordable than this area.
He also wanted to mention special thanks to all the groups that have been part of the experience such as the E Clampus Vitus, Boy Scouts, the Lion’s Club and the local Mormon church.
“They were really involved,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of support over the years.”