Where I Live: Deerfield

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Stephanie Marquez / Rivard Report

(left) Sandy and Paul Klein inside their Deerfield home.

My wife Sandy and I both grew up here – she on West Lullwood Avenue near the Deco District H-E-B, and I on Sutton Drive near St. Paul’s Church and School. We were both born at Santa Rosa Hospital and learned years later that my Uncle Jimmy was the family doctor who delivered her.

After some 25 years away in College Station, Houston, and Austin for education and career building, we were fortunate enough to return to San Antonio.   

In relocating here from Austin in ’98, I previewed North Side communities that were totally foreign to us both. They either didn’t exist in the early ‘70s or we didn’t need (or weren’t permitted) to venture out so far as teenagers. The last house showing, out of six that particular day, was here in Deerfield.

It was decision time for us. Sandy would be in town the next day to view and, ideally, make an offer. The first five all had great potential. I told her she wouldn’t like the last. It had a pool (we didn’t want the hassle), lousy curb appeal due to bad gutters, and the kitchen wasn’t open to the family room. I told her we should scratch it from the list. She walked the house end-to-end and asked, “Tell me again why I don’t like this house?”

Deerfield is amazing in many ways. The community was established in the mid ‘80s just outside the City limits and later incorporated. Our subdivision consists of 726 homes with a complement of recreational facilities and absolutely striking mature live oaks. The location is awesome, inside Loop 1604 and easily accessible to both U.S. Highway 281 and Interstate 10. The airport is only minutes away. We can get to our H-E-B and Lowe’s using only right turns and never venturing outside of 1604.

Beyond these staples of everyday life, we’re convenient to Hardberger Park for walking, El Mirasol and El Jalisco Grill (a neighborhood gem!) for all-things Mexican food, and Holy Trinity Catholic Church. We’re also blessed to be less than an hour from our family’s second home on the Guadalupe River near Canyon Lake.        

Deerfield is a great mix of families of all ages. Our swim team, the Deerfield Dragons, is the reigning league champ for multiple years. More so, the swim team is a huge common thread that winds through Deerfield, uniting families.

This unity is best expressed in our annual participation in Neighborhood Night Out (NNO) gatherings. Deerfield does it differently and has been recognized citywide for years. Rather than congregating as a large group at a single location, our residents, coordinated through the block captains, gather at more than 20 front yards to visit with our neighbors and welcome newcomers. 

We also honor those who’ve worked to enrich life in Deerfield. Memorial trees have been planted to honor both a homeowners association treasurer and swim team manager who passed very unexpectedly. Earlier this year the children’s park at our recreation center was named in honor of San Antonio police officer Kathy O’Connor, who retired after 33 years with the San Antonio Police Department and 25 years as founder and coordinator of the Deerfield Patrol.

 

Officer O’Connor is a big reason why Deerfield’s NNO gatherings have been such a hit. She’s a law enforcement commissioned helicopter pilot, and the evening of each NNO, O’Connor and her co-pilot for the evening would be sure to circle numerous Deerfield streets in the SAPD Eagle helicopter, waving at participants.         

I just came off the HOA board after serving for 10 years as board liaison for security. We are a truly fortunate community to have had mature-thinking, no-ax-grinding boards and homeowners over the years. And, speaking of security, Deerfield is unique in San Antonio as the only community with year-round, round-the-clock off-duty SAPD or Sheriff coverage. Our officers patrol the community armed and in full uniform and respond to resident needs in mere minutes. Sandy and I just returned from being away for a week. While we were gone, the officers checked on our home multiple times a day. 

Back to the house she wasn’t supposed to like. It was built in 1986 and definitely not that “open plan” so widely touted on HGTV. All the rooms are large and light-filled. The living room has excellent north-facing windows overlooking the pool we thought we didn’t want. It’s a great home for entertaining family and friends.

We, like many Deerfield owners, recently gutted the 30-year-old front landscaping, expanded some beds, and replaced with perennial native species. This preceded a new roof and exterior paint. Many of our neighbors have likewise chosen to invest in interior updates and landscaping rather than moving. The location, stability, and security that Deerfield offers can’t be beat.  

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