1950s #3 Diana Cotterell. SFV. Grade School. Horses. Sepulveda Stables. Van Nuys Junior High.

Diana started grade school in about 1950. She attended Riverside Dr. Elementary. A schoolmate of Diana’s at Riverside confirmed this for me–Robbyn Samuels.

I visited in 2016. Located at 13061 Riverside Drive.a12333ef-762c-4bfd-9ab3-2b376db1a416_1_201_a

If the Cotterell girls walked to school from their house on Moorpark, all they had to do was turn north on Ethel Ave. and walk straight to the school. It could have only taken a few minutes.

There would have been no Ventura Freeway to walk under along the way.  I think that came in 1959.

UPDATE 5-20-20 I found this article only recently.

I don’t know if Robbyn Samuels remembered incorrectly or if Diana went to both grade schools. But she was definitely at Dixie Canyon in the 6th grade

Both Dixie Canyon and Riverside Drive elementary schools are the same distance to the Moorpark/Ethel house where Diana lived with her mother, sister and grandparents. Their house was basically in the dead center between the two schools

It can be confirmed that she attended Van Nuys Junior High for the 7th and 9th grades.

This photo below is one of the first articles I found that showed me Diana Cotterell and Paige Young were one in the same person.

Published on April 7, 1957 Enlarged to make for easier reading. Interesting read, to understand her world in 1957.



Diana Cotterell Age 15/16

1959 The above photo is from the Van Nuys Junior High yearbook. Diana Cotterell was in the 9th grade. Her grandfather Jospeh Ned LaRocca would die later that year. (separate post) I found these photos in the VNJH school library with the librarian standing over me as lunch was about to start. There were several, yearbooks, more like paper notebooks, in a jumble. This was the only photo I could find of Diana on that day.

I hope to return and check more thoroughly. I haven’t found a photo of her 8th grade year.

I have reason to believe that Diana Cotterell dropped out of school after the 9th grade.

Here is the photo in a larger context.

Yearbooks from 1956 & 1958 Van Nuys Junior High . Diana Cotterell attended here from 1957-1959. She is not in the 58′ yearbook that I can see, but is in the 59′ edition as shown above
Image I took of a hallway at VNJH

Horse Culture & Sepulveda Stables

1953-1959 Like many kids living in 1950s San Fernando Valley, Diana Lee Cotterell is obsessed with horses. Diana rides and boards her horse at Sepulveda Stables, located at 5763 Sepulveda Blvd, on the corner of Hatteras.

Equestrian shows were held almost every weekend in the Los Angeles area in the 1950s.

There were commercial horse stables and riding trails all over the SFV in the 50s and 60s.

Horse husbandry was considered a wholesome activity for youth and thought to produce responsible America citizens.

And probably most importantly, it would keep kids and teens busy and thus away from the bad influences of “juvenile delinquency,” a growing social concern of the 1950s. 

source: Making the San Fernando Valley: Rural Landscapes, Urban Development and White Privilege by Laura R. Barraclough

Diana owned a horse named Hamish from junior high, 1957-1959, to at least 1964 when she was married to Mark Segal and living at his house at 4133 Crisp Canyon Rd. .

It is unknown if Diana ever participated in the many equestrienne shows performed by her fellow riders at Sepulveda Stables. 

Valley News and Green Sheet June 18, 1959

Early 1960s and earlier The future Mrs. John Huston and friend to Paige Young, Celeste Shane, also boards a horse at Sepulveda Stable as does actress Donna Reed and actress Jill St. John.

Sepulvedastables.net where I got much of this information seems to have been removed. I spoke with the owner of the website a few years earlier.

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