Diana started grade school in about 1950. It appears she lived in Gardena in 1950 per the 1950 census. It’s unknown where she did start grade school in Gardena.
Grandmother Virginia LaRocca is listed in an online Gardena1951 phone directory as a Christian Science Practitioner, see below. Husband Joseph is not listed. This is unusual. Had Ned already moved up to the SFV? Did the girls and Donna move with him or stay with Virginia another year in Gardena?
The family probably moved to the location 13055 Moorpark St between 1952-1954.
Riverside Drive Elementary is located at 13061 Riverside Drive, very close to the Moorpark house.
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.
UPDATE5-20-20 I found this article.
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 through much of the 1950s. Their house was basically right in the center between the two schools.
But Diana was definitely at Dixie Canyon in the 6th grade
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 the same person.
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 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.
Equestrian shows were held almost every weekend in the Los Angeles area in the 1950s.
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.
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.
Early 1960s and earlier: The future Mrs. John Huston and friend to Paige Young, Celeste Shane, (see chapters on her) also boards a horse at Sepulveda Stable as does actress Donna Reed and actress Jill St. John who was a close friend of Celeste’s.
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 who remembered Paige. This woman was 12 or 13 and Paige was probably 19 or 20 living with Mark Segal on Crisp Canyon Rd.. Paige invited this girl up for lemonade to this address.