Jean West Jones was born in 1930—a little too young for the Greatest Generation of World War II, but also too old for the postwar Baby Boom. She and her peers became known as the Silent Generation, their voices drowned out by those born just before and just after them. Jean grew up and lived most of her adult life in the house at 309 Neal Street. Purchased by her parents and maternal grandparents in 1932, the turn-of-the-century Queen Anne cottage had just been the Pleasanton Hospital.
Given a voice here by Jean’s possessions, her Silent Generation peers had childhoods filled with familiar scenes of play and school, despite the social stress caused by the Depression and World War II. In their lifetime, they saw a small-town “Quiet Period” Pleasanton transform into a service oriented Bay Area suburb. During the transition, many of Jean’s generation pursued homeownership and a lifelong job with benefits.