February 16, 2004

It was a strange request, but the antique dealers at Whistle Stop Antiques are familiar with people stopping by their store inquiring about the area, asking directions, or looking for a particular antique or collectable. It seems this one woman calling all the way from Virginia was concerned about her sons recent move to California and she wanted to know what earthquake fault line we were on. Other curious visitors have also stopped by the store just wanting to take a look around because they remember living there as a child and of course they all have wonderful stories to share.

Located at 11853 Main St., the co-op store is much larger than it appears from outside. There are 9 dealers that fill the 17 rooms of antiques and collectables. Rich in history, the building was built in 1888 then burned to the ground in 1915 and was rebuilt soon thereafter. Originally Trimmingham's General Store, the building has also served as a type of boarding house where all the men who built the nearby railroad resided and afterwards it was converted again to separate apartments for several different families.

It was a sunny and warm winter afternoon that I stopped by the Whistle Stop to chat a while with antique dealer, Vangie Gray and another friendly antique dealer (who wished to remain anonymous). As I sat on the short stool they provided for me, I felt a sense of being in a place trapped in time, several different time periods to be exact. It's easy to spend a couple of hours just browsing through this store as every room is completely filled with everything imaginable from old books, fine bone china, vintage typewriters, European furniture and Queen Elizabeth coronation curio to kitchen utensils, comic books and hats of high society. In fact, I have on occasion taken two trips through this store just to make sure I did not miss anything. "Rare, unique and unusual" Vangie said of the stores wares. "This is not like a big antique mall" the Whistle Stop "still retains that old-fashioned, country style".

When living in England for five years, antique dealer, Shelley Riley, learned how to craft "traditional" upholstery and collected various antique pieces, "each one has it's own story" she says. And upon returning to the United States, she brought all of her English and French furniture with her. Shelley also displays her pastel silhouette paintings among the antiques she sells at the shop. She has entered her artwork twice in the Alameda County Fair and is looking forward to entering again this year. Shelley says, "they will never forget if they get a good buy, that's why people come to the Whistle Stop".

Reasonable costs, friendly people-what a better place to spend an afternoon than at Whistle Stop Antiques.

Sunol Scouting News-Troop 912's Black Bass Habitat Service Project was held in January at Fremont's Quarry Lakes and the scouts made chains of Christmas trees to sink in the lake for fish habitats. Scouts present were Nathan Gilcrest, Adam Foster, Charles Gavin, Alton Richardson, Michael Avalos, Nicolas West, Jeffrey Bettencourt, and Jovan Beard.

This February is the 94th birthday of scouts and Troop 912 will hold the traditional Blue & Gold dinner to celebrate scouting on February 21st at Sunol Glen School. They will hold a court of honor that evening also - Adam Foster will be awarded his Star rank and Richard and Murray Foster will be awarded their Life rank. Anthony Bedegi has earned his Eagle rank in December and will have a court of honor soon. Bryan Pellisier has begun his Eagle project and last Saturday, February 7 he spent the day in Sunol Regional Park installing benches with cement foundations around the park. His crew were: Eric Pellisier, Anthony Bedegi, Adam Foster, and Nick Sarracco.

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