January 8, 2008

It was a mere 4 years ago that I first began writing this column. I remember sitting at the kitchen table in my cozy little log cabin in Kilkare Woods, brimming with excitement at the thought of being able to fulfill my childhood dream. Creative writing has always been my passion from the moment I was old enough to hold a pencil.

Working with Editor, Kelly Gust and Assistant Editor, Sam Richardson at the Valley Times has truly been a wonderful experience. They are just about the nicest people you could ever meet. Thankfully, they allowed me to report the happenings in town no matter how unconventional or quirky they appeared, such as my “only in Sunol” moments. Kelly and Sam completely understood the challenges I sometime faced when searching for something to write about in this town of approximately 1,000 residents. Being an unincorporated town, we have no organized sports programs, shopping centers, city council and thankfully hardly any crime. But I reported on the townspeople, their kids’ achievements, pets, hobbies, accomplishments, fundraisers (lots and lots of fundraisers), births, deaths, newcomers and old-timers. This was more than a job; it was an honor to be able to represent my hometown the way I hoped would make my friends and family proud. Heck, they even paid me! Little did they know that I loved writing the column so much, I would have done it for free.

If it were not for this column, I would not have received a request from Arcadia Publishing to write a Sunol book for their “Images of America” historical book series; which was released in December.

Another soon to be released book by a Sunol author, Barbara Egbert, is “Zero Days”, a heartwarming story of her family’s adventures while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Wonderfully written, this book is a must-read for parents hiking with small children. Barbara’s tales, some very personal, reflect the trials and tribulations of being “thru-hikers” on their 2,650 mile trek from Mexico to the Canadian border.

Barbara will be signing her new book on March 2 at the Pleasanton Library at 2 p.m; at the Pacific Crest Trail Association "Trailfest" in Sacramento on March 28-29; at the Saratoga REI store on April 3 at 7:30 p.m.; at the Mountain View REI store on April 9 at 7:30 p.m. and at the Marina REI store on April 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Just open a couple of weeks, residents are buzzing about Sunol’s newest downtown business. And I mean literally buzzing because it’s all about coffee. The Sunol Jazz Café offers an array of coffee drinks, tea, yummy baked goods and sandwiches. Located adjacent to the Sunol Event Center, the Jazz Café is owned by Gerarda and Barney Stocking of Stocking Realty. The Stocking’s asked Pleasanton resident, Bert Ortiz, who formerly owned Bert’s Hof Brau and Steakhouse and has 26 years of restaurant business, to launch the café.

The establishment, which is decorated in a relaxed European look, boasts comfortable leather couches and café style tables and chairs. Bert’s plans for the café include Friday and Saturday evening live jazz music, a Sunday brunch and, possibly a Sunol “first”, wireless internet technology. The Main Street location will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday with extended seasonal hours during the evenings for live music. I know I’ll be a regular customer there, so for now…I’ll see you “Around Sunol”!

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