‘California Sisters’ to open gift shop, host Moran in Ramona

Just in time for holiday gift buying, Pat Wick and Jessica Gilbert, known as the California Sisters, are opening a gift shop in Ramona on Friday, Nov. 25.

The Barbershop Gallery, located in the newly refurbished historic barbershop building at 207 N. D
St., Ramona’s main street, will feature the sisters’ new book, “Another Day in the Country,” a 140-page, hardbound, full-color coffee table book, with stories and photographs from the country’s heartland.

Another attraction are Wick’s watercolor paintings and photographs inspired by the surrounding countryside and some choice art work done by her students at Butler College extension in Marion.

Different styles of fine art will be featured in the gallery from one month to another.

Local artist Yvonne Brunner will be displaying a sampling of her jewelry.

A second book that Wick recently wrote, titled “A Saint Among Us,” is about the life and stories of Father Kapaun of Pilsen and will be available at the Barbershop Gallery.

“The Barbershop Gallery is a celebration of country creativity,” Wick said. “I love painting old chairs and you will eventually see some of those on display, too.”

Congressman Jerry Moran will be in Ramona to officially open the Barbershop Gallery at 10 a.m., Nov. 25. He also will present the California Sisters with a “Building Better Communities Award” acknowledging their work to keep the small town of Ramona alive.

The whole town is invited to the ceremony, according to Moran’s staff. The sisters say they are broadening the invitation to the whole county.

After the official opening of the gallery, the sisters will host a reception at the Ramona Cafe, two doors down the street from the gallery. Autographed copies of the book will be available.

In its heyday, the old barbershop building was where Glen “Curley” Bernhardt held court. When Reign and Marlene Anduss bought the grocery-store building in 2000 and turned it into the Ramona Cafe, they also acquired the old barbershop building in the transaction.

The Andusses later gave the old building, which had been used only for storage, to the California Sisters because they knew the sisters were interested in saving the barbershop because of its historical significance in Ramona.

“This building is a work in progress,” Wick said. “We had to keep it standing because it holds so many memories for so many people. We’re looking for an old barber’s chair-in the meantime, Curly’s customers are sitting on a stool.”

Regular gallery hours for the holiday season will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, when the Café is open, or by appointment for groups.

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