A Victorian Holiday Afternoon

19 December 1999                Niles, California

On an surprisingly balmy afternoon, GBACG held the last event of the year and the Millennium. We shopped in the antique stores in the historic town of Niles, California. The wool capes, fur muffs, and warm gloves with which we supplied ourselves were left in cars as we met under bright California sunshine. We visited as we strolled up the main street and passed in and out of the many stores. 

Gogi Overhoff and Sheri Jurnecka exchange compliments of the season and, perhaps, opinions on the best shops. 

We were admired by shopkeepers as we explored the main street. We were asked to pose for photos and model our finery. A noticeable number of packages were dropped off in vehicles before we gathered for tea. I wouldn't be surprised if some of those packages ended up under Christmas trees.


Dianne Lanning, Virginia Solomon, and Lynne Thurmond-Brant share a table for tea.

Shopping was followed by a holiday tea at Tyme for Tea, a charming Victorian tea shop in the heart of Niles. The tea shop was filled with late Victorian and Edwardian antiques (for sale!) and decorated with lavish Victoriana holiday displays. The owners and their staff were trim in their white blouses and black skirts (very Edwardian) and attentive to our every need.


One of the San Francisco Bay Area's finest young singers, Miss Alexandra Garner, entertained us with a selection of Celtic and classical songs. She was accompanied by Miss Vicki DeMartini on the harp. It was a very special delight to hear this unusual duet. The harp does not often accompany vocalists. The combination is quite beautiful and held us all spellbound. Together they created music that was golden; glowing in rich, warm tones. It was joyful and intimate and will be long remembered.


We shared a delicious tea, examined the shop's antiques and were treated to holiday readings by Miss Danine Cozzens and Miss Trystan L. Bass. It was a perfect afternoon. Finally, as evening descended and we stood in the street saying goodbyes and sharing compliments of the season, it became cool. Our wool gowns and fur muffs were, at last, appropriate to the day.


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