By Marjorie Woodfin
Pilot staff writer
Their new shop at 513 Chetco Ave. is truly a Touch of the Past for Sheldon and Gro Lent.
The shop is filled with antiques and collectibles, treasures from their past, and they have come full circle, back to days when they owned two antique shops in the San Francisco Bay area.
Of course, there have been many other business activities in their lives since their move to Brookings in 1982, including an auto agency, auto repair and body shop, a high end dinner restaurant (incidentally also named Touch of the Past), RV sales, a liquidators outlet, a bed and breakfast in the old Ward House, and more.
"I'm a seven-day-a-week, 24-hour-a-day man, a workaholic," Shel explained.
It's obvious, with that history, he could never stay out of business for long, thus the opening in late November of Touch of the Past.
The Lents are experiencing some pain parting with some of the things they have collected over the years but, as Gro said, "You don't get any younger and it's no fun for him and me, just looking at the things. So we thought we'd put it out in the store, and allow others to enjoy our treasures."
As they began emptying three garages and two houses, she said they were surprised by how quickly the shop filled up with antiques, memorabilia, and old photos.
"Little did I think I would ever part with things I said I would never sell, but my husband said, Let's start a collectible store,' and here I am."
Gro said she was delighted when Shel was able to take over the little shop with the angel over the door, and immediately agreed to help. With the addition of a creative corner, featuring locally made items, she said, "There's something for everyone."
Many of the treasures are personal. An example might be a photo taken in Korea of an 18-year-old Shel seated between Marilyn Monroe and Jean O'Doul.
Touch of the Past is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The Lents invite visitors to come in, browse, get acquainted, and see if they can find a touch from their past.