STERLING – The nose-smudged-window store finally has opened downtown.
That's the informal name of the new shop at 117 E. Third St., an erstwhile glass-fronted storage space that for years has enticed passersby to press their noses to the showcase window and wonder, Just what in the name of all that's good and holy is all that stuff in there?
A silver tea kettle from the 1700s. A brass hook shaped like a mermaid. A hand-carved African fertility god. An ultra-cool set of vinyl and aluminum rock 'n' roll bar stools. A reproduction Andy Warhol poster. A Peter Max maybe-maybe-not reproduction poster, research still pending. A bug-eyed foam-rubber gremlin with green surfer shorts and hair growing out his toes (back off, I saw it first).
In short, all the gee-gaws, knick-knacks, whatsamadoodles and crippy-crap one could possibly imagine can be found at Silver City Treasures, next door to Airplay Sports and Espresso.
Owner Ray Scheff, in the grand tradition of all purveyors of objects d'art and objects d'junque, buys, sells and trades "just about anything of value," although his personal penchant is for the odd and unusual, the grotesque and goofy.
"The stranger the item, the better I like it," says Scheff, a smiley man who's been collecting for years, and in fact is starting to look a bit like a lovable, collectible teddy bear himself.
Vintage clothes and modern jeans are in his plan for future store stock, says Scheff, 51, of Sterling. He lives above the shop, in fact.
Silver City Treasures is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day of the week except Thursday. You can find it on Facebook, or call Scheff at 630-209-8749 for more information.