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By-Gones not gone

Treasure-hunters who frequent Barbara Gore’s eponymous Barb’s By-Gones in Durham know she hasn’t gone anywhere; she’s just moved her shop down the street.

“The opportunity came up” and the shop is now two times its previous size, Gore explained, simultaneously sorting through a box of lace cuffs someone had dropped by for consignment.

Barb’s By-Gones has been around for 18 years, and Gore hopes the move to 9377 The Midway is the start of 20 more. She doesn’t specialize, instead offering “something for everybody,” with an eye toward the local market, although she has customers “from the Canadian border to Southern California.” Her diverse offerings mean that a Shirley Temple movie posters sits near a chalkware planter shaped like a baby, and Hopalong Cassidy mugs share space with an abacus and a silver tea set.

“I like the personal touch. If I remember that somebody’s collecting a particular thing [and one comes it], I call them,” she said. “It’s absolutely wonderful, the feeling you get when you see somebody’s eyes light up like it’s something they’ve wanted for years. I want it to be with them.”

Gore will host a party for customers tonight (Thursday, Aug. 2), from 4 to 9 p.m., with sales extending into Friday and Saturday.

What’s growing

I look forward to the annual release of the Butte County Agricultural Report, if only to see who won between rice and almonds. So, when the 2000 report arrived this week, I ripped it open.

Ag production grossed $324,829,000 last year, a $33.5 million increase over 1999. Rice was the big winner, with a value of $112.3 million. Almonds came in second at $47.5 million, and English walnuts took third place with $38 million grossed. Then came timber, prunes, clingstone peaches, miscellaneous field crops, nursery stock, cattle and kiwifruit.

The Kreme of TV

I was down in Los Angeles last weekend and just had to stock up on those tasty Krispy Kreme donuts. I swear, I can eat a whole box by myself. When we showed up at the Panorama City shop around 11 Friday night, I was embarrassedly star-struck to see two of the “geeks” from the cult classic coming-of-age series Freaks and Geeks enjoying some donuts and milk of their own.

Now, the most famous person I’ve ever interviewed—outside of politics—was probably Florence Henderson from The Brady Bunch, and all she wanted to talk about was theater and Wesson Oil. Plus, I was working. So I went into fan mode with the geek boys—Samm Levine, left, who played Neal Schweiber, and John Daley, who played Sam Weir in the show, set circa 1980, that was cancelled by NBC a couple of years ago but picked up in reruns by the Fox Family Channel. We asked the guys if there was any hope for a reunion movie, but they said, sadly, those are just rumors.