A business in remembrance
Appeal Staff Writer
When Sue Ballew goes to her new job on Wednesday morning, her thoughts will be on those she has loved and lost.
The 59-year-old Carson City woman will open her new business at 512 N. Curry St. – a historic building on the Kit Carson Trail with a peeling, garish paint job – and set out a pot of coffee and cookies. She’ll dust off the antiques. She’ll greet the Episcopal minister at 11 a.m. when he comes to bless the business.
At 7 p.m. she’ll conduct the memorial for her father, Bill Dolan, who was the originator in 1947 of the Nevada Appeal’s “Past Pages” feature.
But her business has another purpose: the fulfillment of a dream for two people.
Her new business is named White Cat Antiques in memory of her daughter, 36-year-old Christa Ballew-Matthews, who had a white cat named Jessica that she loved. Ballew-Matthews died of breast cancer in September.
“Because of her I realized that you have to make the most of every day, and that’s what she did,” Ballew said Monday. “Don’t wait to live your life. Do it now. So that’s why I’m living her dream and my dream too.”
Ballew-Matthews was an artist and photographer who also loved antiques. All of her work sold in the 600-square-foot store will go to benefit her three children: Eilish, 9; Elora, 6 and Rowen, 3. The family lives in Columbia, Mo.
Ballew said she feels like her daughter’s spirit is sitting on her shoulder, directing her steps in her first business. The historic James Snail House seems to be the perfect residence for a guardian angel. The 1862 home contains several special features built into homes of that area, like pantry drawers and a sloping kitchen. It will get a new paint job to match the historic period of the home.
Ballew, who is also a child welfare specialist with the state, and president of the Carson City Historical Society, plans to plant a vegetable garden in back of the house and open the business up during the wine walk. She invested about $1,000 to get the business started. Antiques dealers Sharron Baldwin and Mary De Felice are renting space from her.
Contact the business at 841-1975. Her grand opening Wednesday is from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Ballew and her brother, Trent Dolan, took over the “Past Pages” feature after their father’s death last year. Her Dad’s 84th birthday would have been Monday.
• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at email@example.com or 881-1212.