"Local Personalities"

Pine Mountain Country Hardware's Kathy Sanchez

by Maggie Van Ostrand

Ka-ching! Ka-ching! So sounds Kathy Sanchez' cash register at the newly reopened Pine Mountain Country Hardware Store.

The "official" opening will be held on the Fourth of July, simultaneously celebrating her 19th anniversary in the business. Fireworks all over the country will be set off to mark this historical reopening, and can be enjoyed both on television or merely by looking skyward.

Country Hardware was closed for almost six months after suffering water damage last December, caused when the Fire Department extinguished flames from a fire in another business, then located on the floor above, in the same building.

It was a devastating loss, however temporary, to Pine Mountain handymen.

Today, the hardware department is located downstairs, accessible by the rear door, while the upstairs is devoted entirely to her incomparable collection of popular country antiques. Years ago, Kathy owned and operated an antique store, "Velvet Rose," in Westlake, CA, and her experience shows in the eclectic collection of furnishings and accessories available.

Kathy, whose father owned a ready-mix concrete business, was born in Culver City, California, and the family started building their first Pine Mountain house back in 1972. Her mom was an excellent golfer, whose trophies were just turned over to Chad Sorensen, the PMC golf pro, for recycling.

The first Pine Mountain Country Hardware, started by Kathy and her then-husband, was right behind the gas station, where the gym and video store are now located.

Kathy Sanchez' true love is her business. It better be, she hasn't had a day off in months, having personally worked on the store's rebirth every day since the fire, with the help of some of Pine Mountain's most attractive men.

Kathy's svelte shape is doubtless maintained by the dozens of times each day she runs up and down the stairs from hardware to antiques. And don't bother trying to find out the name of the salon frequented by Kathy; she does her own beautiful red hair.

The only hobbies she has time for these days are reading ("The Da Vinci Code," by Dan Brown, and "Justice Served," by Santa Barbara's District Attorney, Joyce Dudley), kicking back with good friends Gary and Gail Biggerstaff, and enoying the company of her beautiful daughter, Marisa, now living in Newberry Park.

Fortunately, both Frazier Park's Ace Hardware and Alpine Lumber & Hardware have enough business of their own that they can handle the slack created by the reopening of Pine Mountain Country Hardware.

In referring to her store's latest incarnation, Kathy Sanchez says, "I want it the way I want it, and I want it just so."

It shows, Kathy, it shows. Ka-ching!

Reprinted by permisson of Maggie Van Ostrand

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