“I looked at it and said, This building is butt-ugly, ” recalls Bender, standing outside the Whistle Stop Depot, which has an expansive porch, corrugated tin walls colorful with rust marks, and oversized spoked wheels in the front, waiting to become incorporated into the décor of the now-dusty front yard area.
Bender, a retired teacher who moved here from Northern California, saw potential in the former Ralphs Moving & Storage warehouse. If there were a tower rising from the center of the roof, she thought, she could fall in love with it. Her partner, retired carpenter Carlton Dewey White, said, “I can do that.”
So she bought it.