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Barry Schrader


I currently have columns running in 3 newspapers;

  • Tri-Valley Herald : Looking Back
  • Valley Times : Do You Remember?
  • The Independent : Do You Remember?

The Articles appear in the Herald and Independent on Thursdays,
and the Times on Sundays.

They will also be found on this page each week as well.


If you've missed any please follow the links on the dates to catch up.

Archive Page

Sunol has the dog-gondest legend

By Barry Schrader.................................March 3, 2005

We all know Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Old Yeller and Snoopy too, but do you recall Sunol's most famous doggie of all-Bosco?
This mixed breed mutt (part black Lab and part Rottweiler) captured the fancy of many when he was elected "Mayor" of Sunol in an informal poll in this unincorporated hamlet back in 1981. His first owner, Brad Leber, had to move away and turned the custodianship over to his friend Tom Stillman (son of Bart and Pat Stillman) who owned "Da Mayor" for the last 10 years of his life.
In a conversation with Tom this week, he recalled many details of Bosco's life in and out of politics. He claims Bosco's platform was "A bone in every dish, a cat in every tree, and a fire hydrant on every street corner!" The canine gained worldwide fame when the tabloid newspaper Star ran a story on his "election victory" over two humans and it was all uphill for "Bos" after that.
NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw came out to interview Bosco, and the Mac and Muttley TV show tried to do a story on him, but Bosco had taken leave of Sunol and his mayoral duties, for an amorous journey in the surrounding hills. Then the news broke that "the Mayor of Sunol is missing." Bosco returned on his own and all was well.
One time his roving nature got him a free junket up north. It seems that Sunolian Bud Kennedy left the back of his van open and Bosco jumped in for a nap on the back seat. Bud was headed for Oregon and found the hitchhiker many miles later. He called Stillman to report the missing mayor and they agreed to let Kennedy finish the trip, so Bosco had a vacation in Oregon for a week.
Bosco could be bribed by his constituents easily-a piece of beef jerky or some ice cream was his weakness-plus any female dog within sniffing distance. Stillman says every dog left in Sunol is related to Bosco through some "girlie dog" he had an affair with!
And then there was the time that Bosco was asked to appear on the TV game show "The Third Degree" where celebrities tried to guess someone's occupation. Stillman and Bosco traveled to the CBS studio down south. Just before showtime, a prop person wheeling a fake tree by caught Bosco's attention. Nature's call resulted in Stillman having to take Bosco up to the helipad on the studio's roof for the dog to "relieve himself" before going on the air. The pair came home $2,000 richer because Bosco stumped the panel.
Stillman moved from Sunol, first to Livermore and then Pleasanton, and Bosco went with him, although he didn't challenge the sitting mayors in those towns. "Da Mayor" died at age 15 in 1994 and is buried in a favorite spot that Stillman prefers not to disclose. Bosco left behind a young female companion "Brittney," a Rottweiller, also owned by Stillman.
But Bosco has been immortalized by the restaurant Bosco's Bones & Brew in Sunol where a life-size replica of the popular pooch dispenses beer on top of the bar. Since this is a family newspaper, we won't mention where the beer flows from….

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The question for next week is: What was the original name of the community now called Dublin?

The columnist can be reached via email at :


or by snailmail at:

Barry Schrader
PO Box 446
Livermore, CA. 94551

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