This interview with Arthur Hicks was conducted over a decade ago, but it feels more inspiring, relevant, and necessary than ever. Dr. Hicks grew up in the segregated South, served his country as a Tuskegee Airman during World War II, and went on to become an educator and a human rights activist.

For Emmanuel Nana Akyen, soccer has been a pathway to a wider world. Born in Ghana, and by the age of five an orphan, he was recruited for the Right to Dream Academy, where he honed his athletic and academic talents. This led to an opportunity to attend Dunn School in California, and eventually a scholarship to Westmont College, from which he graduated in 2014. He is now coaching soccer and developing a bigger plan for helping to change the lives of others.  Nana's warmth, intelligence, and humor are evident in this interview. Read on, and meet a truly inspiring young man.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rancho Mission Viejo, Tony Moiso is one of Orange County's most influential citizens, a man with a proud California heritage. This interview was arranged by Tony's 25-year-old nephew, Richard Avery. It became a very special intergenerational conversation between two family members. We met Tony at the Rancho Mission Viejo Headquarters on June 15, 2017. 

 

 

I interviewed Aris Alexander at his Hollister Ranch home in Gaviota, California on November 15, 2016.  A retired professor of psychiatry, Aris is erudite and thoughtful. He spoke candidly about life, priorities, and happenstance.

Sean Herzig has lived and worked at the Hollister Ranch for more than twenty years. Kind, perceptive, and capable, he’s one of those people you just feel glad to see, someone humble and decent, quietly contributing.  Here he shares some thoughts about the importance of family, work, and community. 

 

In this 2003 interview, Ray Valdez talked about the hard life he knew as a migrant worker and the kind of poverty and struggle that might have defeated a lesser spirit. While his grandkids were students at Dunn, he helped out with everything from camping trips to archeological digs, and on Friday afternoons he worked in the garden on campus. He became Grandpa Ray to all of us, and his kindness, resilience, and optimism are inspiring.

 

From the Hollister Ranch to the world and the cosmos, Lincoln Hollister's life has been one of discovery and exploration. In this interview he speaks enthusiastically about his work as a geologist and reminisces with love and insight about his roots.

A natural builder and a teacher of natural building techniques, Betty Seaman shares her ideas with clarity and enthusiasm.  She spoke to us about her sense of place, her love of family, getting off the treadmill of always needing more, and the amazing network of natural builders of which she is a part. “There’s just so much good stuff going on out there,” she told us. “But it's not the sort of thing you'll see on television.”

Born on a farm in Colorado in 1913, Evelyn Mason moved to California with her husband in 1941 to work at Douglas Aircraft. "I was Rosie the Riveter," she told us. She made her contribution to the war effort, happy to be of service, then humbly stepped aside when the soldiers returned. "Some boy could have my job."

A therapist, writer, and pilgrim of sorts, Doyle Hollister reflects in this interview on his deep connection to the land that is the Hollister Ranch, the lessons he has learned in his personal journey, and the need we all have for wilderness in our lives. 

 

Bill Reynolds is a man who has reinvented himself many times, but through all of his endeavors there runs a creative spirit, a sense of authenticity, and a profound appreciation for the  iconic cowboy culture and heritage of the American West.

 

 

Property and maintenance chief at the Hollister Ranch and a congenial presence around here for nearly forty years, Scott McIntyre sat down with us a few weeks before retiring and shared his reminiscences and thoughts about tending the land, the changes he's seen and the things that make him hopeful, and the unceasing wonder of being here. 

Michael Giorgi was born on July 7, 1968 and began his childhood at his family's  ranch at Nojoqui Falls, Gaviota. In all of his wanderings, he has always found solace in nature and growing things. Today he works as a gardener and landscaper and lives on the beautiful land he knew as a boy. Here he shares his insights about the magic of the world, finding balance, and nurturing life. 

An anthropologist with deep roots in the central coast region of California, Larry Spanne probably knows this part of the country as well as anyone. He worked for many years at Vandenberg Air Force Base, where his role was to help protect, interpret, and preserve cultural resources. In this interview he talks of boyhood memories, local history, archaeology, and making peace with the past. 

 

 

A poet, artist, therapist, and educator, Dorothy Jardin has touched many lives. She was a well loved teacher at Dunn Middle and Upper Schools in Los Olivos, and is now a counselor and group facilitator. She has published a book of poems called Light's River and is preparing for a local exhibit of her paintings. Graceful as a dancer and creative to her bones, Dorothy has never stopped learning and exploring. Everything inspires her, and she in turn inspires.

 

Recalling projects requiring jigsaws in the hands of grade schoolers, the discovery of darkroom magic, the hikes where we girls surmounted the giant sandstone rocks using the ropes the boys in our very own class had carried and secured for our safe climb, camping trips, hot air balloon flights, poetry of place names and articles published in a real grown-ups' newspaper, I wondered what experiences shaped a teacher who revered adventure, nature, the finer points of language and even magic.  And what had caused him to successfully ignite in his students the desire to do the same?  Bruce gives us a glimpse of the exceptional characters who raised him, 'law breaking' adventure, wild backpacking trips and the insatiable curiosity that made him the exceptional teacher I know him to be.  

Please accept this invitation from his student of nearly 30 years ago and pull up a seat near the dancing campfire flames to listen to the warm, earthen voice of a master teacher and storyteller weave the tales of his own creation.

 

The dream of rural living that Jeanne Walker once shared with her husband became hers to fulfill alone in the aftermath of tragedy, and she is legendary among all who know her for her one-woman industry, creativity, and inspiring resilience.  In this interview Jeanne spoke about her years at the Hollister Ranch, her new life at Sea Ranch, and the wisdom she has accrued in the course of her journey. Her thoughts on grief, learning, and wonder are eloquent and profound. 

 

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AuthorCyn Carbone

An artist, builder, surfer, and friend who has lived for decades at the Hollister Ranch, Kit Cossart offered reflections about what it means to live in this remarkable part of the world. He talked about his early adventures surfing beyond the gate of Bixby Ranch, the paintings and sculptures he creates, and the faith that is his source of strength