On a recent October morning, John Hollister Wheelwright (son of Jane Hollister Wheelwright and Joe Wheelwright) visited the ranch house in Gaviota where he had spent a portion of his childhood living with his grandparents. He reminisced and reflected with sensitivity and humor about the ranch life he knew, the changes he's seen, and feeling like a 19th century person in today's different world. 

 

 

The Living Stories Collective is pleased to be able to share audio excerpts from a 1998 conversation with Jane Hollister Wheelwright and Joe Hollister, both then in their nineties and looking back on their extraordinary lives with humor and candor. 

Kathryn Holcomb Dole was born into a pioneering family and had a pioneering way of living life. Married to the artist William Dole, Kate energetically managed his career and finances as well as their travel and social life while raising seven children. For nearly a decade in the 1950s and 1960s, the family lived in the old Hollister ranch house, filling it with life and laughter. She came back to visit in 1999 and shared memories from those wonderful years.

 

Our students interviewed J.J. Hollister in 1997 when he and his wife Barbara were living in the old adobe at Arroyo Hondo. He talked about the history of the area, his family, and his childhood years at the Ranch. “In your daily routine you were one with nature and one with places where few people were.”

In this 1998 visit with the students of Vista de las Cruces, Cresensio Lopez spoke proudly of his Chumash heritage, which he believed was best expressed with kindness and generosity toward people and respect for the land. "We don't live alone on this earth," he told us. "We share."

 

A beloved musician, singer, and songwriter also respected for his activism and philanthropy, Jackson Browne sat down for an informal conversation with our students on a rainy day in 2002. The result is one of the most authentic, revealing, and touching interviews he has ever done. 

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.