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ARROYO GRANDE LIVING A New Lifestyle Magazine

Sphere Shot, Pismo Beach By Melissa Walker-Scott



Welcome to the special holiday edition issue of Arroyo Grande Living. The holiday season is the most wonderful time of year to experience the Village of Arroyo Grande - the lights, the decorations, the festive cheer, and most of all, the people - it reminds me why I left LA and never looked back! In this issue: a feature on Varian Arabians, a story on Eclair Bakery and their amazing Yule Log, a vintage magic VW bus, a review of the AGHS production of Big Fish, a look back at the Branch Schoolhouse, a chat with a farrier, remembering the Village Fox, and a ho, ho, whole lot of photos! Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy Holdiay Season! See you in 2018! -Melissa Walker-Scott Publisher BIG shout out to Big Brand Tire of Arroyo Grande for helping me with an unexpected flat tire! Thanks to Cole and the helpful staff! And thank you to the amazing Firefighters and First Responders to the Santa Barbara, Ventura and LA areas to help fight the fires that plagued our state over the holiday season.


517 East Grand Avenue Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 805-202-7300

As always, additional copies of this current issue and (back issues) are available online at:


www.issuu.com NOTE: search term

Arroyo Grande Living for the current issue!


Kolfinna Kolbeinsdottir Teen Writer/Photographer

Charlotte Scott

Teen Writer/Photographer

Russell Scott Writer/Editor

OUR MISSION is to highlight the people, places, businesses and

Griffin Davies Writer/Artist

stories that make Arroyo Grande a unique and vibrant community. We also want to highlight AG’s middle and high schools by featuring student submitted photography, artwork and student-written articles, as well as teacher profiles and interviews. We feel that getting kids involved in celebrating their community is an important part of building self-confidence and creativity. Our objective is to be a window into the unique, creative and kind spirit of our community. TELL US YOUR STORY! Become a contributor, Jr. Writer or a teen contributor. We’re planning to feature the history of Arroyo Grande from people in the community that tell us their stories. We’re also looking for couples that have been married for 50+ years that would like to be interviewed (and maybe share a vintage wedding or family photo or two).

Alisa Davies


Emotions Photography Vivian Krug Cotton Photographer


Are you a business owner? Tell us about it for our Business Beat feature! Got a cool vintage car? Tell us the story and let us take a look! Got a great pet? Let us know! We’ll photograph them for our Precious Pet of the Month. We will always help out a charity with announcements. We'll also be featuring upcoming community events, so keep us posted. Drop us a line!

TO CONTRIBUTE contact us at editor@arroyograndeliving.com

Community Events Saturday, January 13th Meet Author & Marble Expert Mike Johnson At Village Antiques 11am - 3pm www.villageantiquemart.net Wednesday, January 24th Chamber Of Commerce, Membership Mixer 5:30pm-7:30pm www.aggbchamber.com 805-489-1488 Thursday, January 25th SLO County Pugs on the Beach Avila Dog Beach 2:00pm-3:00pm www.avilabeachpier.com Saturday, January 27th Laughter Wellness Class Family Class Everyone Welcome 11:00am-11:45am www.laughterinSLO.com


Join A Relay Team To Help Fight Cancer!

The November 4th Book Signing Event with Author Jim Gregory was a huge success! Thank you, Ambre and Ginger from Village Antiques for hosting the event and thank you Jim for capturing the colorful history of our community!

It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas: The Holiday Charm of Arroyo Grande Village

Photography by Vivian Krug Cotton Emotions Photography * with a few additional photos by Melissa Walker-Scott

A VILLAGE HALLOWEEN! THANK YOU to Cynthia Walker for these great shots of the Village Trick Or Treat Festivites. What amazing costumes! ** She sends a special thank you to her two elves that helped her when she lost her footing!

Classic Car Corner

ALL ABOARD THE MAGIC BUS By Melissa Walker-Scott

"Every day you'll see the dust, as I drive my baby in my Magic Bus" - The Who

Meeting Phil and his Vintage VW Bus was a thrill for me. I felt transported back in time to my teen years, riding with my good friend Susan in her dad's blue and white VW bus to Palm Springs for Spring Break. Talk about a totally awesome ride - it also made me think of my friend Steven's red and white VW Bus, driving to Tustin High in 1984! Thanks for the memories, Phil. - Melissa Walker-Scott The Story of Our 1959 VW Bus It all started back in August of 2009. My wife and I were on a lunch date at the Gourmet Deli at Old Edna in SLO when I noticed property surrounded by a railroad tie fence. In the yard there were old cars, trash, and a handful of vintage VWs. I spotted this old bus that had been left for dead. It had a collapsed roof and was full of old junk, mattresses and even a community of rats living inside it. For the next 3 years I chased this bus, leaving my number with the tenant every couple months, but never got a single reply. One day, a friend called and said he had just bought a few VWs from a property owner who passed away, and asked if I would like to purchase a bus. The bus just happened to be the one I had been chasing all that time. I bought it ASAP and had it towed home. Ever since I was a teen in the 80s and 90s, I've loved cars, especially VW's. I've owned close to 20 or so over the years. When I met my wife on a blind date, I picked her up in a VW bug and we've been together ever since. After getting married and having children, I've built many cars and projects but always wanted a VW bus. So with my family's blessing, the bus project began with plenty of hurdles in our way.

After getting the bus home and removing the hoard of trash and junk, the reality of the work ahead set in. The bus had been sitting since 1978 and was rotten with rust and filth. I decided to strip all the repaint to the original Mango finish and replace all the rotten metal that was structual. I spent the next 3 years cutting out and replacing the floors, body panels, frame sections, door sections, and numerous other pieces just to make it strong and safe. This has been a 5 year project and definitely a labor of love. I chose to modernize the drive train, upgrading the suspension to a type 3 transaxle, 4 wheel disc brakes, and a bigger motor which went from 40 to 100 horsepower. Finding all the parts was a challenge, but part of the fun as well. My wife and I did all the interior ourselves except the front seat, which was done by Jack Plaza. After finishing the majority of the work, we debuted the bus at the Wine Waves & Beyond car show in Pismo Beach 2017, where we won a second place award for 'Best Surf Safari Worthy'. Our family loves to drive the bus and we take it out at least 4 to 5 times a week. The VW community has a lot of great folks and we love being a part of it. This bus has had a lot of ups and downs but in the end it's all been worth it. I only hope that our children will hold onto it for their families to enjoy and love. This VW has brought us all closer together and all of us have put our hearts into it. Each time we take it out we are creating more great memories. It's so fun to see the public's reaction to this old krusty bus we love so much. - Phil Doll (owner)

Through Their Eyes

The Photographs of The Arroyo Grande High School Visual Arts Students With the leadership and encouragement of AGHS teacher Jefferson Clarke, a new crop of talented photographers are being encouraged to see the world in their own way: to stop, look around and show us their unique perspective. - Melissa Walker-Scott Coming from out of state, I have really been blessed with the opportunity of seeing the Central Coast as both a tourist destination, and now home. Photography has always brought me joy, and the Central Coast is jam packed with stunning locations. I love taking pictures of cars, and the car culture here has truly connected me to the rest of the United States through my pictures on instagram. Photography may not be my life path, but I sure take a lot of joy from capturing pictures here along the coast. - CLAYTON CARNAHAN

I have had a strong passion for photography ever since I was little and got my first digital camera. I hope to one day become a professional photographer and filmmaker, traveling the world, and creating work that will be published internationally. Photography allows me to share unforgettable memories with others through the images and videos that I capture. I am very excited for the journey ahead of me in becoming a successful wildlife photographer. - DYLAN EPSTEIN

Photography to me is an easy way to show people the simple beauties of nature and human interactions with nature. I love spending time at Pismo Beach and hiking around the Central Coast and photography allows me to capture these memories and share them with my friends and family. - LOGAN SIEMENS

Photography evokes emotions and thoughts that words cannot. It acts as a form of expression that you can’t create from writing or speaking. Different colors, textures, and lighting generates different moods and tones, making one person view an image differently than someone else. Moving from Washington state to the central coast, I’ve observed different types of natural beauty that I didn’t see much of in the Pacific Northwest, giving me numerous setting options to capture within a photo. - SABRINA KURTH From the age of twelve, I’ve wanted to be a cinematographer, and I’ve done everything in my power to get there. Alongside making short films, I’ve used photography to improve in my cinematographic technique and style. Taking pictures has also helped me learn so much more about the camera than merely recording video alone. - DANE TAYLOR

I have lived on the

Central Coast my whole life, and I am constantly in awe of the beauty of this region of California. Photography gives me an opportunity to capture images of it and share it with my family and friends. Over the past couple of years I have really grown to love photography and photo editing, because it allows me to embrace my creativity and it can be really challenging. -BRANDON BOULAIS I have grown up on the central coast and it is my only known home. It is such an amazing place to shoot pictures of anything and everything. I can easily portray what I feel to others through my pictures. Photography has given me a way to get away from reality and focus on the good things in life. I plan on pursuing a career in freelance photography after high school. - ALLY NEUMANN

I have lived on the central coast my entire life. I chose photography because a picture is worth a million words and every picture is unique. My sister Meghan Sumabat got me started in photography when I was 10 ½ Ever since then I've loved capturing images that are intriguing and full of story. - KAITLYN SUMABAT

I am a senior at Arroyo Grande High School. I love photography because it lets me express myself in images instead of writing. - AUSTIN BRICKER

As a kid, I’ve always loved photographs of my family and history. There is always something to appreciate about the world, and that’s what I like about photography. I like to use photography to get out of my usual rhythm and to relax. - RUSSELL FILLERUP


I recently had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours chatting with this well spoken and confident young woman. The passion and commitment she showed toward her horse and its accomplishments was wonderful. She is an amazing young lady, inside and out. - Melissa Walker-Scott My name is Cassidy Wood and I have been riding horses since I was five years old. I am 15 years old now and a junior in high school. When my family and I moved here from Colorado 11 years ago, I started riding western for a year or so, before I transitioned into more english riding. From age six to eight, I jumped and rode english. When I was eight, I discovered polo and fell in love! I've been playing ever since. Polo has given me great opportunities to work, travel, and play in many different places. The team that I play on has made it to the national championships the past four years in a row. Polo has been a huge part of my life, and it has taught me good work and team ethic. Besides polo, I like to do a lot of other things with my horse as well, like jumping and barrel racing. I’ve done many horse shows with my horse and other competitions. I purchased my horse when I was twelve. Prior to buying her I leased her for five months and worked so I could pay for her. I have had her for three years. Over the time I have had her, she has come a ong way and has grown into a really amazing horse. Working with her to develop her into the amazing horse she is now is what sparked my interest in becoming a horse trainer! When I bought her she was very reserved and not trusting, and it has been so cool to see her open up and develop her own personality and skills.

I am also a part of FFA (Future Farmers of America) . Last year I took a replacement heifer to the fair for the first time. My heifer last year was a Red Angus and we did really well at the fair! This year I have a heifer and a steer. My heifer this year is a Shorthorn Angus cross and my steer is a Maine Anjou Angus cross. Raising my heifer last year was a really great experience. I had never worked with cattle before and I learned a lot and it opened up my eyes to a possible career in the cattle industry. Growing up with horses and being in FFA has really taught me so much about how to be a hard worker and achieve my goals. I think that FFA is an amazing resource for kids to expand their leadership skills and there are so many opportunities to do so many things. It has definitely helped me to shape my idea of what I want my career to be and what I want to study in college. I encourage all kids to get involved in some way. Even if you aren’t into animals, FFA has many other things to offer! Overall, my experiences in agriculture have shaped me into a person I am proud to be. Because I have been so involved, I now have so many opportunities to become who I strive to be. The amazing community that has been created over the years of playing polo and being involved in FFA is truly amazing! I am excited to learn more and see where my horses and experience in agriculture take me in the future.


117 East Branch Street Arroyo Grande, Calif 805-481-7654 www.eclairbakery.com

Jeremy Davenport of ECLAIR BAKERY

By: Charlotte Scott, Teen Writer

I sat down with Jeremy, the owner (and all-around cool guy) at Eclair bakery to get a first-hand lesson in Yule Log making and to also get to know more about him, and what it takes to become a master baker! Hi Jeremy! Tell us a little about yourself. My name is Jeremy Davenport and I have had the Eclair Bakery for 11 years now. I originally grew up in the San Jauquin Valley, but I live on the central coast with my wife and two kids. We've lived here for 24 years. I've had family on the central coast since the 1950s, so we've been coming to this area since long before I was born. My grandparents lived in Arroyo Grande for about 25 years, and my great grandmother lived in Santa Maria and a great uncle lived in SLO What made you choose a bakery location in Arroyo Grande Village? I was working at the Baccarat Resort in Santa Barbara out of culinary school. I googled bakeries for sale in the central coast and Eclair Bakery were looking to sell. I called the number and did not hear back so I just figured it wasn't going to happen. Turns out the woman that started the bakery was in Germany on vacation for a month and thats why she didn't get back to me. About a year and half later, we were able to take it over. What is the history of the Yule log, and why did you start to make it here in town? I think growing up I would see it at bakeries and wondered "what is that thing?" I knew that when I took over the shop I wanted to do a Yule log at Christmas. We did them at Bacarrat for special events, so I was familiar with what to do. Over the years we have evolved our technique. Still doing the meringue mushrooms and fondant leaves and real foliage etc. It's an interesting history. we sell about 70-75 per season as we are a small place so I have to cut it off at a certain limit. It's grown every year, though. What is your all-time favorite dessert? Every year on my birthday my mom makes me a mint chip Oreo ice cream cake. I'd have to say that was it. But if I were at a restaurant and had to order something I think it would have to be a lava cake. I don't love chocolate but real rich dark chocolate, anything that incorporates the cold and warm and texture, I love.

Who taught you to bake? Who was/is your culinary influence? My mom and grandma would always cook, but my dad had his little specialties that he cooked as well. so yeah my parents and my grandma, I just liked being in the kitchen and being with them. At a very early age I think I thought I would really like to get into making food. Not sure what that meant at that time. As for a chef? I would watch PBS and Jaques Papan (sp?). What advice would you give to young kids about becoming a professional baker or a chef? I would say, work in kitchens. Start doing whatever job they have. Get exposure to the environment. With baking, I would get in and watch and work and just do the basics. I don't necessarily think school is the only path for baking. A hands-on apprenticeship is one way. There are different avenues to learn the basics. Watch and learn. Who is your favorite chef/baker? I've always looked up to Michele Richard. (sp) He is a great chef and Thomas Keller. I have not had much time to follow many recently. I barely have time to go out to eat much now with the bakery and two kids! If I admire any recent bakers, Tartine in San Francisco is a favorite. My wife and I lived in San Francisco for a while. Where do you see yourself and the bakery in 10 years? I would love to expand a bit, but still keep it quaint. Maybe expand my breads a bit, doing more bread varieties. We do five farmers markets now, so maybe expand to more of those. Amanda Haines, who has worked with me off and on for about 10 years, wants to expand to start doing more offee, maybe expresso. We do have really great coffee right now that we use now from Cambria roast. Its fabulous. What is your favorite thing about Arroyo Grande? I love the holidays in Arroyo Grande. The village association in AG does a great job decorating the village. When you pull up at 3am and the street is totally quiet and you see the lights, it's just magical. The holidays are just really great in the village. I love that we get so many visitors passing through. And the community and people are a pleasure. Everyone is really kind.

The History of the Yule Log Christmas is almost here, and ‘tis the season for rich food traditions. Be it cookies and milk under the tree for Santa, candy canes or figgy puddings, it’s hard to think of a Christmas ritual that isn’t tied to food. And what proper bakery would go through a holiday season without a giant, delicate Yule log in the front case? The Yule log cake (or bûche de Noël for French speakers) is an elaborate creation consisting of a rolled, filled sponge cake, frosted with chocolate buttercream to look like tree bark and festooned with meringue mushrooms, marzipan holly sprigs, spun sugar cobwebs and any other sort of edible decoration. The history of the Yule log cake stretches all the way back to Europe’s Iron Age, before the medieval era. Back then, Celtic Brits and Gaelic Europeans would gather to welcome the winter solstice at December’s end. People would feast to celebrate the days finally becoming longer, signaling the end of the winter season. To cleanse the air of the previous year’s events and to usher in the spring, families would burn logs decorated with holly, pinecones or ivy.

Wine and salt were also often used to anoint the logs. Once burned, the log’s ashes were valuable

treasures said to have medicinal benefits and to guard against evil. Some groups claimed the ashes would protect the bearer from lightning—an important quality at a time when houses (and most of the contents in them) were made of wood. With the advent of Christianity, the Yule log tradition continued, albeit on a smaller scale. Families may have burned a log on Christmas Eve, but smaller hearths became the norm, so huge logs were impractical. Those small hearths, however, were perfect for baking cakes. We don’t know who exactly made the first Yule log cake, but judging from the individual ingredients it could have been as early as the 1600s. Marzipan and meringue decorations, two of the most popular choices for Yule logs, appeared on many a medieval table. Sponge cake, which often constitutes the base of the log, is one of the oldest cakes still made today. It dates back to at least 1615, when the first known recipe appeared in Gervaise Markham’s tome “The English Huswife.” Article Credit: BY STEPHANIE BUTLER // DECEMBER 21, 2012 history.com OURS -> http://www.history.com/news/hungry-history/ YUM! the-delicious-history-of-the-yule-log

VARIAN ARABIANS The Legacy of Sheila Varian

Article By Russell Scott Photos By Melissa Walker-Scott * with additional photos

from the Varian Arabians website

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT Angela Alvarez, General Manager VARIAN ARABIANS 1275 Corbett Canyon Road Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 805-489-5802 www.varianarabians.com

This is the story of a historical Arabian horse ranch in rural Arroyo Grande that was established sixty years ago by Sheila Varian. Angela Alvarez (pictured above) has been with Varian Arabians since 1986 and now solely manages the ranch since Sheila's passing, March 6, 2016.

Varian Arabians is one of the rare Arabian horse farms that survives strictly by selling, boarding, training and breeding horses. Sheila first found fame as a cowgirl in 1961, riding her little bay mare Ronteza at the Cow Palace in San Francisco against all the men on quarter horses. Sheila won the world that day, and from that point on, with her stallion Bay Abi, she staked her claim to fame in the Arabian horse world. Sheila and I worked side by side together for many years, I was initially the breeding/foaling manager but as the years passed I became an intricate part of running the ranch with her. We have a stellar staff, many of them have been here for 20 or more years. Kristy Gillot -Breeding/Healthcare Manager, Jaime Hernandez - Performance Trainer, Mike Perez - Halter Trainer, Shelley Rice Assistant in Breeding/Foaling, Ryah Alvarez - (my daughter) Office Manager, Carlos RuizMaintenance Foreman, plus 8 other employees at various positions working on the ranch. It’s 24/7 around here, horses do not know about weekends or holidays! Every day is busy, especially in breeding and foaling season. When a foal is born we fly a pink or blue flag out by our main gate which is fun for our neighbors, they often comment how much they enjoy seeing the babies in our pastures after they are born. I raised my family here on the Varian property with my husband Tony who I have been married to for 43 years. Our two daughters, our granddaughter and my mom also live on the ranch, so you might say we have a “family compound”. Originally, Sheila lived across the street where we live now, and that’s the first home and acreage of land she bought back in 1957. She previously lived in the quaint little town of Halcyon where she was raised. In the early 70’s she along with her parents Eric & Wenonah built the main barn & house (which is now the office & her museum) across the street which has continued to grow over the years developing into the beautiful ranch we see today on Corbett Canyon road.

Since Sheila passed away we have worked hard to

maintain the farm and focus on keeping her legacy alive. About 10 years ago I started creating the Varian Arabians “history wall� in the show barn, it tells her story in articles & photos in a timeline. Sheila was invaluable with her knowledge of breeding and training horses. It was a huge loss for the farm and the Arabian horse world when she died. If you walk around the farm, cross the bridge and enter the barn to read the history wall, you can really grasp the importance of the farm in the Arabian horse community, not just in California or in the United States but in the entire world. Now that Sheila is gone, I have had to reverse my role, which has not been easy for me. I was always kind of the one behind the scenes making sure everything ran smoothly, that was my comfort zone. Now I am the one making sure that the ranch survives and everything that she stood for is not forgotten. Shortly after she passed away I remodeled her office into a museum with many of her personal items. On display are her silver bridles, vaquero bits, saddles, special photos of her & her family and the beautiful lace dress she wore when she was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. I had shelves built for some of the many trophies she won over her horse show career. It is a very special room filled with wonderful memories that many people have come to see and enjoy.

We produced a documentary film about Sheila Varian and we have sold about 3500 copies! A book about Sheila’s life was recently released last December as well: https://www.varianarabians.com/index.php https://www.varianarabians.com/boutique/shop-the-varianboutique/dvd-s.html https://ahtimes.com/collections/books/products/sheila-variantribute-book

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Want to advertise with us? Drop us a line! editor@arroyograndeliving.com


I have loved to cook ever since I was tall enough to reach the kitchen counter. I’ve always been inclined to anything that allows me to be creative, whether it’s cooking, photography, crafts, or graphic design. I love how food styling and photography can make food more than just something to eat. -Sydney Clark

SYDNEY CLARK Photographer

MCKENNA MOURA Photographer

My name is Mckenna Moura and I am a second year Graphic Communications major. Being a student here at Cal Poly gives me ample opportunities to capture everyday moments and special events on campus. Living in such a beautiful town also allows me to take unique images that you can only get here in San Luis Obispo. Being in a photography class gives me the tools I need to shoot these moments and I am very thankful for that opportunity.

I suddenly feel like Laura Ingalls Wilder... A Visit to the Historic Branch Schoolhouse

Photos by Melissa Walker-Scott


By Melissa Walker-Scott

Hello, I’m Ingrid Vangelos, the current owner of the Branch Schoolhouse. The schoolhouse was built in 1885, and was the original schoolhouse for Arroyo Grande. We are actually the third owners of the schoolhouse. The second owner bought the house from the Branch family for $1 as a fixer-upper. In addition to a school, the house was a dance hall for a short time. The house saw some bad times as well - from squatters and people shooting guns out the windows, to raucous, transient tenants, the property has seen a lot of local history. Legend has it that in the old days, two people were hanged on the property for horse trading. The property still has the original Branch family graveyard up over the hill way behind the schoolhouse. Look for the iron fencing. When we acquired the schoolhouse, it was in a state of distress. The windows were boarded up and the walls still had the original school chalkboards all along the inside. We spent three years renovating the building. It was originally one large room as it had been a functioning schoolhouse. We added walls to make more rooms and a bathroom. The original bathroom is still out in back; it’s an old-fashioned outhouse. The floors are the original floors so can you imagine all of the lives that have walked here for over a century! The original school bell is now at the Branch House School. We ordered a bell from a 100 year-old schoolhouse back east to keep the age in the bell when we replaced the missing cupola on top. We also added stables in the back, and have continued to make improvements whenever we have the time. The Branch Schoolhouse is a beautiful piece of local history, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.

Clara Edwards Paulding, 1898, Branch School. She would later be a founder of Arroyo Grande Union High School and, beginning in 1920, would serve on its Board of Trustees.

The View from the Schoolhouse overlooking the fields


Big Fish Arroyo Grande High School Clark Center

Tim Burton’s dreamlike American fairy tale is given the musical treatment in this surreal production, presented by the AGHS Theater Company. A tale of mythic proportions, the story of one remarkable man’s travels through 20th Century America resonates with the audience as he encounters witches, giants, mermaids, werewolves, circus folk, and war-time spies, all told as anecdotes to his bewildered son, Will. Edward Bloom, as brilliantly played by Isaac Capp, is larger than life as he leads us through his own personal odyssey. The cast performs a complex balancing act of songs and set pieces, shifting between fantasy and reality, past and present, and sometimes stopping time itself. In the “Time Stops” scene when Edward first sees his future wife, Sandra, the audience is suspended in the weightlessness of recognition as the two actors stretch the moment for all it is worth. Capp leads an accomplished cast that also includes a standout performance by Isabelle Gillette as Sandra, Cody Schmidt as Will, Holland Rolapp as Josephine, Dylan Krebs as Karl the Giant, McKenna Walwyn as the Witch, Colin Toohey, Jet Martin, Aidan Strope and Evelyn-Claire Smith. Directed by Sean Blauvelt, Big Fish achieves its goal as “part epic tale, part fire sale”, and is a top notch production worthy of the professional stage. Edward Bloom, watching from somewhere down the mythic road, would be proud to see his story told so well. ** Special thanks to all the behind the scenes people (Sets, Costumes, Tech, Teachers and Parents) to whom without, an endevor like this would not be possible **


The Arroyo Grande Village Fox A Community's Loss

Photos & Article By Vivian Krug Cotton Emotions Photography

On November 14th, our community learned that a friendly CA Gray Fox that played among the roosters and with people's dogs in the park had been trapped and euthanized due to a resident complaint. For months prior, people were sharing photos and videos of this curious friendly little fox playing with their dogs, crossing the Swinging Bridge, sitting on the fence, and enjoying the Village and its surroundings. People joked that it pushed aside the Roosters in cuteness and it became the unofficial mascot in the Village of Arroyo Grande. The little fox, affectionately named (Nacho, Foxy, Miles and Rex, to name a few) by Village merchants, employees and residents, made its home in the creek after it had been orphaned and rescued by a local family and set free. Upon the news of its trapping and euthanization, the community went into mourning. Makeshift memorials were made, purple and gray ribbons adorned the areas it loved to play, small fox rocks were painted and hidden in the park for children to find, and flowers and photos were left in tribute. An outcry calling for change must be made in regulations of trapping wildlife in our town. This is now being looked into and hopefully a change will come about. Education is also critical: we need to educate the community how to live around wildlife. Not to feed it, not to touch it, who to call if an animal is hurt, etc.

There were many other options for this fox, which fell into "special circumstance' in the code, other than being trapped and killed. In memory of this little fox (and so its precious life wasn't taken in vain), a special fund has been set up to help pay for a permanent memorial to be placed in Centennial Park, as well as for Educational Signs about our wildlife to be placed along the creek. We don't want a senseless tragedy to ever happen again. At this point, we don't know what the actual cost will be, but we need to start somewhere. The funds donated are being placed in a local Village non profit - AGinBloom - to hold until we can purchase the signs and memorial. The funds will be used solely for the fox memorial and educational signs.

Our goal is to have something in place by mid-summer 2018. There will be a lot of work ahead for ideas and designs. It takes a Village and it takes love! Efforts are being made for programs, a memorial, education and so on, so we can prevent such a tragedy from happening again and that this beautiful fox that brought us joy did not die in vain and will be long remembered. Although we cannot bring Foxy back, he can be remembered as a symbol of our community spirit, our pride, our love of wildlife and that our citizens can work together to educate each other, our children, everyone, on the importance of our wildlife and how we can live with our wildlife in harmony. This has been very hard on all of us. We are all hurting, but since we can't bring Foxy back, we need to turn his loss into a positive. Though anger and pain is crushing us, we need Foxy's life to shine and not be forgotten. Plans for the future are to erect a memorial for Foxy by the Gazebo in Centennial Park, have educational wildlife signs placed along the creek walk, have public workshops to educate the public, and more. This is just a start. In order to build the memorial and have signage made we need your help. You can donate to Foxy's legacy at: https://www.gofundme.com/agvillagefoxmemorialfund And please visit our facebook page as well remembering our Village Fox Please let us work together for Foxy to be remembered for the good, and the joy he brought us. We have all learned here. His legacy will make our community a better place. Thank you!


THE ART OF THE FARRIER Travis Baker Farrier Services 209-712-6119 facebook.com/pages/TravisBaker-Farrier-Service As a lifelong horse enthusiast, I had never seen a farrier in action. During a recent feature assignment, I was lucky enough to meet farrier Travis Baker and witness firsthand the art of shoeing a horse. Travis was joined by his friend and fellow farrier, Sam Head of Vulcan Horseshoes. Sam, originally from the UK, and Travis met years ago at shoeing competitions. In addition to horses, the two share a love of surfing, and competing. They also work together whenever Sam is in town. Their rapport made watching them work together a real pleasure! - Melissa Walker-Scott

As with many Cal Poly graduates, I was introduced to my trade in the mantra of “learn by doing”. In 2003 I began my studies in Agricultural Systems Management and Agricultural Business unsure of what career lay ahead; however, my love for the outdoors, horses, cattle, and ranching drew me to side jobs on local ranches during my studies. With two horses of my own, I day-worked around the county helping ranchers with anything from training and starting colts to gathering and branding cattle. In the summer of 2005, I took an opportunity that would shape my future career; The Crown Cattle Company in Senaca, Oregon needed a “cowboy.” Part of the job description included keeping shoes on my string of ten horses. With guidance from the boss, I began slowly putting shoes on horses, sometimes only one foot in an afternoon. Over the next year or two after returning from Oregon, I began shoeing my friends horses as well as picking up clients here and there. Although I was proficient at getting the job, done my skills needed honing and I was able to apprentice with a reputable local farrier. By the time I graduated Cal Poly in 2008 I had built a business of my own. Over the last decade since I graduated I have furthered my education about the equine foot, leg, biomechanics, and locomotion. I regularly attend clinics, seminars, and wet labs, not only in California but also all over the United States; most recently to the World Championship Blacksmithing Competition in Sheridan Wyoming. As a member of the American Farriers Association (AFA) I’ve passed a wide variety of exams including a standardized test, a live shoeing, and a shoe modification display for a panel of Certified Journeyman Farriers; passing all of these components has earned me the title of being an AFA Certified Journeyman Farrier. I have enjoyed working with different equine practitioners throughout the years including veterinarians, chiropractors, dentists, and mentor farriers. Working with local veterinary practices has given me the opportunity to repair pathological lameness issues and chronic lameness using advanced podiatry techniques and farrier skills. While learning to read radiographs has allowed me to more accurately fill vet prescriptions in the field. My wife and I have been together since 2006 when we met at Cal Poly. We recently purchased our first home in Morro Bay close to the activities we love. On my days off, you can find me fishing and surfing when I’m not practice forging in my shop. I look forward to a long career here on the Central Coast and our biggest adventure yet, Baby Baker arriving in January 2018.

Travis, what is a farrier? A farrier is a craftsman that applies steel and protection to a horseʼs feet. Itʼs a person that is a hoof care professional for horses. What is the hardest thing about your job? Being a farrier is physically and mentally demanding. Itʼs a very physical job. That being said, itʼs rewarding and I really enjoy the competitions and meeting all the people I get to be around. Do you have a dream horse? Any horse that is sound. I have two horses already that I love: Baby Huey and Wimpy. They are quarter horses. But I LOVE working with Big warm bloods, dressage horses, and draft work horses. What would you tell a young person wanting to become a farrier? Get the proper education and ride with an experienced farrier for an extended amount of time before you jump into the job. Make sure itʼs something you really like to do.



By Alisa Davies


As much as I love the warm summers that we enjoy here on the central coast, there is something very special about California winters. We get to cozy up in front of a fire, bundle up in sweaters, and swap out our flip flops for stylish boots; and we don’t have to shovel snow or worry about frostbite. What’s not to appreciate! But, even our mild California winters call for tweaks in our beauty routines. There is no better time for a warm bath, for instance! And the cool air can dry out your skin, so be sure to switch to a thicker, richer moisturizer.

I find that my feet and hands are the first to feel the effects of the cooler weather. Since I don’t like the way that my shriveled hands make me look 20 years older, I like to go straight for the good stuff. A few drops of Argan oil makes all the difference in the world. The oil can be used on your face and body, and even your hair! One of the many brilliant things about Argan oil is the process by which it is created. The trees are protected, and the seeds are harvested only after they fall naturally. Berber women support their families by collecting them, and companies like Moroccan Prestige provide an above average wage and a schedule that allows the women to work during the hours their children are at school. Try their spicy but sweet Orange Cinnamon scented Argan Elixer, available for $20 at https://www.moroccanprestige.com.

For a fun, fragrant, ultra moisturizing bath, add one of Lush’s luxurious melts. A treat for all your senses,

they come in festive shapes from snow angels to mangoes; and contain all-natural ingredients like shea, avocado, and mango butters. They smell divine and leave your skin soft and supple. From $4.95-12.95 per bath at Lushusa.com. After your bath bomb soak, extend the indulgence with an ultra-soothing moisture bomb face mask! I love the one from Garnier and was thrilled to see that the folks at Allure Magazine agree with me and included them on their yearend “Best of Beauty” list. They are available in four different formulations, and in 15 minutes will deeply hydrate winter-dry skin, delivering results similar to what you could expect after using a full half bottle of hydrating serum. The best part? The price, around $3.00 each at Target.com. Last but oh so surely not least, are our limbs. Dry itchy arms and legs look bad and feel worse. A thick coat of $400 Crème De La Mer would probably help. Or instead, do what I do and raid your piggy bank instead of your IRA for some AmLactin Alpha-Hydroxy Therapy Rapid Relief. This is powerful moisturizing and was recommended to me by my dermatologist. For about $15 at Amazon you will get instant results. Crepey skin looks smoother and younger, ashy skin glows, and dry itchy skin will get blessed relief!




Thinking of all who were affected by the Thomas Fire over the holiday season. I remember walking out my front door in Arroyo Grande, to the eerie sight of orange and the strong smell of smoke in the air I took a ride down to Grover Beach around 8:30 in the morning to see the smoke engulfing the normally crystal blue sky. Take a moment to be thankful for all that you have, as it can be taken away in an instant.

Ads/Sponsor/Partnership Opportunities Editor@ArroyoGrandeLiving.com

Pismo Beach in December By Melissa Walker-Scott

Friends Missing Foxy

Profile for Arroyo Grande Living

Arroyo Grande Living Magazine November 2017/December 2017 Holiday Issue  

A Lifestyle and Community magazine that highlights all the people and charm of living in not only a small town, but the beauty of the centra...

Arroyo Grande Living Magazine November 2017/December 2017 Holiday Issue  

A Lifestyle and Community magazine that highlights all the people and charm of living in not only a small town, but the beauty of the centra...