magazines livingcommunityartshoppingdining winter2012
LOVE THE GAME WArriOr in THE nFL
EnTErTAinMEnT PLAzA TAkES THE STAGE
THE rEEL THinG TOP OF THE CHArTS
OPPOSITE PAGE: Christie Boyd and Diana Dolan surround themselves with nature. The theme “where shelter and nature converge” guides the merchandise and environment of their store.
TOP, this American grill takes the road seriously with chrome and steel that hallmarks the age of ‘50s automobile design.
LEFT, Dan Alvis considers himself a curator̶a curator of a piece of transportation history, his 1951 Roadmaster Estate Wagon. It is a job he takes very seriously.
ABOVE, the Woody station wagon in its natural habitat at the beach. The car conjures up the halcyon days of California surfi ng before development crowded out stretches of sand and pollution posed health risks.
Christie Boyd &
Diana Dolan Story by AMY OROZCO F Photos by FRAN COLLIN
orget that Dan Alvis’s 1951 Roadmas- ter Estate Wagon is one of only 600 that Buick manufactured that year. Remember this: In January 2005 the La Conchita land-
slide buried the Woody, turning Alvis’s garage into a temporary earth-filled coffin for about nine months. What makes this Woody special is the dedication and love given to restore the black beauty to more than her original glory.
“It’s the end result of something horrible. Like a Phoenix out of tragedy and rubble rises something
beautiful,” says the 63-year-old, who lost his brother Tony Alvis, owner of Los Padres Outfitters, in The ’Slide.
Clump by clump, neighbor and friend Byron Barnes helped Alvis dig out the Buick with DynaFlow transmission. Secretly working weekends ‒ Ventura County determined the area off limits ‒ they took one month to pull the Woody out of the wreckage. Its motor still ran, but the car couldn’t be driven. Alvis also lost a 1929 Model A Woody panel delivery truck.
“I’m a Woody guy. I’m a surfer. Woodies were the cheapest way to get to the beach. You could get one for $200 to $300 on a car lot. I remember going to the beach,” Alvis continues, “sharing the front seat with two friends and two other guys lying on the six to eight surfboards stacked in the back hang- ing out and over the open tailgate.”
Originally beige with red interior and a “Ben Wes- sen” license plate holder, the Buick’s first owner was a Los Angeles family with 12 children. Fourteen coats of paint later Alvis spotted the wagon with a
For Sale sign along the freeway in Oxnard in 2000. The journey to becoming a museum piece of transportation started in 2005, and the road to re- covery was long. Fixing the motor, straightening the body, putting on fenders, preparing the wood ... all required travel, time, and a lot of money.
“When you’re the curator you are responsible,” Alvis refers to the constant chrome shining, hand washing, and TLC necessary to keep the 8 mpg- vehicle purring. “It is the price you pay to go fast in
a heavy car.””
Opened in March 2008, the home and garden store Porch celebrates the transitional space between inside and outside. Nature is the inspiration fuel- ing the vision of business partners, visionaries, and Porch owners Christie Boyd and Diana Dolan. The two recently relocated their very popular shop from its former downtown location to a bigger and bet- ter site on Santa Claus Lane. With the freeway and life flying by its front windows and the back win- dows framing a Moroccan skyline, Porch is poised to create retail magic on “The Lane.”
Q: Is Porch a brand? Or, is it more “where the spirit moves you”?
DIANA: How many times have we heard “oh, that’s so Porch,” “I went to my friend’s house – it’s so Porch”? CHRISTIE: A “brand” just smacks of corporate ... both of us have a vision of what we want the store to look like and be. We try to create that and it’s always in our minds. DIANA: The tipping point is we always ask our- selves “do we love it?” If we love it, it’s a go. CHRISTIE: And would we buy it for ourselves?
58 CARPINTERIAMAGAZINE SUMMER2011 59
Interview by AMY OROZCO Photos by FRAN COLLIN
THIS PAGE, at Porch, touch is as important as color, size, and form. Textures such as wood grain can be rough and uneven or smooth and cool. Pounded silver is juxtaposed against a smooth bracelet.
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