Rod Ayers, owner of Lloyd’s of Lone Pine, is planning to close his retail store by the end of September.
Lloyd’s has been in business since 1937.
Ayers said his reason for closing is due to his older age, his family wanting to sell and the grandkids not wanting to take over the business.
Rod currently owns the building, and is not sure what will go in after he closes. He’s also unsure whether he’ll retire in Lone Pine or out-of-state.
Ayers said everything in the store from this week until closing is 50% off.
The iconic white horse “Frosty” will be sold to a local business in the Owens Valley.
“Frosty” was named “after my old horse that I had when I was a young kid,” said Ayers.
The old horse was used as a double in movies, such as Hopalong Cassidy, The Lone Ranger, and The White Stallion. “Frosty” has adorned the front of the store since about 1970.
At one point, a local kid graduating from Lone Pine High School climbed on the roof and over the side and painted the horse’s balls blue, said Ayers. That was the legend.
Ayers later found out that one of his best friends, who owned a service station in town, had painted the horse’s balls. When the movies used the horse, the horse’s blue balls were then painted back to their original color.
Ayers said Lloyd’s customers liked how his mom and dad would always fit the people and kids for shoes and boot repairs.
Lloyd’s was first opened by Rod Ayers parents, Lloyd and Elsie Ayers—it was first called Lloyd’s Shoe Store until the family incorporated. The first Lloyd’s was located next door, as the current location housed a Bank of America branch until the early ‘70s – the property was owned by the City of Los Angeles – ultimately, Ayers acquired it.
Rod Ayers has two children Rod Ayers, Jr. and Stacey Vanrensselaer, and two granddaughters. His wife, Linda died 6 years ago from breast cancer. They were married for 40 years. Ayers currently lives on his ranch named the “Rafter Bit” above Independence, on leased land owned by the DWP.
The Sheet spoke with two Lone Pine residents at a local beauty shop. Mary Alice Miller, 77, works part-time at Karen’s Beauty Shop and has bought her Wranglers at Lloyd’s since she was 12—they made sure they had her size, she said. Miller said she could have gone to other places to purchase her Wranglers, but she wanted to give Rod the business. Miller also reflects to a time when Lloyd’s had a shoe x-ray machine (to see the foot bones), which was something they didn’t keep, she said.
After Lloyd’s closes, Miller said she will have to find a new place to shop, either in Bishop or Reno.
Owner of Karen’s, Karen Brackney, 64, said of matriarch Elsie Ayers, “She was a cool lady, and very good about fitting shoes.”