Article from the 4/15/2016 Catalina Islander

Since I became "Catalina's Official Greeter", March 10, 2014, when the Chamber Of Commerce assigned me to greet the cruise ships and cross channel boats, I have answered 45,219 questions.
These are some of the more interesting/unusual questions/comments:
"What is the best place to buy stamps?"
A women INSISTED that we did not have any garibaldi fish, but that they were simply painted on rocks and thrown into the bay.
"Are there any bars in Avalon?"
"If you are not getting paid to greet the boats, that's good.  If you are getting paid, that is not so good."
"Does your Catholic Church have Sunday services?"
 
"HOW DOES THAT SONG GO AGAIN?"
 
Of all of the MANY beautiful songs written about Catalina, and specifically Avalon, the two that stand alone are "Avalon" and "26 Miles".  I often hear Islanders and visitors alike attempting to sing one of these two songs and then end up humming or "faking" many of those words.  For that reason, I am sharing the original lyrics so that you can refer to them whenever you want. 
 
"AVALON"
 
Lyric ad Music by Al Jolson and Vincent Rose, 1920
 
Ev-'ry morning mem-ries stray
A-cross the sea where fly-ing fish-es play
And as the night is falling
I find that I'm recalling
That blissful all enthralling day
I found my love in Avalon
Beside the bay
I left my love in Avalon
And sailed away
I dream of her and Avalon
From dusk 'til dawn
And so I think I'll travel on
To Avalon
 
Just before I sail'd away
She said the word I long'd to hear her say
I tenderly caress'd her
Close to my heart I press'd her
Upon that golden yesterday
I found my love in Avalon
Beside the bay
I left my love in Avalon
And sailed away
I dream of her and Avalon
From dusk 'til dawn
And so I think I'll travel on
To Avalon
 
(For those who consider themselves "old movie trivia buffs", where in the classic films, "Casablanca" and "It's A Wonderful Life". do you hear "Avalon" played?  By the way, these films as well as other classic films either made on Catalina or contain such references as our songs, are shown the third Thursday of every month, 7PM, FREE OF CHARGE, as part of the "Catalina Foundation" contribution to Catalina, at the "Overlook Hall", originally the "Christian Science Church", near the corner of Whittley and East Whittley.  Breaking tradition, on Thursday, April 21, they will be showing the original, 1933, "King Kong", and the next day, Friday, April 22, "The Son Of Kong", also 1933, made on Catalina Island!)
 
"26 MILES"
 
by Bruce Belland ad Glen Larson, 1957
 
Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waiting for me
Santa Catalina, the island of romance
Romance, romance, romance
 
Water all around it everywhere
Tropical trees an the salty air
But for me the thing that a-waitin' there, romance
 
It seems so distant, twenty-six miles away
Restin' in the water serene
I'd work for anyone, even the Navy
Who would float me to my island dream
 
Twenty-six miles, so near yet far
I'd swim with just some water-wings and my guitar
I could leave the wings
But I'll need the guitar for romance
Romance, romance, romance
 
Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me
Santa Catalina, the island of romance
 
A tropical heaven out in the ocean
Covered with trees and girls
If I have to swim, I'll do it forever
'Til I'm gazin' on those island pearls
 
Forty kilometers in a leaky old boat
Any old thing that'll stay afloat
When we arrive we'll all promote romance
Romance, romance, romance
 
Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me
Santa Catalina
The island of romance
Romance, romance, romance
 
Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me.
 
("'26 Miles' was the first surfer hit."  Dick Clarke.  It also inspired and motivated such icons as "The Beach Boys" and Jimmy Buffet).
 
I am greatly moved by the fact that my article, "You Must Let Others Know How Much They Are Loved", March 4, 2016, caused three individuals to contact me and let me know that they reconsidered their suicide attempts due to that article!  THANK YOU GOD!!!  You can check out this article or others on my blog. www.catalinaislandman.com where my blog administrator, Rocky Wall, is adding at least three every week until I get all 40+.  If you want to ask me Catalina questions or make any comments regarding what I am doing on the Island, you can check out my "open group", on Facebook , entitled "Chuck Liddell", which was provided for me by Mitch Hammond.  If you want to contact me directly, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

 

Now that you have all memorized these two iconic songs and have this page in the "Islander" as a "cheat sheet", how about convincing the cross channel boats to play "26 Miles" when you leave the mainland and "Avalon" when you leave Avalon so that you can show off your singing talents and brush up on their tunes!?!  How about a "FLASH" sing along.  NOW THAT WOULD BE FUN!!!