Article from the 12/2/2016 Catalina Islander

Since becoming "Catalina's Official Greeter", March 10, 2014, when the Chamber Of Commerce assigned me to greet cruise ships and cross channel boats, I have answered  60,366 questions.
RAINS KEEP COMING!  Regarding our water situation, Linda Peterson suggested that Avalon might want to pay more attention to the businesses in town.  She suggests putting into force "Water Police" to check out hotels whose showers take too long for the hot water to kick in.  She also mentioned the faucets in the Community Church restrooms take too long to shut off.  I noticed that also in the Men's Restroom at the Mole.  Keep your suggestions and observations about water solutions coming!
Barbara Propst Read, who lived many years in Middle Ranch, as her father, Doug Propst, lived there and was, the second CEO of the "Conservancy" in the '70's.  She confirmed that the "bump gates", November 11, 2016 issue, was primarily used to keep the bison out of areas where hay and other food was being grown, as well as keeping them away from the cattle that were being raised there.  She also verified that the two gentlemen, primarily responsible for maintaining the gate, Chuck Schnell and Bob Gaede, DID NOT APPRECIATE those of us who enjoyed giving these gates more "bump" than they needed!  If you would like to check out this article, or any other ones,
The 3-hour PBS documentary, "WEST OF THE WEST", covering the history of our eight channel islands, with a very good segment on Catalina (including yours truly) is only available in Avalon at the "Steamer Trunk" and the "DC-3" (Airport).  If you don't live on Catalina, you can send me a check for $23, P. O. Box 1533, Avalon, CA 90704 and I will send you a DVD.
Sorry, Karl and Graydon Kimme ("Islander", November 18, 2016, p. 5, "Take the Catalina Islander on Vacation"; I HOPE YOU DIDN'T CALL THE SCHOOL "UNIVERSITY OF INDIANA", INSTEAD OF "INDIANA UNIVERSITY", in Bloomington.  I KNOW, I taught there from 1972-4!  Graydon, as a sophomore, you should know it by NOW!  Assume this was merely a typo!
I have ALWAYS been told that I had a LOUD voice, but it has also been referred to as a "distinctive" one.  Sorry, but I know I don't hear what others hear, but I HAVE NEVER LIKED IT!  Two weeks ago, two different visitors got off the boats as I was greeting them.  One off the cruise ship and one a cross channel boat.  The first one had been on one of my Casino Tours about 10 years ago and the other I had driven him around the Island about 5 years ago.  Neither of them recognized me (I wear dark glasses and a cap), but both heard my "distinctive" voice as they got off their respective boats.  She yelled to her friends, "He's the one I told you that gave such a FANTASTIC Casino Tour!"! and he told his friends how I escorted him around to places he didn't even know existed.  He had a picture taken with me!  I AM SO BLESSED IN WHAT I DO/HAVE DONE!!!
It comes as no surprise to my readership, including my newspaper editor, that I am NOT a writer, and certainly NOT a journalist.  I am a "story teller".  My father always told me that I "inherited" my grandfather's gift of "weaving a story".  He was my name sake; Charles Marcus Liddell, I, and I am the II.  I don't know if this ability of passing such traits can be done through our DNA, as Granddad died 8 years before I was born, and my father never showed any talents in this area.
Over the last 20+ year, Islanders and visitors alike have been hearing my "stories" on my many walking, driving, and Casino tours.  I am OFTEN asked where they can secure them in written form as they want to keep and share them with others  I have had to confess that they are all being kept in my head and I had no interest at all in writing them down as that would take them from "story telling" to "journalism" and I wanted no part of that!
When I had some medical issues a few years back, and needed the use of a cane, locals started showing real concern that my days may be numbered!   They kept saying, "When are you going to write these stories down!?!"  I told them, "Probably NEVER!"  They would then get pissed off, "Then what happens to these stories when you DIE!?!"  "What do I care, I will be DEAD!"  "That's awfully SELFISH of you; not writing these stories down so that others can read them.  You are the ONLY ONE who knows these historical treasures and you plan to take them to your GRAVE!?!"  "'SELFISH'!?!  I'M DEAD!!!   CAN'T YOU SHOW SOME RESPECT FOR THE DEARLY DEPARTED!?!"  (A bit over the top, I must admit! lol!)
Dad, Orval Eugene Liddell, Mr. Philip ("Phil") Knight Wrigley's "Chief Engineer", 1945-60,  had wanted me to do the same for him when he had a massive stroke and heart attack after my 24 year old brother, Bill's, untimely death in 1974. ("You Must Let Others Know How Much They Are Loved." March 4, 2016).  I had to leave teaching at Indiana University to take care of Dad and this proved to be a 7 year commitment!  Fearing that HIS stories were going to be lost forever, he made a list of 54 topics that he wanted me to interview him and record for posterity.  On his "bad days":,  which seemed to come on a regular schedule of every other day, he was in no mood to talk and stayed in bed.  On his "good days" I didn't want him to be cooped up in the house being interviewed and so I would make sure that he got driven around in his electric golf cart to enjoy Catalina's beautiful weather which ALWAYS helped build up his spirits!  Needless to stay, after those 7 LONG years, I still have the list of the 54 topics, BUT NO INTERVIEWS.  Luckily, I did remember his discussing some of them with me and I am trying to pass them along in my column.  Alas, MOST of them will remain only a "topic" as I can NO LONGER REMEMBER the stories behind them!!!  TRAGIC!
Over two years ago, when the new Museum, on Metropole Ave., was in the process of being built (YOU MUST VISIT IT), it was brought to my attention that the situation would not allow me to be able to use research facilities, so capably administered by Gail Fornasiere, so I realized that I had better come up with another column.  Some of you will remember (and some complain that I ever discontinued it.  Will pick it up again when the Museum gives me the go ahead on research!  PROMISE), "CATALINA TIME CAPSULE", where I would take a month and share, through the use of old "Islanders", what was occurring here 100, 75, 50, 25, and 10 years ago.  I then remembered everyone's fear of my possible demise, so I decided to start writing down my "stories" and called it "ONLY ON CATALINA".  
My first submission, "Now What Do We Do?", January 17, 2014, ( truly took me totally by surprise.  I WRITE THE SAME WAY I TALK! Now, I found the motivation to start telling "my story" of Catalina!  The more I wrote, the more I was told that I should write them down in a BOOK!  By this time, I was beginning to get some very "unusual/interesting questions/comments" when greeting the cruise ships/cross channel boats and so have decided to start each of my 25 chosen stories as well as end each with some REAL Catalina Trivia which hopefully NO ONE but me knows about!  By the way, I would appreciate some much needed feedback as to which stories I MUST include in this first book (!
This is now my 75th story, trying to answer the age old question, "What was it like growing up on Catalina Island?"!  Hopefully I have succeeded, but more importantly, I wish that my feeble attempt will cause the rest of you to consider telling your "own stories", before you forget them or croak!  FUTURE GENERATIONS WILL THANK YOU FOR IT; I GUARANTEE IT!! 
If you want to contact me directly, and I would APPRECIATE HEARING FROM YOU, email,