Article from the 12/16/2016 Catalina Islander

Since becoming "Catalina's Official Greeter", March 10, 2014, when the Chamber of Commerce assigned me to greet the cruise ships and cross channel carriers, I have answered 60,832 questions.
CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE. You might want to consider as an appropriate gift the 3-hour PBS documentary, "WEST OF THE WEST", covering the history of the eight channel islands, with a very good segment on Catalina (including yours truly), that 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.
HOLIDAY DEPRESSION?  I understand it as I usually go into a "tail spin" from Halloween to "New Year's"!  I want to share a secret that I have adopted this year and it works.  DON'T BE ALONE AND DON'T FORCUS ON YOURSELF!  Get out and start helping others that are desperately in need to whatever you can do for them.  Work in a food bank, help out in a homeless shelter, serve meals to the poor, help the elderly with their many needs, etc.  TRUST ME, IT WORKS!  Besides, hang in there as there are only a few more weeks to go, but we can all make a BIG DIFFERENCE in others' lives while we are counting down the days!
BEST OF 2016. As I did last year, I want to repost the column/s that had the greatest response.  The four are:  "I Want The Mermaid", February 6, telling the story of the art director for the Casino, John Garbriel Beckman; "You Must Let Other Know How Much They Are Loved", March 4, the effect of my brother's suicide, "I Am The Greatest", June 17, the evening I spent with Muhammad Ali, and "50 Bottles With Notes In The Sea", August 5, 19, 26, September 2, my history of throwing messaged bottles into the ocean, culminating in America's "200th Anniversary". If you want to refresh your memory, www.catalinaislandman.com.  Please contact me, chuckliddell.catalina@gmail and let me know your favorite/s, rating from 1 (best) to 4 (least).
FOOTBALL GAME ON THE NEW "MACHADO MEMORIAL FIELD".  On December 9, a cold but enthusiastic group of approximately 100 Islanders attended the first football game ever played on our new artificial grass field.  It was a tag football game (most of the players had never played this type of game) between our famous 2016 "League Champions" and, depending on the time of the game, "The Alumnus", "Old Guys", and "Old F----"!  With MUCH fun, poor sportsmanship (illegal flags thrown on almost every play, although the referee, former coach, Michael Forcella said only every other play), nostalgia, and a tear shed now and then, our "MIGHTY LANCERS" won, 43-25!  Great new field to be used for many occasions and hopefully many years to come!
WE THINK WE KNOW EACH OTHER.  I had a wonderful dinner on Monday with 4 "friends" that I thought I knew, but over great food and conversation, I got to know them much better.  We are too busy during the summer, but now that things are slowing down, we have no excuse NOT to get to spend valuable time with family and friends.
Brian Dawes would like to buy back for his family some of the paintings that his grandfather, Denis Dawes, painted over the over the years.  Please contact him with any information, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
FIRST AND LAST ANNUAL "CATALINA ISLAND FILM FESTIVAL" (this is NOT to be mistaken for the highly successful "Catalina Film Festival" that Ron Truppa has been honoring us with for the last 6 years!)
 
WHY would anyone want to put on a film festival on Catalina Island?  I can't speak for Ron Truppa. I did mine, June 16-24, 1979, in connection the Casino's "50th Anniversary", May 29, (September 9, 16, 30, www.catalinaislandman.com).  The underlining reason was to fight against a program that was hardly up to Catalina's standards.  "Chili Cook-Offs" were the "BIG THING" in the 70's (so glad the "Avalon Rotary" is bringing back its second family oriented and well organized one on May 6, 2017), but unfortunately had gotten WAY OUT OF CONTROL.  Alcohol had become the main component of the event and even female mud wrestling had been brought in.  If this wasn't bad enough, drugs and sexual acts had shown their ugly faces.  Locals had been complaining that these events had no place on Catalina, especially with children being exposed to them.  I had a company called "Catalina Island Odyssey", 215 Catalina, that put on special events and so I was being solicited to come up with some kind of family-oriented alternative.  THAT is how Bill Bushing, my Vice-President, and myself came up with the idea of the film festival.
The format was quite simple.  The movies would ALL be connected with "Islands".  There were going to 45 movies, shown over the 9 days (10:30am, 4pm, 7pm, 9pm, and 11pm).  With over 600 movies made on Catalina, and the location of the festival, it wasn't hard to decide that at least  half of films would be those made on the Island and the others classics made from around the world.  Among my Catalina favorites were "Typhoon", "Down To The Sea In Ships", "Captain's Courageous", "The Pirate", and "Rain".  Among the other films were such classics as "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea", "Moby Dick", "Sinbad The Sailor", "Creature From The Black Lagoon", and "Then There Were None".  If THIS WASN'T ENOUGH, we conducted a screenplay "Writers Conference", "The Women In Film Symposium On TV And Film Today", world famous silent screen organist (he and own favorite organist, Gaylord Carter, shared a MUTUALHATRED ) Chauncey Haines accompanied the silent Catalina film, "The Black Pirate", "Cartoon Carnival", "Special Effects Presentation By Linwood G. Dunn", we brought "cloggers" in from Georgia to perform in the Casino (DON'T ASK ME WHY), and we premiered "Willy Nelson's Fourth Of July Celebration".  IF THIS WASN'T ENOUGH, John Wayne, a much loved visitor to Catalina since he was a boy and was asked to be our "Master Of Ceremonies"  for the "Casino's 50th Anniversary" He had died, June 11, between these two Catalina celebrations.  We added one of his favorite films, "The Quiet Man" (Ireland is an island, RIGHT!?!), as both a tribute to this great friend and to raise money for cancer research. 
To advertise this event we took out columns in among others, "Variety", "Drama-Logue", "Hollywood Studio Magazine", "LA Weekly", "Westways", "Los Angeles Times", "Examiner", as well as Bill and I personally mailing out 1000's of programs (remember, before PCs) to film departments and individuals around the country!
O. K., so for those many of thousands of you who didn't attend (even the "friends" who had begged me to come up with a alternative to the Chili Cook-Off but didn't even attend one movie), let me explain WHY this was the FIRST/LAST ANNUAL EVENT!  I should have known that we were DOOMED from the start as one of our organizers had sex with a local young lady in the lobby of the Casino Theatre the night before the festival started!!!!  We showed our most promising film "Mutiny On The Bounty", Sunday, June 24, 9PM, with only 80 patrons showing up, because the same movie was going to be shown on television the next day!!!  Who cares about the fact that OUR "unedited" movie was going to be on the giant screen, in a beautiful theatre, WITHOUT COMMERCIALS.  The $4.00 ticket price was explained as the reason for not attending! The movie, "The Dove", was shown on Thursday, June 21, 10:30am, and we had invited the cast, including the star, Joseph Bottoms to attend and they graciously agree.  THEIR APPEARANCE WAS ADVERTISED!  In May, 1988, at a reception for Charles "Buddy Rogers" and Gaylord in celebration of the Museum's first "Silent Movie" concert, "Wings".  It was held at the home of Milton and Carolyn Bostrom (Mrs. Bostrom would later marry Malcolm Renton).  I was speaking to Mr. Rogers when a young man came over to me.  "Chuck, wasn't I supposed to participate in an event for you?"   IT WAS JOSEPH BOTTOMS!   HE WAS 9 YEARS LATE!  NEVER APPEARED AT THE FILM FESTIVAL!  Local newspapers had a heyday with the event.  "And Nobody Came!", was one glaring headline.  Referring to the ONLY ONES to show up and attend "Treasure Island", Friday, June 22, 1030am, "A Man, His Son, And A Dog!"   (WE HAD TO LET THE DOG IN OR THE MAN AND HIS SON COULDN'T COME IN).  Joining in the feeding frenzy, "Budding Film Festival Gets Shipwrecked On Catalina Island", "Chicago Tribune"!
TO SAY I LOST MY SHIRT IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT!   I had to rent the ENTIRE Casino Building for 9 days, paid a full-time staff, including projectionist, Ford Harris, ticket takers, food concessioners, etc. It took me months to get rid of the t-shirts that I had made up and still have 1000's of the tickets, programs, and posters that I had commissioned and produced solely for this event!
Anything GOOD come out of all of this!?!  REALIZING THAT I HAD A DISASTER ON MY HANDS, I invited a few of my close friends to join me in the front row center for the Monday, June 18th, 9pm, showing of the original 1933 "King Kong"!  I wanted us to be scared out of my mind, WHICH WE WERE!!!  Just like an old "Saturday Matinee", we all screamed liked little girls, drank pop, and threw popcorn at the screen.  I DO KNOW of one person who attended the showing on Sunday, June 24, 10:30am.  "I remember seeing 'Jason And The Argonauts' on the big screen.  It was at the Avalon Theater on Catalina Island.  It's one  of those old theaters with beautiful murals inside.  It's designed like a weird seashell kind of thing.  Seeing that movie there, I remember that one definitely had an impact on me!"  He was blown away by the use of "claymatics" in this film and has often attributed this film and ultimately the "Catalina Island Film Festival" for launching his decision to become the iconic movie writer, director, producer film maker that he is today.  GIVE UP!?!  HE'S NO OTHER THAN TIM BURTON!  Not too shabby, HUH!?!