Article from the 4/7/2017 Catalina Islander

POWER OF THE PRESS:  I recently reached out to my readers two concerns.  One, the attempt to save the first permanent home in Avalon which was also the  original residence of the woman who named our town "Avalon", Etta Marilla Whitney, 133 Vieudelou.  Heard from John and Pat Kreyssler, who live on the mainland, but own the Ralph Glidden home, 114 Hill Street.  It has been in their family since 1920.  I suggested she contact Sandy Putnam, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. regarding the "Catalina Historical Society" and learn of the many projects it is attempting, but needs OUR SUPPORT.  Two, saving the "Los Angeles Times" delivery to Avalon.  Dick and Nancy Kellogg, GREAT FRIENDS OF MINE AND AVALON, who live on the mainland and own a home at 316 Catalina have contacted me a couple of times WANTING TO SAVE THIS SERVICE.  If any of you have any ideas of preserving this much enjoyed tradition, please let me know, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.m
BAR SCENE:  On March 24, 2017, I wrote a column regarding the bars in town when I was young, "HOW DRY WE AREN'T" (see read this story or any of my past columns,  I got stopped on the street by Brian Dawes who reminded me of the "John B", 110/12 Metropole and a BEAUTIFUL lady, who lived on the Island from 1936-46, who doesn't want to me named, but her initials are A.T.E. and she went to school with Rudy Piltch, reminded me of other establishments, that were before my time.  LOVE HEARING FROM ALL OF YOU!
CATALINA HUG CLUB:  Rudy Piltch and I feel that this is DEFINITELY the time to start showing more love on the Island and to give each other that much needed physical support. If you would like to see the group that Trucky Ross started many years ago reinstated, let me know,
NEED FOR APPLIANCE HANDYMAN:  Marty Saldana has informed me that he is selling his business.  If anyone wants to pick it up, especially those of your who have ALWAYS WANTED TO LIVE ON CATALINA, let me know and I will pass your information on to him. BOY, WE NEED IT!!!
OH, REALLY!?!  I must be the only one that likes to read what is on vehicles in town.  Our present "Garibaldi" city shuttle busses have a prominent sign on the back that reads, "THIS VEHICLE STOPS AT RAILROAD CROSSINGS".  GOOD LUCK ON FINDING ONE ON CATALINA!  No wonder I have been asked by visitors where our railroad is located!  If this information isn't misleading enough, I have been informed by officers of the cruise ships that passengers, on hearing the ships whistle blow, think it is coming from a locomotive in town!  Speaking of which, I shared a question that I was asked with my WONDERFUL FRIEND, Jon Tusak, who plays that phenomenal "Page Pipe Organ" every Friday-Monday, 6:30-7:30pm, for a FREE concert, before the movie starts at 7:30pm, at the Casino Theatre.  Included in the price of admission!  DON'T MISS IT!  Anyway, in the past, seeing the sign on our city shuttle busses, "Metro Link", visitors have asked me if this bus linked with downtown Los Angeles.  OF COURSE NOT, but then Jon corrected me.  Our bus system is subsidized and takes passengers from around the town to the Mole.  From the Mole we are transported on a subsidized boat to Long Beach, where you can catch a subsidized shuttle to the train station to be subsidized to downtown Los Angeles.  WOW, I NEVER THUNK IT THAT WAY, Jon!  THANKS!
APRIL FOOLS!  One story that was not covered in my column dealt with that iconic television show, "CANDID CAMERA", around the late 70's, early 80's.  A 'turn style", similar to the ones at "Disneyland", was placed, I seem to recall, either at the Mole or the "Casino  Way", and everyone was told to go through it. Every now and then the bewildered visitor was stopped and told that they would have to go back to the mainland as the "Island was full!"  I can hear my good friend Jim, at the Chamber, and ALL of the local businesses having heart attacks now!  You can borrow my "heart monitor" as I am done with it after my recent attack.
On Saturday, April 1, I read he following note:  "APRIL  FOOLS!  Of course we didn't 'terminate' you or the 'Greeter' position in Avalon!  WHY would we stop this most important first contact with thousands of visitors coming to Avalon from the mainland and cruise ships the day before one of our busiest 'Spring Breaks' ever started and not have any backup in mind?  WHY would we take this job away from you,  Chuck, who have greeted approximately 640,000 visitors and answered over 64,000 questions and concerns, over a three year period, when this vital tradition, going back to the 1880's. had been dormant for so many years!  (see, "HAPPY THIRD ANNIVERSARY", March 10, 2017,,  WHY would we take this job away from a 69 year old native "Historian", who was perfect for the job as the job was for him, not forgetting the fact that he has just recently suffered a possible heart attack, and has sometimes had to face heavy rains and wind conditions!?!  WHY, when knowing that visitors so appreciate the personal touch of someone there to answer questions and not entertain them or refer them to an impersonal 'information kiosk'!?!?"  Then I woke up from this BEAUTIFUL DREAM and realized that this "nightmare" actually happened!  WHY?  To take my position in "another yet to be determined direction".  Maybe they thought the job was too easy and CUSHY!  O. K., here is an example of some of my MANY challenging questions and I would like to see how you readers would answer them without possibly "losing IT"!  Remember, as in my case, you have had to get up before dawn, often getting to work in the dark, sometimes fighting rain and heavy winds, and dealing with a line of people anxiously waiting their turn for answers, considering  you have already answered hundreds of them that day.  Please let me know what your responses would be and I will place them in future columns.  Put the number, your response, and include your name, initials, where you live, however you wish me to identify you.  Send your responses to:  Keep in mind you have NO WAY of knowing or preparing yourself or anticipating these questions that are now being tossed at you from all directions on a busy day and yet your immediate "correct" response is expected/sometimes demanded, as they are generally always in a hurry!
1)  "Which of the piers is the 'Green Pier'?"
2)  "What do they raise in the 'Undersea Gardens'?"
3)  "Where will I find the 'Glassbottomless Boats'?"
4)  When asked for a map, I happily complied, yet when I handed it to them they responded, "Is this a map of 'here'?"
5)  "Can you please give me the 'correct' information?"
6)  When told that women couldn't sit on the beach with their shirts off, a cruise ship passengers pulled her sweater off in front of me, showing that she had a "double massetomy" and blurted "WHAT ABOUT THESE!?!"
7)  "Where would be the best location to dive under the Island?"
8)  "What time does the 4 o'clock boat leave."
9)  "We made reservations coming over from the mainland.  Do we have to make them going back?"
10) "Can you help me find my hotel?  I don't remember the name?"
11) "Do they put the kayaks in the water?"
GOOD LUCK!  In future columns, I will supply you with more similar challenges IF YOU THINK YOU CAN HANDLE THEM AND THIS EASY JOB!