Article from the 6/9/2017 Catalina Islander

"Interesting/Unusual Questions/Comments Concerning Catalina Island"  (additional ones,
"How many floats does it take to hold up the Island?"
"How long does it take to swim under the Island?"
"How come you don't refer to yourselves as 'Californians'?"
"Why are your banks closed on the American holiday, 'Martin Luther King, Jr. Day'?"
"Can you feel the Island rock during a storm?"
GOOD BYE TO A GREAT FRIEND!  Bill Paige, pharmacist, and owner of "Leo's Drug Store" for the past 12 years, has sold the business to our local hospital!  Although he will be remaining as a pharmacist two days a week for a while, his ever presence for the past 12 years will be GREATLY MISSED!  He is not only a wonderful friend, but a mentor and initially personally financially backed me as "Greeter", until  the Chamber was able to!  Bill, I will forever be personally indebted to you for your support in this, Rotary, and so many other projects, most of which were never acknowledged!    AVALON IS LOSING ANOTHER GREAT FRIEND!
NEED A HUG?  Who doesn't!?!  Rudy Piltch and I want so much to restart the "Hug Club" that Trucky Ross started years ago.  If interested, let me know and we will start our plans to share our caring around Catalina!
Last week I wrote a column, "Hi Ocean, This Is Chuckie/Charles/Chuck" (this and other past columns came be found,  I realize that it is difficult for some to understand the unconventional reaching out of abused children for love, no matter where they can find it.  My love for the ocean was manifested out of this dire need for unconditional support.  I shared my "talking" to my friend the ocean and will now share additional thoughts on the subject of this magnificent "Mother Of Creation".
Two of my favorite ocean experiences occurred in 1979 and 2002.  This first encounter was when I went on a South Pacific Cruise with my father, Orval, just a short time before he passed away.  What totally AMAZED me was seeing waves breaking miles away from any land!  I was not familiar with "reefs", as we don't have them occurring very often around our Channel Islands.  They were majestic and so "out of place" that I would gaze at them longer than I want to admit.
The second amazing experience occurred when I went to Nome, Alaska, 2002, with two wonderful friends, Hal Franks, and Carolyn Bostrom (now Renton), to experience the world famous "Iditarod Dog Sled Race"  (By the way, Carolyn is turning 96 years young in August - DOESN'T LOOK IT OR ACT IT - and she is on the Island with a good friend, Fernando, who is experiencing Catalina Island for the first time.  I had the honor to taking them around my "home" for a 4 1/2 hour tour!.  They are leaving the Island today). While everyone else were standing around waiting for the magnificent dog teams to arrive at the finish line, I discovered that the Bering Sea had frozen over (was March) and so I could experience literally "walking on the water"!  I was warned NOT to venture out alone, as the chances of falling through the snow 40 feet to the ocean might occur and a need for backup to pull me out was necessary.  I couldn't find anyone to go with me, so I took my chances.  REMARKABLE EXPERIENCE, BUT DON'T DO IT ALONE!  A couple of times I sank to my waist, but was able to free myself.  WOULDN'T TRY IT AGAIN UNAIDED!
What I am about to share is, as far as I know, undocumented, but simply a "gut reaction".  I am SURE that there are those who will question my conclusion, but I guess that is the benefit of having a weekly column. Attention, my good friend, Dr. Wendy Teeter!   I will print any disagreeing thoughts on this subject. 
The "Tongva" natives, who inhabited the four Southern Channel Islands, first appeared around 10,000 years ago.  Catalina was called "Pemu".  From all indications, those approximately 2500 inhabitants of our Island were considered a bit 'special" among the other nearby Islands and their life style, depended on their "water existence", was a bit  idealic, even from our standards of today.  When they were "forced" off  the Island around 1803, due to disputes over sea otters with the Aleutian Eskimos (YES, REALLY), and plagues caused by the European diseases introduced to these natives for the first time, without antibodies to fight off their affects, they were "relocated" to the San Gabriel Mission (why they were later referred to as the "Gabriel Indians"). 
They were immediately put into servitude. Christian leaders often thought that turning people into "slaves", was part of their conversion!. They also didn't have access to the fish and other seafood that they were accustomed to and, MOST IMPORTANTLY,  to their emotional downfall, they were NO LONGER LIVING BY THE OCEAN!  Within a very short period of time, these natives seemed to refuse to intermingle with their mainland native counterparts and any children that we born rarely made it to adulthood.  Intentional or not, I think they simply "gave up" wanting to exist and practiced their own self-induced genocide!
In the 1973 classic science fiction thriller, "Soylent Green", those who were on their deathbeds were able to decide what their FINAL experience was going be, by use of giant movie screens.  I don't need this, as I have ALREADY experienced by final memory!  When I was growing up in Avalon, my father and brother, Bill, would sleep up on our sundeck as the evenings were pretty warm during the summers and we didn't have AC.  We would look up at the stars and see the constellations remarkably clearly! We had night blooming gasmen planted around the house, so the fragrance permiated our air! As this was during the remarkable "Big Band Era", we could hear this beautiful music being broadcast over the town from the Casino and, more special than all of this, was to witness the full moon, with its shaft of light hitting the ocean, causing a silver streak that  merely "kissed" the Casino!  THIS IS WHAT I WANT MY LAST MEMORY TO BE!  Would LOVE to hear any of your thoughts directly, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..