Article from the 6/30/2017 Catalina Islander

"What do you natives eat?"
"What is the weight of Catalina?"
"Do you produce your own electricity or are you connected with the Mainland?"
"What did William Wrigley, Sr. do?  No 'Jr.' ever started anything!"
"Why did they name your Island fish after a chocolate company?"  (Garibaldi=Ghirardelli)
With literally thousands of dogs in Avalon, I would like to submit my suggestions for:
Keep your dogs leased outside at all times.  There is a "leash law" in Avalon.
Always carry "poop bags" and pick up after your dogs.
Don't put 'poop bags' and especially raw poop in someone else's trash containers.  You can wait until you get home to dispose of them.
When driving by one of us walking our dog/s, please treat them as if they were children, as they ARE "our children"!  Drive slowly and carefully by us, making sure that the dogs, like children, don't suddenly bolt in front of your vehicle.
Around 1995, I was working at "Catalina Confetti's", 417 Crescent (present location of "Maggie's Blue Rose" Mexican restaurant).  I was acting as greeter (sound familiar?) and security for this exceptional curio store and fudge shop.  It was July 4th.  No one was in the store, because we were right in the middle of the parade route, I stood outside the shop.  With a big smile, I saw so many people I knew in golf carts, decorated with balloons and streamers, adults dressed up in red/white/blue, tooting horns.  Fire trucks with sirens blowing and young kids throwing candy to those excited viewers.  An older man, probably in his 50's (now that I turned 70 on May 24, I would now consider him a kid), was standing next to me, "You people ought to be ashamed of yourselves!  This is the CORNIEST and CRUMMIEST 4th of July parade I have ever seen!  How come so many show up to watch this embarrassment!?!"
As I represented my employers, as well as the town of Avalon, I decided to keep my mouth shut (boy, that was a LONG time ago!).  He continued to berate the party goers until he heard some live music and he stopped talking and simply STARED IN AMAZEMENT!  When he was able to pull his chin off of the ground, he turned to me and said, in a quivering voice, "WHAT WAS THAT!?!"  "That was the 'USC TROJAN MARCHING BAND'!!!"  "What are they doing in the stupid little parade?"  "They have been coming here for the last couple of years simply to be in 'our' parade.  This is the ONLY '4th of July' parade in the entire U. S. where they participate!"  "I am a very successful businessman in Los Angeles and I have been trying for years to get this band to perform at one of my many functions, but they don't even return my calls.  WHY are they here in the CORNY parade of  yours!?!"  Biting my tongue, "There is a LOT of 'muscle' on Catalina, but we rarely show it off.  When we decide to 'flex it', the 'USC Trojan Marching Band' shows up!  Besides, many celebrities and organizations participate in programs on Catalina when they would never do the same on the Mainland.  That is because they LOVE Catalina and enjoy and are proud to be in our CORNY parade!"  Enough said.  I hope that he returned last year to see the 10 WORLD FAMOUS "Anheuser Busch Brewing Company Clydesdale Horses" participate in our parade.  WHAT AN EXPERIENCE THAT WAS!
This year, Catalina Island has something else to celebrate in our parade.  Last year the "Chicago Cubs", after 108 years, FINALLY won the "World Championship Pennant"!!!  WHY should we feel a special relationship to this team?  Mr. William Wrigley, Jr. owned the Cubs and proudly transported them over every year from Chicago for their Spring Training, 1921-51!  That is NOT altogether true!  The games were terminated from 1941-5, due to the war and Catalina being excluded from all activities other than those connected with the military services.  No visitors, including baseball players, were allowed on the Island.  William had died in 1932 and the Island and the team were taken over by his son, Philip Knight Wrigley.  As he players were being drafted/enlisting into the military services, along with millions of other young American men, a problem developed:  What is going to happen to the "All American Past Time"!?!  An enterprising Mr. Wrigley, much like his father, decided to enlist the services of young women, many of whom became the world famous "Rosie The Riveters" (my mother, Betty Jean Sims, I am so proud to say, was one of these remarkable ladies!).  He established the "All-American Girls' Professional  Baseball League", 1943-54.  Remember the very popular 1992 movie, "A League Of Their Own"?   This was Mr. Wrigley's doing, but the film mentioned a "Fudge Magnet" instead of the "Gum King"!  Mr. Wrigley kept ownership until 1945 when his regular players proudly came back from the war.
This year, to honor "OUR 'CUBBIES'", we are paying tribute to them by our theme, "Fly The Flag", and we want to see as many Cub flags, as well as USC, American, and every other flag imaginable!  Our "Grand Marshall" this year will be our own Lolo Saldana who actually played ball with the Cubs during their stay here!  Let him tell you all about it, whenever he is giving you one of his famous haircuts!
For the Avalon purists, don't be alarmed!  Our CORNY parade will still continue to be that way, including the "USC Trojan Marching Band", proudly participating for their 28th consecutive year!  Our great friends, the Clydesdales, will not be with us this year, but we HOPE they return someday soon!
The parade is set to start at 1pm (it is ALWAYS LATE), winds down Crescent Ave., commencing at the Casino and terminating at Clarissa Ave.  Find an appropriate and legal viewing station EARLY!  PLEASE stay BEHIND the barricades and follow ALL of the instructions of the uniformed security (I will be one, proudly wearing my "Sheriff Volunteer" white shirt), along the route. 
The magnificent fireworks display, sponsored by my former employer, the "Chamber Of Commerce", will begin at 9pm (generally late, but more on time than the parade!).  Find a comfortable location, facing the harbor.  Many special events are being arranged for this day long event, so note many of them in this newspaper edition, as well as picking up the entire schedule from the "Chamber" at the foot of the green "Pleasure Pier".  I am going to be hosting my great friends, Roberta Stotesbury and Mitch Hammond, who I often mention in my columns!
What to expect in the future?  Don't be surprised if the Pope one day decides to put in his name for consideration as "Grand Marshall", but  he might be "trumped" by a certain President!  When a large enough space can be found for them, a squadron of UFO's might finally "come out" so that now EVERYONE, in addition to most Islanders, who already KNOW they exist, can become "believers"!  CORNY parade, YES!  PROUD, YOU BETCH YA!"
I would love to hear from you directly, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.m and, if you would like to view any of my past columns,, thanks to Rocky Wall!