Article from the 7/14/2017 Catalina Islander

"You people on Catalina are lucky.  The earthquakes roll under your Island so you don't have to feel them!"
Seeing Palos Verdes Peninsula on the Mainland, and thinking it is an Island, "Is Catalina one of the Hawaiian Island?"
"Where is the bridge connecting Catalina to the Mainland?"
Visiting the Chihuly glass display at the Museum, "What do the dates on the glass and sketches mean?"
"Are all of you Islanders related?"
About a year and a half ago, FB took me off as I was using the name "Chuck Liddell" and they thought I was trying to pretend to be the UFC wrestler, "Chuck Liddell".  When they asked me to show them my Driver's License, they noticed it was "Charles Liddell".  I explained to them, that "Chuck" is only a nickname for "Charles" and that the other "Chuck Liddell" also has the real name of "Charles".  Needless to say, I was dumped, along with 3700 "friends". I received MANY frantic messages on the internet, especially from family members, SHOCKED as to WHY I dumped them and some wondering as to my health situation (probably mental)!  I had to get back on FB, if simply to explain to my family and friends that I didn't "dump" them, but I was dropped by FB, taking them with me! I reinvented myself as "Charles Liddell".  Last week I got a "friend request" from, STILL CAN'T BELIEVE IT, ME as "Chuck Liddell"!  I now can go back and see all of those who I was originally friends with!  STRANGE!  By the way, if any of you would like to be my FB "friend", look up "Charles Liddell", find what looks like a painting, that is me.   Please indicate in my "Messages" that you heard about this on my column and then submit a "friend request".  I receive so many every day and unfortunately don't usually accept them unless I know them.
That was the date that I celebrated my 70th birthday (really was May 24) and also my "Community 'Coming Out' Celebration".  Around 50 "friends" attended.  About half came from the Mainland.  Mayor Anni officiated.  Father Bill handled the prayers.  Jordan Monroe played the bag pipes ("Happy Birthday" and "Amazing Grace"), and we ended up with my leading the group in the "Gay National Anthem", (I learned about this in the non-existing "Coming Out For Dummies") the Village People original rendition of "YMCA"!  I have received MANY hugs from gays, as well as their family members.  I have heard from young men and women who grew up on Catalina, but had to wait until they got to the Mainland to be able to "be true to themselves".  All of this was/is GREAT and helps to balance WHO didn't attend.  No members of my family were there and neither were any of my "Church Family".  NO ONE has said a word of support or acknowledged that it even occurred, except one who has since moved to Texas and a local leader who simply whispered in my ear "Be careful; watch yourself!"  I have tried to be there for their "issues", but these signs of love were not reciprocated.  HURTS, but now I know who my "real" family is!  Was I glad I did it, DEFINITELY!  It has allowed me to face and accept my "Issues" and help others do the same.  I am sorry for those who are still in denial (NOT a river in Egypt) about who they are and are afraid to face their own shadows, even when they see others taking the difficult but necessary steps!  It is sad when My "Issue" is worse than others.  WE ALL HAVE "ISSUES"!  I am NOW, hopefully the poster child of "Don't wait until you are 70" for the younger group and it is "NEVER too late, for the older crowd"!  Never a "perfect time"!  JUST DO IT!   I also hope to be the "Voice" that I didn't have when I originally came out", 6-11 nor my brother, who was "bi" and committed suicide in 1974, at 24!
MISSED MY COLUMN LAST WEEK?   On page 11, with a new picture of myself. 
For some reason, a need for a title seems important.  "Mr. Catalina" is the one I most often hear submitted, but that was "Duke Fishman" and would NEVER want to take the job away nor share it with him.  Frankly, I don't understand the need for a moniker, but when a young aspiring 23 year old graduate student came up with my title, "Catalina's Personal Google", last year, when he was doing marketing for the Island, I GRABBED IT!  Those of you on the Island have probably seen the cap that I now wear with "Catalina's Google" on it that two dear friends of mine, Matt Afflolder and Jeannette Sumner, had made just for me in connection with my birthday!  If you want to read the original story connected with my "title", check out the story with the classic picture of the "S. S. Catalina" in the harbor, on  You probably knew Chris's Grandfather, Paul Puma, who was a Avalon City Council member years ago.  He recently died at the age of 90.
Although I am NO LONGER the "Catalina's Official Greeter", I am still continually stopped by locals who want "answers" to things they don't understand or simply "bug" them.  I often get calls at home or on the Internet from those who are at a local party and something comes up that they need an answer to.  My first reaction is to "suggest" that they invited me to their party, but ALWAYS try to accommodate them.  After over 65,000 questions answered in 3 years of greeting the boats, did I ever get stumped or, in retrospect, realize I gave out the wrong information, YES, but rarely, I am happy to say.
Have to make a confession!  Often on the FB site, "You Know You Are From Catalina When...", I am named as specifically asked to answer a question.  If I know that I am being requested, I will ALWAYS answer.  One such question came up around 9 months ago.  "Chuck, how did 'Mt. Orizaba', Catalina's highest mountain, get its name?"  I DIDN'T HAVE THE SLIGHTED IDEA, but I didn't want anyone to know!  I turned to the other "Google", and, as I knew that Catalina was once controlled by Mexico and thought that "Orizaba" sounded a bit Spanish, I decided to do a bit of "Sherlock Holmes" and I looked up "Mexico, highest mountain"!  EUREKA, I FOUND IT!  Within 5 minutes, I was back on FB!  "As EVERYONE knows, 'Mt. Orizaba" is the highest mountain in Mexico.  Thus, it stands to reason, that they would have named OUR highest mountain the same!"  BOY, DID I EVER DODGE THAT BULLET!  Pays to investigate before I "tap out"!
So, what does "Mr. Know It All" feels that he KNOWS for sure!  1)  We need to continue our "Greeter" program, with or without me.  Since my position and I were "terminated" on March 16, NO ONE HAS BEEN AT THE MOLE TO GREET THE CRUISE SHIPS OR  CROSS CHANNEL BOATS.   I found that the first time visitor LIKES someone to greet them in a friendly manor, LIKES to get a map when necessary, LIKES to learn interesting facts about Catalina so they know they are in a very special place and want to return, they DON'T LIKE have to search out answers, such as restroom locations, when they are desperate, DON'T LIKE having to go to businesses and wait their turn simply to ask for directions. DON'T LIKE feeling that we don't really care that they are here!  2)  We must continue our LIVE performances put on by XCEPTIONAL MUSIC on our "Wrigley Stage".  Whether we are willing to face it or not, NIGHT LIFE for families and non drinkers is EXTREMELY LIMITED and especially FREE!  When I attend, which is as often as I can, I find myself and everyone else around me SMILING and HAPPY!  What better Avalon promotion than that!?!  By the way, there is going to be a concert at Descanso Beach on Saturday, July 15.  Learn about it as the tent at the end Pebbly Beach Road and Crescent.  Can't miss the tent!  People spend a lot of money and come all the way to Catalina to be ENTERTAINED!  THIS IS ENTERTAINMENT AT ITS BEST!
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