Article from the 7/28/2017 Catalina Islander

"INTERESTING/UNUSUAL QUESTIONS/COMMENTS CONCERNING CATALINA ISLAND" (additional ones, www.catalinaislandman.com):
When taken to "Catalina/Cat Harbor" down at "Two Harbors", "Is this the same ocean as the one on the other side of the Island?"  (other side is the "Isthmus", less than 1/2 mile away).
"Does the Island float with the waves?"
"What do they have to eat at the 'Undersea Gardens'?"
"Do people live on the Island?"
"Are there sharks in the ocean?"
 
CAN WE BE A "FRIENDLIER ISLAND"?
Next week I would like to explore the possibilities of how we can be an even kinder/friendlier location than we presently are.  Please share with me your thoughts, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.m
 
LETTING MY HAIR AND BEARD GROW?  "ARRR"!
 
"SHIVER ME TIMBERS!!!"  I am extremely proud of sharing the news of my association with one of the newest, most exciting, original, group participation, family friendly, weather resistant, day/night, year round activities, Catalina's Pirate Challenge, "CATALINA ROOM ESCAPE"!  It is strategically located in the green building, Metropole Street, across from the Museum.  If you are/aren't familiar with the newest craze, "Escape Rooms", you need to check this one out!  www.CatalinaRoomEscape.com, 310-510-ARRR (2777). 
 
"YES, WE HAVE NO APRICOTS!"
 
Anyone lucky enough to venture into the Interior and travel down "Stage Coach Road" through "Middle Ranch" have probably noticed a myriad of trees, many with fruit on them.  The question probably arises as to WHY are they here and who would utilize them?  The answer is quite simple.  During the turn of the 20th Century, getting fresh fruit to the Island to service the local hotels, especially the "St. Catherine" (Descanso Beach, 1918-66), was difficult and impractical. For that reason, the groves of apples, pears, apricots, persimmons, cumquats, figs, almonds, pomegranate, elderberries, etc. (please share with me other fruit/vegetables I might have missed.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.m).  Soon after their planting, barges were provided for this and other freight on a weekly basis, so these orchards have been more or less "on their own" for the last 100 years.  Luckily for them, and us, their roots have been able to reach the vast underground aquafers so their 24/7 watering have allowed them to still flourish and produce fruit even though, to the naked eye, they all pretty much look dead!  Their fruit is still FANTASTIC, if you can get to them before the birds do and might have to encounter some "unfriendly" denizens.
Although most of the trees are conveniently placed along the road, to get to my favorite, the apricots, you have to make a trek of around 100 feet through the brush, which makes you vulnerable to our rattle snakes.  For those who have never tasted "wild" untouched fruit, it has a flavor that can not be described nor compared to that found in the grocery store.  I think part of the taste is psychological as the "hunt" makes the "find" that much more exciting and enticing!
Starting back in the 50's, Dad would pull our 1946 "Woody" over to the side of the road and let me and my kid brother, Billy,  go on our fruit finding adventures.  There were very few cars in those days, especially those who had access to the Interior, so we never ran into anyone other "explorers".  We would go out with buckets to collect the "nectar of the Gods"!  We were always on the lookout for snakes in the deep brush, but we never expected to encounter three BULL BISON!  As we were innocently picking apricots, these enormous wild animals decided that we shouldn't be there and CHARGED US!  This had never happened to us before, but luckily we instinctively decided to climb the tree!  Fortuntely, the "rogues" ran right under our branch and came within inches of reaching us!
When the excitement was over (Dad, of course, never saw this happening from the road, luckily for us, or this close call would probably have ended our pursuit), we cautiously climbed down and continued to pick our treasure.  As we started back to the car, we decided that we deserved a "treat" for all we had sacrified, so the two "little game hunters" decided to eat ALL THE APRICOTS to calm our nerves!  There must have been around a dozen. '
When we got back to Dad, we avoided sharing the excitement of our exploits with the Bison, but simply acknowledged their presence, and added that we weren't able to find any ripe apricots.  As parents are generally able to cut through the stories, he wasn't convinced, "Then WHAT is all of that apricot stuff around your mouth!?!"  Of course there wasn't any, but when we frantically tried to wipe away the evidence, our guilt was revealed!  (WHY is youth wasted on the young, and wisdom wasted on the old?).  He did believe the story about the bison and they, along with the potential rattle snake encounters, caused this to be our last endeavor into the "wonderland" of the best apricots EVER!  We then had to settle for apples, pears, and figs.  I started appreciating pears and figs, but am still NOT a big fan of apples.  "GIVE ME APRICOTS OR GIVE ME DEATH!" 
(I would LOVE to hear from you regarding any matters that you would like to discuss personally with me, chuckliddell.catalina@gmail.com).