Article from the 1/18/2017 Avalon Bay News

From March 10, 2014-March 16, 2017, when I was "Catalina's Official Greeter", through the Catalina Chamber Of Commerce, I answered 64,590 questions from the cruise ships' and cross channel passengers'.  That amounts to "greeting" approximately 650,000 visitors to Catalina!  Here are some of the inquiries I had to address (additional ones,
"Do you hire Americans here?"
"Was the Casino barged over here?"
"Which restaurants serve 'sand dollars'?"
"Do you have to get on the boat for 'parasailing'?"
"Where does the water in the harbor go during 'low tide'?"
My younger and only brother, Williams Sims Liddell (Bill) was born in Avalon, August 14, 1949, Dr. Poole officiated.  He would  have been 68 years old.  UNFORTUNATELY, he took his life, in Avalon, January 21, 1974.  He was only 24 years old!  I have been without my brother for 44 years and it sometimes hurts as much now as it did then!  I only simply making a heart felt plea to anyone even thinking about ending their life through suicide.  PLEASE DON'T DO IT!  THERE ARE ALWAYS OTHER/BETTER WAYS OF  ELIVIATING YOUR PAIN!  If you need someone to talk to and you feel you are alone ( and I will give you my phone #.
"I AM 'ME'?'!"
During the summer of 2015, I greeted a family in my usual friendly manner in hopes of answering questions or simply helping them with their needs.  The mother took one look at my name tag and said, as she hurried by, "YOU'RE A LIAR!"
Unless you are a professional politician, you shouldn't have to hear this very often, if at all.  This has been my fate since the last week of March, 2004. I was working security at the Casino Ballroom for an event and I got a call from my mother.  She said, "NOW I know what you do with your spare time on the Island?"  (what 'spare time'?  I was gainfully employed then!).  I asked her what she was talking about and she told me that I was going to fight a guy by the name of Tito Ortiz in Las Vegas the first Saturday of April!   I asked her if she was having trouble with the neighbors again and she needed me to defend the family honor.  "No", she said, " saw in on television as a 'Paid Per View'!"  "Let me get this straight, Mom. A week from today I am going to be in Las Vegas fighting a guy, I have never heard of, Tito Ortiz, and it is going to be a 'Paid Per View' event?  Why would I do THAT!?!"  "From the pictures on the screen, it looks like you are going to be wrestling him."  "Mom, I haven't the foggiest idea of what you are talking about, but IF there is a chance you can  bet on the fight, put ALL of your money on this Ortiz guy, as I have to work at the Casino next Saturday and I don't plan to be in Las Vegas!" 
I didn't think much about this, except that maybe my Mom forgot to take her meds!  I think it was Billy Delbert who had gone to the match and brought me back the program with a picture of Tito Ortiz and "Chuck Liddell"!  BOY, I DIDN'T TAKE A VERY GOOD PICTURE!    My beard was gone and I had a Mohawk haircut with the sides of my head shaved to show off my tattoos!  It turned out that this was a "Mixed Martials Arts" match and it was for the "Ultimate Fighting Champion" belt.  I GUESS I WON!
I started watching these UFO matches on television, in hopes of catching a glimpse of my alter ego, "Chuck Liddell".  He/I almost always won!  I especially liked the way he/I was introduced, "And Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeers Chuck Liddell!"  I was playing with the idea of recording this message and putting it on my phone answering machine, but felt it was a little over the top, even for me!
He was called "The Ice Man", but a young Island friend, Johnny, who followed these matches, started referring to me as "The Nice Man", which he still does!  I kind of enjoyed this notoriety, but was sort of sorry that he/I seemed to enjoy beating up our opponents!
I would have been a lot prouder if this man who shared my name could have been the guy who had found the cure for cancer of peace in the Middle East instead of pounding the heck out of other guys!  I guess I should have been happy that he wasn't a mass murderer!
Early in his career, people knew that he was from California, but where in California?  (I know, but for his privacy, I am not telling!)  Because his matches were on DVD under of the label of "Island  Entertainment", people started guessing that he must live on Catalina Island.  He has visited her a number of times, but I have yet to meet him.
One of my first "Chuck Liddell" incidents came from a 12-year-old boy  who somehow got my address and sent me a tear jerking letter telling me that I/Chuck Liddell was his "Very Favorite Idol" and ALL he wanted for his birthday was an autographed picture of me/him!  I could have simply sent a letter back and inform him that he had contacted the WRONG "Chuck Liddell", but that might have crushed his hopes of EVER making contact with his idol.  I then thought of getting a picture of Chuck on the internet, print it, and then sign it myself.  Why not!?!  I wouldn't be lying about the signature, but what would happen if he ever found the real signature of the "other" Chuck Liddell and the two obviously didn't jive?  I then set out to find out all I could about "The Ice Man" in hopes of being able to get the young fan's letter to him.  I found his manager and so sent the letter, along with a note that read, "Chuck had better respond to this young fan's request or he will have another 'Chuck Liddell' to answer to!"  I felt pretty brave through the mail service.  On looking over his website, I noticed that whoever put it up didn't know the difference between the two of us either!  It showed that movies and television  programs that I was involved in regarding Catalina Island were credited to the wrong "Chuck Liddell"!  NOT FAIR as I NEVER take credit for any of his matches on my websites!
In January, 2005, I was in Manhattan, New York, at an entertainment conference and I was walking down Broadway when I came across a three story building that stood out like nothing I had ever seen before!  A 30' picture of "Chuck Liddell" was on one side and a 30' Tito Ortiz was on the other side.  Obviously advertising the 2004 match, but had yet to be taken down.  I quickly contacted two "Broadway Stars" friends of mine, our own Gregory Harrison, who had been starring in "Chicago", and Ivan Rutherford, who had the lead role in  "Les Miz".  I asked them what the highest compliment an actor on Broadway could receive and they both told me what I already knew, "Your name up in lights over the name of the production!"  I told them to take a walk and to go to see what a REAL tribute looks like!
With my name comes a LOT of confusion.  I wanted to have a banner made up for my "Liddell Talent Management" at a Kinko's shop in Long Beach  and told the guy over the phone that Chuck Liddell would be coming in to pick it up.  When I entered the store, I had never seen so many teen-20 year old guys all standing behind the counter at the same time, looking around with much excitement.  I didn't get the connection at first, but simply went up and asked to get my banner.  "I though 'Chuck Liddell' was going to pick it up!"  "He is."  "Where is he!?!"  "He's, I'm here.  I'm Chuck Liddell!"  What a bunch of disappointed young men!  You would have thought that their fiancés had stood them up at the alter!  I realized what the confusion was all about and so I gave them each my business card in hopes that "maybe", when they attend one of his matches, they could show this to the Security Guard .  They MIGHT get access to Chuck out of his curiosity regarding the existence of another "Chuck Liddell".  It didn't help their overwhelming disappointment very much.
A few years ago I was down in front of "C. C. Gallaghers" corner of Crescent and Clarissa (they are going to closing soon!  Another beloved institution lost on Catalina!) when a women, with three kids, came over to me and asked, "Are you 'Chuck Liddell'?"  Boy, was my head ever swelled!  I thought, SOMEHOW she recognized me as the "Island Historian"! She then told me that she would love to have a picture taken with me!  Boy, my head ballooned up even more!  She said that she would be taking the picture.  "Why not find someone else to who can take the picture of ALL of you with me?"  "No, only my husband wants to have the picture taken with you."  I looked over at this "bear" of a man and asked, "Why ONLY with him?"  It was explained to me that he ran a gym back home and wanted a picture of "Chuck Liddell" for his "Wall Of Fame".  I, of course, reminded them that I WASN'T the UFO Champion and she assured me, "We know!  My husband wants to have it up on the wall as a 'Gag'!"  My head quickly started shrinking.  He put his massive arm around my shoulders and then we were told  to "smile".  I did, but not with much enthusiasm.  My head was now almost 1" across.  When the picture was taken, the women came up to me with a dollar bill.  "What is THAT for?" I was afraid to ask.  "For the picture with my husband, of  course!"  MY PICTURE IS WORTH A WHOLE DOLLAR!?!  Both sides of my head were now touching each other!  "No thank you.  You can keep your dollar!"  "Then how about if we take you out for a drink?" "I'm sorry, but I don't drink."  "Then how about buying yourself an ice cream cone?"  AN ICE CREAM CONE!  My  head imploded!!!
When I was conducting tours of the Casino, I would introduce myself and invariably someone in the group would yell, "NO YOU AREN'T!"  I would then have to rush into the crowd and quickly show my driver's license.  This was satisfactory so that I could go on with the tour.  On one of these tours I had a REAL UFC fighter who was soon leaving for Egypt where he was going to go for the championship.  He asked me if I didn't mind having a picture taken of him with me administering a "headlock" on him.  That, I didn't mind, because at least he showed a little respect for my feelings.
A few years ago I called a tire company on the mainland to purchase a set of tires for my '71 VW Van, that I then had on the Island.  I instructed him on how to send them over  and I gave him my name and credit card #.  He then hesitated, "Because I have never done business with you, and there are so many problems with stolen credit cards now, you will have to come to Signal Hill and appear in person with your card."  I thought that this was a bit unusual as I had never been questioned before.  I was going to be in Torrance anyway that week, so I told him when I was coming.  When I arrived, he had a camera ready!  I asked him "WHY THE CAMERA?" and he explained that his girl friend LOVED Chuck Liddell.  I assured him that I WASN'T THAT ONE and he, of course, IMMEDIATELY realized his mistake, but still had a picture taken with, you guessed it, placing him in a headlock!  I'm getting pretty good at this hold. 
When still greeting the visitors coming by boat, I was asked the same questions at least five times a week, "Did you know that you have the same name ......!?!"  I usually respond with, "Do you want me to beat up someone ?"  One man suggested his wife, who was standing right behind him, not very happy!  They usually laugh, move on, or have me get them in the wrestling hold.  Once, an older guy responded with "Yes, I WILL TAKE YOU ON!"  That obviously threw me off  and while staring at him, he simply waked by as if  he had shown me who the "Alpha Male" was! 
When people sometimes get upset by my using my own name (?), I try to reason with them that with billions of people on the planet, doesn't it seem reasonable that there could be more than one "Chuck Liddell" and that  there might conceivably be someone sharing their name?  This usually got mixed responses.
 I wonder IF the other Chuck sometimes gets people who mistake him for ME!  Boy, no ego here!  I will have to ask whenever I meet him.  Which leads me into a crazy idea I have been playing with for years and still might do.  I think it would be a great asset for Catalina to have a mixed martial arts/wrestling summer camp started on the Island in hopes of eventually getting a wrestling program in our local high school which might allow some of our goys and girls to be able to scholarships in this sport thus helping them to attend colleges/universities.   I thought ESPN might be interested in covering a match and sponsoring the event between "Chuck Liddell vs. Chuck Liddell"! WHERELSE COULD THIS HAPPEN!?! I wouldn't want to hurt this guy, so we could duke it out in rubber sumo wrestling outfits.  Hopefully he will accept my challenge as I know he enjoys working with youth groups and he likes Catalina and might want to connect his name with our fledgling wrestling program.  Any thoughts?  Now that I think about it, has ANYONE ever seen the two "Chuck Liddells" together in person or in a picture?  Neither have I!  Maybe we are the same person!  SCARY THOUGHT!