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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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January 15, 2016     The Catalina Islander
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January 15, 2016
 

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] When a dance me to go to a specific little older before she - ,, . woman, who appeared to be in recognized meant the worlo to her 80s, who was standing in the the song and a Casino tourist + front:row of visitors, and I was to was left there ,, , ask her to dance! Believe it or not, s t a n d i n g Since I became Catalina s even though I knew whose voice alone! . Chuck Liddell Official Greeter," March 10, 2014, that wasl I explained to Him my no She then Columnist when the Chamber Of Commerce: dancing policy! What gall! told me that assigned" me to greet the cruise . A feW second later, louder, and could have been the worst day of ships and cross channel boats, I more forcefully, the Voice instruct- her life now was the best. She hadn't have answered 41,815 questions, ed me that I must hurry to get to broken their promise of dancing on These are some of the more interesting/unusual questions/com- ments I have received: "Why did you change the name of your Island from 'Santa Catalina Island' to simply 'Catalina?'" "My brother-in-law is a painter. Where is he painting now?" "Do you see the bison in the Interior by boat?" "I would like to buy the Island, how much will it cost me?" "When Taylor Swift comes to Catalina, where does she buy her ice cream?" Lloyd's. Contest time I have decided to write my Catalina book once I reach the 50,000 mark. It will contain approximately 25 chapters and each chapter will have five interest- ing/unusual questions that I have dealt with, a story of what life was like on Catalina, seen from my per- spective, and a bit of remarkable trivia about the Island. I would like to conduct a little contest to see who can come the closest to predicting when I receive my 50,000 question/comment. If you would like to guess, I will need a date and time of the day. To help you out, you can see how many questions I have already answered and over how long a time it took me to answer them. I am presently only working cruise ship days, which are "nor- mally" on Monday and Tuesday and I only work from 7:30-11:30 a.m. I will be working Friday- Tuesday during Spring Break and Memorial Weekend. I will be working this full-time schedule on a weekly basis throughout the sum- mer, starting June 14 and ending Labor Day Weekend. Simply send me an email, chuckliddell.catalina@gmail.com with your guess. EVERYONE who submits a guess will receive a free copy and the winner will receive 10 copies. The ending date for submissions will be January 31, 2016. And now, a look back at one of my experiences when I was giving tours of the Casino building. 'Ask her to dance' When the Casino Tour reached the Ballroom, I would always have an audio tape of Big Band music playing and encouraged couples to dance. I got a lot of older single women on my tours and because of my very limited time, I have vowed that I would never ask any of the ladies to dance. If I danced with one, I would have to dance with them all! About five years ago, I was standing on the stage playing the recorded music when the Holy Spirit spoke to me! I definitely recognized the voice from previous experiences. (For those of you who are "believers," this probably won't come as much of a surprise to you. If you aren't, I guess you will just have to trust me.) The Voice told her ASAP! This time I realized that/wasn't in the position to argue with Him any longer, so I ran across the wooden floor and although now exhausted, asked her to dance. She was a good deal shorter than me; only coming up to my collarbone. She immediately closed her eyes and put her head on my chest. We simply walked around the dance floor for a few moments until the song ended, I took her back to her place, thanked her, everyone clapped, and I went back to con- ducting my tour. At the end of the tour, I was standing outside of building, by the last ramp, saying my good-byes to everyone as they left. The last one to come out was my dance partner, bawling her eyes out. I was brought up by a mother, bless her 90 year old heart, who had taught graduate courses in guilt to Jewish, Italian and Catholic moth- ers, if you get my drift. If there was ever a problem, I was the causer I started to apologize to her for whatever I did wrong that upset her so and she quickly told me to stop talking (that is very hard for me to accomplish). She explained to me that 60 years ago, on that very day, she and her husband to be, were dancing in the Casino Ballroom when he proposed to her. They vowed then and there that they would return to this very spot 60 years to the day and dance on that same Ballroom floor. They had made reservations to return, however her husband died a few weeks ago. She then had to make the terrible decision whether to stay home and break their vow or come to the Island alone. She was devastated and not sure if she was going to be able pull it off, but she had felt compelled to comet When the music started playing and she was standing there alone, she was becoming overcome by grief. Then, I came running :to her and asked her to dance. She said that she just closed her eyes and put her head on my chest, because she wanted to imagine that she was dancing with her husband, as they had vowed to each other 60 years before t She then asked me where I had gotten the music that was playing in the Ballroom. By this time I was crying and said, "Please, no moret" She told me to keep quiet and repeated her question. I got my composure and told her that the songs were simply a combination of random songs that my boss, Joe Caliva, had put together. She told me, holding back the few tears that were left, that the song that was playing on the recorder at the moment that I ran to ask her to dance, was the very song that was playing when her husband proposed to her 60 years ago. It became "their songY' What are the odds? No wonder the Spirit had insisted that I hurry and get to her this very special day! As far as she was concerned, she did dance with her husband this day! I was a bit terrified thinking back on what might have happened to this sweet lady if I hadn't listened to the Voice and hadn't gotten there in time for their song. If I hadn't gone against my stupid policy, she might have had a heart attack on her way home or worse. There is a theme that permeates these stories. How often do we hear the Voice or have that unusual urge to call someone, or write them, or simply go out of our comfort zone to do something that we normally wouldn't do? How many chances have we had to make someone's day or allow something special to happen? Because of my pre- cious years of being a tour guide in the Casino, which will very unfortunately never be continued, I have learned to listen more to that special Voice and less to all of the other voices that tell me not to give in to these feelings, because they are not socially, economically, politically correct, or simply don't fit into my needs. My suggestion is for all of us to think less about our- selves and what people might think and do more of what we know we sh&licJ be doing+to help oihers~ Every once in a while, listen to the music of the Voice and dance! =-- ~ : To contact Chuck Liddell, email him at chuckliddell.cata- lina@gmail.com. and Lasik evaluation Ldtisse for I 10nger eyelashes Call 714-546-2020 For a Saturday clinic appointment at CIMC, ORANGE COAST center 223 Beacon Street Newly built Contemporary Estate 38L/6BA, 6,800 SF +/-, ~th 2,000 SF of decks, in|iffay pool, ehvalor, manymore designer fealures! Offered el $8,380,000 333 Las Lamas 3BR,3.SBA 3500 SF +/- 8e ful Tusmn+Style Estate Home. Wrap around deck ~lh ocean & hill views. 6,766 SF +/- buitdable lot included. off ed el $2,988,000 206 L Whitthy Avenue Unique 5 unit complex. Incredible wean view 6,910 5F +/- let. Close to town. 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