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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
February 11, 2011     The Catalina Islander
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February 11, 2011

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ISLAND OF ROMANCE IS BACKDROP TO COUPLE'S TWILIGHT MEMORIES BY DENNIS KAISER Avalon residents Dick and Mar- garet Plavan, both 88, grew up on the mainland. They met in Santa Ana, Cohere Margaret's family moved when she was about 4. They started dating in their teens at Santa Ana High School. This week the couple said they" are still sweethearts and looking forward to Monday and another Valentine's Day on, Catalina. They said the Is- land has been the perfect setting for more than two decades during their - long and happy life together. It was a life that began quickly and in earnest for many of the Pla- van's generation. Childhood faded quickly as nations rattled sabers from sea to sea. They had planned' Margaret said, to go to college after high school, and then get married. "But World War II came and Dick en- listed and he was sent off to train- ing in Corpus Christi, Texas," Margaret said. "He was in flight school for the Navy Air Corps (lat- er called the United States Army Air Forces)." Considering the tunes, the Pla- vans decided to marry sooner than later. "His mother and my mother went with me to Texas and we were married there," Margaret said. The Plavans had one son, John, while Dick was in the service and anoth- er son Jim after the war. After World War II, Dick Pla- van's love of flying continued and it led him to a long, successful ca- reer as a commercial airline pilot for United Airlines. Margaret, who shared her life so closely with Dick. flew with him, often in smaller .planes. She also earned her pilot's license. They would take off together and depending on which city they were headed to either Dick or Margaret would pilot the plane and land it. Dick usually handled landing the plane in the bigger cities and hubs like New York and Chicago. Mar- garet would land mostly in the less crowded air space in places like Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dickworked as a pilot up un- til his mandatory retirement at age 60. The airline industry provided the Plavans witla a life full of rich experiences. They were able to travel and see the world together. "It really was a wonderful oppor- tunity of a lifetime," Dick said. The family lived in a few places on the mainland including Newport Beach for many years. It was there they discovered a love for boating, and it became the family's regular activity in their spare time. "We did a lot of boating all the time and we really liked it," Margaret said. Dick and Margaret's sailing ad- ventures to them as far as Alaska and back again. They followed the ocean breezes to places far and wide and eventually visited Cata- lina. The Island became one of their favorite places to be. They spent so much time moored off the Island and getting to know its people, that in the early 1990s they decided to purchase, as Margaret said, "a house on the shore." The Plavans sold their first home in Avalon after about four years and then moved into their "dream house on the hill." "We had a ranch down in Fall- brook before we moved to New- port Beach but it seemed like your neighbors were a mile'away," Dick said. Dick said it is the people of their adopted Island home that make living on Catalina special. "We love it here. It's really a beautiful place and the people are friendly," Dick said. "Our grand- kids and great grandkids love it too." After retiring to the Island, the Plavans enjoyed being physically active. They shared a passion for golf with e`ach other and friends and became regulars on the lo- cal links. "I was president of the men's gblf club and she was the women's golf club president for a number of years," Dick said. "She is still the treasurer, but she can't play any longer." The Plavans said they have faced some physical challenges in recent years, but they still en- joy sharing their Island life, their friends and finding a reason to smile every day. "It just seems like everything is good when we are here on Cata- lina," Dick said. "We have a lot of good memories.'" (clockwise from top) The Plavans on the beach in Corona del Mar circa.1941: Dick posing in the turbine of a United Airlines jet airliner that he flew. They also took turns fly- ing their Post War Military Trainer ]34 to every state in the union as well as sailing their Cal 246 sailboat to Alaska and a more recent ohoto of Dick & Ma/garet at their home on Chimes Tower Road. JIM AND ELIZABETH FELLOWS Please send us your favorite photo of yourseff or the of another local Catalina couple to be included in the Catalina Islander. They can be young or old. In special places, special occasions or just at home. Email your high resolution photo to Before you go back to the mainland... take a little Catalina with you. T (3 Subscribe Today. (]fl flhlOfl IShi]I I)EI{ P.O. Box 428 Avalon. CA 90704 Tel: (310) 510-0500 Fax: (310) 510-2882 email: VALE NT I N E'S SWE ET H EAR,T DANC E Held in the historic Casino Ballroom February 12, 2011 One of the most celebrated traditions on the Island of Romance, the Valentine's Sweetheart Dance, will be back to the Casino Ballroom. Offering couples the chance to dance the night away in the beautiful Art-Deco Casino Ballroom, this event promises to be better than ever. Music by 'Ace of Heart' will be provided and dessert bar 'Death By Chocolate' will be available. Doors open at 8:30PM Tickets can be purchased in the Plaza, on the Pier or by calling. ,4 1 ,i i i i The AY.AIklN.A ISLANDER Friday, February 11, 2011 i 7