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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
March 25, 2016     The Catalina Islander
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March 25, 2016

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Watson From page 1 American West is loaded with interesting specimens, the major- ity, of course, being Spanish words. Here on Catalina we have a number of both Spanish and English place names for those locales that we all hold near and dear. I shall forthwith attempt to "learn you" some of the stories behind a random selection of them. As far as the basics are concerned, I like to think that most of us who live here know that the Island was named after Saint Catherine of Alexandria and that the town of Avalon is named for a pseudo- mythical island that Lord Tennyson address- es in "Idylls of the Jim Watson King." Columnist Tennyson himself grabbed thereference from Monmouth's "Historia Regum Britanniae," which describes Avalon as the place where King Arthur's legendary sword Excalibur was forged and where the King himself was taken to recover from his wounds follow- ing the Battle of Camlann. OK, so maybe you didn't know all that. It should be noted here that Avalon has gone under differ- ent names in the past, includ- ing Timm's Landing, named for early squatter and fisherman Augustus Timms. Before that, the area was named Dakin Bay, a moniker that appeared on nautical charts for nearly 60 years. The name "Bay of Moons," supposedly a translation of an original Tongva name, is largely believed to be an Anglo inven- tion, probably attributable to Charles Frederick Holder. While the name sounds romantic to our modern ears, in reality the Tongva and Native Americans in general tend to be much more practical in their place naming. Since the original Tongva name for Avalon has been lost to us I'm speculating here, but the original name probably trans- lated to something like "the bay with good fish- ing" or "the bay in the canyon with year-around water" or something similar. Some of our local place names are obvi- ous. No one has to explain how Emerald Bay got its name to anyone who has had the pleasure of being there on a sunny summer day. And the etymology behind "Pebbly Beach" needs no expla- nation whether you've been there or not. Descanso Bay is perhaps the most appropriately named spot on the Island. The Spanish word "descanso" means "rest" or "relax." So when you are at Descanso Beach "with a drink in your hand and your feet in the sand" you are partaking of a "descanso" at Oescanso. Ben Weston Beach, that local favorite, was named for Benjamin Stone Weston. Contrar); to many histori- cal accounts, Weston was not a simple squatter but was in fact a nothing mysterious about the Finding Catalina successful sailor turned rancher, actual act of naming the moun- From page 14 (There's a myth floating around tain. out there that Ben Weston was an It was dubbed thusly by places encountering interesting Army officer stationed at nearby Sebastian Vizcaino on his voy- people along the way.., many have Camp Cactus during World War age to the West Coast in 1602. inspired characters in my books. II. Don't pay any attention to it). But the etymology of the word Places like Key West, Saint Born in Salem, Mass., in "orizaba" is debatable. Augustine, Port Royal, and Avalon 1832, Weston was crewing on a Vizcaino most likely named have long and colorful histories that merchant ship trading between the mountain after a volcano of can provide a backdrop to a story. I the Hawaiian Islands and the the same name in the southern have also found the best stories are West Coast when, one fine day, Mexican state of Veracruz. told around a campfire, on a fishing his ship visited Catalina. Like The "Pico de Orizaba" domi-boat or at a local bar. If you don't it was for many of us, the love nates the Orizaba Valley near hear a good story in places like affair began immediately, the town of--you guessed it-- The Marlin Club, The Lobster Trap, For the righteous sum of 20Orizaba, Veracruz. Coyote Joe's or The Locker Room, bucks worth of gold, WestonThe word "orizaba" is thought well, you just aren't listening! purchased sheep ranching rights to be a rough--very rough--Many years ago I found myself from then-owner James Lick.corruption of the Aztec word sitting at a bar, having a few beers After eventually moving "Ahuilizapan," which means with Joseph Wambaugh, a very well- his sheep to the Torrance area, "valley of happy waters." known author.., which is a separate Weston spent most of his the rest That sounds like a bit of astory in itself. My first book was in of his life on the mainland, stretch to me, but there is another the beginning stages but I was strug- He passed away in 1905 at possibility, gling with some aspects of the craft. the age of 73 and is buried at the Because the Arab-speaking We talked about writing, etc. and I Wilmington Cemetery. Moors dominated Spain for learned some things from him about Some more of our Spanish many centuries, the Arabic lan- listening to the stories around me, place names and their mean-guage had a profound influence but more importantly, seeking stories ings include Salta Verde ("green on the Spanish language, out and remembering them. Many of waterfall," no doubt a reference Yes, the Spanish spoken here the tales heard can be inserted into to the seasonal waterfall in Silver in California has sizeable chunks a novel through a character in the Canyon),"Palisades" translates to of Arabic in it, much like English story. I also learned writing is a "cliffs" and "Rancho Escondido" has echoes of Latin.and French. process that can't be hurried and all literally means "hidden ranch." If you take the common about "writer's block," when you just The ranch earned the adjective Spanish place name "jerez" (a can't make the process happen. "hidden" because Mr. Wrigley's derivative of the Arabic word Fortunately I have Catalina. original surveyors, returning on "ariz") and add the Arabic suffix Maybe it's the weather, the people, their second trip to the spot of "aba" to that (meaning a "fortifi- the relaxed atmosphere, the cock- the future ranch, had a heck of a cation") you get "Arizaba." That tails.., but there are two places I time finding the place, sounds much more palatable to never have writer's block; Catalina I purposely saved the most me. Island and my boat! So I'll just keep mysterious, if you will, Catalina There are many other intrigu- coming back to Catalina ... like Island place name for place names on Catalina and Jimmy said in the song, "I know I At 2,125 feet, Mt. Orizaba is I could go on and on, but you don't get there often enough but God the highest peak on Catalina. have to get back to work. knows I surely try." While the mountain itself Maybe this can be a topic we Mark Marchetti is an author stands out auspiciously, the ori- take up from time to time. and Catalina Island resident. Visit gins of the name "orizaba" are his website at somewhat obscure. I should say here that there's Please email your submissions to editor@ - Last weekend, Fri & Sat t0:00 to 2:30 Some free stuff. Tools, Freezer, Mower, Ladders, Spreaders, Gravel- bring a bucket. Antique Hutch needs a home (18"00's). Trudy. (310) 420-1597 Bruce Fertig por Alcalde de la Ciudad Respeto, Honestidad Integridad, Experiencia 35 Anos de Servicio en la Comi sion de Planeamiento, 20 Anos como DirectorDedicado a mejorar la calidad de vida de todos los residentes de la ciudad de Avalon GRACIAS Bruce Fertig Paid for by Candidate With Election Day approaching, we empower the citizens ofI Avalon to vote for a council that will bring our community fair] and open competition from our providers and public utilities. We J encourage the citizens to let their voice be heard through yourI right as anAmerican citizen; your confidential, voting power. It l is time we make a change away from the intimidation and influ-I ence of the Island Company. In our opinion, current council members, Cinde MacGugan- Cassidy and 01ey 01sen have a 10ng voting record of supporting the Island Company. The citizens 0fAval0n should know that we i believe these candidates are all heavily influenced by the Island I Company and thus their decisions and our island's destiny will continue to be managed in that same vein. Employ your democratic power by voting for leaders that we believe have the citizens and business owners best interest at hand, We believe Cassidy and 01sen may be heavily influenced by The Island Company, and we you to enact your right to elect city officials that we believe are not financially connected to the Island Company. This ad is paid for by"Save Avalon Now". This advertisementwas not authorized or paid for by a candidate for this office or a committee controlled by a candidate for this office, Mark hut;as On Saturday, March 12, 2016 at approximately 10:30pm, Mark peacefully went to be with the Lord. He was surrounded by his with, Patricia, and his sons, Ronald, Steven and Douglas. His entire family; including his wife, sons and daughters-in-law, sister-in-law, and grand- children; gathered tbr 4 days prior to his passing and had the gift of time together with him and with each other as his boys cared for him into his passing. Mark was 73. Mark was born on August 8, 1942 and was raised on Catalina Is- land. He attended school at Avalon School, graduating in 1960. In 1970, at the request ofPhillip K. Wrigley and his wife Helen, Mark moved from a short stay in Whittier back to Catalina. The Wrigleys had specifically requested Mark--s expertise in horticulture to augment the ex- otic cacti at the foot of the Wrigley Memorial with a natix,,~e and endemic plant garden. It was later named The Wrigley Memorial and Garden Foun- dation. The vision of the Garden was to especially highlight the endemic plants (group of plants that grow in one area only and nowhere else on earth) of the California Islands. Throughout the years, Mark collected species from all 16 Channel Islands. He created all of the pathways throughout the Garden and propagated and planted the cacti, succulents and endemics currently in the Garden. At one point during his 38 years of faithfully serving the Wrigley Memorial and Garden Fotmdation, Mark realized something was miss- ing. There was no storage and cataloging of current endemics of the Channel Islands and no current Flora written. In his capacity as Vice President, he approached Mr. William Wrigley about the idea of creating an herbarium and was given the budget to build the structure and pursue that journey. Though he finished much of it, the work towards comple- tion of Mark's dream is ongoing and drawing young horticulturalists into his passion. Mark's work in the herbarium is now referred to by many as the 'hidden gem' at the Garden. Mark also served faithfully on the Museum Board of Directors. He was involved in the direction of the new facility. But over and above everything else in life, Mark was a devoted fam- ily-man; family was the most important thing to him. He man-led his childhood sweetheart, Pat, on September 30, 1961 when they were both l just 19. They would have celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary this year; a true testament to their love, devotion, and commitment to one another. Together with his loving wife, Mark raised and loved 3 wonderful boys, saw 5 beautiful grandchildren come into this world and was surrounded by love of family. It was not uncommon at all to see his grandchildren feeling at home in their Nana and Ga's house just hanging out and being loved, or to see him cruising ha the hills with his son and grandchildren or see him on a trip with family. Mark was a loving, wonderful man and will be greatly missed. THE CATALINA ISLANDER Friday, March 25, 2016 ~ 15