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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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May 25, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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May 25, 2012
 

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Catalina Souvenir Shop: A. romance .to remember Above, Bill and Beverly Brisacher, are a happy old married couple. Left, Bill Brisacher and Beverly Smith on their wedding day. Courtesy.photos A postcard of.the Edgewater Hotel Bill and Beverly passing by the vehicle made a pass ding Catalina's postwar years. : - Courtesy photo at one of Beverly's friends. . " , Brisacher met on The owner of the car punched became "teriaational travelers all.in-a: gense, ambassadors of Memorial Day of the drunk and before they could ca'tlina sla'nd as they searched say, "Bob's your uncle," they were 1947 when she and all hauled downtothe local sher- theorldver for eclectic items to her friends arrived at . iff's station, stock, in their.shop, A key to their Fortunately for.the youths, one shol; success was having exotic the Edgewater Hotel of their compatriots' grandfather items visitors would have to travel was the judge .and his fathta" was more than26 miles across the sea in charge of the sheriff's-gu/tion, to acquire. They traveled together BY DENNIS KAISER At least for the little group that to Bali, Singapor6, Taiwan, Hong day, that station's walls seemed Kong, Japan. Alaska, the East The Catalina Souvenir Shop in " made of tin and they all walked Coast, M6xico, the Philippines, Avalon is still going strong after . out nearly soon'as they were in. Europe,- Fjji, Tahiti, Tonga and 65 years in business and there are The rest 9f-their day's adven- Hawaii to:. purchase gifts for the no signs of its retiring any time tures carried'on in a pleasant light shop. soon. and they enj_oyed the rest of the During their days on the Island Located below the Edgewater day together, they enjoyed visiting Bird Park Hotel, at 413 Crescent Ave., its Before the coeds headed back and its exotic creatures. They wit- history, like many good things to San Pedro, Bill asked Beverly nessed the steamships' arrivals on Catalina Island, is steeped in if he could write her on the main- and marveled at the Avalon youths a love story one that began on land. She cautiously agreed and who would dive for coins thrown Memorial Day weekend in 1947. their cross-channel correspon- into sea by arriving visitors. Bill Brisacher, whose parents dence began. In 1955, they welcomed their , owned the hotel, started the shop Beverly graduated in 1948 and daughter Barbara into their blue after leaving behind a bank'th,'jb-b "egan work as a dental hygienist, heaven. It was a simple, but Won- on the mainland. Then one day Bill asked if derful life on their idyllic Island, He was 24 and described as tall he could see her and she agreed where their daughter grew up and and handsome, to have him visit at her home. eventually went oh to graduate -' Twenty-one-year-ld Beverly Shortly afterward, they began dat- from USC like her mom. Jeanne Smith arrived with three ing steadily. Barbara gave birth to the friends to enjoy the holiday week- About a year later they became Brisacher's granddaughter. end on the Island, where they engaged. Brittani Brisacher. had reservations to stay at the- When they were first married, Brittani. now grown, works as Edgewater. Bill and Beverly lived in a tiny a marketing and graphic design Arriving at the hotel, as fate apartment up the hill on Whitley specialist for Santa Catalina would have it, Bill helped the Avenue. Island Resort Services (the Santa University of Southern California They later moved to home on Catalina Island Company). coeds with their luggage. Clarissa Avenue where they lived Barbara, who retired from a It was a chore for his parents for the rest of their lives togeth- teaching career, .now owns and he was eager to do it as soon as yr. In those early days, Beverly runs the Edgewater Hotel and The 'he laid eyes on Beverly. She was continued her work as a dental Catalina Souvenir Shop. / a tall, slim young woman with hygienist and traveled to the main- Avalon and the Brisacher fami- I ! brown hair and a striking beauty land for work. ly lost Bill in 1995 after a struggle Play i,t safe - never touch balanced by a natural sense of However. she also helped out in with Alzheiiner's disease. ythi gh elegance, the souvenir shop. Beverly died in 2010. To the an ng cau t in a Bill offered Beverly and her As time went by, Beverly end of her life she retained the friends to take a driving tour became more involved with the elegance that had caught Bills eye power line, ' around Avalon with a few of his shop. on the fateful Memorial Day in single buddies.. She and Bill enjoyed the adven- 1947. when Catalina lived up to If an object gets caught in a power line, The jaunt turned a bit dramatic ture of their little business in the its reputation as "The Island of when an inebriated man who was small Island community. They Romance." call SCE at (800) 61 . problem. Kids in Nature going strong At Southern ( . Now in its sixth year, the Con- nature," said Rich "Mr. Z" Zanelli, servancy's Kids in Nature program school and youth programs sp.e- " International is going strong - once agam re- cialist. "It's a wonderful combi- warding the students' commitment nation of nature, learning and a you and ; to nature with a weekend trip to whole lot of fun for the kids." . Emerald Bay. Every Wednesday Twenty students will have the 'ii, during the school year, Avalon's, chance on Friday, May 25, to at-  K to eighth-grade students gather tend a three-day, two night camp- at the Nature Center at Avalon ing trip to Emerald Bay, hosted for Canyon to explore, play and learn the sixth year in a row by the West- : in nature, ern Los Angeles County Council-  . "KIN curriculum covers issues Boy Scouts of America. j,'2 . important to Catalina - among "This is an opportunity these ..... them invasivep!ants, sustainability kids have earned, and if prior ,: and fire ecology, all the while giv- years are any indication, it will be ing the students a chance to enjoy a an unforgettable weekend for all," -"   . couple of hours after school out in Zanelli. said. o m