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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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August 5, 2011     The Catalina Islander
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August 5, 2011
 

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Marin From page 1 Matin recalled the time when he was a boy and he saw Mr. Wrig- ley and President Calvin Coolidge walk off a boat and down the pier. "1 was in second grade, wav- ing the American flag and there were Indians in full headdress who were following, but no Secret Ser- vice men to protect the president," Matin said. Like other young Island people at the time, Matin found work as an extra on the set of the film "Mutiny on the Bounty" for $5 a day. "It was boring," he said. "We did a lot of sitting around waiting with nothing to do." The most fun of being in the movie was seeing stars like Clark Gable on the chow line. Matin said there were always early film stars as well as famous athletes of the day on the Island during summer weekends. He got to know movie stars Bill Williams and Barbara Hale, regular visitors to the Island. "I would wine and dine with them," he said. "Life on the Is- land was fun, because you knew everyone and everyone had a nick- name," Matin said. "My nickname was Schank, after a 20 Century Fox movie producer. He squinted his eye the same way I did." Matin also worked for the Har- John Matin had van'- ous jobs on Catalina dudng different phas- es of his life such as a glass bottom boat captain. He is also seen on the beach to the right of a friend and hanging out on the green pier. bor Department as a patrolman. "I made $350 a month," he said. "I also worked for the Island Compa- ny in the Utility Department-doing engineering work." Matin recalled hov/there used to be a new movie shown every night a the Casino, where his fa- ther w a night watchman. Matin would" later become a bouncer at the Casino and also enjoyed many evening dancing at Catalina's iconic landmark. Marin said there were two deaths related to the Casino build- ing. One was a man named Ralph German who fell during its con- struction. "Another was someone who committed suicide from the dance floor level," he said. Matin also worked at Avalon's golf course and was a caddy for Howard Hughes. "He was a very handsome and friendly person to me," Mafln said. "He was good golfer too." Matin attended Avalon schools and graduated in 1938 among a class of 17 other high school se- niors from which he was named "Most Active" and served as the student body president. Sports were always a passion for Marin. He enjoyed soccer, played football with Jackie Robin- son. "He was a great athlete and a very friendly guy with whom I was associated," he said with pride. Marin's college football career got off to a slow start. "In Avalon we never had a football team," he said. "I barely made the team as a walk on. The second year I was an extra, and due to another player's injury, I was forced to play guard and was successful. Then I ended up being the team captain. They called me "Maygr of Catalina." Marin also played for the Tigers of Occidental College. During his college days he belonged to the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and ulti- mately earned a master's degree in education from the University of Southern California. From 1943 to 45 Matin served in the United States Navy as a cox- swain and radar operator. baseball, golf, swim club and es- "I didn't see much action," he pecially football, said. "But I did have orders for an After high school, Marin went invasion shi'p that was going to a over-town to attend college, first at hospital evacuation ship during the Pasadena Junior College, where he invasion of Japan. We spent most of our time traveling from Okina- wa to Japan, searching the islands for allied air survivors." Marin's brothers Vince and Nick served in the Army, while Mitch was also a navy man. "We were lucky," he said. "Ev- eryone came out without injury'or SOrrOW. Marin, who had changed his surname from Marincovich so that his students could pronounce his name, joined the Torrance Uni- fied School District and taught for 40 years. During the summer he would work on the glass bottom boats. So it was, on one summer's day that he met his future wife. "At one time in Avalon there were three markets and one bakery, two hard- ware stores and three drugstores, now there is one market and one drug store," he said. While waiting in line at Shags market, where Vons Express is currently located, he met his wife of 48 years, Josette. "She was in line in front of him," said Marin's daughter Jack- ie. "He had his arms full of grocer- ies and ice cream and she let him move ahead of her in line. They dated for while and were mar- fled." The Marin's had two chil- dren, including Jackie's younger brother John Marin Jr. They also have three grandchildren. His daughter said he encour- aged her to become a teacher and follow in his footsteps. "He said being a teacher is great job, espe- cially for a woman because they get summers off," she said. "He was right and that's why I get to spend summers on Catalina and watch-my son's athletic games." Marin said he has enjoyed trav- eling the world, but most of his best days were during his time on Catalina. There was always a lot of interesting stuff going on like the Channel Swim and there was always plenty of people watch- ing. He said he has seen the world change from the days when fellow Avalon kids played kick the can, not video games. He said the changes have come; perhaps a little too fast and too much. "There's too many golf carts and new cars I see every- where now," he said. These days Marin finds peace of mind walking through town with his cane, finding a cool, shady spot or just sitting on his porch and tell- ing stories and sharing memories with acquaintances who stop by to say "hello." 8 ! Friday, August 5, 2011 The CATALINA ISLANDER