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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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September 21, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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September 21, 2012
 

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Before you-go back to the mainland... take a little Catalina with you. Subscribe Today. C l fJU fl ]SLflnDER \ Michelle and Paul Bestudick enjoy a quiet moment Courtesy photo BY THERESA CUMMINGS In our July 27th issue, the story was told of Michele's Great Grandfather, Alfred Brown, and his arrival on Catalina Island in the late 1800s, marriage to Eliza- beth Barnes on the Yacht Nellie in 1892. The story concluded with the building of the Browns home in 1921 on Catalina Avenue. After the house was completed, the Browns extended family began to frequent the Island. They were a fun loving group of people and would use a rowboat to travel the coastline to visit Catalina's coves. Frequent fish fry's took place in evenings in front of the home on Catalina Avenue. On Saturday evenings, a dance was held at the Isthmus and family members would travel the coast- line in the rowboat, taking turns rowing to make it there. Friends and visitors would meet them there for a night of dancing and singing before make the long trip back to Avalon, rowing in the dark. Bestudik spoke of her Grand- mother Nana, "One of her points of pride was the story of her re- ceiving a pink slip in the early 1920s. The local police patrolled the beaches making sure that the codes for decent attire and behav- ior were being observed. Nana got a ticket when the cape covering her swimsuit blew open exposing her knees!" Bestudik continued, "Nana's children, including my mom Max- ine and Uncle Vernon loved spend- ing their summers at the family home on Catalina. They particu- lady loved to bicycle and hike. One hike to Silver Canyon was so difficult that they vowed never to go hiking again if they survived! That didn't last long, though, since A new book by Jim Watson Available in stores all over Avalon and: amazon.corn amazon'-. From the long-running column in the weekly Catalina Islander. Submit your photograph, graph or art of Catalina. If we use it for a cover, you'[[ get a free one year subscription to the Islander and recognition. SEND high resotution digital. JPEG fites-300dpi min. via emai[ to ed@cinews.us. Must be original. artwork. By submitting work; the senders agree to I.icense pubtishing in the Catal.ina Islander newspapen it was a favorite activity and was passed on generation after genera- tion." Subsequent generations were all submitted to "The Test" instituted by her Great Grandmother Nana Bessie. The test was to prove the children were water safe. When the children felt they were ready, they would tell Nana they were ready. A time and date was selected and Nana and family members con- gregated at the water's edge mid- South Beach. There was a float attached to the sea wall by a thick rope about 20 yards off the beach and they were to swim out to the rope and back without grabbing onto the rope. Nana Bessie stood on the green pier opposite [he float to witness the event in her flowered silk dress, spectator high heels and large colorful parasol. Her attire in itself created a spectacle for the crowds. "Of course we all passed the test," Bestudik said, "but you were not a bonafied swimmer until Nana Bessie deemed it so." "My favorite tradition with my grandmother Nana-(Ynez Kel- logg), "Bestudik recalled, "was the after dinner bicycle ride. Some- times there were as many as 14 of us there and we would ride to the Hotel St. Catherine to go around the circular drive in front of it. Then we headed to the Casino and behind it to the point to enjoy the beautiful bay at dusk. After that, we rode through town all the way to Pebbly Beach counting how many seals and porpoises playing in the water along the shoreline. Then it was home for desert and a walk downtown to watch those fvho were square dancing, or par- ticipate in community sings." Bestudik concluded, "It was a lovely way to grow up and I will be forever grateful for the 'se- cret house fund' started by my grandmother and her sister that began our family's favorite tradi- tion. We are now seeing the sixth generation embrace the island the way the family has for over 120 years." 1.2 [ Friday, September 21, 2012 THE CATALINA ISLANDER