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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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September 30, 2011     The Catalina Islander
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September 30, 2011
 

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Golf Cart Spotlight: Catalina Service Carts BY THERESA CUMMINGS Prior to 1985, disabled golf carts 'were towed using a rope at- tached to a running golf cart. With homes extending into the hills, this method of towing was problem- atic. In 1985, Catalina Yamaha pur- chased a rental golf cart and con- verted it into a golf cart-t0wing vehicle. "It took about 100 hours of labor to convert the golf cart," Mike King of Catalina Yamaha told the Islander. "We entirely designed and fa6ricated it ourselves." It wasn't long before Buddy Wilson, owner of two golf cart rental businesses on' the Island-- Cat Auto and Cartopia--had them create one for their business. They use it to patrol and check on their rentals as they travel throughout Avalon. Catalina Yamaha created an additional one that was just re- cently sold to a company on the mainland. "Their value is incredible," said Nicki at the office front desk. "We can have anywhere from one to ten calls per day for towing and the tow golf cart makes it possible for us to service the needs of our community." Golfer From page I Saldana said. "I'm thankful to all the people who wrote letters for me. It's really been my family and friends that have kept me around." It was a tough struggle for Sal- dana to adjust-to life after he re- turned to Catalina. For about three years he did not feel like doing anything. Satdana graduated from Avalon High School in 1963. He had been" a volunteer fireman before he was drafted and had hope d to join the Avalon Fire Department alter the service. H e gave up that dream due to his injuries. He worked at the Catalina Bird Farm, but it closed down before he got backfrom the war. It was golf, in addition to fam- ily and friends, that helped sustain Saldana. As a youth Saldana had been a caddy at the Avalon golf course. After he lost his hand and returned to Catalina he had given up hope of ever playing the game again. According to Saldana's brother Lolo, who owns the barbershop in Avalon, Silky Reyes, who was the pro at the golf course when Sal- dana was a youngster, encouraged him to try and hit some golf balls. "Silky said to Richard, 'don't sit around here and drink like these other guys, take this golf club and hit some balls.' When Richard said he didn't think he could do it, Silky told him, 'You want to do it and if you don't want to do it I will make you do it.'" Saldana discovered he could actually hit the ball by balancing September 30 through October 6 UW Shows Nightly at 7:30 Rated R Adult $11.00 Senior & Children $9.00 For More Information Call 310-510-0179 the club with the stump where his hand had been and using his good arm to swing the club. He started to play golf regularly." "That is how he snapped him- self out of it," Lolo Saldana said. It is- also how he has in- spired others. Sal- dana has set a re- cord for hitting Richard hole in Saldana ones on the Ava- lon golf course. He has a total of 24 of the shots that others consider a miracle even if they get one in a lifetime. Saldana's nephew, Joe Samp- son said his uncle has been a ma- jor inspiration in his life and that it was about time he was recognized for his contribution to his country. "When he was injured the sec- ond time it was really bad," he said, his voice filling with emo- tion. "It was a miracle he made it back." Sampson said his*uncle had been popular with the other sol- diers in his company. "He has such overwhelming support from his family and would receive boxes of letters and gift boxes that he would share with others," Sampson said. "My dad was a great advocate for him to get his second purple heart and helped start the whole process." Saldana is the son of Martin Saldana, a gardener, who moved to A NEW CATALINA NOVEL "IT IS A ROLLER COASTER RIDE COVERING 400 YEARS." -CHUCK LIDDELL CATAL I NA I SLAN D HISTORIAN TWO WOMEN ACROSS OCEANS AND TIME: ONE HAUNTED BY A PAST SHE CAN'T LET GO, ONE HUNTED IN THE PAST WHERE LETTING GO IS THE ONLY CHOICE. THE MYSTERIOUS FORCE PULLING THEM TOGETHER LAY BENEATH THE OCEAN SURFACE, WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED. IN THIS CAPITAVATING DEBUT NOVEL BY LOCAL CHRIS BLEHM, TIME AND DIVINITY COLLIDE, ELUSIVE AS SEA FOAM IN MERCY'S HANDS. AVAILABLE LOCALLY AND ON AMAZON & KINDLE WWW.MERCYOFTH EE LEMENTS.COM Catalina from Mexico in 1919. He met Margarita Mesa a year later, and they were married. All of their l lchildren stayed on the Island. Sampson said his grandfather was proud to become an American citi- zen and sent all of his sons off to military service. "I have 17 uncles and 14 of them are veterans of foreign wars," Sampson said. Richard Saldana said he did not know if he would be able to get another hole in one. His injuries have been causing him trouble and his good ann has also been caus- ing him pain. His family members said they are proud of his golf re- cord, but mostly they are happy to have him around. "We're lucky he made it back," his brother Lolo said. "So many of those kids who went to Vietnam never returned." NEWS'PAPER A KI LLER WAY TO ADVERTISE 8 ! Friday, September 30, 2011 THE CATAUNA ISLANDER