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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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October 6, 2017     The Catalina Islander
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October 6, 2017
 

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Part 2: A foggy 1962 Catalina's Airport in the Sky The California DMV will conduct business in the City of Avalon October 9-11, 2017 Appointments are available and may be scheduled at City Hall. California driver license and identification card applications will be processed. All original driver license and identification card applications will require two (2) acceptable California residency documents. Non-commercial drive tests will be conducted and basic vehicle registration renewals/applications will also be processed. DMV hours of operation will be: Monday 1 :OOpm - 5:00pm Tuesday 8:00am -5:00pm Wednesday 8:00am - 11:30am Acceptable methods of payment will be: cash, checks, and money orders. (Checks are preferred) Commercial drive tests will no longer be administered in the City of Avalon. 10/6 lslanller cr0ssw0rtl Across: 2 Large domesticated cat 6 Gambling currency 9 Feel intense dislike or disgust for 10 An additional period of play to break a tie 12 Hard shelled insect 13 A gentle sheen or soft glow 14 A concrete edging to street or path 15 Starchyfood 16 Rabbit nickname 17 Irish "Cheersl" 19 A form of poetry 21 Preferred over all others Down: 1 lntemet connection 3 Tom Cruise Top Gun name 4 Floating vacation 5 Yeasts and molds 7 TV Host, Dr. ____ 8 Type of jacket 10 RiP Tom ___ 11 Popular road surface material 13 Boat diary 16 Lobster nickname 18 Facial feature 20 Music genre A tough job _ got tougher after the landing BY RICHARD VON KLEINSMID FOR THE ISLANDER Editor's Note: Richard von Kleinsmid worked for Avalon Air Transport in the late 1950s. Below is part two of his story of a day in 1962 when he had to play flight attendant (in those ddays they were called stewardesses) aboard a DC-3 trying to hurry a couple of dozen people to the Island while it was still too foggy for a Gruman Goose to legally fly. As part two begins, the plane has landed on Catalina. Now all I had to do--alas, entirely by myself--was welcome everyone to Catalina; announce that we would all disembark; unlatch and lower the door, trans- forming it into a cunning little staircase; help everybody down; shepherd the last of them over to and through the gate; explain that their baggage would soon be available at a baggage stand in plain view; add that a bus would be arriving any moment [I hoped] to take them down to Avalon; search out a baggage cart; locate a ladder that could reach the bag- gage door way up by the cockpit; get that all over to the plane; and start going up and then down that ladder with a bag or two at a time. To my happiness, just as I had locateda cart, here"came a bus full of passengers eager to be on their way back to Long Beach. In time, I did get all the bag- gage out of its compartment and down to the cart. Meanwhile, steeped in quiet conference while standing in the cool shade of the airplane's wing, were Capt. Pierce and his that time co-pilot, Capt. Stoner. Thinking this a swell opportunity to endear my youthful self to these seasoned old survivors of World War II, I conjured up something clever to say as I pushed my cart and ladder past them toward the gate: "Wow, I'd heard this runway was short, but I didn't know it was that short." Capt. Pierce then leveled a cold eye in my direction and dryly replied, "Yeah. It's short" [brief pause], "especially when you've got no brakes." "Uh, Rich," added Capt. Stoner, "You're going to have to tell those passengers up here from Avalon that we can't take any of them back with us, knowing our brakes have failed." It did not occur to me at first that this already difficult job of mine had just gotten rather tough- er. That did not begin to dawn on me until I noticed the impatience with which my southbound pas- sengers were snatching at their bags as I got them off the cart and hurrying with them over to the waiting bus and then noticed the matching intensity with which the northbound folks were not quite calmly waiting for me to get around to dealing with them--in all, some 54 people pretty close to the ends of their ropes, and now about to hear from me that they were, all of them, at best still miles up a dangerous road from where they longed to be with but one old bus that could accom- modate little more than the half of them. I was pretty young, but already literate enough to know what can happen to innocent messengers bearing unwelcome news to a desperate audience. Moving a little more slowly, I pondered it all, evolved let's call it a strategy, and, when I had delivered the last bag to its owner and seen the pilots, thank goodness, climbing back into the plane, jumped up on the cart and loudly intoned, "Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your atten- tion." Alas, some turned to me with hope still lingering in their eyes. "I am very sorry to say," I con- tinued, with a few silent asides, "that, owing to a mechanical problem with the aircraft, we will not be able to fly any of you over to Long Beach. The bus [inad- equate though it be] will [eventu- ally] take you all down to Avalon [probably even safely]. We are truly sorry for any inconvenience [if I may be forgiven that appall- ing euphemism]." And without inviting any questions, or waiting for any of my dire news to sink in, I turned around, leapt off the cart, and ran for my life to the plane, which, exactly as in Casablanca, was already firing up its engines. Soon, up the wobbly door steps I flew, spun about, grabbed and yanked the door cables, slammed the thing shut, somehow or other secured it, yelled a slightly fran- tic "CLEAR!" as I scrambled up the aisle, and this time chose for myself a more comfortable seat a good deal further up the cabin. And if I had been just a little older I'd have thought a galley equipped with ice and cute little bottles of Scotch very, very wel- come--and [why not?] a smiling real stewardess to hand some of it out. Epilogue The worst thing I did that day was give not a single thought to the fate of the unfortunate bus driver we so abruptly left behind when we flyboys made our get- away. It cannot have been his favorite moment, and I shudder even now at the thought of one day hearing what must be his terrible tale. As for our trip home, the take- off seemed a bit of an anticlimax after that landing, and I sort of bet an empty DC-3 has less trouble getting off the ground than does a loaded Goose. As for land- ing without brakes at the Long Beach airport, it turns out that a DC-3 has no trouble coasting to a halt on the long diagonal runway built there to accommodate jets, though it was still fun to see fire trucks chasing us as we made our !anding. And when we got back to the gate, it was a relief to find that, with the fog gone, the Gooses were already back in action, working as quickly as possible to pack up and ship off our worri- some burden. The sun had begun tO break through, they told me, mere min- utes after our departure. i2 i Friday, OcL 61 20i7 ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ THE CATAMNA ISLANDER