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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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October 25, 2013     The Catalina Islander
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October 25, 2013
 

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On the Water Aero and AquabaUcs are coming to Avalon BY CAPT. JOHN KING AFISHINADOS CHARTERS It is rare that a col- umn about the water has anything to do with airplanes, but ,Avalon is an unusual place and the aero and aqua worlds are about to come together for the Catalina Air Show. Last year we had a couple of sea planes come into the harbor. The landing was tricky due to a choppy sea. We were aboard Catallac and watched the pilot make a few fly- bys before deciding on a landing strategy that took him right over our afternoon charter; a very ex- citing combination of aero and aqua dynamics. The Catalina Air Show had a first run last year, and after many With Capt. John King John King Columnist trials and tribulations the show is on for this weekend. It should be a good one, particularly for spec- tators. Many air shows are held in remote inland locations where air traffic is light and the conditions are easier to manage. The spectators for these shows are frequently seated on plastic chairs or standing on a hot tarmac with no protec- tion from the sun. The Catalina Air Show will be a differ- ent kind of show, over local waters. It should be a very enjoyable venue for the attendees. There will be folks stretched out from Descanso to Pebbly Beach, up on Chimes Tower road and out on the water. Afishinados' Catallac will be offering a morn- ing float for the practice runs and then we will be positioned along the show box from 1-3 pm for the big show with the bar-b-que cook- ing 'dogs' and the ice chilled beer. We'll have the stereo system tuned to the show to get the full story and have created our own play list for intermissions. Although most of the action happens over water during the show on Saturday afternoon, there will be a lot to see off the water. The pilots will be visiting various in-town sponsors to share stories, sign autographs and talk about fly- ing. There will be a static display of the Bleriot XI monoplane at the Wrigley Stage and additional planes staged at the Airport-In- The-Sky. Aeronautic aficionados will have a chance to fly their own plane from the safety of an M4 Simulator. The weekend show will also have a number of vendor booths hawking aeronautically themed goods along front street, and af- Vintage aircraft like the seaplane above will be seen at the Air Show. Courtesy photo ter the show, attendees will have a chance to meet some of the pilots doing the stunts for the show. There will be much more going on so tune in to the communica- tions center at Wrigley Stage for last minute event announcements. There are no tickets to purchase for the air show, however, you can show your support by purchasing commemorative t-shirts and show mementos. Most of the boat char- ter operators will be putting to- gether various floats, so pick a fa- vori and get a floating front seat to th show. Cttpt. John runs Afishinados Charters and can be reached at 888- 613- 7770 or john @ afishina- dos.com. Duke of Catalina featured in new museum exhibition Catalina Museum exhibit honors Avalon's centennial STORY AND PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE CATALINA ISLAND MUSEUM For 42 years, Duke Fishman worked every summer as a life- guard on Avalon's beaches, and was well-known for strolling bare- foot along the town's Front Street, wearing little more than a skin- tight swimsuit and a Captain's cap cocked jauntily on his head. He eventually became known as Ihe "Duke of Catalina," and he is just one of the many characters featured in the Catalina Island Museum's Duke Fishman, one of Avalon's more memo- rable characters, poses with a marlin that appears to have caught him. "The Duke of Avalon" was the town's offical greeter, current exhibition: "Avalon: 100 Years of Bizarre, Fascinating and Colorful History." Fishman was born in the Philippines to American parents, who moved to Hong Kong when he was just an infant. By the age of 5, Fishman's par- ents had died, and he was forced to live in a Chinese orphanage. By the time he turned 18, he was living in the South Seas, earning a living as a lifeguard. Fishman soon moved to America, arriving on Catalina Island in 1933. After a short stint at Avalon's golf course, he found work as a lifeguard. He became a favorite of children, teaching them how to swim in the warm waters of Avalon's harbor. He was mar- velously effective at his job. He was credited with saving over 1,000 lives, and The Islander boasted in 1939: "No drownings have occurred in Avalon during Duke's time, although he had many rescues." His outgoing and gregarious personality undoubtedly earned him a reputation, and he was acutely aware that as a lifeguard he was constantly in the public eye. He shrewdly made himself Avalon's "Goodwill Ambassador." The City of Avalon recognized his value and made him the town's "Official Greeter." He embraced the lob= He--eonced himself near Avalon's piers, showing off his bronzed, athletic body, and kicking off every visitor's trip to Avalon with the affable and warm greeting of: "Hi, Naybor!" The impression he made was indelible, and he was soon not only Avalon's most recognizable personality but its most loyal cheerleader. He often accommodated the scores of tourists milling about the town by taking their photograph and even led evening sing-alongs. He was known to serenade visitors frequently with his rendition of the island's most famous song, "I Found My Love in Avalon." Of course, Fishman's distinc- tive appearance was hard to miss. In 1949, he shaved his head and eventually wore a gold hoop ear- ring-in his left ear--both quite unusual for the day. He was rumored to have been the inspi- ration for the popular Mr. Clean character. Taking full advantage of Avalon's proximity to Hollywood The Duke, Page 7 Call 714-546-2020 For a Saturday clinic appointment at CIMC. lb ORANGE COAST ee center Hot Do: old Beer Great !ews AIR SHOW Sp Saturday Oct. 26th Morning Float 10-12 ,- $35 p/p Afternoon Float 1-3 -- $50 pip " o o 4 i Friday, October 25, 2013 THE CATAUNA ISLANDER